Approx Reading Time-10While I respect your right to an opinion, if you hold the same generalisations that Sonia Kruger does, history will judge us unfavourably.




Sonia’s Kruger’s comments, which she barely retracted this morning, are both lazy and indicative of a growing uneducated social trend that if left unchecked, will be our undoing.

So, today, I want to try and get through to the people who agreed with Sonia’s comments. Now, before you write me an abusive comment, I already agree with you…yes, you are entitled to your opinion. However, freedom of speech does not mean a freedom from criticism. For that, you need to collect a special one-way bigot talisman.

Firstly, we need to acknowledge something: Sonia is not an authority on Islamic extremism. As far as I’m concerned, her comments regarding immigration are about the same as Corey Worthington commenting on Brexit; they don’t hold much weight. For those of you that aren’t informed, the generally agreed stance amongst academics and expert commentators alike is that Jihadists or Islamic extremists are a fraction of a minority of the Muslim faith. Consequently, you simply cannot blacklist an entire faith because of the actions of a few. It is nonsensical. I was baptised Catholic, a sect of Christianity, does that mean that you associate me with Mormonism? Strange as it may seem, no, I don’t believe that the Garden of Eden is in Missouri. To blame an entire faith for the actions of a deranged few is not only uneducated it is lazy. We can do so much better than this. Sonia can do so much better than this.

More importantly, by making comments like she has, she is catering to and engendering the fear mongering that is giving these extremist groups what they want. They want us divided, they want us to hate, to isolate, to imprison, to abuse. But every wrong we do to Muslims, gives the extremists license to say: “Look how they treat us.”

Why give them that fuel?

It’s like what my mum used to say to me: “Will, be the bigger person.” Personally, I think these guys have caused enough pain and suffering. Perhaps all of this is put more eloquently by Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai: “If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not try to blame the whole population of Muslims for it because it cannot stop terrorism. It will radicalise more terrorists.”

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In Australia, this goes deeper than combatting an alleged terror threat. The current climate of fear addresses our humanity. History will judge us for how we treat each other. It always has. We hold our mouths agape at the atrocities that one race or one religion has consistently and continuously wrought upon another: Palestinians, Israelites, Indigenous peoples of the globe, Jews, Georgians, Slovaks, you name it. From our pretty position on the timeline of history, we sit back and judge those who have done harshly unto others. And yet, we are, if not in the thick of things, precariously placed on the precipice. We are so close to botching this up. Yes, these people scare me but what scares me even more right now is the amount pro-racist stuff that I am reading and seeing and hearing. I mean for God’s sake, you-know-who was re-elected!

As ghastly as all this is, the wonderful thing is that we are the ones that can change it.

If you hear someone being racist or making sweeping generalisations about Muslims, correct them. Help them understand. Educate them. I cannot and will not believe that the amount of racism that I am seeing in Australia is as a result of an intrinsic hatred we have for other people. I just don’t think people know enough about what is happening. And so, as is the Australian way, we sit back and assume. Don’t be that person. Take the time; learn about Islam, extremists and immigration.

Talk about it with your friends. I am lucky enough to have a platform where I can hopefully influence change. But your circle will not listen to me as they will you. That is where the change starts, in passing conversation. Be it lunch, smoko, or board meeting.

Don’t be lazy with your thinking like Sonia Kruger. Do your own thinking before following the general assumptions. We are all better than that.


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