Nasty, Brutish and Short-Fused

muftiSan Francisco, 8 December 1941. Following the Pearl Harbor attacks, the Chairman of the American National Shinto Council issues a response to the horrific assault on the American naval base by Imperial Japanese forces:

“These recent incidents highlight the fact that current strategies to deal with the threat of Japanese ultra-nationalism are not working. It is therefore imperative that all causative factors such as racism, anti-Japanese sentiment, curtailing freedoms through militarization, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention must be comprehensively addressed.”[1]

Imagine the backlash that Japanese-Americans would have faced in the mid-1940s if a prominent member of that community laid the blame on Pearl Harbor at the feet of the American people. Now imagine if the Attorney-General announced shortly thereafter that her “greatest fear” is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Japanese rhetoric.”[2]

Horrific as was the internment of Japanese-Americans, we cannot conceive of how viciously elements of the greater American public might have struck out against countrymen of Japanese origin or extraction. If the Japanese-American community’s leaders had issued statements along the lines of the Grand Mufti’s response to the Paris massacre, the model for the panel-beaten quote above, ordinary Americans would have felt that neither Japanese-Americans nor their own government was doing anything to keep the country safe.

So, too, with Islamist terrorism. All sensible, right-thinking people are concerned about backlash against innocent Muslims in the wake of terrorist attacks. But all sensible, right-thinking people also know that the best way to prevent that backlash is to stop terrorist attacks from occurring in the first place.

We learned a great deal from the persecution of Japanese-Americans in World War II, which included that abominable policy of internment. Today, with the anniversary of Pearl Harbor just two days in the past, we should be thankful that such barbaric practices are well and truly behind us in the West. But we might also take a moment to reflect on how such barbarity might come to pass by other means. If certain Western Muslims and governments continue to tip-toe around the threat of Islamism at home, there is no chance of avoiding the abuse of moderate Muslims—not by the government, but by individuals acting emotionally and mistakenly in what they perceive to be the immediate interests of their own safety.

We don’t like to think of ourselves this way. We like to pretend that, somewhere between the Enlightenment and 2015, we shed our fight-or-flight instinct in favour of calm and balanced rationality. Well, we didn’t, and we never will. Human nature is immutable. And while we might be less superstitious and prejudiced in our ‘fight’ reflex, we would be deluding ourselves to say that (for instance) non-Muslim Parisians, in the wake of the latest attacks, can look at their government’s weak border- and homeland-security policies and allow reason alone to allay the suspicion that, judged as a group, the 20% Muslim population of their city cannot be trusted. Would that the inclination to embrace a sweeping,  generalised contempt and loathing were otherwise, but it isn’t.

Any government seriously committed to multiculturalism and inter-religious tolerance needs to set counter-terrorism as its highest priority. Only when the threat of Islamist extremism is completely eradicated from Western countries will Islamophobia be stamped out. The latter is absolutely dependent on the former. If our governments don’t come to terms with this fact, and soon, the blood of innocent Muslims and non-Muslims alike will be on their hands.


[1] http://www.crikey.com.au/2015/11/18/you-cant-condemn-terrorism-if-no-one-is-listening/

[2] http://www.dailywire.com/news/1593/loretta-lynch-vows-prosecute-those-who-use-anti-james-barrett

7 thoughts on “Nasty, Brutish and Short-Fused

  • Jody says:

    Having just read the side article about the “Insight” (ha!) program on “Kissing Cousins”, I note one thing; the Muslim community and its adherence to keeping marriage inside the family displays all the traits of xenophobia and racism. Suspicious of our Australian culture and a belief in the inherent superiority of its own. Sound familiar? It should. They have no intention of integrating because THEY DON’T HAVE TO.

  • bemartin39@bigpond.com says:

    The Muslim communities in western nations, including Australia, can very easily and decisively eliminate every trace of “islamophobia”, independently of their duplicitous, conniving leaders. All they have to do is to hold regular demonstrations following Islamic atrocities, loudly declaring their outrage and uncompromising condemnation of all violence committed in the name of Islam. After Friday prayers would be a good opportunity while large numbers of pious Muslims have already gathered. They would only need a few signs affirming their undivided loyalty to their host nations above all else and some simple slogans chanted in unison confirming that they disassociate themselves from, and passionately oppose all Islamic terrorism.

  • en passant says:

    Bill, Pigs will fly first. I have two Iranian friends who have immigrated into Oz. One told me recently that he recently travelled the Great Ocean Road and took some happy snaps to send home. On seeing them his brother recommended that he give his wife a good beating for having been photographed without a hijab covering her hair. His father said she had dishonoured the family … but left the appropriate punishment unsaid. He is now an apostate.

    • bemartin39@bigpond.com says:

      Of course, you are absolutely right, el passant. The simple reason there will never be any demonstrations like what I suggest is that the vast majority of Muslims living in western countries are not sufficiently – if at all – opposed to Islamic terrorism; feel no loyalty to their host nation and fervently believe that they are vastly superior to unclean infidels.

      PLEASE! Will some Muslim spokesman or apologist contradict the above and back it up with verifiable facts.

      • commerce@internode.on.net says:

        “Of course, you are absolutely right, el passant”. ..Bill Martin
        Actually he is more right than you imagined, and he actually Identified why there will never be a denunciation of other “errant” muslims following prayers.
        To illustrate this here is another quote, outlining the synopsis of the famous (and so prescient) novel ,1984.
        “Everywhere Winston goes, even his own home, the Party watches him through telescreens; everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party’s seemingly omniscient leader, a figure known only as Big Brother. The Party controls everything in Oceania, even the people’s history and language. Currently, the Party is forcing the implementation of an invented language called Newspeak, which attempts to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all words related to it. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal. Such thoughtcrime is, in fact, the worst of all crimes.”
        The similarities are scary….especially the US Attorney General latest warning about government action against anti-Muslim speech…”We will prosecute you”.
        https://youtu.be/qBkPcRSi03o (Focus on the actual video…not the TRUWIRE source).
        Attorney General Young later was forced to re-assure that “of course we would focus on action not speech”
        I was not at all re-assured.
        Muslims pray 5 times a day. They are encouraged to attend their local mosque. They are encouraged to introduce themselves should they visit another mosque for prayers…say on holidays.
        Thus the controls are as tight as any 1984 scenario and any individual that might fancy initiating dissent is immediately outed and at risk.
        Put yourself in that position and you can see that it will not happen.
        This type of ideology and control has no place in a democratic society.

  • brian.doak@bigpond.com says:

    Christians follow Christ, Buddhists follow Buddha, Mohammedans follow Mohammed and there is the problem.Lord, lord, and warlord.The first is a religion, the second a philosophy, the third a political ideology with some religion attached. Muslim – Moslem -Mussulman – Mohammedan, I think the last term Mohammedan is the most descriptive of the ideology and shows where to find the foundational weakness.It is the term Churchill used.

    The Mormon Church is harmless enough and law abiding and very patriotic but their founder Joseph Smith claimed revelations somewhat similar to Mohammed especially the one condoning polygamy [nudge, nudge]. Mormons obviously got a revelation about peaceful missionary expansion and fortunately did not get a revelation of the violent military expansion of the Jihad. Later Mormon prophets saw it expedient

  • acarroll says:

    Can someone answer why we need Mohammedan immigration into Australia? We know it benefits them but what’s the benefit to us?

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