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Creation of doubt

We all have doubts and sometimes we create them. I like many others are appalled by the beheading in France, as the news gives us “The teacher killed in a suburb of Paris in an Islamist terror attack has been named as Samuel Paty” as well as “The history teacher, who is said to have discussed images of the Prophet Muhammad with his pupils, was beheaded”, as a Catholic I am appalled, yet as an academic I wonder why the matter was set into motion. In 2015 many learned “If you set aside for a moment the issue of whether satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad are insulting, there’s a separate and complicated debate about whether any depiction – even a respectful one – is forbidden within Islam. For most Muslims it’s an absolute prohibition – Muhammad, or any of the other prophets of Islam, should not be pictured in any way. Pictures – as well as statues – are thought to encourage the worship of idols”, as such we see that Islam FORBIDS any representation of the prophet Muhammad. So is the stage one where a person was beheaded, or is the stage where secular France, knowingly and intentionally disrespects a religion? This is a much harder question isn’t it? I took the events of 2015 at I was against them, yet at that point I was not aware about the Islamic rule of their prophet. As a Catholic, I have an issue of people intentionally disrespecting any religion, it is for that same reason that I refused to read the Satanic verses by Salman Rushdie. I have nothing against the man, I was in those days completely in the dark on Islam and the book was an open attack on Islam. I heard people I knew commenting on how brilliant a book it was, but I knew that they too had no knowledge, none what so ever on the rules and believes towards Islam. As a Catholic, I still laugh over the joke Sir Ken Robinson made “He shares this story of a teacher who asks a 6 year old girl, “What are you drawing?” And the girl said, “I’m drawing a picture of god.” And the teacher said, “But nobody knows what god looks like.” And the girl said, “They will in a minute””, idols and images of the Catholic faith are not a taboo, it sets the joke of anticipation and the premise towards the willingness to fail, a fear most Christians have in abundance. 

As such, why would Samuel Paty create a situation where he got ahead of himself? I do not condone what was done to him, but in defence of any Islamic person, why did he openly offend any religion in a school class? There is no way that there were no Islamic children in that school. I wonder if there is any school left where we share the classrooms with non-christians. Can we set the stage where we openly mock a religion whilst demanding respect from these very same people at the same time? As I personally see it, we create doubt, in ourselves and we create doubt in others. Why is that?

When we take a step back and we consider the Crusades (1096), we need to realise the state where we see “The crusader presence remained in the region in some form until the city of Acre fell in 1291, leading to the rapid loss of all remaining territory in the Levant. There were no further substantive attempts to recover the Holy Land after this”, consider the middle east being in a war for 196 years, this sets a stage (in those days of close to 7 generations that know a stage of war, a never ending war where hatred is taught (to at least some degree) from grandfather, to so to grandson, and that stage is made worse by intentionally disrespecting Islam, and you wonder why there are angry people? This is a stage that goes back to the Council of Clermont, where in 1095 it was decided that “capture Jerusalem for Christendom from its Muslim occupiers. The Pope’s speech to the church hierarchy and crowd of laymen at Clermont famously promised all participants a remission of their sins, a strategy which proved hugely popular amongst Europe’s nobility and knights and which was copied in all crusades thereafter”, apart from the stage where the reward was ‘promised all participants a remission of their sins’, basically on the promise of killing any saracen in sight. Can someone enlighten me where slaughter was approved in the Bible? All whilst Pope Urban II was viewed as “a reformer and active promoter of the idea of expanding Christendom by whatever means necessary. Hailing from a noble family from Burgundy, France, Urban II would establish himself as one of the most influential popes in history”, yes and a war lasting a few centuries longer 196 years achieved that? 

So as we get to “On 27 November the cream of the French clergy and a crowd of laymen gathered in a field just outside Clermont for the finale of the council. It was here that Urban II made his now famous speech in an obviously pre-prepared set piece. The message, known as the Indulgence, was addressed in particular to Christian nobles and knights across Europe. Urban II promised that all those who defended Christendom and captured Jerusalem would be embarking on a pilgrimage, all their sins would be washed away, and their souls would reap untold rewards in the next life. In case anyone was concerned, a group of church scholars later went to work and came up with the idea that a campaign of violence could be justified by references to particular passages of the Bible and the works of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE)”, The man (not the actual Hippo) got his fame with the Just War theory. A stage where we are taught “The purpose of the doctrine is to ensure war is morally justifiable through a series of criteria, all of which must be met for a war to be considered just. The criteria are split into two groups: “right to go to war” (jus ad bellum) and “right conduct in war” (jus in bello). The first concerns the morality of going to war, and the second the moral conduct within war. Recently there have been calls for the inclusion of a third category of just war theory—jus post bellum—dealing with the morality of post-war settlement and reconstruction”, perhaps the French UN essay writer, might reflect on the Just war theory, I mean, she has such a great handle on fiction, might it not be an idea to set the record straight on historic events? I see and understand the stage of ‘Just war theory’, there is nothing wrong with it, but consider the stage we were at in 1095, the middle east was not a christian bastion. In 1000bc Jerusalem was Jewish, in 586 bc it became Babylonian, Alexander the Great made it Greek, after that is became Egyptian, then Roman, after that it became Muslim, 400 years before the first crusade. Can anyone even tell what Jerusalem was supposed to be? 

But Christians needed expansion and the famine and destitute in Europe gave them the idea to tap into the wealthy reserves of the Arab nations. This is a stage that had war upon war, all whilst none had any clue who they were up against, merely that their enemy was non-christian, can we afford a repetition? Well, I actually do not care, if it decimates 96% of the population, I’ll be happy, because this planet will end up with all kinds of live stopping it become extinct. So back to Christians, can we tell how many versions there are? There are dozens of bibles all different, there are Catholics, Protestants, Anglicans, Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists, 7 day advents, Quakers and a whole range of subversions and additions. Yet there are as far as I can tell, two forms of Islam, Sunni Islam and Shia Islam and they both have the same Quran, to the letter. Sunni’s and Shia’s pray together and their pilgrimage takes them all to the same to places. I believe that we create the doubt in ourselves and I do not care on secularism, armistice or atheist values, which of them allows for the open and wanton disrespect of Islam we see?

It does not make the violence acceptable, but we created that stage ourselves, we need to see that and we need to see it quickly. In case you wonder if it is just Islamic violence. I offer you the setting of another challenge. Buy a cow, go into Mumbai with that cow and slaughter your own cow, good luck getting out alive, your changes are not that good. If that setting offends you, then why allow the entire stage towards an image of Muhammad, in a school no less.

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The fools errant

At times we all like to poke a little fun at government officials. Not in a vile way, like throwing a pie in the face of Theresa May, but one of those gestures one does to see if anyone was paying attention. A fine moment from my side was in October 1981, when I discovered a box in the archives. A box overlooked, forgotten. It was filled with envelopes. So when I read the little blighter, my eyes lighted up like little sapphires, the demon in my head grabbed the pitchfork, stabbed it in my brain and shouted to my inner-self and shouted: ‘Do it pussy! Be a man, and show those Major Wanker and Captain Caveman characters that they are asleep at the wheel‘. And so in October 1981, the Dutch Defence education garrisons (their edition of Sandhurst and so on) received the financial updates not in the usual progressive ‘Ministry of Defence’ brown envelopes, but in envelopes with the same colour stating ‘Ministry of War’. I believe we should all get a wakeup call every now and then. Perhaps it made them laugh, perhaps it made them question the events of that day, yet the chances are that they never even noticed it. Just my little frolic with chaos, no harm intended, and unless they got a paper cut from that envelope, my mission was a complete success.

So as some consider this to be a fool’s errant, immature, or even degenerate. Consider how Duncan Lewis feels when gets to deal with people like Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt, people you don’t want to have to deal with on any given day. Those two have a reliability factor that is lower than the reliability of a water heater turning milk into quality butter. It just ain’t gonna happen. The issue is seen in The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/31/asio-chief-says-radical-sunni-islam-creates-terrorists-not-being-a-refugee). Their attack is at “people become terrorists because they adhere to a violent interpretation of Sunni Islam, not because they are refugees“. There is enough evidence but I will get to that soon enough. What is a little upsetting that “former prime minister, Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis was tiptoeing around the subject“, now the important word is ‘former‘, perhaps he is trying to get serious politics again, yet decided to take the silly road to get there. The quote “Hanson later told 2GB the response from Lewis at estimates was “not what the Australian public want to hear”” gives us more to roll our eyes against. The article gives us a few other parts and ends with: “He said he had no intention of appearing contemptuous of Hanson’s line of questioning: “The point I am making is we need to stick to the facts.”“. To that I would suggest that her existence is mere contempt to life in general, but that might just be me.

It is the ‘stick to the facts‘ that needs adherence and rightly so. In this article we see a gem that I have never considered before, mainly because of two reasons. The first is that I have no way of seeing the different versions of Islam in a person, when a Muslim passes me; I have no way of telling. For the same way, if another Australian or Brit passes me, I cannot tell if they are Catholic, Church of England, Protestant, Lutherans, Agnostic or Atheists, they all smell roughly the same, and according to certain tribes in Papua New Guinea, they all taste like chicken.

So it is my surprise that the media at large, with ‘stick to the facts‘ have never done a proper big data analysis of the known acted terrorists and which school of Islam they belonged to. The article implies that even the dim witted Pauline Hanson has never gone in that direction. Is that not interesting? In my view, I think that such an analyses would be of great interesting importance, yet in equal measure we must understand that the Islamic population of Australia comprises a mere 2.2%, so we might find a much better significance when we analyse a certain political party against the chances that they resort to discrimination. I mean, from a personal point of view, why anyone would try to abolish The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in the first place is more than a small mystery. Now, as I started my story with my little demon issue, I need to take a look at Duncan Lewis too. With former director David Irvine we could go with: ‘The man looks like a librarian, what does he know about field intelligence?‘ we got none of that on current director Duncan Lewis. His rank is Major General, held numerous posts all over Europe and still looks like he could take on Anthony Mundine before lunch and get in a few decent punches. The only opposition between him and me might be that I outrank him at present through seniority (I have been a citizen for much longer than he has). Yes, that was a little funny!

So when we get back to the facts, we have two issues. The one is the extreme Sunni-Islam issue. Not the mention of it, but the mere fact that I have never seen anything in the media looking at that part. In equal measure, we have not seen any details on any of it in the European escalations in the UK and France. In addition, there is one part of Australian exposure as our exposure tends to be mostly Indonesian, Pakistani and Philippines as I currently see it. I will admit upfront that I have no idea how the different schools of Islam propagate over the Muslim nations, but the fact that we see a revelation in a short Guardian piece and nobody jumps on it, showing clear data in opposition, or a windbag response that this is not what Australians want to hear, I state: “Can we get clear data on this?” I think the people have a right to know and as I see it Director Lewis was not really tiptoeing around any issue, he was giving a fact. Now the Guardian gave us elements, yet when we consider: “Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis, was tiptoeing around the subject. “Asio has to command the confidence of the Australian community, and that’s why you’ve got to be open and upfront about these things”“, I agree, which is why I am not stating that Director Lewis is wrong or incorrect, merely that we would like to see a decent amount of evidence, not just a local view, but projected against the global numbers and theatres of events. Is that such a strange concept, more important, why did none of these so called journo’s (read: Andrew Bolt) show either in opposition evidence of the incorrectness of Director Lewis, or in support of the comment ‘be open and upfront‘. I can tell you now, that in order of priority, the Australian population at large has three priorities. Get wasted, get laid and get high. So as for the ‘gobsmacking’ and upfront view, the two jokers in this farce majeure as I would call it are the elected Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt.

Another part is “We have had tens of thousands of refugees come to Australia over the last decade or so and a very few of them have become subjects of interest for Asio and have been involved in terrorist planning“, which is something we all have seen to some degree. One of my classmates was a refugee, she was proud to be a student, proud to be a graduate and the first in her family history to have completed a tertiary education. This is where we see the bulk of the refugees, to build a happy and healthy family and a decent prospective future, which is pretty much the dream of the bulk of all 8 billion people on this planet. When we see this against Andrew Bolt who according to a source stated of some former event: “The document I seek is a list of links to articles related to “global-warming”, “climate-change”, “CO2” and “coral bleaching” that represent the sceptical view of those respective debates – as presented by the ABC on all its platforms. I have listened, viewed and searched for years and I’ve not found any sceptical articles on the ABC’s platforms“, that whilst even a simple search Bing.com (Bing of all places) on page 1 gives us a few examples. And when we look beyond ABC, we get even more options. So what was the ‘sceptical view‘ in all this? A view Andrew could relate to? Perhaps an intentional way to filter data, so that no exact match would be found? I am at a loss, so as we see him doing some tiptoe event around climate-change, or is that around Coral bleaching? Anyway, it seems to me that the only one not doing the tip toe, the tap dance or the jive is the one, the only, the Duncan Lewis himself!

In all this Pauline Hanson is even more of an issue, she should know better and if not, she has no business being an elected official. The one thing that sets her apart is that as the Ginger Neanderthal, she might think she has something in common with Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone, yet the latter two have qualities like wisdom, cute and endearing. Elements that Pauline Hanson clearly does not seem to have in my personal opinion. So as the Sydney Morning Herald claims that “Counter-terrorism experts have overwhelmingly backed spy boss Duncan Lewis“, I feel that I have to add that on a global level data analysts, the refugee volunteers at the refugee camps and immigration specialists will all come to the very same conclusion that the Spy boss is right. Is that not interesting too? On a planet so diverse, people in groups so far apart in acts and responsibility on their different workplaces would come to the very same conclusion? As we see these numbers we are confronted with the figurative notion that the chances of finding a Wall Street trader with integrity is larger than finding a terrorist in a refugee camp. When the numbers sway to such a degree, how lost was the cause of the opposition to Duncan Lewis in the first place?

As I see it, if she had done her homework properly she might have propelled forward through meaningful dialogue, but that is the flaw in my reasoning, when a view is as extremist as One Nation, meaningful dialogue would never have been on her agenda. It is reflected in the Sydney Morning Herald quote “some acknowledged he and Senator Hanson may have been talking at cross-purposes” (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/if-asio-dont-know-nobody-knows-terror-experts-back-spy-chief-over-pauline-hanson-20170530-gwg2hu.html) yet, again as I personally see it, she might have been intentional about the cross-purposes of this and in finality when we consider the global response and the expertise at that table, it would have been far better for Tony Abbott not to get involved in this to the degree he did, which is a tactical flaw on his side for certain.

So as I end my fool’s errand in all this, we need to consider the quote from Greg Barton “Lewis is seeing a much bigger and clearer picture than any of us,” Professor Barton said. However, “he should have unpacked more of what he was saying”, so as not to imply there was “zero connection at all” between migration and terrorism“, which is only partially correct from my point of view. I agree that stating more regarding any available statistics as Sunni versus other extremism, he is also correct that ‘zero’ is an undesired number as it tends to be statistically flawed, yet that invokes a long ongoing debate (wasting the time of EVERYONE) between ‘too insignificant’ and ‘zero’, terms the politicians hide behind at a moment’s notice, yet offer it on the table at the blink of an eye to make other people waste their times.

As for my next fools errant in the classification of ‘prank‘, I will take my copy of a Vatican work order, make a really close representation of the autograph of the man in the white outfit in the Vatican, and watch the reaction of the security guard in the Sistine Chapel as he reads that I have been ordered to paint the ceiling white. I’ll just sit back relax and watch chaos unfold, the next Aprils Fools day is 305 days away and I cannot wait that long, because that is how I roll!

It will be my homage to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who decided to paint the roses red.

 

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