Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

ABC, please !! It is not unusual weather in Melbourne

February 5, 2011

It is just more of the same … really

Everyone, of course, is talking about this “really strange summer” in Melbourne. Warmists are just busting to believe that something odd is indeed happening, something to do with global warming. After all, how many weeks of holidays down on the coast have been spoiled by rain and exceptionally cold beach weather?

It all reminds me of my grandmother-in-law who announced one Good Friday morning that the gloomy black clouds hovering in the sky was a “sign” from God to remind us of Jesus’ crucifixion. She claimed that it always rained on Good Friday.

One can smile indulgently on an elderly woman’s naïve understanding of meteorology, but it is a lot harder to sympathize with the government’s leading global warming court jester, Ross Garnaut, with his self-satisfied grin, announcing “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Andrew Bolt has listed, yet again, a timely reminder, in case leading ABC journalists bleat out the “unusual weather = global warming” alarm. For any other warmists, please stare at the above photo, and ask yourselves, what is this telling me….

An end to dhimmitude in the UK?

February 4, 2011

Only 170 years late


I posted comments from Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore musing about the requirements necessary for Muslims to be able to integrate into advanced, democratic societies.

He was excoriated by the usual intemperate suspects for saying so.

Now David Cameron will today declare an end to “passive tolerance” of divided communities, and say that members of all faiths must integrate into wider society and accept core values.

To be British is to believe in freedom of speech and religion, democracy and equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality. Everyone, from ministers to ordinary voters, should actively confront those who hold extremist views.

Well, isn’t it about time for some sanity on this issue. I remember a much earlier warning — try 1840 — in Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Considered by many as the best book ever written on democracy, it still contains remarkable insights into the importance and fragility of present day democratic systems. In particularly, he noted that Islam, because it came with “political maxims, civil and criminal laws, and theories of science” as well as a “body of religious doctrines”, was inimical to democracy.

It is just this conflict that Cameron distinguishes, as does the wise ex Prime Minister of Singapore, and as did Aayan Hirsi Ali in Australia recently, but to deaf media ears.

Mr Cameron will draw a clear distinction between “Islamist extremism” as a political ideology, and the Islamic faith itself. “We need to be clear: Islamic extremism and Islam are not the same thing,” he will say.

The Government is reviewing its entire strategy for counter-terrorism and community cohesion amid concern that the state is working too closely with Muslim groups that do not fully endorse liberal values. Mr Cameron will say that community groups will be scrutinised in future to see if they promote democracy, equality and integration. Those that fail the “tests” will be cut off. “No public money, no sharing of platforms with ministers,” he will say

Is it too much to think our Australian Government will come to its sense and end our passive tolerance, or dhimmitude, towards  Australian tax payer funded activities of Islamic groups in the name of multiculturalism.

UPDATE

If there were any doubt about the Australian Government’s funding of doubtful and potentially dangerous Islamic groups under the guise of multiculturalism, read today’s post by Andrew Bolt.

The Islamic Youth Movement used to meet in Australia’s biggest mosque, the one in Lakemba presided over by Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, for years the Mufti of Australia, despite praising suicide bombers, backing the Hezbollah terrorist group, calling the September 11 attacks “God’s work against oppressors” and saying uncovered Australian girls invited rape.

Among its activities, the IYM published a magazine called Call to Islam, edited by Bilal Khazal.

In it appeared fawning interviews with members of some of the world’s worst terrorist groups, including the one that bombed the World Trade Centre in 1993 and another that killed 58 tourists in Luxor, Egypt.

It even interviewed—and praised—al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden, who’d already declared war on the West and was planning his September 11 attacks on the United States.

It also published articles by extremists such as its translator, Keysar Trad, now head of the Islamic Friendship Association, who wrote: “The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country, and now, they only take the select choice of other societies, and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us.”

Now here’s how our government-funded prophets of multiculturalism and their fellow travellers dealt with this hotbed of imported hate and us-against-them separatism.

Khazal’s youth movement was not punished (at first), but given three government grants. Two were multicultural grants totalling nearly $7000 from the NSW Government, to teach its supporters not English but Arabic.

The other was a federal work-for-the-dole grant to spruce up its office and arrange its library of propaganda.

Agora – a film review

November 25, 2010

A promising film spoilt by political correctness

The promises made about this limited release film Agora by director Alejandro Amenabar, showing in Australia at the moment, were intriguing. The subject, Alexandria in the forth century AD at the time of the destruction of the famous library — the “Axial Age”, or, in the words of Karl Jaspers, ‘the most deep cut dividing line in history’ — seemed pretty promising and ambitious. Central to this film is one of feminism’s archetypal historical heroines, Hypatia, a philosopher and mathematician, grappling with the movement of the orbs of the heavenly bodies.

The film, one imagined, was to deal with the complex sets of interactions between the Judaic tradition, the propagation of the Christian message of St Paul, the Roman world and its Law, the decline and virtual disappearance of Hellenism with the gradual withdrawal from Aristotelian thinking, and the eclipse of the Hellenistic values that accompanied the fall of Rome and the subsequent plunge into the ‘dark ages’. It was what the enthusiastic ABC film review Margaret Pomerantz hailed as, “a rare film about something”.

The portrayal of Alexandria was physically fascinating, with a wonderfully convincing mixture of the Roman and the Egyptian, and the collision of their cultural values. There were delightful insights into the liturgy, vestments and character of the early Pauline church. Nevertheless, there was something disconcertingly uninvolving and unconvincing about the texture and narrative. For instance, it contrasted poorly with the splendidly visceral portrayal of the city of Rome in the film Gladiator, and had a strangely total absence of dramatic tension in the plot development.

A predictable dread about the film, as promoted in its advertising, was the inevitable potential for political correctness. The ingredients were all there. There was the fashionable, anti-Christian sentiment that painted Bishop Cyril of Alexandria as an irresistibly self styled Taliban leader, and the inevitable temptation to portray Hypatia as an unyielding and archetypally smug feminista with a rampant and satisfying dose of congenital adrenal hyperplasia. So it came to pass. What could, with generosity, be considered to be a cunning allegorical warning against present day Islamic terrorism in Europe and America, wasn’t really the film’s intention, or the director’s.  The film safely fell on the side of reactionary Christian bashing, including a pointed quote from St Paul about the importance of silencing women. No attempt was made to suggest that these views would have had their origin in the prevalent Jewish Synagogue Regulations of the time. The film’s treatment seems to suggest that these 2000 year old Christian values are more reprehensible that those of current Islamic sharia values that the West is feebly yielding to today. This lack of clarity thus manages to portray a fatuous anachronism. The implications are nasty.

Most disappointing is that the ‘ideas’ part of the film end up being trite. The endless ruminations and discussions by Hypatia, played, incidentally, utterly unconvincingly and blandly by Rachel Weisz, about the movements of the planets, with ‘learned’ references to Aristarchus, sounded more like a polite and earnest discussion of a ‘dangerous idea’ on Jennifer Burns’ First Tuesday Book Club. Aristarchus, along with other remarkable figures like Eratosthenes, Hypparchus and Posidonius had nailed the actual physical dimensions and movements of our solar system accurately hundreds of years before.

We should have been forewarned. The Pomerstratton team gave the film four and four and a half stars respectively, so politically correct, safe and predictable it inevitably was. For all its admirable qualities and the attempts to deal with one of the most truly fascinating periods in history, it ended up, as one reviewer put it, as “an overlong school trip to the planetarium, followed by a Romans-in-togas play in the gym”. But worse, it failed to see itself, judging by the reviews and commentary, as a powerful allegory concerning the threat of Islamic fundamentalism on our own doorstep today. A truly wasted opportunity.

British schools teach stoning and amputation

November 21, 2010

Six of the best is so passé

 

A news item posted on Andrew Bolt’s blog today reports that schools across England are teaching sharia law, or how to chop off a criminal’s hands or feet, and stone or burn homosexuals, along with the predictable rabid anti-semitic material about the “main goal” of the Jews being to “have control over the world and its resources.” Apparantly these schools are part of the “Saudi Students Clubs and Schools in the UK and Ireland” organisation.

 

 

Charming stuff in cool Britannia.

 

The Education Minister Michael Gove reassured the public on the BBC in no uncertain terms:

I’m clear that we cannot have anti-Semitic material of any kind being used in English schools. Ofsted (Britain’s education watchdog) will be reporting to me shortly.

However, he gave a wonderful display of you beaut cultural tolerance, notably towards the restorative punishments of stoning and amputation actually being taught to his hapless British students, by telling the same BBC audience:

I have no desire or wish to intervene in the decisions that the Saudi government makes in its own education system.

Now, that’s a bold and open Education Minister.

Muslim veil deceit earns six months prison

November 18, 2010

Dishonesty and identity

 

A Sydney Muslim who was pulled over when driving and then  claiming falsely that the police officer tried to forcefully remove her face veil, has been sentenced to six months jail.

At a time when there is a national groundswell of annoyance and  indignation at Muslim women hiding their faces in public and playing the ‘religious sensibility’ card, this is a timely outcome. However, it must be stressed that it is a sentence given for knowingly making a false declaration.

Apparently, the woman went to the police station to sign a statutory  declaration in which she made her false declaration. She then went on to claim that it was not she who had signed it — she was wearing a hijab at the time.  Her complaint was rejected with Magistrate Rabbidge who said the signature on the declaration was almost identical to that on her driver’s licence.

The incident nevertheless puts a focus on the silliness of our appeasement to religious sensibilities when it comes to identity, and the expectations almost all of us have of openness in our society. In a court case in Perth recently, the judge insisted that a Muslim woman, a key witness, had to appear without her veil. However, he accepted the humiliation of dhimmitude by banning male journalists from his court.

The absurdity of this reality is eloquently illustrated in this mock licence from New Jersey [above]. As is now being realized in Europe, even apart from legal considerations, we all like to know who we see in front of us. Covering up is nasty and makes no sense, and certainly ill serves the Muslim community.


A delusion about Muslims

September 1, 2010

Moderate Islam. What exactly is it?

The debate over the mosque near Ground Zero in New York is taking wings. Largely a local concern for New Yorkers, it has ramifications for all of us. The dominant issue is about competing notions of tolerance and the centrality of  the concept of what exactly constitutes  a  “moderate”, and therefore tollerant Muslim.

A short piece by Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim appeared in The Australian today, extracted from a Wall Street Journal symposium on the question: What Is Moderate Islam?

Anwar made some very reasonable points; that “the quest for the moderate Muslim in the 21st century is akin to the search for the Holy Grail,” given that the association between Islam and terrorism is so wide spread and so constantly being reinforced by the fact of so many atrocities. He feels for ordinary Muslims, “whose identities have been drowned by events beyond their control.”

But some feel you cannot have the one without the other. Rod Liddle in last week’s UK Spectator, commented on the Ground Zero mosque debate. He dares to believe that there is a lot delusion on both sides when discussing issues of moderation and tolerance. Quoting from the illuminating 2006 Pew Research Centre study into Muslim attitudes throughout the world, he concludes rather pessimistically about those whom we in the West are eager to call mostly moderate;

The Pew study discovered that there was not a single Muslim country in the world where the majority of the population was able to accept that the 9/11 terrorists were Muslim, Arabic or anything other than part of the George W. Bush CIA-filthy Jew alliance. There is epic delusion on every side, in other words.

The burka again: contempt for our openess

August 5, 2010

Burka is legal, but it’s about manners

A PERTH Muslim woman is now waiting for Perth District Court judge Shauna Deane to decide whether she can wear a burka while giving evidence in a case brought against Anwar Sayed, director of the Muslim Ladies College of Australia for fraud. Again, much ink and air time has been expended on this persistent, and very strongly felt issue.

Hugo Rifkind, a columnist for the British Spectator, recently wrote the best, most common sense, opinion about what should be done with the burka in Western countries in relation to the tricky problem of “rights”. Conjuring up the idea of wearing underpants on his head — any, his own, porn-star panties, Victorian bloomers — he explains that he has the right go into a Post Office, a Jobcentre, a school, a church or a mosque. “Such is my right, as a freeborn Brit, and nobody has the right to force me to take them off.”

But I don’t have the right to not be told by people who see me that I look like an idiot. I don’t have the right not to be asked if I wouldn’t perhaps mind growing the hell up, and taking them off.

When did the world suddenly decide that the right to do something necessarily entailed the right not to be politely asked to stop doing it? It’s a dangerous nonsense. None of this is about ‘rights’ at all. It’s about manners. Security concerns aside, of course, women should have the right to wear the burka, anywhere they like. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an inherently repellent garment, the wearing of which, in Britain, is basically just rude. So stop it.

So, getting back to the Perth woman; she was reported as saying “I’d like to make it very clear that … it’s a personal choice and we lead a very normal active life just like everyone else.”

Well I say that this is plain silly. How can she claim to lead a normal, active life with a sack covering her head? In Western countries it is simply not normal to cover your face and deprive everyone in public of seeing who you are, and then to expect to interact with you in a normal way. It is not normal to be an Australian women and feel uncomfortable showing your face in front of men other than your immediate family because you believe “intermingling” between the sexes encourages adultery.

Perth District Court judge Shauna Deane clearly has the judicial power to maintain her own standards of conduct and respect in her own court. Let us hope she has the courage, or the conviction, that to be hidden from view for personal reasons might just be considered to hold the court, the judge, the jury and the public in contempt.

The beauty of our system is that, in this case, the witness has the right to refuse to attend.

UPDATE

The Prime Minister has worked out which side her electoral bread is buttered.

BURQAS should be removed when the public interest overrides personal choice, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Australia

August 2, 2010

From Quadrant on-line


On the awkwardness of the Muslim debate

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, high profile international critic of Islam and author of the best seller Infidel, and a new book Nomad, has been stirring the pot in Australia recently, raising the tenor of debate on the ‘Muslim problem”. Interviewed several times in the media, she gave talks in both Melbourne and Sydney.

Her thinking on Islamic issues has been derived from her extraordinary life. Hirsi Ali was raised as a Muslim in Somalia, fled to Holland as a refugee to escape a forced marriage, and is now working at the American Enterprise Institute. Her story is both moving and inspiring. On the way, she became a member of the Dutch Parliament and collaborated with the filmmaker Theo van Gogh on a film, ‘Submission’, about misogyny within Islam. Van Gogh was subsequently murdered by an Islamic extremist. Since then, Hirsi Ali has been under constant threat, and now has a permanent bodyguard. Her books explain the cruelty and violence that are a part and parcel of Islamic cultures, and within them she develops a brilliantly coherent criticism of Islam and its growing threat to the West.

Unsurprisingly, in this brief visit, Hirsi Ali raised considerable ire from the Left commentariat on several fronts. She has notably offended the feminists, the cultural relativists, the immigration bleeding hearts and human rights activists, and the politically correct for being a dangerous, “right wing think-tank” racist. The interviewers in her appearances on the ABC have treated her with a mixture of respect and nervousness with a dash of indignation, at her full frontal challenges to their orthodoxy on Islamic matters. A comment from one ABC listener is indicative of the confused mindset, when she accused Hiris Ali of having the “gaze of the colonizer, with an insensitivity and absence of empathy for people, specially women”.

Hirsi Ali tackles the mantra, “we’ve got to respect their culture” head on. The problem, she points out is that respect is hard to reconcile with forced marriages, honour killings, female genital mutilation, the forced veiling of women, and of course the killing of homosexuals. Clearly, she dismisses the post-modernist notion that all cultures are equal. “It’s individual human beings who are equal”.

Fending off her critics who then say that our society is flawed––another saw of the Left––she promptly explains that “Western flaws, the white man’s flaws, his sexism, his racism, his prejudices have been criticised and radically changed. Men of colour, not just Muslim men, but Chinese, Indians, “men of colour are excused from that same critical scrutiny of cultures, their customs, their habits, their religious principles”. This is the essence of her criticism of multiculturalism too.

On the question of “moderate Islam”, the sanctuary question of the bien-pensant, Hirsi Ali is clear about distinguishing Islam as an ideology from Muslims themselves. Most Muslims, she claims from research, know very little about what’s in the Koran. They only know that “you’ve got to obey the Koran and what the Prophet Mohammed said. Increasingly, agents of radical Islam take advantage of that.” Having a religious dimension is one thing. What she is concerned about are the political and social dimensions; Sharia law, the concept of jihad and the social laws that govern the relationship between men and women.

If you think, like every interviewer on the ABC, that moderate states like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey are good examples of moderation, Hirsi Ali is quick to counter that, more and more, Indonesians are succumbing to the propaganda, mostly financed by countries like Saudi Arabia and spread by the Islamist Brotherhood in Egypt. “Everywhere Sharia is getting a hold, you see the same violations of human rights, including terrorist acts and intolerance to Christian minorities.”‘

On accusations of racism, Hirsi Ali is very blunt. When a questioner at her talk in Melbourne suggested she was providing fuel for racism and was a bigot, it was the one moment when strong passion broke through the surface of her usually calm and patient demeanour. It is worth quoting in full:

I answer that by pointing out that Islam is not a race, it is a belief system. If you look at people who identify themselves as Muslims, you see they are made up of very many different races. Because it is a belief system, the accusation of racism simply does not apply. When you look at the social and political aspects of Islam, you find bigotry. The position of men and women in Islam is different. That is bigotry. Homosexuals are treated as sick people and killed. That is bigotry. When Sharia is established, that is bigotry. Black people in Islam are treated as slaves, and slavery is condoned. That is bigotry. It is really ridiculous to defy a political system of bigotry by telling people you are bigoted. I am sorry. I’m not bigoted. Islam is bigoted. The message for 1.57 million people is to emancipate themselves not from the past imperialism of the white man, but from the bigotry that is embedded in Islam.

Hirsi Ali also has some pretty blunt ideas about Australian immigration that I suspect a majority of us would agree with. She believes that the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention is completely outdated, as at that time there were only one million refugees. Today there are 40 million. We all would concede that Australia cannot take all 40 million in, so the concept of compassion is not enough now and it’s not practical anymore.

Given the advent of radical Islam … liberal democrat countries like Australia should establish a new relationship with immigrants. Who is good for our country and who is going to contribute to Australia? In exchange, we’ll provide them with the opportunity to live in a peaceful, prosperous society where they can build a life for themselves. If they say no to that, then I think it would be justified to say such a person cannot stay and will not be a part of this society and can be returned. That is more honest, it’s more practical and it becomes a two-way contribution.

Hirsi Ali, in her conversion to Western values is a breath of fresh air. She appears to understand the value of democracy and free debate better than most commentators in the media. In response to Kerry O’Brien accusing her of being a traumatised “reactionary” in an interview three years ago, she is eloquent.

In the first place, I use the tools that we are supposed to use in a democracy which is non-violent means to argue my assertions and views. Next, I don’t see what is reactionary about saying, “Let’s respect life as an end in itself, liberty as an end in itself and the equality of men and women.”

Yes, let us use the tools we are supposed to use in a democracy. Let us stop the ad hominum arguments of racism and Islamophobia. Hirsi Ali contrasts the reaction of Christianity to insults and criticisms, citing Richard Dawkins’ attacks, with the Muslims reaction of violence and hatred when they are criticised.

The last word goes to Hirsi Ali from ABC Lateline last week:

All cultures are flawed, but if we want to aspire to a society, whether it’s on a national level or on the global level of individual rights and the respect for human rights, then we have to criticise these other cultures just as much as the white man’s culture was criticised. That’s good for them.

UPDATE

Too good to be true.

Hirsi Ali has been in Australia barely two weeks and the Equal Opportunity Division of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal has comes to the same view; that vilification of Muslims does not fall within the anti discrimination Act.

Muslims ‘do not share common racial, national or ethnic origins’ and are therefore not an ethno-religious group such as the definition embraces. In so ruling, we follow the decisions, commencing with Khan, that are listed above at [44]. We are unaware of any recent authority to the contrary. It follows that any statements broadcast by the Respondents that generated negative feelings towards Muslims generally, or any group of Muslims, on the ground of their being Muslims could not amount to unlawful racial vilification.

How the Left hate Ayaan Hirsi Ali

July 18, 2010

Hilary McPhee’s prejudice confirmed

It’s a little late, and sad, that the Left, in the guise of a silly review by Hilary McPhee, should be ringing the lepers bell for Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s already sold out talk in Melbourne later this month.

Hilary McPhee is one of our commentariat who blamed John Howard for the brutal killing of innocent Australians in Bali by Islamic terrorists.  So it comes as no surprise that, in the guise of a book review of the remarkable autobiography Infidel and the latest reflection, Nomad, to mark Hirsi Ali’s visit to Melbourne, she attacks with barely disguised contempt the brave woman who would know more than Hilary could ever dream of about the vile aspects of Islam that make millions of women’s lives nightmares and turn Islamic extremists into fanatical murderers.

What does Hilary think? Well, she thinks Hirsi Ali’s books “aren’t much good”, that they are “disturbing and delusional”, a “gift to those of us who like our prejudices confirmed” — speaking for yourself Hilary? — and that they fail to give us “a more complex and sympathetic picture of the Muslim world”.

She feels the books fail to remind us “that more than 50 countries from Indonesia to Iran through Africa and the Middle East have Muslim majorities and vastly different cultures and histories”. McPhee is clearly oblivious to the progressive and systematic radicalization and cultural colonization of these “diverse” countries by Middle Eastern fundamentalists in the last few decades.

Hilary complains that “a perspective on the role played by poverty, illiteracy and rural conservatism is missing”. Well, Hilary McPhee has lived in the Middle East. Where is her analysis of the role Islamic cultural values play in creating poverty, illiteracy and rural conservatism? But I imagine economics is not one of her strong points.

Of the outstanding book Infidel, she seems to be complaining cynically that it “came at the right time and sold hugely”. Isn’t this the dream of any book publisher? To know exactly what most irks McPhee would be hard to determine. Hirsi Ali criticises multiculturalism, Western feminists, Germaine Greer and Tariz Ramadan. But to top her sins off, Ayaan Hirsi Ali “accepted a job with the ultra-conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, which had provided much of the rationale for military intervention in Iraq and for rebuilding the image of Israel in the world through a conservative alliance with America”. Oh, dear.

But McPhee is generous in her sympathy for Hirsi Ali’s plight. She finishes her irritation in a final sentence: “I can’t help but fear for her.”

Four myths of Integration

May 9, 2010


Integration for Muslims very problematic, says Danish psychologist

A young Danish psychologist, Nicolai Sennels, made news last year in Denmark after publishing a book entitled Among criminal Muslims. A psychologist’s experience from Copenhagen. He has worked for several years directly with young criminal Muslims in Copenhagen and has come to the conclusion that there are four myths concerning the successful integration of Muslim minorities.

At a conference on integration in Copenhagen, he provoked a legal injunction that nearly got him sacked for suggesting that present failed policies were misdirected. He claimed that Islamic culture plays a significant role concerning integration, crime and religious extremism. He emphasized that people from a Muslim culture “find it difficult, if not impossible, to create a successful life in Denmark.” In an interview in EuropeNews he says:

This statement was met with great resistance from Danish politicians and also my own boss from the youth prison. I was quite surprised since I thought that my point is obvious: some cultures fit better into Western societies than others. All of Europe is currently struggling to integrate Muslims but this endeavor seems to be impossible. According to the Danish police and the Danish Bureau of Statistics more than 70% of all crimes in the Danish capital are committed by Muslims. Our national bank recently published a report stating that a Muslim foreigner costs more than 2 million Danish kroner (300,000 euros) in federal social assistance on average, caused by the low participation in the work force. On top of this, we have to add many additional types of social welfare that unemployed people can receive in our country: expenses in connection with interpreters, special classes in school – 64% of school children with Muslim parents cannot read and write Danish properly after 10 years in a Danish school – social work, extra police etc.

Sennel’s book is to be translated into English this year. Whilst we in Australia believe that things are different here from Europe, the facts outlined by the courageous Sennels go a long way in explaining why at least some Australians are expressing a growing malaise about burkas. A surprising 85.7 percent of Australians want them banned in this country.

The debate in the media appears to want to bury or deliberately misunderstand the reasons for these growing attitudes toward Islam. The use of the word “Islamophobia” or phrases like “you are playing the race card” by leading ABC journalists who should know better, have the same distaste and function as words such as racist, or homophobe. Even the typical rebuttal from local Islamic personalities such as Susan Carland, proud of her “convict” and NZ roots, that her full head scarf is “just a piece of cloth”, belie the observation of husband Waleed Ali. “[My wife] has become a foreigner [in her own country] by virtue of the fact that she has become a Muslim.

It seems obvious that it is unintelligent to suggest that head scarves, burkas and nikabs are merely pieces of cloth, like baseball caps as a Melbourne ABC presenter tried to suggest. Identity is fundamental to the analysis by the Dane Nicolai Sennels, and it is surely essential reading to help us come to an informed understanding of an international  phenomenon.



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