The Mocker’s ABC: stars align at Planet Aunty

The Mocker’s ABC: stars align at Planet Aunty, by The Mocker.

On Monday, The Drum featured a panel comprising Sydney Morning Herald political and international editor Peter Hartcher, finance executive Ayten Saridas, Guardian columnist Van Badham, and Dr Ian Wilson of Murdoch University. It discussed a series of bombings, including the targeting of three Christian churches on Sunday in Surabaya, Indonesia, by Islamic fundamentalists. Saridas, a Muslim who had worked in Indonesia, was asked by host Ellen Fanning whether the bombings represented a radicalisation of religion in Indonesia.

“It’s a very moderate country”, replied Saridas. “It’s very secular.” That must be news to a former governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja ‘Ahok’ Purnama, a Christian who last May was sentenced to two years imprisonment for blasphemy. And presumably Saridas has never heard of Aceh, the province which has the highest proportion of Muslims in Indonesia, which routinely canes and imprisons its citizens for violating sharia law. …

“This is not about our religion, she said serenely. “Our religion is a religion of faith at the – of peace – at the end of the day.” …

Freudian slip? As for Islam being a religion of peace, that claim is no longer a glib public relations line, nor a trite platitude. It is a passive aggressive obtuseness, an extended finger to a craven Western society obsessed with indulging and placating minorities. As with all propaganda, it derives strength not through persuasion but by imposing an orthodoxy that few in the commentariat will question. Unsurprisingly, neither Fanning nor Saridas’s co-panellists took issue with her statement.