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February 2017

Trump, Netanyahu Seek Common Ground Iran emerges as a central uniting issue. P. David Hornik

At Wednesday’s White House press conference for President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both leaders clearly had a lot on their minds—in addition to the matters at hand.

For Trump it was, of course, the Flynn imbroglio. For Netanyahu there were two things. One involves unfortunate, inane investigations to which he’s being subjected in Israel, which could lead to an indictment. One investigation concerns alleged illicit receipt of gifts—cigars and champagne; the other concerns talks he held with a newspaper publisher—which mentioned possible shady deals that were never, however, acted upon.

In addition, Netanyahu is under heavy pressure from the right wing of his coalition—to renounce the two-state solution, to build settlements. At the press conference Netanyahu, in particular, sounded flustered and awkward at times, glancing for succor at his script, speaking without his usual assurance and aplomb.

On substance the two leaders’ words, too, raised problems at times.

The Palestinian issue appears, unfortunately, to have returned to center stage. It’s unfortunate because it remains an issue no more amenable to a solution that at any time in the past.

“The United States,” Trump told the reporters, “will encourage a peace, and really a great peace deal.” He also said, “I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate they’re taught from a very young age. They have to acknowledge Israel. They have to do that.”

The problem is that the Palestinians have “had to” do those things—stop hating; acknowledge the legitimacy of a Jewish political entity—since the Palestinian issue first arose almost a century ago.

They have “had to,” but are no closer to doing so today than they were in the 1920s; meanwhile the remedy for an entire generation raised in hate—a reality that Netanyahu, in his flustered way, tried to emphasize—is no closer to being found by any of the putative wizards in the West.

Indeed, neither the president nor the prime minister mentioned Gaza—where a leader who is radical even by Hamas standards has taken the helm; as usual, it was not explained how a solution could be found when the Palestinians west of the Jordan are themselves divided into two mutually antagonistic entities. Trump and Netanyahu’s words about a “regional deal” on the Palestinian issue, involving Arab states along with Israel, likewise fail to take into account intractable Palestinian reality.

Israel has the opportunity to reclaim its nation. Daniel Greenfield

Palestine is many things. A Roman name and a Cold War lie. Mostly it’s a justification for killing Jews.

Palestine was an old Saudi-Soviet scam which invented a fake nationality for the Arab clans who had invaded and colonized Israel. This big lie transformed the leftist and Islamist terrorists run by them into the liberators of an imaginary nation. Suddenly the efforts of the Muslim bloc and the Soviet bloc to destroy the Jewish State became an undertaking of sympathetically murderous underdogs.

But the Palestine lie is past its sell by date.

What we think of as “Palestinian” terrorism was a low-level conflict pursued by the Arab Socialist states in between their invasions of Israel. After several lost wars, the terrorism was all that remained. Egypt, Syria and the USSR threw in the towel on actually destroying Israel with tanks and jets, but funding terrorism was cheap and low-risk. And the rewards were disproportionate to the cost.

For less than the price of a single jet fighter, Islamic terrorists could strike deep inside Israel while isolating the Jewish State internationally with demands for “negotiations” and “statehood.”

After the Cold War ended, Russia was low on cash and the PLO’s Muslim sugar daddies were tired of paying for Arafat’s wife’s shoe collection and his keffiyah dry cleaning bills.

The terror group was on its last legs. “Palestine” was a dying delusion that didn’t have much of a future.

That’s when Bill Clinton and the flailing left-wing Israeli Labor Party which, unlike its British counterpart, had failed to adapt to the new economic boom, decided to rescue Arafat and create ”Palestine”.

The resulting terrorist disaster killed thousands, scarred two generations of Israelis, isolated the country and allowed Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other major cities to come under fire for the first time since the major wars. No matter how often Israeli concessions were met with Islamic terrorism, nothing seemed able to shake loose the two-state solution monkey on Israel’s back. Destroying Israel, instantaneously or incrementally, had always been a small price to pay for maintaining the international order.

Lawmakers Continue Push to Review Any Russia Sanctions Changes as Investigations Take Shape By Bridget Johnson see note please

Senators Huff (Graham) and Puff (McCain) emit enough hot air to warm the planet for decades…..rsk
WASHINGTON — Amid debate on Capitol Hill over what a congressional investigation into possible ties between Russian and the Trump camp should look like, a bipartisan group of House members introduced legislation today requiring lawmakers to sign off on any easing of sanctions.

The Russia Sanctions Review Act is a companion bill to legislation introduced in the upper chamber by Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). President Trump invited Rubio, who has called for former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, to the White House for dinner tonight.

Graham said on Good Morning America that if, as first reported by the New York Times, contacts occurred between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence officials and they’re determined to be “outside the norm, that’s not only big league bad, that’s a game changer.”

“Because if it is true, it is very very disturbing to me, and Russia needs to pay a price when it comes to interfering in our democracy and other democracies, and any Trump person who was working with the Russians in an unacceptable way also needs to pay a price,” said the senator.

The House sanctions review bill was introduced by Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Intelligence Subcommittee on the NSA and Cybersecurity Chairman Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).

It’s modeled after the legislation that required a congressional vote on the Iran nuclear deal.

“Each day, we learn more about secret dealings that President Trump’s confidants have had with the Russian government,” Smith said. “We don’t yet know the full extent of these interactions, but it would raise serious questions if the administration attempted to ease the sanctions on Russia right now.”

What if Trump treated Muslims as Muslims treat ‘infidels’? By Raymond Ibrahim

As American liberals and leftists continue to portray Donald Trump’s immigration ban on seven Muslim nations in the worst possible terms—from “racist” to “Islamophobic”—and as Muslim activists continue to claim “shock and trauma,” a lone Egyptian man has asked some relevant questions that few Muslims care to face.

The man in question is Dr. Ahmed Abu Maher, a researcher and political activist who regularly appears on Arabic language television and who has a long record of exposing Islamic institutions like Al Azhar University for using texts and curriculums that promote terrorism in the name of Islam. On Feb. 6, Maher posted a brief video of himself speaking in Arabic, relevant portions of which I translate below:

Friends, in regards to the presidential victory of Donald Trump, we wanted to ask our brothers—the fuqaha [jurists of Islamic law] and the ulema [scholars of Islam]—a question: If this man who has on more than one occasion announced that he doesn’t want Muslims … were to coerce, through the power of arms, the greater majority of Muslims living in America … to become Christians, or pay jizya, or else he takes over their homes, kills their men and enslaves their women and girls, and sells them on slave markets. If he were to do all this, would he be considered a racist and a terrorist or not? Of course, I’m just hypothesizing, and know that the Bible and its religion do not promote such things, but let’s just assume: Would he be a racist or not? Would he be a terrorist or not? How then [when one considers] that we have in our Islamic jurisprudence, which you teach us, and tell us that all the imams have agreed that the Islamic openings [i.e., conquests] are the way to disseminate Islam? This word “openings” [futuhat]—we must be sensitive to it! The Islamic openings mean swords and killing. The Islamic openings, through which homes, castles, and territories were devastated, these … [are part of] an Islam which you try to make us follow. So I wonder O sheikh, O leader of this or that Islamic center in [New York], would you like to see this done to your wife and daughter? Would you—this or that sheikh—accept that this be done to your children? That your daughter goes to this fighter [as a slave], your son to this fighter, a fifth [of booty] goes to the caliph and so forth? I mean, isn’t this what you refer to as the Sharia of Allah? … So let’s think about things in an effort to discern what’s right and what’s wrong.

To those unacquainted with the subject matter, Maher is referring to history’s Islamic conquests, which in Muslim tradition are referred to in glorious terms, as altruistic “openings” (futuhat) that enabled the light of Islam to shine through to mankind. For centuries, Muslim armies invaded non-Muslim territories, giving the inhabitants three choices: convert to Islam, or else pay jizya (tribute money) and accept third class status as a “humbled” dhimmi (see Koran 9:29), or else face the sword, death, and slavery.

MSM fake news feeding frenzy to take down Trump By Rick Moran

How serious has the war gotten between Donald Trump’s White House and the government he supposedly runs?

Gizmodo – a website that deals with science and technology as well as politics – has launched a new site to encourage government employees to leak damning information about the Trump administration. TellonTrump.com is the subject of a massive advertising campaign on Facebook and will give government turncoats a safe and secure means of passing along damaging documents.

Wall Street Journal:

“One thing we know about Donald Trump is that there are a lot of things Donald Trump doesn’t want people to know about. If you’ve reached this page, you might have information about the conduct of Donald Trump or his administration that you’d like people to know about. Here’s how you can tell us,” the site explains.

The Univision Communications Inc.-owned media group, which operates sites like Fusion and the former Gawker Media sites like Gizmodo, Deadspin and Jezebel, started running ads on the social media platform within the last week that specifically target people who list certain government agencies as their employers. The ads don’t specify which news outlet is running the campaign, but the site which the ads point to clearly identifies the Gizmodo special projects desk.

“We are targeting people who are employed by federal agencies because we want them to know that if they see or know about something they think is newsworthy, we are here for them,” said John Cook, Gizmodo’s head of investigations.

Mr. Cook said Gizmodo is also working to purchase bus shelter ads near certain government agencies in Washington, D.C., encouraging people to contact them with information about the Trump administration.

Amazing, incredible – frightening. The German word that describes what’s going on is Götterdämmerung – a “cataclysmic downfall or momentous, apocalyptic event, especially of a regime or an institution.” Trump’s enemies are willing to tear the entire country down in order to destroy the president. The fact that they will destroy the presidency and the country in the process is regrettable but worth it because Trump is, well, evil.

John Podhoretz:

I am myself unnerved by the evidence of high-level lawlessness in the Flynn matter, but a “coup d’etat” refers specifically to a military ouster of a leader, not a leak-driven campaign using the press to nail someone. This is sure to persist, though, if the Flynn-Russia matter accelerates—and if the reluctant House and Senate do begin investigating the matter in earnest. If the language surrounding the investigation remains florid and purple, if Democrats try to please their Trump-hating constituents by screaming impeachment and liberal media tries to garner audience by jumping openly and vociferously on the bandwagon, the Trumpians will respond in kind by stirring the pot through their media and their argumentation.

Palestinian Assault on Freedoms by Khaled Abu Toameh

The Palestinians seem to be marching towards establishing a regime that is remarkably reminiscent of the despotic and corrupt Arab and Islamic governments.

By failing — or, more accurately, refusing — to hold the PA accountable for its crackdown on public freedoms, American and European taxpayers actively contribute to the emergence of another Arab dictatorship in the Middle East.

Palestinian professor Abdel Sattar Qassem, who teaches political science at An-Najah University in Nablus, is facing trial for “extending his tongue” against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials.

Many Palestinians used to say that their dream is that one day they would have a free media and democracy like their neighbors in Israel. But thanks to the apathy of the international community, Palestinians have come to learn that if and when they ever have their own state, its role model will not be Israel or any Western democracy, but the regimes of repression that control the Arab and Muslim world.

A novelist, a journalist and a university professor walk into a bar. Sounds like a joke, but it stops being funny when these three figures are the latest victims of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) crackdown on public freedoms, above all, freedom of expression.

The crackdown is yet more proof of the violent intolerance that the Western-funded PA has long shown its critics.

It is also a sad reminder that more than two decades after the foundation of the PA, Palestinians are as far from democracy as ever. In fact, the Palestinians seem to be marching in the opposite direction — towards establishing a regime that is remarkably reminiscent of the despotic and corrupt Arab and Islamic governments.

PA officials like to boast that Palestinians living under their rule in the West Bank enjoy a great deal of freedom of expression, especially compared to the situation under Hamas in the Gaza Strip. However, a good look at the actions of the PA and its various security branches shows that they are not much different than those enforced by Hamas.

Sometimes it even seems as if the PA and Hamas are competing to see which one of them can most successfully silence critics and cracks down on journalists. This is the sad reality in which Palestinians living under the rule of these two parties have found themselves.

While it is understandable why an extremist Islamic movement like Hamas would seek to muzzle its critics, there is no reason why a PA government funded by Americans and Europeans should not be held accountable for persecuting dissidents and throwing objectors into prison.

By failing — or, more accurately, refusing — to hold the PA accountable for its crackdown on public freedoms, American and European taxpayers actively contribute to the emergence of another Arab dictatorship in the Middle East.

Hundreds of Western-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs), operating in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, pay scant attention to the real problems facing Palestinians as a result of the actions of their PA and Hamas governments. The same applies to Western mainstream media and human rights organizations and advocates.

This willful neglect by the West encourages the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to continue repressing their own people. There are times, however, when the international community pays attention to the plight of Palestinians: when the complaints concern Israel.

The PA government bans a Palestinian novel and confiscates copies from bookstores. Where is the outcry? There is none to be heard from the international community – because Israel was not behind the incident.

This is what happened last week when the PA Prosecutor-General issued an order banning the novel “Crime in Ramallah” by the author Abbad Yahya under the pretext that it contained “indecent texts and terms that threaten morality and public decency, which could affect the public, in particular minors.”

Yahya said he was summoned for questioning and his editor, Fuad Al-Aklik, was detained for 24 hours. PA policemen raided several bookshops in a number of Palestinian cities and confiscated all copies. The author, who is on a visit to Qatar, has since received multiple death threats and is afraid to return home.

The decision to ban the novel prompted 99 Palestinian writers, academics and researchers to sign a petition criticizing the PA authorities and calling for rescinding the ban. The petition called on the PA to cancel its punitive measures, which “cause harm to the Palestinians and their struggle for freedom from oppression, dictatorship and censorship.” The petition warned that the ban was a “grave breach of freedom of expression and creativity” and creates a situation where authors are forced to practice self-censorship.

The petition signed by the prominent Palestinians does not seem to have left an impression on the PA leadership in Ramallah.

Undeterred, PA security forces arrested journalist Sami Al-Sai, from the city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, for allegedly posting critical comments on Facebook. The PA has accused Al-Sai, who works as a correspondent for a private television station, of “fomenting sectarian strife.”

This is an accusation that is often leveled against journalists or authors who dare to criticize the PA leadership. A PA court has ordered Al-Sai remanded into custody for 15 days. Protests by some Palestinian journalists against the arrest of their colleague have thus far fallen on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, Palestinian professor Abdel Sattar Qassem, who teaches political science at An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus, is facing trial for “extending his tongue” against PA President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials. He is also charged with spreading “fake news” and “fomenting sectarian strife.” The decision to prosecute Qassem came following a TV interview where he strongly criticized Abbas and commanders of the PA security forces. Qassem has long been a vocal critic of the PA leadership and as a result he has been arrested on a number of occasions; shots have been fired at his home.

UK: Free Speech for Dictators Only by Robbie Travers

How come, then, that John Bercow did not think it advisable to oppose the Emir of Kuwait’s visit due to its “sexism” and “immigration ban”? No, Bercow granted the Emir a speech in the Queen’s Robing Room.

It is evidently acceptable to be a representative of some of the world’s most repressive dictatorships, with policies far worse than President Trump’s, and yet visit Parliament, but a democratically-elected leader in the free world and a key ally, who may hold some views with which Bercow disagrees, makes him unacceptable.

What is it that the people trying to keep Trump from speaking are afraid others might hear?

When Theresa May announced, to the gathered press at the White House, an invitation for Donald Trump to make an official state visit to the United Kingdom, there were some in Britain who apparently oppose his views — and, in a democratic and free society, express their opposition. There also were, however, concerns that these critics may have been acting hypocritically, as well as without considering due process.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May meets with US President Donald Trump at the White House, January 27, 2017. (Image source: UK Prime Minister’s Office)

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow declared that he would not invite Trump to make a speech before Parliament due to the president’s alleged “sexism” and “racism,” and the British Parliament’s opposition to those stances, as well as, further, due to Trump’s temporary restrictions on immigration until better procedures for vetting applicants can be put in place .

Bercow, however, never adhered to due process: he should first have consulted the Speaker of the House of Lords or the Lord Chamberlain.

If Bercow thought that a ban from addressing Parliament would stop Trump from addressing the British people, he seems to have been wrong. Press reports suggest that Trump is planning massive stadium events. Perhaps that is the repeated failure of Trump’s opposition: to see his appeal to the masses.

Furthermore, where was Bercow when Emir of Kuwait visited? Kuwait has a poor record on women’s rights, and refuses entry to those with Israeli passports. Kuwait Airways and even dropped its flights between New York and London not to “break the law” by possibly carrying Israeli passengers.

How come, then, that Bercow did not think it advisable to oppose the Emir of Kuwait’s visit due to its “sexism” and “immigration ban”? No, Bercow granted the Emir a speech in the Queen’s Robing Room.

Turkey: Record-Breaking Purge in Academia by Burak Bekdil

Turkey suffered the largest decline in freedoms among 195 countries over the past year, according to Freedom House.

Erdogan’s academic purge is 38 times bigger in size than the generals’ after the 1980 military coup.

According to data compiled by Turkey Purge, PEN International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Stockholm Center for Freedom, 128,398 people have been sacked, while 91,658 are being detained.

Worse, neither the academics on the purge list nor their students were allowed to protest peacefully. Their attempted protest on February 10 at the School of Political Sciences in Ankara met a huge police force and was crushed.

You have all the freedoms you want — so long as you are a pro-Erdogan Islamist.

Nearly three centuries later — and slightly revising the historian Shelby Foote’s famous line — “A Turkish university, these days, is a group of buildings around a small library, a mosque and classrooms cleansed of unwanted scholars.”

The “Great Turkish Purge” launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist, autocratic government in the aftermath of a coup attempt in July surprised many in its size. It should not have done. The failed putsch gave Erdogan’s government a golden opportunity to advance his crackdown on dissent of every kind. No wonder Erdogan, on the night of the attempt, said: “This [coup attempt] is a gift of God”.

In its annual “Freedom in the World” report, entitled “Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy,” the Washington-based Freedom House said on January 31 that Turkey suffered the largest decline in freedoms among 195 countries over the past year. Turkey’s aggregate score declined 15 points to 38 out of 100 (the most free) — from having been in 53rd place in the 2016 report. It did manage to maintain its “partly free” status for “freedoms” together with 59 other countries. “[A]n attempted coup in July… led the government to declare a state of emergency and carry out mass arrests and firings of civil servants, academics, journalists, opposition figures, and other perceived enemies,” the report said.

Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz said that a total of 33,065 personnel have been dismissed from his ministry, most of them teachers, educators and administrative staff. Of those purged, 3,855 have been detained on charges of “terrorism”.

Qualitatively speaking, the situation at Turkish universities is no better. Most university presidents, appointed by Erdogan, staunchly ally with his party politics and dismiss academics they view as “Erdogan’s political adversaries.”

In the aftermath of a military coup d’état on September 12, 1980 (the third time the military took over in modern Turkish history), the generals issued decree no. 1402, dismissing a total of 120 scholars from the universities. By comparison, on February 7, Turkey’s “civilian” government issued a decree purging 330 scholars from universities. Erdogan’s public sector purge now amounts to around 100,000 officials, including nearly 5,000 university scholars. In other words, Erdogan’s academic purge is 38 times bigger in size than the generals’ after the 1980 coup. According to data compiled by Turkey Purge, PEN International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the Stockholm Center for Freedom, 128,398 people have been sacked, while 91,658 are being detained.

Worse, neither the academics on the purge list nor their students were allowed to protest peacefully. Their attempted protest on February 10 at the School of Political Sciences in Ankara met a huge police force and was crushed. In the brawl, the police attacked the crowd; many in it were injured, manhandled, trapped in their robes and dragged along the ground.

One of the purged, Professor Yuksel Taskin, from an Istanbul department of journalism, tweeted: “This is a pure political ‘cleansing’. But my conscience is clear. Let my students know that I shall never, ever bow down!”

Professor Yuksel Taskin, who was recently purged from an Istanbul department of journalism, tweeted: “This is a pure political ‘cleansing’. But my conscience is clear. Let my students know that I shall never, ever bow down!” (Image source: Hakan YÜCEL video screenshot)

The Arab-Israel Conflict: Back to the Future by Shoshana Bryen

What is commonly called the “Palestinian-Israeli conflict” is, in fact, the “Arab-Israel conflict.”

Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank in 1950, and from that time Palestinian nationalism has been deadly for the Kingdom.

“I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror… to build a practicing democracy, based on tolerance and liberty. If the Palestinian people actively pursue these goals, America and the world will actively support their efforts…. A Palestinian state will never be created by terror — it will be built through reform. And reform must be more than cosmetic change, or veiled attempts to preserve the status quo.” — President George W. Bush, 2002.

“There’s no way a deal can be made if they’re not ready to acknowledge a very, very great and important country.” — President Donald J. Trump, 2017.

The burden, then, is on the Arab states and the Palestinians.

The optics, certainly, were fine. It was good to see an American president and an Israeli prime minister standing together on the podium with what appeared to be genuine good will. Most important, and promising for the future, perhaps, was how they dealt with the “two state solution” mantra. There was, for the first time in years, nuance in both the American and the Israeli position toward what has become a slogan without meaning.

Roger Franklin: The Fishwives’ Summit

The screaming match between Jacqui Lambie and Yassmin Abdel-Magied on Q&A was great television, but the same could be said of train-wreck footage. Its real value came later, when 49 Muslim organisations and sympathisers spelled out a presumptive right not merely to respect but deference.
Multicultural amity was in short supply on Monday night’s Q&A, which saw Tasmania’s Senator Jacqui Lambie doing the one thing at which she always excels, making herself deeply unpleasant. For starters there’s that voice, which rises at times to the guttural shriek of the last water going down an old bathtub’s plughole. When it drops an octave, there is the needless belligerence of a public bar blowhard. In terms of general comportment, you wouldn’t have her at your daughter’s wedding, not if it could be helped.

Sometimes, though, even the most wretched amongst us serve the cause of the common good, and such was the case when this small and loud explosive device detonated in the face of fellow guest Yassmin Abdel-Magied. For once Senator Lambie was being rude to the right person in the right place and for the right reason.

Briefly, Ms Abdel-Magied, who already has her own ABC cable show and was sent off on a recent taxpayer-funded junket to hijabber in some of the world’s worst despotisms about the joy of being Muslim in Australia, spent much of Q&A talking loudly and to little point about any number of topics about which she either knows nothing or chooses not to acquaint herself. From baseload power to the tenets of her religion and, of course, the imminence of catastrophic climate change, Ms Abdel-Magied streamed random cliches and pseudo-factoids rooted only in her imagination. When she suggested sharia law implied nothing more than praying five times a day and, further, that women are happy as Larry under Islam, what little in the way of good manners Senator Lambie had embraced on the night were flung aside. The exchange is segmented and analysed here by video blogger Progressing Backwards, whose clip would have been embedded for display on this page but for the narrator’s vulgarity in punctuating his thoughts with the procreative verb.

As a consequence of the women’s encounter, gripes the Australian Islamic Mission and 49 groups and individual signatories to an online petition, multiculturalism’s gorgeous mosaic is being pulverised, not merely by Senator Lambie but — and this bit is delicious — the ABC as well! According to the petition, compere Tony Jones should have gagged the garrulous Taswegian because, well, Muslims must not face, not ever, pointed questions about their creed and its compatability with hard-won Western norms like, for instance, the equality of women. More than that, the petition’s text all but demands that Islam be treated now and forever with a conspicuous and courteous deference. The petition is reproduced in full below, but this paragraph is especially worthy of note (emphasis added):

If Q&A wants to invite Muslim individuals to its forum, it should be able to guarantee a safe environment for them based on trustworthiness and comfort to speak in a platform that is rarely afforded to them, especially on issues concerning them.

muslim theologiantasmania intellectual IIThe irony is that the ABC has been doing just that since the Prophet was a lad, leading one to suspect — and please pardon the cynicism – that Ms Abdel-Magied owed her place on the panel as much to a winning smile and the glib giddiness of her manner than any wisdom she might then or previously have poured into the wells of human insight. Opinions may differ, and the applause of the typically unbalanced Q&A audience for Abdel-Magied’s defence of sharia’s alleged innocence suggests they very much do. But the inanity of her theological pronouncements might well lead others to conclude she is no better than an airhead whose prime credential is, you know, a photogenic otherness. Were she to team up with Waleed Aly and do the Leagues Clubs, they could be the Islamic George Burns & Gracie Allen. She’s the fun face of Islam, the girl with the lampshade on her head, the life of what the ABC in its habitual celebration of tokenism imagines to be the perfect multi-culti party.