Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok

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Yellow Peril: Public meatings

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  • Hamish,

    Long time listener, first time caller. White, male, mid-twenties. Probably my opinion that irresponsibly using fireworks is (gasp) fun would be a good pick. Yeah, not ground-breaking, but it's hard when you're so mainstream it hurts (mmm, love that white boy middle-class angst).

    Actually, I wanted to give you kudos for raising the issue of crap journalism. How lazy do you have to be! And whose editor lets an article with "Source: Info for NZ Muslims, on Yahoo Groups" at the end into print?

    Thank god for the internet, where I expect to have my intelligence insulted.

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    This is slightly off topic (at the very least my comment might rescue the comment box from 3/4s of the way down the screen), but isn't Garth George actually quite a senior figure at the Herald?

    If we were to devise some sort of weighting system along the lines of:

    Crazed nut in blog comments = -5 points for your race/religion/group-that-other-people-conveniently-place-you-in-for-argument's-sake.

    Crazed blogger = -10 points for your virtual clan etc.

    Then surely the fact that Garth George is not only deemed worthy of a nationwide platform but also actually paid to squirt his spleen onto newsprint (-100 points at least) pretty much puts paid to us white folks in any ‘Judge a Group by their Spokes People’ contest right from the start...

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    If I say that white people can't dance is that now an opinion held by all white people like myself or is it an already known and agreed upon fact across all races?

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Gang warfare has made it into nice central Auckland suburbs. I, Robyn, a Pakeha lady, am a member of the N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S. 630 Mt Eden gang who is currently at war with the Mt Eden 274. The turf war has escalated from the streets on to public transport. This is serious.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • mic weevil,

    not to mention the anonymity of a yahoo newsgroup. there's nothing to say it wasn't the journalist himself posting those comments.

    "axis of weevil declares jihad against coalition of the silly"

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • David Pattemore,

    If I hadn't read your post I would have been left with the quick impression I got from skimming over the Herald headlines online from my position in exile in the Land of the 'Free' (TM). Although I didn't bother reading the article because I figured it would be hyped up trash, I didn't expect it to be based on the opinion of one blogger!

    I might have to be more careful about reading Herald headlines in the future. However, the reason I still check the website regularly is that it at least has some semblance of balance and journalistic integrity as opposed to the ultra-partisan media over here.

    Princeton, New Jersey • Since Nov 2006 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, a middle-class young white female, I do believe I support the notion that Maori should be compulsory in the first two years of high school (or, frankly, any language) thus proving the slavish PCness of all middle-class white women.

    Or perhaps I'll go with reforming the abortion system to get rid of the rubber-stamp two counselors deal. That should give any anti-abortion Christians the proof they need that the pansy liberal university education system we have turns good women into...__feminists__.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish,

    By the way, you can let Simon Collins know what you think here:

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    This will not be the last of these sort of articles. Anti-muslim propaganda is the new black, fashionable and acceptable to mainstream politics.

    I heard a guy on National Radio on Sunday morning being asked if "multiculturalism" was a natural state for humanity. He said "no". No qualifications, no justification just outright "no". I presume he was an intellectual of sorts as it was Chris Laidlaw doing the asking. I stopped listening (Laidlaw has the affect anyhow).

    Now any historian worth their salt would point out that multiculturalism is the normal state of affairs for human civilisations. Think of the Romans, Greeks (Alexander for example), Ottoman, British and American empires. All built on huge diversity and tolerence of other cultures and beliefs. Strength, as any farmer worth their salt will tell you, comes from diversity.

    Mono-culturalism is the exception, usually brought in to justify a big changeover in power. Think the Crusades, Inqusition, and various smaller attempts at "ethnic cleansing". These movements are unnatural, cause great disruption and, in the general scheme of things, are quite short lived.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    I'd like to go down in history for being the first to suggest that Lockwood Smith is at the vanguard of the zombie army quietly eating their way through New Zealand's democratic institutions. That fixed smile, the undead hairpiece, the unwillingness to die .... I don't know about you, but as a Rodney voter I'm keeping close to hand a supply of shovels, chainsaws, lawnmowers, and other proven zombie deterrents. I think we can all get behind the call for New Zealand's Bill of Rights to be amended to include the right to bear landscaping equipment against zombies.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I suppose cherry picking to create drama is what passes for news in the modern world. Sad, really. Particularly since it was obvious even from within that story that the guy talking was a nobody.

    Mind you, it's been interesting being at the centre of "mayhem and chaos" in sunny Devonport. 300 people is a big party for around here, you can normally only fit about 50 or so in a renovated villa.

    But I can honestly say I slept right through all the drama.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    in reply to don, there's also the irony that 'multiculturalism' is policy shorthand for 'assimilation'. the main tenet of multicultural theory for nation-states is "diversity!! (while it lasts...)"

    usually the diversity content is rolled over intergenerationally to accomodate new types of visible minority, most of which blend into the mainstream. the good news? they usually postively flavour the cherry-picking majority, ie we take on new foods, music etc.

    welcome to liberal democracy. what we geeks also call, "the Borg".

    and PS. it's perplexing that staunch moral conservatives find radical Islam so galling. maybe it's just patch protection.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • anjum rahman,

    hi tze ming

    since you mentioned my name... i did reply to the crazed comments of this guy cos i thought it was important to do so. so did at least 10 others within 24 hours, and no-one on the group supported him. i had no idea someone would send it to the herald, though i know not to put anything in writing that i don't want the whole world to know!!!

    interestingly enough, i offered the herald my peice that appeared on public address re this issue, but they chose not to publish it. and they don't appear to have had a headline "muslims in nz outraged at comments by sheikh alhilaly", even though i forwarded to simon (with permission) the comments of others who had responded to eyad.

    how we even start to fight against this kind of stuff, i don't know. all i know is that it feels very suffocating to be subject this kind of reporting. but it's really heartening to read your piece and to read the comments above.


    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    doh. do me a favour and replace that instance of "policy" in my last comment with "theory".

    what the hell do i know about NZL multicultural policy? answer. nothing.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    notwithstanding Zse Ming's starter for ten...

    this once again just proves that herald journalists are lazy and herald editors are into xenophobia in a big way, which i'm sure is just fine for the paper's owners because sensational headlines sell papers. try looking at the Zaoui coverage from day 1...

    on a related topic (sensationalism), did anyone see the SST front page? i read this bullshit article and thought, "so what?"
    so the SST thinks they have performed a social service for these primary school kids? mindnumbingly f-ing stupid. journalism? not even vaguely.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Che - it has to do with respect and tolerance and it goes both ways.

    I recommend hoping off to the next citizenship ceremony in your area. I went to one recently and NZ's policy came out pretty loud and clear.

    I paraphrase, but it went a bit like this:

    "The country and culture of origin will always be important to you. NZ respects and welcomes that. By chosing to become a citizen here you have also a been granted certain rights and responsibilities. There are some core responsibilities that you have chosen to buy into - they are, freedom, tolerance, democracy, equal rights."

    I wonder whether we need a citizen "re-affirmation" ceremony to remind those of us "mainstreamers" who have never had to participate in one of these just what some of our "core values" are and also remind us that immigrants *do* swear to accept these values. A promise many of us don't get to make.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    interesting. sounds like there's an affinity to the citizenship ceremony i underwent in Australia. howard et al rewrote the immigration obligations and responsibilities around 'core values' a few years back. it would be interesting to know how long they've been using that format in NZL.

    maybe there's an assumption that if you're 'born and bred' you automatically adopt an allegiance to the values they're promulgating?

    and in the bigger picture, why is there the implicit assumption by the SST that targetted minorities like muslims are less likely to conform? yay xenophobia

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Che - not sure that it came across as stridently as you seem to suggest or as my short account might indicate. This was also celebration and recognistion of diversity and NZ citizenship, no doubt about it. It was fun and moving.

    There has been discussion about whether to teach citizenship at school. The devil would be in the detail of what the curriculum would contain.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    interestingly enough, i offered the herald my peice that appeared on public address re this issue, but they chose not to publish it. and they don't appear to have had a headline "muslims in nz outraged at comments by sheikh alhilaly", even though i forwarded to simon (with permission) the comments of others who had responded to eyad.

    This seems very shabby on the Herald's part. It would be nice to hear from Simon about it, although I suspect that's unlikely. My sympathies, Anjum. As I said when we corresponded about your essay, I'm not big on organised religion, but I do care about people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    don - yeah, naturally. i think the bun fight over what to include is likely to 'go nuclear'. but then, as i remember social studies at college it kind of was citizenship stuff? they taught us all the key things we 'needed to know' about NZL, but without any concomitent emphasis on 'ethics' or 'morality'.

    tricky one. i mean, how and what do we serve up to our youngsters? i'm sure it's been debated ad nauseum, but, what?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • reece palmer,

    Every year we begin with a unit called 'the Point England way' it covers being a part of our school and covers expectations and rights granted and assumed by the school and its pupils and staff. We cover the TOW of course and present an evenhanded view of its meaning and relevance. The kids learn about parliamentary process, how a bill becomes law and amongst other things cultural diversity. It's not a silver bullet for intolerance but these are primary aged kids after all.

    the terraces • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Tse Ming is right to say that Simon's article does not contain evidence for the claim that there is support for the Mufti's comments within New Zealand's Islamic community.

    However, I am unpersuaded by her implication that the Mufti of New Zealand and Australia is to Islam as Garth George is to the science of climate change.

    It won't surprise anybody to learn that Garth George does actually represent a large number of more literally-minded, Republican-voting Christians. Without wasting space parsing the Mufti's remarks (or his subsequent clarifications of them) it strikes me that people might be forgiven for assuming that the head of Australia's Islamic community made his remarks in exactly that capacity. I think it is good to see people publically distance themselves from his comments.

    Clearly what this problem needs is more gay sex and crystal meth.

    "I know this is obvious and not terribly witty, but it is really objectionable to randomly pick out crazy talk by idiots and present them as valid representations of collective group opinions – and to consistently do this on Muslim issues is unfair"

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Sanderson,

    Extrapolating the support of two people (one unequivocal, the other qualified by suggesting that the mufti used an inappropriate analogy) is worrying enough.

    But I think we should be even more concerned by the wording of the lead sentence:

    A Sydney mufti who compared unveiled women to "uncovered meat" has gained followers in New Zealand...

    "Followers" would suggest not just that one or two people may share a similar view on this issue, but that there is a movement of people in New Zealand prepared to accept the mufti's views on all topics. That seems to be stretching the evidence.

    Toronto • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    Che: they taught you about NZL in Social Studies? All I remember was Aztecs (and the fabulous taste of "Tenochtitlan" in one's mouth) and Israel-Palestine (and the horror of the teacher when I wrote in favour of Palestine). I don't think I learned much about New Zealand in school, and I'd be surprised if I was alone.

    It's a difficult line to walk for a country: too much and it's nationalism and indoctrination, too little and the citizens have no clue where they came from or what traditions their predecessors expected them to uphold. I'm glad to see my kids learning a lot more about all New Zealand history, from Maori, to the many waves of immigration that James Cook set off, to farming and fishing. I have no complaints so far, although they've only been two years in the school system so perhaps the bit where they all learn to write SST editorials and hate welfare-scrounging Johnny Foreigner is coming next year.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    aren't SST editorials outsourced to India or somewhere? it might explain the complete dislocation from NZL realities.

    hmmmm.. might be age and years blurring my memory? but i distinctly remember being taught about women's suffrage, early welfare (i have this crystal-clear image of two elderly maori men holding cheques circa the turn of the century?), Joseph Savage.

    maybe this is all 5th form history talking?

    and i agree about the nationalism question. but if my time studying taught me anything, everything mandated by the state is nationalism, from standardised coins to the official language. the real question is the degree to which you and i are compelled to partake and agree with the p.o.v of contemporary leaders (of whatever ilk).

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

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