Thursday, April 8, 2010

White Australian Xenophobia. Anti-Arab Anti-Semitism & Islamophobia

Gideon Polya

WHITE AUSTRALIA has had a dreadful, 2 century history of egregious racism since the European invasion in 1788. This history of racism has principally involved the domestic Aboriginal Genocide associated with the following - the Indigenous (Aboriginal) population fell from about 1 million in 1788 to about 0.1 million in a century due to violence, dispossession, deprivation and disease; massacres that continued until the 1920s; non-recognition of Aborigines as Australians until after the 1967 Referendum; forcible removal of perhaps as many as 0.1 million Aboriginal children from their mothers (the Stolen Generations); and continuing appalling Aboriginal living conditions that result in huge differential mortality: thus the annual death rate is 2.2% for Indigenous Australians, 2.5% for pre-drought Australian sheep and 0.7% for White Australians.

However other dimensions of White Australian racism included the notorious 1901-1973 White Australia Policy (that has now been replaced by a “secret” New White Australia Policy that actively discriminates against Asians, Africans, South Americans, and Eastern Europeans – especially Middle Easterners, Indians, Chinese and South East Asians - simply wanting to visit Australia as tourists or students). An appalling aspect of White Australian racism was its support for British colonialism (1.5 billion avoidable deaths in British India alone) (see MWC News ) and for post-1950 US Asian wars (18 million excess deaths in total; 3 million excess deaths in post-invasion Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan).

White Australian racism was briefly interrupted by the anti-racism of the Whitlam (Labor), Fraser (Conservative Coalition), Hawke and Keating (Labor) years from 1972-1996. However the 1990s saw the growth of popular support for the racist, anti-Asian One Nation Party. The Conservative Coalition under John Howard developed a very successful policy of courting the xenophobic One Nation vote but in a subtle “politically correct” fashion that nevertheless was understood by the xenophobes – a process called “dog whistling” after whistles that only dogs can hear. Major vehicles of the “dog whistling” have been appalling treatment of mostly Muslim refugees (imprisonment of thousands – including hundreds of children – in traumatizing remote prisons without charge or trial) and blind support for the Bush Wars in Iraq and  Afghanistan and for Zionist atrocities in Palestine and Lebanon.

The Opposition Labor Party has been quite cowardly and unprincipled in supporting bad treatment of refugees; ignoring horrendous post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan (now totaling 3.0 million); supporting the continued occupation of Afghanistan; and supporting the Israeli bombing and shelling of 25,000 Lebanese-origin Australian citizens in the recent Israeli war on Lebanon and the Israeli destruction of Lebanon. The Opposition has also gone down the offensive track of singling out Arabs and Muslims as somehow insufficiently “Australian” and demanding a “test” about “Australian values” for people merely wanting to visit Australia as tourists.

New White Australia Policy that actively discriminates against Asians, Africans, South Americans, and Eastern Europeans – especially Middle Easterners, Indians, Chinese and South East Asians - simply wanting to visit Australia as tourists or students).


With media and politicians endlessly drumming up the xenophobia, anti-Arab anti-Semitism and Islamophobia it is hardly surprising that things have gotten out of hand. Thus both parties supported horrendous human rights- and civil rights-abusing anti-Terrorism and Sedition Laws (e.g. potentially 7 years in prison for views the Government does not like) and last year we saw the horrendous Cronulla Beach race riots in which thousands of White Australian yahoos attacked people of Middle Eastern appearance.

Although millions of decent Australians are appalled by the “dog-whistling” racism of the Bush-ite Government and the cowardice of the Labor Opposition, very few politicians have stood up to be counted on the expanding xenophobia, anti-Arab anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. Greens Senator Dr Bob Brown and the Australian Democrats demanded cessation of the latest war in Lebanon. The decent Conservative politicians Pietro Georgiou and Malcolm Fraser steadfastly oppose abuses against refugees. Old political foes Gough Whitlam (Labor) and Malcolm Fraser (Conservative Coalition) (both former prime ministers, Fraser replacing Whitlam as PM after Whitlam’s notorious, possibly CIA-complicit dismissal from power in 1975) have both publicly condemned the growing xenophobia.

Several recent incidents are symptomatic of White Australian anti-Arab anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Thus The Age (Melbourne’s and possibly Australia’s top quality newspaper) recently reported awful anti-Asian and anti-Aboriginal comments from a Conservative political candidate (see: HERE ) in which this present candidate for the Victorian state election had declared that Aborigines were congenitally drunk and violent, that US political prisoner  David Hicks should be executed, that an Indian-born doctor was smelly and incompetent and that a (very popular) Chinese Lord Mayor of Melbourne couldn’t speak English properly (a bi-partisan concern in general of the “dog-whistling” major parties).

What the present candidate said in 2004 about Indians and Asians [my amplification in square brackets]: “[Article title] Anglo-Saxon Doctor Please … [saw] an Indian doctor, of all things, that absolutely stunk and obviously received a full fee degree. In other words, (he had) no idea … [wanted] an Australian doctor, that could speak English and was youngish (hopefully female) … Asain (sic), male, 50s, and had a speech lingo (sic) as good as Melbourne Lord Mayor (John) So [Chinese and much loved]…One warning for this General Practice, one more dud, and it (sic) three strikes (and) your (sic) out."


What he is also quoted as saying by The Age about Aboriginal [indigenous] Australians:  "Australian Aboriginals Are Racist As Well … I could go back to genetics … the majority of Australian Aboriginals have a drinking or physical abuse disorder. The percentage is higher than another (sic) cultural group …Let's be honest, Aboriginals and success do not necessarily go hand-in-hand … Aboriginals are 'ignorant, discriminatory and prejudicial individuals'."

This right-wing candidate in the forthcoming Victorian elections has apologized for his comments; a spokesperson for his political leader has accepted his apology; and the seat he is standing for includes the suburb of Springvale that has a very high Asian population – especially Vietnamese, Cambodians, Sri Lankans and Indians. However he still remains the Conservative candidate despite an editorial from The Age demanding his replacement.

A further example is the racist Cronulla 2230 Game – a Monopoly-style property acquisition game based on the anti-Arab Cronulla Beach Race riot of December 2005 in Sydney – 2230 is the postcode (see MWC News). The properties are based on Cronulla streets and the board is decorated with advocacy of the right-wing Australia First and Patriotic Youth League organizations and scenes of the riot crowd (but no actual rioting). Australian flags and “Boxing Kangaroo” flags are in evidence plus explicit messages borne by the crowd e.g. mass saluting; a prominent “NO ENTRY” street sign (directed at immigrants); Southern Cross T-shirt symbols; a guy with a Boxing Kangaroo message and “NO LEBS” on his T-shirt; photocaptions re-iterating crowd messages of  “TODAY IS THE SHIRES INDEPENDENCE DAY … FREEDOM TO ALL AUSSIES, SHIRE BOYZ , SUPPORT THE SHIRE BOYZ, and WE GREW HERE! YOU FLEW HERE! 2230. Got the message?

Southern Cross T-shirt symbols; a guy with a Boxing Kangaroo message and “NO LEBS” on his T-shirt; photocaptions re-iterating crowd messages of  “TODAY IS THE SHIRES INDEPENDENCE DAY … FREEDOM TO ALL AUSSIES, SHIRE BOYZ , SUPPORT THE SHIRE BOYZ, and WE GREW HERE! YOU FLEW HERE! 2230. Got the message?


Perhaps it is all best seen from Australia First’s own words about the Cronulla Riots and the Cronulla Game : “Liberal-Labor politicians and other Multiculturalists are always oh-so-quick to ban or make illegal anything that disagrees with their political ideology …  The Multiculturalist globalists are now trying to find and prosecute the designer of this game. Notice how quick they are to seek out and destroy possibly some 16-year-old in Cronulla who is sick of his country being overrun with Third World immigration. They were also very quick to hunt down the few people (a handful out of 5000) who threw a few punches at the Cronulla Rally.”

Of course this “massive Third World immigration” and “win back Australia” is utter nonsense.



Australia is a democracy and although there are about 0.3 million Muslims in Australia (see: HERE ) and 0.5 million Australians of Lebanese origin (see: HERE ) there are almost no elected representatives in these categories – as far as I know, absolutely no Muslims  and only one elected Parliamentarian of Lebanese origin, the State Premier of Victoria Mr John Bracks (a Christian). There is one Federal member of distant “Afghan” origin (from when Indians from Sind but referred to as “Afghans” were brought to Central Australia to run camel trains)  – but he is very likely not Muslim, is ultra-conservative and supports the War in Iraq and Afghanistan


The media are saturated with anti-Arab propaganda and anti-Muslim sentiment that is atrocious. Thus simple transposition of “Jew” for “Muslim”, “rabbi” for imam” etc in typical right-wing rhetoric would yield virulently anti-Jewish anti-Semitic statements likely to precipitate legal action under the racial vilification laws of some states. Muslim women wearing the hijab are routinely abused. By way of personal example, a few weeks ago I went on a “bush walk” with 4 other White, non-Muslim Australians – in the course of wide-ranging conversations about everything from flowers and poetry to politics, 4 out of 5 of our company told personal stories of horrendous abuse directed at Muslims they knew or lived close to.

Sticks or stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me – so goes the old saying but recent events have made a lie of this aphorism. Thus a top US medical epidemiological research group from a top department in a top US university (Johns Hopkins) has had an expertly peer-reviewed paper published in the top medical journal The Lancet. In this paper they estimate that 0.7 million Iraqi excess deaths (avoidable deaths, deaths that didn’t have to happen) have occurred since the US invasion and occupation - but the US, UK and Australian governments have baldly rejected this expert finding. However 27 top Australian medical experts have endorsed the methodological validity and correctness of the Johns Hopkins analysis. I recently wrote to all members of the Australian Federal Parliament apprising them of this extraordinary and dishonest denial of what now is a total of 3 million post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan – denial that threatens the security of not only Australians but of Iraqis and indeed of everyone in the world.

If verbally and selectively vilifying Muslims is racism and if beating up Asians going to the beach is racism – what do you call 3 million post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan? Answer: racist mass murder. And what do you call politician and mainstream media denial of 3 million post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan established by authoritative scholars? Answer - racist holocaust denial.

The world is a dangerous place afflicted as it is by US-UK democratic tyranny (3 million post-invasion excess deaths in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan); by First World imposed hegemonic globalization (16 million excess deaths annually); and by First World- (notably Australian- and US-) driven global warming that threatens the lives of hundreds of millions. Yet the US and Australian Governments simply ignore these horrendous realities in which they are complicit.  For the sake of the Planet there must be zero tolerance for lying.

Source: http://sites.google.com/site/aboriginalgenocide/

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