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The September 10th-ers

I'm not thrilled with the title the editors put on Janet Albrechtsen's piece in today's Australian, but the column itself is on the mark:

THERE is no polite way of saying this. Useful idiots have their place. They stir us out of our complacency lest we fall back into a lazy September 10 way of thinking.

With impeccable timing, just days before the fifth anniversary of September 11, The Sydney Morning Herald columnist Alan Ramsey bemoaned the Howard Government's terrorism laws and its recent commentary for unfairly targeting Muslims.

As evidence, he filled his papier-mache style Saturday column by quoting, among others, the Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network. The network complained that "all people arrested under the legislation have been Muslim, and all of the 17 proscribed terrorist organisations are linked to Muslim organisations".

Like a joke without a punchline, that argument falls rather flat. Just how flat was neatly showcased later on Saturday evening as I settled into a seat at my local cinema. The previews included the Australian Government's new advertising campaign to stamp out domestic violence. In the short, powerful ad, five men admit to shoving, slapping or abusing women.

Their behaviour towards women is comprehensively denounced as unacceptable and illegal.

Did the ad target men? Undoubtedly. Did that make it unfair? No. Domestic violence is overwhelmingly a crime committed by men against women. But just because every person in the ad is a man, do we conclude that all men are women-bashers? Of course not.

That same logic applies to terrorism laws. Terrorism against Westerners is overwhelmingly a crime committed by Muslims but no one imagines that laws aimed at catching Muslim jihadists mean all Muslims are terrorists. [snip]

However, September 10 people stubbornly adhere to a genre of multiculturalism that prohibits judgments about, or criticisms of, minorities or their culture. Hence, commentary by the Prime Minister and others that is critical of some within those minority cultures is deemed racist. In a nutshell, no pointing the finger at the unequal treatment of women by some Muslims even if that means putting up with the odd honour killing. Similarly, terrorism laws that in terms apply to all of us equally but in practice fall disproportionately on Muslims, are deemed discriminatory.

This mushy thinking is driven by the notion that being a member of a minority culture in a Western country is prima facie evidence of victimhood. And victims need to be protected from bullies banging on about protecting Western lives and values. That mentality has only encouraged Muslims to keep waving the victim card. It lets them off the hook. Instead, they should be confronting what London's former police chief John Stevens has called the "undeniable, total truth: that Islamic terrorism is their problem".

Even though I've quoted liberally from the piece, there's more worth reading.