MY SAY: Ignorance when debating Islam helps extremism
THE stance many seem prepared to take on Islam is more than a little concerning.
As we see a rise in opportunist political parties, not unlike the One Nation Party, with the likes of the Australian Liberty Alliance now pushing Senate hopefuls, it seems a large swathe of the voting public is happy to go along for the short-sighted ride.
A quick glance at the Facebook comments on a recent TV news interview with Australian Liberty Alliance Queensland Senate candidate Bernard Gaynor were nothing short of dumbfounding.
While Gaynor articulated clear, composed arguments - whether you agree or not with what he was saying - the same could not be said for the hundreds who commented on the interview posted on his page.
"Sterilise them" was one mental giant's plan to deal with Muslims and the "Islamification" of Australia.
The support swelling for Gaynor and the likes is concerning.
Many are clearly willing to support a former ADF intelligence officer who is a conservative in the extreme use of the word.
Opposed to abortion and openly against the Safe Schools program and homosexuality in general, even going as far in the past as declaring he wouldn't let gay teachers educate his kids, he seems a perfect fit for a political party that boasts Angry Anderson among its supporters.
Constant vitriol directed at Muslims and repeated claims that "Izlam" (sic) is a religion of violence were just some of the constant themes in the 400-plus Facebook comments on the post complaining Gaynor's interview had been misrepresented by the media.
But it seems when it comes to religion and history it's only Islam that we must be stamping out. Apparently.
The systematic sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Church is glossed over by the anti-Islam fanatics.
As are the Christian Crusades, the actions of the Ku Klux Klan (which claims to be Christian in beliefs) and the mind-blowingly short-sighted shoutings of the Westboro Baptist Church to name but a few.
These are all extreme minority groups claiming to represent a wider religion.
But apparently it is bang out of order to judge or act against an entire religious group based on the actions of a violent few.
Unless, of course, we're talking about Islam.
Many Muslims are fleeing the actions of an extremist minority, not as some would have us believe to come and wreak havoc and terror and deliver Sharia law to our shores, as if it will somehow crop up and overtake our Constitution.
Could it be that those spouting that rhetoric are happy to cherrypick the evidence to suit their argument?
And worse, if I was a young Muslim reading through any number of comments on similar pages, I'd question whether I really had any chance of assimilating.
It seems there are plenty already with their minds made up, and in doing so, helping foster the perfect environment for young, impressionable, disconnected minds to be influenced by that violent minority.
We've got to be wiser than that.