The politics of Muslim bashing; part 2

Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.

undefinedSmall is how Jackie Kelly and her husband must feel. In a more civilised age they would be to ashamed to show their faces in polite company. Kelly’s husband who is a dentist was caught red handed letter-boxing ugly racist leaflets in the marginal seat of Lindsay.The islamic-pamphlet [pdf] purported to be from a Muslim group supporting the Labor party, supporting the Bali terrorists and predicting the building of a Mosque in Western Sydney. As we have previously shown, the threat of an Islamic infiltration of the burbs is a red button issue.

The leaflet was a fraud, a fake document used by the Liberal party to misrepresent the views of the opposition Labor party.The others involved were the husband of the incoming Liberal candidate and a professional Liberal party apparatchik Jeff Egan. One of those caught, helpfully covered his face with the incriminating leaflets thereby demonstrating his guilt.

In one fell moment they captured the whole media attention for the two most important news-cycles before the federal ballot.Kelly was already finished in the party, but her reputation and that of her husband has been destroyed forever. The standing liberal candidate (Karen Chijoff) and aspiring professional political operative Jeff Egan are finished in mainstream politics. Both Chijoff’s husband and Egan have been forced to write groveling apologies to the party.The greater truth here is that in the recent history of the Liberal party, it has always used Muslim bogeymen to force a temporary realignment of the political landscape. It has been an especially pleasing time, watching the venality of the contemporary Liberal party and its leader, be its undoing. The ultimate irony (which can only be divine in origin) is to see the last 48 hours of the Howard era be remembered for another contemptible attack on Muslims, but one which has backfired spectacularly.

The most powerful memory of today, the one which has made the most lasting impression on me, is the statement of Robin Margo Jewish board of deputies who spoke out strongly in defense of Muslims and said that religious bigotry must not be used to sway votes, and that such a tactic has an ugly history. Muslims should remember those comments which were made in the service of our honour, unprompted by people who we sometimes don’t treat that well.

All does not appear lost for Jeff Egan and Gary Clarke. They should take heart in the notoriety of Darrin Hodges, the You Tube celebrity… respectability however is an entirely separate matter.

PART 1 is here

Update: Jackie Kelly’s moronic defence of her husband’s actions, ensured the story had legs for another 24 hours. Its available here

George Megalogenis describes the electoral fallout

Here is Kelly on election night 

16 comments ↓

#1 Ted Sprague on 11.22.07 at 8:53 pm

Darrin Hodges is offering advice on how to do the fake pamphlet thing properly and he has even published Maxine McKew’s home address (ALP candidate running against John Howard).

#2 George Carty on 11.22.07 at 11:57 pm

Shades of the French Mon Cher Mustapha letter

#3 Eudaemonion on 11.23.07 at 12:35 am

This has probably been the most uproariously funny peice of news that’s come out in a while. It took a while for the hilarity of the situation to sink in before I could laugh out loud in front of the TV. The Chasers couldn’t dream this up if they tried!

Anywho, there are two particular phrases I’d like to draw Austrolabe’s attention to:

1. ‘… of our Grand Mufti reverend Sheik al Hilaly…’

2. ‘…Ala Akba…’

Kelly might yet convince me that this really was a joke if she can explain:

a) When and where Muslims began using Christian Ecclesiastical terms in reference to their religious leaders

b) How they managed to turn the Arabic phrase Allahu Akbar into this comical, crescent shaped ‘Ala Akba

Only someone in with the ‘crowd’, that is a Muslim, would pick up the obvious faux pas on both occassions. Either that, or the average Tom, Dick and Harriet is now capable of subtly satirising the Muslim propensity to shout this phrase for Western camera’s, while drunk off his face.

#4 Antish on 11.23.07 at 10:50 am

Yes, yes, bad, great for Labor and all that, but the OP is a bit over the top. Kelly herself did the same thing two elections ago, according to one of her campaign workers (ie put out false material under the name of another party – no Muslims involved), and was found out and lived it down easily.

General paranoia aside, why is it that radical islam was chosen rather than Tamil Tigers or Shino fundamentalists or Buddhist insurgents or even Maoist rebels …. Answer – radical Islam has killed Aussies and is on the record about wanting to kill more.

#5 Muslim_perth on 11.23.07 at 11:18 am

General paranoia aside, why is it that Antish is so incorrect all the time rather than chekcing the facts on islamic vs other terrorism – Tamil Tigers or Shino fundamentalists or Buddhist insurgents or even Maoist rebels …. Answer – Antish has killed common sense and twists facts and is on the record about wanting to kill more.

#6 Ken Lovell on 11.23.07 at 12:26 pm

It would be nice to believe that the feeling of revulsion in the community was universal. Regrettably, I’m sure a lot of people will remain convinced that the contents of the leaflet, while technically a fabrication, remain symbolically true and another illustration of the awfulness of Labor.

#7 Baybers on 11.23.07 at 3:12 pm

Ken,

you are quite correct, there is a sizeable group of the electorate who will be swayed by anti-Muslim bigotry.

However it is a much smaller minority who will reward a political party for attempting a calculated deception, even if they agree with the underlying bigotry.

In the words of the french statesman Charles de Talleyrand

“worse than a crime…a blunder”

#8 Alphonse on 11.24.07 at 3:40 pm

When you’ve studiously wooed every selfish idiot and every racist idiot, you’re hard to beat – especially when your opponents won’t stoop to it – and stunts like this won’t lose you any of them. The reaction will be in the wealthier and better educated electorates, where buffers will accommodate most swings. It’s what Howard fans call ‘political genius’, but there are other ways to describe it.

#9 Yusuf Smith on 11.26.07 at 3:08 am

As-Salaamu ‘alaikum,

“Ala akba” … how on earth did they come up with that?

#10 Sam Ward on 11.26.07 at 8:01 am

Phonetic guess I assume.

#11 Eudaemonion on 11.26.07 at 9:51 am

Could have at least Googled it! I’m sure that the search engine would correct them.

#12 Chui Tey on 11.26.07 at 10:29 am

Antish would be better off fighting tobacco or cancer. The Bali bombings, despicable as they are, are only the work of a handful of malcontents. Don’t tar the rest of the ordinary Muslim community.

#13 Andrew Reynolds on 11.26.07 at 3:12 pm

Baybers,
Kelly may have tried to defend it, but it looks like Chijoff genuinely did not know – she has kicked her husband out of home.
link

#14 Baybers on 11.26.07 at 4:46 pm

Andrew,

Thanks, thats a tragedy for the candidate.

Somewhere between cronulla and “kellygate” it became uncool to be a public racist. There is now even conservative commentators who are discovering their “moorish” side.

But the blame for the scandal was correctly laid at the feet of the PM. I’m not sure how he had the gumption to manufacture outrage for this, especially after children overboard and his dog whistle during Cronulla.

Playing to peoples base emotions was never going to be an effective long term political strategy, just as passing the ball out wide to Jonah Lomu was never going to be enough win a william web ellis trophy.

#15 Peter on 12.02.07 at 12:52 am

Malcolm Turnbull, future leader?

#16 The fake Sheikh “Haron” on 12.06.07 at 7:26 am

[...] Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew “Aaron“. It resembles the comical fraud perpetrated by Liberal Party goon squad in the seat of Lindsay. How could one forget the “ALA AKBA” which resembled Alo Alo, [...]

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