Australia: Tragicomic West stresses danger of "Islamophobia"

The BBC's lead story on the Sydney terror attack buried references to Islam so effectively you could easily have missed the klller's Islamist motivations. Elsewhere, the real concern was that we don't succumb to "Islamophobia". Death of the West anyone?

Just a gunman...
the commentator
On 16 December 2014 04:16

If ever you need a reminder of precisely what is wrong with the West today, and why we seem hell-bent on committing civilisational suicide in the face of the Islamist threat, you can always rely on the BBC, possibly the most influential news and current affairs machine in the Western world.

The Commentator is not usually taken aback by its slavishly politically correct agenda, but the level of the grovelling after the tragic and deadly saga in Sydney Australia over the last 24 hours has been astounding.

At the time of writing, the lead story on the BBC website is of course about that very tragedy, in which an Islamist fanatic took a random group hostage in a cafe, ultimately killing two of them.

He did this in the name of Islam. But you wouldn't get that impression if you started to read the BBC's lead story, which astoundingly managed to avoid mentioning the words Islam, Islamic, Islamist, Muslim, or any derivations thereof for a full 16 paragraphs. The New York Times, which led by calling the terrorist, Man Haron Monis an "armed man", waited until paragraph 11.

In the Guardian's main story -- whose lead paragraph simply referred to a "gunman" -- you had to wait until paragraph 24.

If you'd have blinked, you'd have missed it.

Which is, of course, exactly what they want, as do senior Western leaders such as President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron who, as internationally acknowledged Islamic theologians, consistently tell us that this kind of atrocity has nothing to with what "real Muslims" stand for.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was at pains at a press conference on Tuesday to say that Islamic State, to which Monis claimed allegiance, was something, "that has nothing to do with any real religion..."

In the wider media, reports about Muslim fears of a "backlash" have been all but ubiquitous.

Watching Sky NEWS during the final hours of the seige itself the message coming through loud and clear was that we must not jump to conclusions about what really motivated the hostage-taker, and, above all else, we must all guard against "Islamophobia" -- a term that dominated discussion for hours on end.

No sane person needs reminding that most Muslims oppose and would never contemplate participating in terrorism. But the facts are that a significant minority too often rationalises it, and a hard core is willing to justify it.

Attempting, as much of our media and political classes do, to deny or downplay the Islamic context in which such terrorism takes place is not just anti-intellectual, it hinders our ability to confront it.

Know your enemy is an age old pearl of wisdom, but it is one that the present day West seems determined to ignore. There are, and will continue to be, consequences.

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