Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street will be familiar with the attacks on Channel 4 News presenter Fatima Manji for committing the heinous crime of presenting the news while wearing a headscarf. Then, it was disgraced former Sun editor Kelvin McFilth, later aided and abetted by faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh, who went in with both feet, but not because Ms Manji is not white or Christian, honestly.
Yassmin Abdel-Magied: eloquent and knowledgeable
Now, the Murdoch mafiosi is at it again, this time egging on a campaign by a little-known, and little-read, hard-right blog to pick on someone who appears on Australia’a ABC (the Murdoch press hates the ABC with a passion even greater than their hatred of the BBC), because she is a young woman, a Muslim, and articulate with it. This combination, for Rupe and his Down Under troops, cannot be permitted.
So when the young woman in question, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, defended herself and her faith against a shouty and intolerant Tasmanian self-promotion artist and alleged politician called Jacqui Lambie, the sole Senate representative of the party of Herself Personally Now, on ABC’s Q&A show - it’s a sort of Aussie version of the Beeb’s Question Time - the Australian alt-right and the local chapter of the Murdoch goons were waiting for her.
Ms Abdel-Magied did not at any time make any comments which suggested that Sharia Law should take precedence over Australian law, indeed, she stressed that her faith told her that the law of the land in which she lived should take precedence. Ms Lambie’s schtick was that someone, somewhere was trying to impose Sharia Law on her and her fellow (white, by implication at least) Australians, and should be deported.
But as with the attack on Fatima Manji, that did not deter the right-wing attack dogs. First, a blog called AltCon News, which has been in business all of three months, launched a petition on change.org in accordance with their paranoid view of Islam. Then came the Murdoch press with “Thousands call for ABC to sack TV host over ‘pro sharia law’ comments”. “Pro Sharia Law” is in quotes - because she didn’t say that.
Their report states “The petition was created by right-wing group, AltCon News, which accused Ms Abdel-Magied of advocating for Islamic faith courts in Australia”. She wasn’t. But the report also wants readers to know “Meanwhile, the number of signatures on the petition continues to climb”, while quoting from the petition wording, which talks ominously of ABC as “taxpayer-funded”. Ring a bell with BBC watchers?
As with the attacks on Muslim TV personalities in the UK, the Murdoch empire does not dwell on trivialities like Ms Lambie’s monumental ignorance; rather, that is to be, if anything, encouraged. Instead, the Muslim is immediately depicted as being in the wrong, somehow unpatriotic, and most certainly painted as “other”.
The demonisation by the Murdoch mafiosi of Muslim women who are capable of confronting ignorance and prejudice is endemic, it’s not a coincidence, and here on Zelo Street it will be called out whenever and wherever it occurs. Because it’s out of order.