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Issue #1766      February 22, 2017

Editorial

Fuelling fear and hostility

As the homogenisation of the various interconnected fascist groupings in Australia – their “normalisation” – by the media and the two major parties gathered momentum and white noise, on February 10, the fascist PR lobby the Q Society hosted a fundraising dinner at Victoria University’s city convention centre in Melbourne. The event, deceptively titled “defend freedom of speech”, was to raise funds for legal fees related to a defamation law suit by Mohamed El-Mouelhy, a Halal certifier.

The Q Society continually pushes the line of Islam/terrorism and is lobbying parliament to ban Halal food certification. The event at Victoria University also made clear the Society’s roots in the raving hate of fascist terrorist vigilantes; make mayhem out of unreason and exploit the worst of harboured fears and impulses.

In 2014 the Q Society toured far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who advocates a total ban on Muslim migration. At another money gathering Q Society dinner held in Sydney, Larry Pickering, cartoonist and special guest stated “Let’s be honest, I can’t stand Muslims.” Cory Bernardi, former Liberal Party senator, was a key note speaker at the event in Melbourne. Bernardi has been a vocal opponent of Islam, opposes reproductive freedom for women and has linked same sex marriage to bestiality.

Ideologically, the common propaganda line of aligned fascist forces in the industrialised western countries – among them National Front in France, Freedom Party in the Netherlands, Alternative for Germany party, UKIP in Britain, its most prominent member the Trump administration – is based on a mantra that Western Civilisation (the “civilised world”) is in a global war against … a religion, Islam.

General Michael (“Mad Dog”) Flynn was Trump’s choice as national security advisor who he was obliged to dump when Flynn contravened US law. In his book The Field of Fight, Flynn states: “We’re in a world war against a messianic mass movement of evil people, most of them inspired by a totalitarian ideology, Radical Islam.”

The owner of the right wing US drum-beater news stream Breitbart, Steve Bannon, has used it to forge closer ties to fascist groupings in Europe. Bannon, as Trump’s chief strategist, speaks in terms of a “global war” against Islam. (It is instructive to recall that Tony Abbott, when ensconced in the PM’s office, pushed as a priority Australia’s role in what he constantly called the “evil forces ... coming to get us”.)

Trump, in his inaugural address, pledged to defend, not the “free world”, but the “civilised world”: to lay down a mantra of the west in civilisational and racial terms. This is why for example even if Trump loses the legal battle over his ban on refugees from Muslim majority countries, he will return to it with other measures. Further terrorist incidents will fuel the fear and hostility.

In next month’s WA elections the Liberal Party will give its preferences to One Nation. This has been explained away by the Turnbull government as being based on One Nation’s increased “sophistication”: its normalisation into the political mainstream.

As to the recent Q Society hate fests, an anti-racist student group, in an “open letter” stated:

“Victoria University has a very diverse student and staff population whose human rights and freedom to go about their daily lives are threatened by the repressive and reprehensible ideas of the Q Society.

“Providing a venue for the Q Society contradicts the university’s vision of being ‘… open and excellent, creating exceptional value for any student from any background and uplifting the communities in which we operate.’

“It also threatens Victoria University Safer Community strategy which is designed to foster an inclusive and safe environment for staff, students and the broader community.

“Hosting the Q Society contravenes the University’s policy that clearly states that facilities will NOT be made available for: (a) Unlawful activities or activities that may be a breach of University policies; (b) Activities that are in conflict with or deemed incompatible with the University’s values or strategic direction.

“We demand the university issue an apology and donate any money received from the Q Society or any affiliated institution to the Islamic Society of Victoria University or other related student and/or staff bodies.”

Next article – Reject laws – keep sites safe

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