Kerry Denten Comments 06/02

Fearing a local repeat of the weekend’s violent protests overseas, Australia’s main newspapers have announced that they will not re-publish cartoon depictions of the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

Frankly, I find that very sad. We live in a free society .. and while I may not agree with the things you say, I will fight for you to have the right to say them because that’s one of the hallmarks of both freedom and a peace-loving community.

For example, I hate it when someone blasphemes God, belittles Christ or makes fun of Christians .. but as someone who loves the liberty that gives me the right to freely express my religious preferences, I must likewise allow the free expression of another’s thinking so long as it does not violate our common freedoms nor encourage heinous acts against other members of the Australian community.

I find the fact that Australia’s print media feel to not re-publish these images of Mohammed, very sad indeed. Not because I want to see them published, not at all. These images are clearly offensive to some in our community. However, I am disappointed at the Australian print media’s response to all this. They have allowed themselves to be intimidated by the potential of the kinds of violent responses that have become so common among our Muslim brothers and sisters as a grounds for withdrawal.

Intimidation and the threat of violent repercussions unto death must never be allowed to silence our freedom of expression. I am both sad and sorry that the publication of these images is offensive to Muslims, but we must remember that Australia is NOT a Muslim nation and that the intimidation of violent Muslim acts must never be allowed to alter the laws and civil liberties upon which our nation was built.

With respect to my Muslim brothers and sisters, let me say that I am saddened that a religion that professes love and peace is more known for its incredible volitility, anger and atroscious acts of violence .. and whilever the threat of such acts remains our primary reason for not exercising our hard-won freedoms .. the freedoms that tens of thousands of Australians have lived and died for over the past 200 years .. we will ultimately see our nation descend into bowing and scraping to the very deliberate intent of some fundamentalist Muslims to turn Australia into an Islamic State governed by Shariah law.

If we’re happy to yield ourselves to that, then just get on with handing our nation over to those plans. If not, then may the media and Australians everywhere stand their ground to maintain the liberties of being able to demonstrate tolerance, grace, love, peace and inclusion to all who would call our shores home.

Y’know, the last time I looked, an act of anger and violence being committed against another because “I don’t like it .. and I didn’t get my own way” is not actually called a protest .. it’s usually called a “tantrum” .. and any Australian adult worth their salt ought to give that kind of response the dignity it deserves .. none at all.

Listen to the audio of this comment from the air program on Vision by clicking on the player below.



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