The revival of this blog has been a little short-lived. However, I’m still quite active in twitter at the moment, and I do have a project I’m working on that will be published here.
So do pop in every once in a while.
The revival of this blog has been a little short-lived. However, I’m still quite active in twitter at the moment, and I do have a project I’m working on that will be published here.
So do pop in every once in a while.
It’s time we fixed the New Zealand news media’s problem with sh*t speech.
First, let’s put together a working definition. Sh*t speech is the stuff that might not necessarily be described as hate speech, but it occupies much of the same spectrum. It’s speech that presses the buttons of prejudice, bigotry and outrage, but isn’t necessarily hateful per se; that isn’t (always) lies, but is most often inaccurate, skewed, or otherwise misleading. It’s the floating turd in gutter journalism.
In other words, it’s the stuff the nutcases are happy to call “hate speech”. The problem is, if you do that you lose normal people. So that’s really the problem being addressed here – “how to shut down people who say things I dislike, without getting the average joe offside”.
To paraphrase the Broadcasting Standards Authority decision on Heather du Plessis-Allan’s foul commentary about Pasifika nations, it’s speech that is “inflammatory …and [has] the potential to cause widespread harm.” It’s the foundation the Pyramid of Hate is built on.
I recommend clicking on the “Pyramid of Hate”. What’s this so-called “Foundation”?
So we’re talking seriously trivial stuff, things that are to the average person actually praiseworthy. For example, this guide includes “there is only one race, the human race” as a “microaggression” because “a White person does not want to acknowledge race”.
In other words, the writer is basing his views on an incredibly extreme left wing puritanical view which literally sees anyone committing even the most trivial offense (even a common anti-racist phrase) as being the foundation for genocide.
That’s as extreme an anti-freedom position as it’s possible to get, without literally rounding people at gunpoint for disagreeing with you.
Then we have this tweet. It’s from Russel Brown and talks about this article by Mike Hosking.
Brown describes the article as
In other words, this “sh*t speech” used real facts to defend taxpayers and suggest that public policy should recognise a well-known and easily-observable fact.
In New Zealand, common topics that sh*t speech explores include, but are not limited to, immigrants and refugees,
Encouraged by 2 out of 3 parties currently in government. Yet somehow I don’t think we’re going to be exploring the racism that Labour encouraged and exploited during the election.
the “entitlement” of Maori, LGBTQI issues, the “Treaty grievance industry,” and the full spectrum of climate change denial. (Anti-Islam rhetoric usually features prominently, but for some reason, it hasn’t much lately. I wonder why.)
Got that? You can’t critisise any aspect of the treatment of Maori, Gay rights (bake that cake!), the Waitangi Tribunal, Islam, or climate change. To do so is verboten.
Never mind that these are all issues that affect everyone in our society. Never mind that these are the issues that we all vote on in elections.
Notably, sh*t speech is often almost completely devoid of style, substance, wit, or even basic legibility. Mike Hosking’s blithe strawmen frequently contain so little substance that they barely qualify as brain-farts.
I actually find Mike pretty entertaining. But this guy doesn’t, so out with the pitchforks!
Leighton Smith is a frequent climate change denier whose only saving grace is writing so inane it’s indistinguishable from the output of an AI trained to generate meaningless text.
Just in case you missed the fact that climate change denial is verboten. M’kay? Also, Leighton Smith smells like farts.
But to take a step back, I’ve always found that people love to make ad-hominem attacks on writing style. In my experience, it’s a sure sign that the replying writer has no real case.
Oh, and later he actually admits that these people are gifted communicators.
So who’s talking sh*t? As well as the names already checked, and an array of occasional op-ed contributors, it’s Duncan Garner with racist takes on immigrants. It’s Sean Plunket with misogynist references to “feminazis.”
Weird, I remember racism from Jacinda Ardern too. I guess that’s not worth remembering. Garner certainly received plenty of harsh criticism for his words.
I encourage people to click on the Sean Plunket link. I’ve fixed it to point to the actual article. Amusingly, he is pointing out exactly the sort of attitudes this writer is extolling, and how this will probably result in feminist pushing to ban rugby. Yet somehow this perfectly reasonable future prediction is “sh*t speech”?
Or, maybe it’s that feminism is also one of those verboten topics? Certainly the author here seems to think that any criticism or observation of feminism is a sign of hatred of all women. As if women aren’t repelled by feminism these days, for exactly the attitudes Plunket points out.
But do remember to add it to that list of forbidden topics.
Those are just the ones that come immediately to my mind, but there are plenty more, and not all of them are on the right of politics. I’d also count Chris Trotter and Bomber Bradbury among our stable of sh*t-talkers, as well as other voices on the Left who seem to glory in stoking conflict. If I’m being honest, I should sometimes include myself among those, from back when I had a regular-ish column.
Burn the Witch! Oh wait, I’m a witch too… never mind, burn them anyway!
But the voices on the left don’t tend to have the platform the others do. Not at all coincidentally, many of these personalities overlap with the talk radio and TV broadcasting stable. They are powerful media personalities, with their own shows, who occupy very special safe spaces in New Zealand’s news infrastructure.
Yes, it’s rare for people on the left to have media platforms.
I swear, I didn’t make that up. He literally is claiming that. Even though he goes on to mention any number of commentators that don’t lean right.
This is because these personalities are engineered to generate attention through outrage. Which is ironic,
…because this column is stuffed full of outrage. Positively overflowing with it.
seeing as they’re often accusing othersof being outraged snowflakes or virtue-signallers (and I think it’s telling how quickly and enthusiastically some people adopted the creepy, hateful language of Gamergate and the alt-right)
People who love this behaviour signal-boost. So do people who hate it. The behaviour exists because we enable it – and the media personalities’ bosses love them for the attention that we all give out. The feedback loop looks like this:
Get people to talk sh*t
Sh*t gets engagement
Profit! (Sort of, as we’ll see.)
Go to 1
And legitimately, what I’m doing is (2). I’m engaging with this sh*t.
NZME has just implemented a paywall, where they’ll hide their premium content – presumably the excellent work done by the likes of David Fisher, Keith Ng, Kirsty Johnston, Matt Nippert and many more – behind a $5 a week subscription. When this was first announced, the words “Mike Hosking” started trending on Twitter – spurred mostly by people begging the Herald to install him behind the paywall, so they didn’t have to hear from him any more.
The author things this was a good thing fyi. Because Mike Hosking’s bad.
Let’s skip down a bit.
Making news, instead of reporting it
There’s another feedback loop in the sh*t-speech ecosystem: the news media having their cake and eating it too. Or, rather, making the news and reporting it too. Here’s a working example: Mike Hosking hates bikes. He hates cyclists. He hates cycleways, and he’s not shy about expressing it in many, many radio rants and (loosely transcribed from radio) columns in the Herald. But the Herald has other columnists and writers, like the excellent Simon Wilson, who use the garbage Hosking produces as fuel for far more considered pieces that politely present the hard evidence for why bikes are actually a bloody good thing in cities.
So we have debate that covers the issue. This is a good thing. For the record, I think Hosking’s position on biking is idiotic.
Now, Simon Wilson’s sort of writing is a good thing, and we need more of it. But it’d be better if he didn’t need to use Mike’s sh*t, in the same publication, as the launchpad.
Debates should be one-sided, got it?
(Another, more recent example of this cynical content factory in action: Sean Plunket, speaking on Mediaworks’ Magic Talk, on how “woke feminazis” are going to ban rugby. His words are repeated verbatim, with no counter-speech, as clickbait news on Mediaworks’ Newshub website. This then is counterproductively signal boosted – often by people who oppose or seek to mock this sort of misogynistic, paranoid bullsh*t but just end up smearing it around. When I saw it, it was because some leftie had angrily retweeted it.)
Yes, one side says stuff, which gets distributed. Then, the other side has their say and that gets distributed. That’s sort of how conversations happen – one side talks, then the other.
But again, this is a really weird example to point to. This guy is literally connecting microaggressions to genocide and thinks it’s outrageous to suggest that feminists (who want to police trivially [non]offensive speech) might want to ban an ultra-manly game which involves actual violence. I just can’t get my head around the cognitive dissonance involved there.
In the Hosking example above, I’ve used cycling as an example, but it if you substitute “cycling” for “climate change” it all gets a bit more fraught. Much of the news media is constantly trying to have it both ways on this, and other important topics; keeping the deniers and cranks onside, but also presenting the science.
And if both sides are presented, thinking people can quickly see who is a denier, who is a crank, who is presenting science, and who is pushing a political agenda that’s not supported by that science. This is what public debate is all about.
The result is not any kind of balance; it’s a net loss for audiences. The NZME ecosystem is particularly awful for this. The could easily create an editorial line on climate change, as Stuff has laudably done, but instead they allow at least two of their headline columnists to deny and cast doubt on this vitally important matter at every opportunity.
So out of the big two media outlets, a grand total of two (2) columnists occasionally write an opposing view.
And this is a Bad Thing. Climate change is important, so we must have only agreement!
Here’s the thing. A lot of people think migrants have purchased all the housing in New Zealand. Not having a house seems important, should we allow people to write “sh*t” supporting immigration?
The biggest of all these problems is that s*it speech is cheap and it sells. As a product, it’s a no-brainer. For the people trained in producing sh*t speech, it comes as naturally as pooing. Why spend money on expensive investigative journalism when you could get 10 times the engagement and attention by just throwing a few fresh turds on Facebook?
But the left (excluding the previously mentioned persona non-grata) are all good people who would never be evil. Or at least, we can overlook their micro-aggressions… most of the time.
How we can get rid of sh*t speech
Many of the views espoused by the sh*t-talkers shouldn’t be on the air. They shouldn’t be in our nationally-syndicated newspaper columns. They are poisoning the well of our discourse, and our society is about ready to die of dysentery. This isn’t a bug; it’s a feature. To cause conflict is what sh*t speech is for. It’s a disgrace.
I’m speechless. This has become so openly fascistic it’s bizarre.
And it’s not even the sh*t-talkers’ fault.
This isn’t so much about media personalities or even their politics as much it is about perverse incentives. Most of the people I’ve mentioned are gifted communicators who could do so much better if they tried, or if the incentives supported them to.
In other words, these people aren’t bad writers. They’re actually very good writers, who are writing what the general public want to read. It’s just that the author here thinks that the topics they write on are bad, because he disagrees with them.
The blame for sh*t speech sits entirely with the people who publish it.
I’ll say it as plainly as I can: if media publishers and editors gave the merest f**k about ethics, we’d wouldn’t have this issue.
A guy who uses an f-bomb in a sentence about people who don’t care about ethics.
Let that sink in.
Then look back and consider that this entire thing has been about censoring people who disagree on climate change, feminism, and immigration. And now he’s trying to complain about ethics!
Look, I agree that media ethics is sorely lacking. But demanding that media outlets print only one view is not the solution, quite the opposite!
But we do, and audiences are dealing with it in the wrong way. Every time some new, horrible reckon arrives, instead of ignoring it, we draw attention to it.
AKA we discuss it in public forum. That’s necessary for a functioning democracy.
We may not always like the result, but traditionally we’ve recognised that respectful disagreement is better than censorship and conflict.
I fear that will not last much longer.
Well, that’s exactly what publishers want us to do. We won’t rein in Mike Hosking et al’s claim to the sh*t-speech throne by furiously tweeting their columns everytime they say something offensively stupid.
This is called maturity. I realised years ago that this was Chris Trotter’s thing – he swings between center and extreme left constantly, to maximise his readership. I’ve ignored him as a result. Because you know, I’m an adult.
Remember the Boobs on Bikes parade? Family First stirred up against them for years. Then they ignored them and they went away so quickly it wasn’t funny. Turns out, FF was their biggest publicity and the attention was counter-productive.
Instead, sh*t speech needs to be deplatformed and ignored. Here’s how that can be done.
As I just said, I’m all for ignoring people who are stirring the pot. But that’s me using my freedom. Deplatforming is trying to restrict the freedom of others, that’s a totally different thing.
1. Instead of angry-tweeting or rage-posting on Reddit about the latest debacle (including, of course, a link to the offending screed), use your energy to complain to the relevant authorities…
Because the BSA is totally going to sanction someone for questioning climate change.
2. More effective still is to express your displeasure to the people who sponsor or advertise on the content in question. This is publishing’s Achilles heel. Sure, complain to the harried marketing coordinators running corporate Twitter accounts if you feel like it, but it’s always best to vote with your wallet. You know how many departing customers it would take to make BNZ’s sponsorship of the Mike Hosking Breakfast profoundly unprofitable? Not bloody many….
This sort of campaign relies on advertisers being adverse publicity-shy. It’s got nothing to do with ethics of any sort.
Which means that it works both ways.
3. Hold publishers and editors accountable. Don’t ever complain to the news personalities who generate the awful opinions you hate so much, because that’s what they’re paid to do. Ignore them. Go straight to the publishers. Complain to the editor. Tweet at the publishers. Make sure you’re letting them know that you know what they’re up to, and that it’s not good enough. Inform them that you’re talking to their sponsors, that you’re calling advertisers.
That way, editors will spend their days being bombarded with people demanding this or that is included or excluded.
For some reason, a lot of people who set themselves up as free speech defenders for foreign fascists…
Not to be confused with domestic fascists, who write columns about how people should not be allowed in the media if they deny climate change!
…hate this sort of behaviour, but sadly for them, this is free speech and freedom of choice in action, and you should wield this powerful weapon as best you can.
Because it’s not free speech, it’s the heckler’s veto. But of course, every anti-free speech campaign always makes use of the very mechanism they oppose.
Oh, and if you absolutely must link to examples of sh*t speech to make a point, don’t reward the sites hosting it with a direct link. Take a screenshot, or use a service like Pastebin instead.
Because we wouldn’t want to give a link to the people we’re trying to run out of town, would we, that wouldn’t be ethical.
And here’s my final suggestion for defeating sh*t speech: pay for news. If you can afford it, sign up for the Herald’s new paywall. Donate to the Guardian. Click the Press Patron button on The Spinoff and Public Address.
Unlike many on the right, I don’t have a particular beef with the Herald. They seem to get criticism from both sides, and I remember they did good reporting back when Helen Clark was revealed to have stolen almost a million dollars off the taxpayer.
But the Guardian? Lol!
But yes, put your money where your mouth is. Because screaming banshees aren’t going to work for very long.
I discovered this article through twitter. Here’s some tweets from the thread:
I thought this was funny. He honestly thinks the HRC is respected!
Dane made a great point about Lizzy Marvelly… but it seems it wasn’t appreciated.
As a result of some disagreements on twitter today, I repeat this offer I have made many times on this blog.
My wife and I have a standing offer to adopt or care for any baby that would otherwise be aborted in New Zealand.
This offer is 100% serious.
Should I be unable to, or my charming personality doesn’t appeal to you, I am also 100% certain that I can find other Christians who can step up. I’ve lived across this country, and I know plenty of people and they know many more people who would be honored to save a life in this way.
Please don’t abort your child. I know that people get pregnant by accident. I know that pregnancy is inconvenient. But please, don’t let the idea of raising a child be the difference between killing that baby and letting him/her live. Others are totally willing to provide a home, and take that great responsibility and cost off your hands, in exchange for saving a life.
Who knew that you could make something like this out of cardboard?
I’m going to do a Wednesday Video thing.
Some of these made me laugh.
I never thought I’d live to see the day that my own government decided it would try to block access to open forum websites.
Today, they have.
But it’s only a DNS block. You can bypass it by using Google’s DNS.
Great, we’re now in the same boat as Iran.
Oh, and look at what is ok. Yes, Hitler is now more acceptable than an acedemic who has spent his entire life warning students about how Hitler came to power.
This is incredibly disappointing – and concerning.
An Auckland doctor has been stood down after a complaint about his posts on the Whaleoil blog.
Jim McVeagh, who works at Westgate Medical Centre, said he was behind the online profile “MacDoctor”.
remain anonymous, complained to the Royal New Zealand College of Urgent Care. He said McVeagh, as MacDoctor, was making comments in a public form that were inappropriate for a medical professional.Another doctor who wanted to
He said McVeagh’s patients should know that he held such views, particularly if they were from the groups concerned. “I think it’s unacceptable as a medical practitioner to be writing these sorts of things, then going to see these patients.”
Westgate Medical Centre said McVeagh had been stood down while an investigation was conducted.
And his views are?
McVeagh had made comments on Whaleoil including suggesting homosexual people had usually been abused and that transgenderism was driven by a political agenda. He joked about Norway giving refugee status to cannibals.
“The … posts are general observations from my practice and reflect my experience. I treat my gay and transsexual patients with empathy and respect but I hold no love for people who use them to drive their own agendas…My opinions are mine and do not represent my place of work in any way, of course.”
I’ve met Jim, he’s a great guy, very sensible and a doctor of many decades of experience. His blog was always a worth-while read.
But only people with the right opinions, even opinions formed through years of observation, can be allowed in NZ society it seems.
This is something else.
I am sad that this happened but I am equally angry that little had been done to address the issues leading up to this event.
What are they expected to do?
As Muslims we have been told our anger is dangerous, our anger is unacceptable.
Depends what the anger is about. People who walk around angry all the time do tend to get isolated.
Time and again we are told that we have no right to express our emotions.
I have literally never heard anyone say this. In fact, quite the opposite.
At the vigil in Auckland on Saturday I expressed my anger and I said that I will not apologise for it. How dare anyone ask me to apologise; to cower; to limit my expression of emotions.
Ok, on Saturday you were angry about your fellow Muslims being killed. But tell me, have you ever expressed anger at people being killed by Muslims? Or is that what you’ve been told to shut up about? Because I’m told that those people who use Islam to hate are not really Muslims.
The thing is, Muslims seem to consider themselves the victims no matter what happens. Anyone who criticises them is quickly shouted down as “Islamophobic”. And you do your share in this column.
For so long we have been told to be quiet, to be invisible, to know our place and apologise for our very existence.
I’ve never heard anyone say that either. If you have something to say, speak up. If you’re willing to condemn extremists who use religion as a cover for violence, you’re welcome here and you don’t need to apologise for anything.
To be grateful that we were allowed to be a part of a utopian paradise.
You should be grateful to be here, regardless of who you are. I know I am.
Here’s the thing though. Westminster governments have created peaceful places. But Islam doesn’t use the Westminster system, and it’s nations are not known as peaceful. Maybe that’s an accident, maybe it’s because there’s something inherent in the respective cultures which have resulted in different outcomes. But there is a difference, and you’ve moved here, to a peaceful Westminster-governed country. So yes, in that sense you should be grateful. I’d be disappointed if you weren’t.
But if there’s one thing that comes through in this article, it’s that you’re not grateful. At all.
But let’s not fool ourselves. We have never really been a part of New Zealand. We have merely been allowed to exist—never embraced, never included, never accepted. Muslims have been in New Zealand since the 1800s but we are still treated as outsiders.
If you are Muslim you are a minority here. Much of the way you live your life is different from what the majority experience. So there’s always going to be some separation. There are places where that isn’t the case, but New Zealand isn’t one of those.
But this is not a supremacist society. We welcome people from all over the world, to come here and live here. We regularly have events where we celebrate different cultures – I attended one that celebrated [redacted] culture a few months back.
Are you treated as outsiders? No, I don’t think so. You are a minority in a country that has a Christian heritage. But you’re not an outsider any more than a Afrikaner who goes to the local church (or not as the case may be). I know one who has a dash-cam in case he crashes, because as soon as people hear his accent, he believes they’ll think he’s an evil racist guy.
But here’s a funny thing. I’ve been here all my life. So have my parents, and their parents and their parents. But I keep being told that I (as a white NZer) am responsible for stealing this land. In fact I found this article on an MP’s twitter feed because that MP tweeted exactly that. Now if my family has been here longer than most NZ cities is spoken of like that, what earthly hope do you have?
After the events of 9/11 our family home in Mt Roskill was vandalised, my mother and I had eggs thrown at us, and people would constantly yell at us from their cars as they drove past. “Go home,” they said. They accused us of being “Osama lovers” and terrorists.
I believe this. It takes only one person to throw an egg, or yell or vandalise. This could literally have been one person. Or it could have been hundreds.
(And of course, no one has ever made up such claims and put them on the internet without proof, knowing they’ll be believed. Yep, that’s never happened.)
Thing is, when I was standing in an abortion protest a few years ago, people yelled at me too. When I spoke on controversial issues on campus, people rang my cousin (same first initial) and threatened him. At 2am.
People can be stupid. It’s part of growing up to accept that people can hurt you emotionally, and you just have to shrug it off and move on. Just make sure you are a good person, and ignore the haters.
Of course things beyond words are a different matter. Vandalism is a crime. Throwing eggs is a crime. I see a lot of people think throwing eggs is ok though. So that’s ironic.
Yet oddly, there’s nothing about what happened when you spoke to police. I’m guessing they were professional and handled it like any other case and you can’t complain. Because I get the impression you like to complain.
Over the years the New Zealand Muslim community, along with Muslims all over the world, became the demonised other. Attacks on women wearing the hijab grew, Muslim women received death threats and hate mail, protest against “Sharia law” abounded, and there was growing sentiment that Muslims weren’t Kiwis, that we weren’t welcome and were threatening to take over New Zealand. We were supposedly going to be the reason New Zealand would no longer be a utopia.
Protests against Sharia law are just that – protests against the possibility to introduce Sharia law. I’ve personally not heard of any in NZ, but that’s not to say none have happened, just that I don’t have evil friends (note to self – get evil friends). All Muslims need to say is “no, we have no intention to push for law changes, and we never will.” End of issue. But the reason why these protests occur is that Muslim leaders keep being quoted saying they want it to happen.
As for “growing sentiment” that “Muslims weren’t Kiwis” etc, I know for a fact there are people who think this way. But is that sentiment growing? I see no evidence in your article, or outside it, to back up that claim.
If the last few days have proven anything, it’s that those people are a small minority. The overwhelming response has been one of love and acceptance towards the Muslim community.
Little was done to change this narrative. Instead we followed our “friends” the USA, UK and Australia and changed our legislation and policies. Muslims swiftly came under surveillance and were branded a threat. Family and friends were targeted, interrogated and coaxed to become informants. Muslims were aggressively pursued and were asked if we hated New Zealand, accused of harbouring ill intent and planning an attack on our soil.
And at no point have I seen any rejection of that ideology in this article. Nor an acknowledgment that such surveillance has been justified by extremists being exposed in various mosques.
Interesting thought: there are churches in my denomination that broadcast their services on the internet. Maybe if you did that, people could see for themselves that there’s nothing going on. Frankly, if people came to listen to sermons in my church, for any reason, we’d be really happy.
Naturally, our community shrunk back in fear and confusion.
Yes, this article is clear evidence of the way that Muslims shrink back in fear and confusion.
Oh wait, no. They always go on the aggressive attack. Labeling any criticism even remotely related as “Islamophobia”, refusing to answer reasonable questions, complaining loudly at the slightest slight, and writing articles about how hard done by they are.
Here’s the thing. I know someone who witnessed the anti danish cartoons protest in Auckland. I know what the press omitted from the news reports. Don’t pull that “fear and confusion” bullshit with me.
At no point did I hear anyone acknowledge that Muslims, in fact, were the victims of extremist ideology.
That’s what happens when your response it to demand apologies, instead of issuing statements distancing yourself. People notice omissions like that. We’re not stupid.
Women in particular became targets of religious hatred due to our visible signs of faith. We also bore the brunt of patriarchy as our community, whitewashed to follow entrenched views on gender inequality, comfortably relegated women to the side.
Here’s where you really begin to treat us like fools.
We all know full well that Islam’s treatment of women has nothing, zero, zilch, nada, to do with how you’re treated by the outside world.
The patriarchy hurts everyone but people of colour the most. The decision makers and leaders everywhere we looked—within and outside our community—were men who never acknowledged or even tried to understand our concerns. Women were only allowed tightly controlled advancement.
Translation: I want the feminists to like me too.
Ironically, Islam has countless fierce female leaders and Khadija (RA) was one of those women—the wife of the Prophet Mohammed (SAW) she was a successful female business owner who was 20 years older than the Prophet and was key in spreading the word of Islam.
That’s not really relevant though, is it?
Our mosques quickly became targets, assumed to be hotbeds of illegal and extremist thought and behaviour.
It’s fair to say that’s only an assumption insofar as it’s proven true. Mosques all over the world have been revealed to have been preaching hatred and intolerance.
And the response is, too often, “how dare you”.
We saw a global rise of white supremacy and open hostility towards Muslims.
Yes, and you shrunk back in fear and confusion. We got that. [yawn]
There is no doubt that a normalised fear and suspicion of Muslims in New Zealand exists.
There’s no doubt you want your readers to think that.
Only the most gullible fool would say that’s the case today. Yet your article is only dated yesterday, in an American publication.
So why are we so surprised that this attack happened and that mosques were targeted?
Have a look outside the Christchurch gardens, at all the flowers. Or would you rather just write articles about how everyone hates you?
The Khadija Leadership Network held a conference last year in October because we saw these signs. The things that had occurred overseas were occurring here too.
Translation: you tried to whip up division.
The frustration during that conference was palpable. We knew this day was coming and we were frantically asking people to listen. We were dismissed and told very firmly that Muslims shouldn’t be talking about these things.
Who dismissed it? Who told you that “Muslims shouldn’t be talking about these things”?
Seriously, listen to that guy in future. because maybe if you did, you wouldn’t be writing damaging articles like this.
These things do not happen in New Zealand and our sort should not rock the boat. And how dare women not only involve themselves but actually lead in these spaces? So instead we just braced ourselves and furiously prayed that an attack on Muslims would not happen here.
We literally have our 3rd PM in power now, and our second female chief justice. Maybe this “they told us women to shut up” would be believable elsewhere, but get real. New Zealand isn’t like that.
Or maybe you’re talking about Muslim men. In which case, why aren’t you telling them that, instead of airing your dirty laundry in public?
But it did. The physical manifestation of that hate came for us. It came for us in such a big way that the entire world is horrified.
Including me. But I’m also wary of people using the event to push an agenda. Which you most clearly are.
And even though this unimaginable, heinous thing happened to us we still carry on in our ways. There are so many voices crowding the discourse, throwing opinions around and puzzling on solutions but no one bothers to look around and notice that a segment of society in missing. A key segment. The ones directly impacted by the horror. We are once again marginalised and made invisible even when we are so visible. Once again we are talked about when we should be the ones being listened to.
Again, this might be believable to the readers of VICE, who aren’t seeing what’s happening here. But the rest of this country are seeing it, and seeing your response to it.
It’s time for new voices at the table. It is time for women to be leading conversations. It is time to listen to the voices that make you uncomfortable. Voices that express anger. Voices that call for the country to engage in difficult dialogue. Voices that will no longer accept the status quo.
You’re actually arguing against that. You’re trying to shut up any voices that make you uncomfortable, voices that don’t like the status quo where immigrants can come here, regardless of their values.
It is time for New Zealand to acknowledge Islamophobia is rife in New Zealand and that our current discourse on racism and it’s watered-down corporate cousin, ‘diversity and inclusion’, falls woefully short.
Kneel before me slaves!
Muslim women need to lead conversations and actions across the country, and even more so when it comes to our own community.
Right, so we’re all bad and hate you, and you should be in charge. Got it.
Look, I have sympathy with what happened. You know all those flowers? Mine was literally the 5th laid. Literally. I have the photo to prove it.
But if you wonder why so many people are so suspicious of Islam, just read your own column again. Can you really justify this sort of anger and hatred when NZ has been so horrified by what happened to you? Can you really justify blaming western society for how women are treated in Islam? Can you really justify talking about “fierce female leaders” in ancient Islam, but really not going out of your way to reject any of the long list of Islamic Terrorist groups? And can you really justify calling “‘diversity and inclusion’” racism’s “watered-down corporate cousin?
Because here’s the thing.
Right now you can get away with this. Everyone is sympathetic and the sadness and guilt that comes from seeing a visitor hurt is overwhelming.
But if you keep it up, people are going to notice.
And they’re going to realise that you just spat in their crying face.
Update: the column is really a kafkaesque piece of work, in that any criticism of it “proves the point”. Which really goes to show what a bully she is.