Sunday, August 22, 2004


Is someone being maximally naughty?

From Saturday's letters section of the SMH:

Reactions to the revelations surrounding the children overboard affair and the fake Norma Khouri story tell us a lot about the nature of prejudice in Australia.

In the first case, there has been a tendency to respond with the idea that while the refugees may not have thrown their children into the sea, they sunk their boat anyway, which makes them just as evil as we thought.

Similarly, with the Khouri affair, the response is that while her story may have been fabricated, "honour killings" do happen, so it is good that she has raised awareness about the issue.

In both instances, the willingness of large numbers within the Australian population to not only accept these fake stories, but also to believe that they are broadly representative of foreign cultural problems, exposes a latent but powerful racism that is easily tapped and exploited for a variety of purposes.

Wake up, people. To believe that Islam routinely encourages the degradation or murder of women, or that certain cultural groups are willing to sacrifice children to achieve their evil ends, shows supreme ignorance.

Women and children are abused and killed within every culture, including ours, for a variety of reasons. You can be sure that anyone telling you otherwise, be they politicians or writers, are using you for their own cowardly interests.

(name and location deleted) August 20.

The name seemed to be so ridiculously Jewish that I thought it was a joke or a fake. It wouldn't be the first time a letter with a fake name had been published.

But I checked white pages, and the details seemed to check out, and it seems someone with that name has written several letters to the editor.

But his letter all but saying that "honour killings" does not occur (criticising the attitude "the response is that while her story may have been fabricated, "honour killings" do happen") because a single claim has been attacked is almost as crazy as holocaust denial.

Yes, domestic violence does occur in many societies. But where there's a trend for domestic violence to be seen as acceptible on certain grounds, that trend should be noted and condemned.

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