If you are interested in serious discussion of the Australian government’s proposed new “anti-terrorist” laws, you should read the posts by Senator Andrew Bartlett, Mark Bahnisch, Ken Parish and Tim Dunlop. One place where you won’t find it is on channel 9’s “Sunday” program who interviewed my friend and colleague Waleed Kadous for an hour. I think Waleed had some serious and thoughtful things to say, but “Sunday” edited the interview down to under a minute. And look at what they used:
ADAM SHAND: But there is also ambiguity and political orthodoxy inside the Muslim community on the question of home-grown suicide bombers.
WALEED KADOUS: I’m sure that there are some in the community who are involved in terrorism, but it is important not to exaggerate either the threat or the number. I would ? actually, can I retract that. Let me just think of a way to phrase that better. If they do exist ? and I’m not sure that they do exist ? we only have ASIO’s word to say that.
Waleed misspoke and corrected himself, but “Sunday” chose to broadcast his mistake rather than something substantive. I think that demonstrates that they are interested in stirring up controversy and promoting division rather than reasoned debate.
Naturally, the verbal equivalent of a typo didn’t escape Tim Blair, Australia’s most superficial blogger, who has a go at “Australian Muslim Waleed Kadous”. I really don’t recommend looking at the comments to Blair’s post unless you are interested in reading paroxysms of anti-Muslim hatred and bigotry from the Blair fan club.