The Islam Witch Trials

The Islam Witch Trials

Much like the mass hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials in late 1600’s America that led to the hanging of many innocent people accused of witchcraft by a fearful public, Australia’s mass hysteria over Islam is taking control and breeding the same dangerous atmosphere of unfounded fear.

If the mainstream media is anything to go by, it’s the end of days for Australia and we’re on a precipice of a massive Muslim takeover of everything Us AussiesTM hold dearest. Our traditional secular meat pies will become Halal and the golden tans from the legs of our girls will no longer glow from beneath their short summer dresses once full-body Muslim attire becomes the norm. And of course, then there’s the beheadings and religious violence we’ve been told to prepare ourselves for. So how do we stop this new threat to Australia before it takes over?

Abbott tell us he’s got the answer, and all we’ll need to do is sign on the dotted line and that at the cost of a few liberties these threats will be dealt with and life will continue as normal. Sidenote: Picture him holding a blood-soaked trident, with dark red skin and a smile that leads evilly up to two bony horns on his forehead while he says this… I know I did. Whether or not a credible threat exists against Australia, the government is using this as a way to get what it lives off: information and control.

As I write this, the National Security Amendment Bill (No.1) 2014 has become a topic of conversation, and is just the beginning of everything we have to be concerned about. It essentially gives multiple spy and authorative agencies the freedom to break the law when they deem it necessary.

Is signing away our freedoms and liberties what we really believe in, or is this nothing more than a new tactic – blatant fear mongering – in an effort to further the resolve of a greedy and backwards government? Before we lay face down on hot coals and allow our high-heel-sporting, heavy-set government to rock-step its way over us on the way to what we’re told is a better place for everyone, we need to understand what’s actually happening.

What these restrictions (and the mere mention of them) create is a distraction from the bad press that’s been circulating about the government (their broken promises, spying, racism, sexism and all those other fun activities you wish your leaders weren’t involved in, let alone publicly flaunting to the world) and that’s exactly what they want. We can’t trust any government with a blank cheque to our liberties, especially one with such a horrible track record in the short time they’ve been in power. Why are we so easily falling for this new farce when we can see that they’ve consistently lied to us in the past?

We also need to question whether the results of these apparent protections will outweigh any drawbacks. Will the government’s plan actually protect us, or will it just further the alienation and segmentation that certain cultures in our community already face, leading to even worse and more dangerous issues down the track? Are we willing to persecute others simply to allow ourselves to feel that little bit more secure? Do we really believe that all Muslims are at fault due to a few bad apples who took their book too literally?

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely believe in the strengthening of security and protections for everybody, and any credible threat to the safety of Australians should be investigated thoroughly, but when that protection costs the rights and liberties of the innocent, we need to ensure it really is worth it (spoiler: it’s probably not) and whether we can we have those same protections without such a high cost.

It’s not just the government that’s to blame for this charade, either. The media has created such a negative perception of Muslims by attaching their religion to every negative news article, whether or not it’s warranted. A headline about a Muslim killer sells more copies than one without a religion attached. The fact that their religion drove them to do what they did is of course an issue, but when a disproportionate barrage of anti-Muslim tirades fill the newspapers, we only get increased segregation and fear, so why are news outlets willingly promoting these unnecessary distinctions that induce fear?

Islam, just as almost every other major religion, is a threat to modern progress and civility, but for the Australian people it is no more a threat than it was previously, and probably no more than Christianity, just in different ways. We don’t need to completely let our guard down, but we do need to look at these proposed changes with skepticism and an outlook that spans further than to our immediate future. We need to try to understand what effects any changes will have on the freedoms and rights of both the Australian people and whether we’re making decisions based on fear and misinformation instead of rationality and sense.

Remember, we don’t need to be afraid of the Muslim who lives a normal life but happens to praise a certain god. Just like every other religion, the majority of these people pose no threat to others, and who we need to be most cautious of are the fundamentalists and extremists – those who choose to follow their religion’s teachings to a tee. Muslim extremism may seem more violent and barbaric than Christian extremism, but we can’t simply equate that to mean that ordinary Muslims are more violent in general than ordinary Christians. Neither religion should ever be given major control or powers (it never turns out well), but as personal religions themselves they have the right to exist, and the people who are part of those religions deserve the right not to be treated unfairly for their participation in them.

Are there currently credible Islamic threats against Australian people? Yes. Has there been an increased likelihood of these threats coming to fruition? I doubt it. We’re looking at an increased exposure to fundamentalist Islamic terrorism, and a government toying with the emotions of its people in order to achieve greater power, nothing more.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1755

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