So many conservative right MPs in the Coalition government definitely do not want to hear that their demonising of Islam and dehumanisation of Muslims is actually helping ISIL/Daesh rather than hurting them. How dare a security and intelligence expert tell two (a whole two! neither of whom personally complained!) Liberal MPs that it would be a good idea to tone down their anti-Muslim rhetoric?
NAOMI WOODLEY: Some Coalition MPs have raised concerns that this is the ASIO boss involving himself unnecessarily in the political debate. Do you see it that way?
ALLAN BEHM: No, not at all. I don’t think terrorism and counter-terrorism is a political debate at all. It’s alright for politicians to talk about the politics of it but ultimately it is a profound social issue which has got law enforcement and intelligence dimensions to it.
And I think what the director-general of ASIO quite properly is doing is recognising that there are social policy factors at play here and he’s seeking to make sure that those who do have an interest in managing the problem of the alienated youth who might want to support ISIS or Da’esh, people who do want to get into that game do so in a way that don’t complicate the matters that the director-general has got to deal with.
So I think it’s perfectly reasonable for him to ring up people and if they’re saying things that may be don’t help well then I think it’s a good thing that he tells them that and maybe suggests to them how they might sort of rephrase or re-comprehend their stuff and equally if people are sort of on the spot and saying things that are really good, I’m sure he’d ring them up and say hey more of that please.
NAOMI WOODLEY: Alan Behm says he’s known other directors general of ASIO to make similar, private, interventions.
Some escalation of Islamophobia links:
30% of Republican primary voters nationally say they support bombing Agrabah. Agrabah is the country from Aladdin. #NotTheOnion
— PublicPolicyPolling (@ppppolls) December 18, 2015
— Federal Politics (@PoliticsFairfax) December 13, 2015
- Ignorant parent shuts down entire school district after complaining about “Muslim indoctrination” in calligraphy assignment
- Another ‘Clock kid’? Family outraged as 12-year-old Sikh boy arrested over alleged bomb threat at Tex. school
Some #auspol miscellany:
— Lenore Taylor (@lenoretaylor) December 12, 2015
— Wayne Swan (@SwannyQLD) December 17, 2015
— AshGhebranious (@AshGhebranious) December 18, 2015
— ABC Fact Check (@ABCFactCheck) December 17, 2015
— Federal Politics (@PoliticsFairfax) December 15, 2015
LIB LOGIC: Make healthcare commercially competitive, so ppl having a heart attack can shop around for the cheapest heart surgeon. #auspol
— ( • )JuliaBulia( • ) (@JuliaEmBee) December 18, 2015
— The Age (@theage) December 18, 2015
- Lenore Taylor sums up the past year in Australian politics for The Guardian.
- Van Badham – Malcolm Turnbull’s willingness to shrink public investment in the arts speaks symbolic volumes of his true agenda for the Australian people
- I just discovered Woeful Auspol Memes and Auspol Karaoke on Twitter.
What’s piqued your media interests lately?
As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis elsewhere, on any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).