Six years ago, Sydney's southern suburbs were the location of a string of gang-rapes in which teenage girls were threatened at gunpoint and then beaten and degraded by assailants from Lebanese Muslim backgrounds. The young women were called "sluts" and "Aussie pigs" and subjected to dehumanising torture. When the perpetrators were sent to trial, most showed no remorse, their families intimidated the victim witnesses, some of who were spat upon and abused in the courtroom.
Leading Muslims were critical of the behaviour of the accused and correctly pointed out that the great bulk of their community were law abiding and should not be smeared by their association with rapists. Keysar Trad, then vice-president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, said it was "rather unfair" that the rapists' ethnicity had been reported "because these boys themselves have completely disaffiliated themselves from their culture or their religion".
This week Australia's most senior Muslim cleric Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali endorsed the concept of blaming the victim in a sermon suggesting that immodestly dressed women are the cause of violent attacks such as the infamous Sydney gang rapes - MUSLIM LEADER BLAMES WOMEN FOR SEX ATTACKS. Strangely, his spokesperson Trad is one of his very few supporters.
Hilali's sermon brought condemnation from many sectors of society including the Muslim community. The Mufti apologised in his own feeble way explaining it all away as a case of being taken out of context. He was misunderstood. The same Hilali has been "misunderstood" in the past; he supports Hizbullah and Hamas, is an apologist for 9/11 and is an anti Semite. Understanably, he has a proclivity for being offensive to those with whose views he disagrees.
On the same low level in the human chain is British Muslim Cleric Arshad Misbahi of the Manchester Central Mosque who thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified IT'S OK TO KILL GAYS - BRITISH IMAM.
Local gay rights activist Peter Tatchell counters the Imam by saying, "It is disturbing that some British imams are endorsing the execution of gay and lesbian Muslims.
"Imam Arshad Misbahi's homophobic attitudes give comfort and succor to queer-bashers. They encourage conflict and disharmony between Manchester's large gay and Muslim communities."
Both Hilali and Misbahi enjoy turning the victims of disturbing crimes into the aggressors; dangers to their ordered view of society. This inversion of victim/perpetrator is both disturbing and unacceptable in our society and they are both being told in no uncertain terms that this is the case.
In much the same way, author Antony Loewenstein whose anti Zionist rant was recently published by Melbourne University Press under the title "My Israel Question", has sought to explain that the victim of a anti-Semitic hate assault was bashed because of "Israeli actions in Israel and Palestine and more recently Lebanon."
The factually challenged Loewenstein, who has no proof whatsoever as to what, if anything, was going through the brains of the drink addled thugs who beat up on Menachem Vorcheimer as he was walking through the streets of suburban Caulfield with his two young children, gleefully associated the attack on Israeli policy in a recent Geelong Advertiser article.
Loewenstein demonstrated he is not only factually challenged but also extremely confused because he told the newspaper that …"For the Jewish community to say there's a wave of anti-Semitism occurring is nonsense, it's just not true".
On the other hand, he claimed to understand that the cause of this non-existent wave of anti Semitism was Israel’s "illegal occupation". Of course, Loewenstein hasn't the slightest clue as to whether any of the hoodlums who attacked Vorcheimer held any views about Israel because the only comments attributed to them were "go Nazis". To that extent, the likelihood is that this particular attack had nothing to do with "Palestinians", "Lebanese" or "illegal occupation" as Loewenstein claimed while playing his insidious game of “blame the victim” with the Geelong Advertiser.
That's because Loewenstein, the current pin up boy of Australia's ultra right wing Jew hating Australian League of Rights, is himself obsessed with the Jews. In his little world, Jews are all fair game in Australia because they have a connection with other Jews in another part of the world called Israel.
That's the country whose citizens are under attack from madmen like Hassan Nasrallah who indiscriminately fires rockets and missiles at them or from Hamas and other would be mass murderers who send suicide bombers and others to attack Israeli civilians in their homes, on busses and in restaurants.
For that, Loewenstein wants to tell the world that Menachem Vorcheimer was viciously attacked in front of his two children while walking down a Melbourne suburban street on Simchat Torah.
At least the Geelong Advertiser wasn't fooled by Loewenstein's false claims. A photograph accompanying its article "BATTLING THE RISE OF ANTI-SEMITIC TIDE" [no link currently available] showed anti-Semitic graffiti in Melbourne containing the words "Victory of Islam. Death for Jew + ..."
The reality is that just as Hilali and Misbahi make poor attempts to explain misogyny and homophobia, Loewenstein does likewise with the actions of drunken anti Semitic thugs. They are all birds of a feather and their rantings should not be tolerated.
COMING SOON: Anti Zionist lobby tries to shut down debate.