Tuesday, January 30, 2018

More Readers Write

Byter Nick K sent me an email taking me to task for an item published on and for Australia Day, namely:

Nick's email:
Dear Otto,

It’s Monday morning after a long weekend. So naturally, rather than doing work, I am catching up on my bytes.

Thank you for this excellent service you provide. Interesting, thoughtful, thought-provoking and amusing. Always worth reading.

I am not sure whether or not you recognised it - perhaps if you did, you included it as a commentary on a segment of Australia (rather than a reflection of your own personal views) - but the last item on this Australia Day post is racist, Islamaphobic. The references to eating bacon, drinking alcohol and treating women as equals is unmistakably anti-Islam. It is the same sentiment, expressed more acceptably that appears on the louts’ t-shirts in the cartoon you posted “Makes you proud to be Australian” (namely, LOVE IT OR F**K OFF and F**K OFF WE’RE FULL). Cleverly, the meme invokes treating women as equals - for who could argue with that. Personally, I wonder whether the people who hold these views truly are the type to treat women equally. Perhaps. Perhaps not. In any event, the subtext of that meme is that Muslims do not belong in Australia. That is hurtful, divisive and, in my view, very wrong.

All the best,

Nick’s email raises some interesting points.

My comments:

Firstly, not everything I post necessarily accords with my own views and philosophies. Take, for example, the Thought for the Day and the Quote of the Day – some reflect my own feelings, others may be posted to raise a smile, provoke thought or simply to look at something in a different way.

That said, I was aware when I posted the above item that there was an Islamic aspect to it. I did not, and still do not, consider it racist or Islamaphobic because it is not directed at all followers of Islam but at those who deny others the right to eat bacon, drink alcohol and treat women equally. In other words, it is directed at those who are themselves intolerant and racist.

Does being critical of Donald Trump or of Kim Jong-un make me anti-American or anti-Korean?

What do others think?

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