Thursday, July 04, 2002

It is time to talk to Australians about The Enemy.

A question has been asked: Why do they hate us? They hate us because we are Other. They hate us because we are not them.

Many people are fond of saying “The world changed on September 11.” I can’t say for sure if the world changed, but I know mine did. And if you live in a society that allows you to read this, then your world changed as well. Strangers who mean to do harm to me and mine have made their purpose clear, and their means unmistakeable. They want to kill or enslave me for no other reason than I AM. They want to do the same to you.

Let there be no mistake about this. They are coming, and there is no reason to assume they will stop of their own accord. Indeed, to cease their actions before death or success is to them a self-betrayal of a magnitude that we in secular society may never fully appreciate. The Enemy has changed your life without consent. You must accept that this has happened, and move on to the next step, managing the change. Dissent is not a goal, but a process that leads to an outcome. If you cling to your old life, if you insist that your rights have not been changed, then you will be left behind with the Wobblies, the flat-earthers and the dodo.

A group of religious crackpots has stolen your right to conveniently board an aircraft, or enter a sporting event. They have added more layers of fear and distrust to the world. You are less able to travel freely than you were before. This is not your fault, nor mine, nor the US. If you need bars on your windows, do you blame the guy who installs them? Or the thieving swine that made them necessary?

For those with media access, The Enemy has also stolen a big slice of something else: your audience. If I suggest a rape victim might have thought that outfit through a bit better, should I be surprised at the reaction of her family? If you make common cause with murderers, expect a similar outcome. Millions of previous admirers understand that the flipside of “enemy of my enemy is my friend” is “friend of my enemy is my enemy”. Millions of your supporters are asking how you can say what they are hearing. Many will never return, but you can follow them, and regain your place in their eyes.

Do not deny this simple fact: Australia is a target. Now. For the simple reason that we refuse to live by Shari’a law. If you are considering compromise, these questions will help you think through the consequences of your actions:

Does your wife vote? Work? Drive? Show her face? Her knees?
Are you a professed atheist? Catholic? Hindu? Wiccan? Druid? Presbyterian?
Agnostic? Methodist? Brahmin? Don't know? Don't care?
Are you gay? Bi?
Do you receive interest on your savings?
Are you clean shaven? Bare headed?
Do you like sex without marriage? Are you in a de facto relationship?
Do you send your daughters to school? Play sport?
Have you ever been to the movies? Watched television? Listened to music?
Have you ever danced? Looked at pornography?
Do you drink? Take drugs?

Do you believe in the death penalty? How about mutilation? Stoning?
Would you prefer to be tried by a jury, or by a self-appointed religious
Do you think laws should be passed by an elected legislature, or based on
the judge's interpretation of seventh century religious texts?
Should your leaders be elected by popular vote, or installed by a council
of religious elders?
Is it reasonable to bury gays alive under a collapsed wall?
Are men and women equal before the law?
How do you feel about summary beatings and executions by religious police?
Should religions other than yours be forced to pay additional taxes just
for the privilege of existing?
If your mother is raped, should she go to jail for adultery?

This is what the Enemy wants to bring to Australia. This is what they want
for your mother, sister, daughter, your gay friends, writers, musicians, artists. Every third-world dump you wouldn’t live in, every dictatorship you write your Amnesty letter about, every human rights violation your secret heart knows can’t happen here, will all be yours.

The “root cause” of September is utterly irrelevant, unless your desire is to surrender to The Enemy. It has nothing at all to do with Israel, Palestine, US foreign policy, or
the price of tea in China. They are driven by their interpretation of the
Koran that gives them the right to stamp out our secular democracy, and
replace it with an Islamic theocracy.

They are right-wing religious fundamentalist. There is no appreciable
difference between al Qaeda and abortion clinic bombers They have common
cause with fascists around the world and across time.

There is nothing you can do or say that will appease them. They want you to
live in an Islamic State, or dead. There is nothing in between. To quote
Christopher Hitchens, you can't compromise with people who think the
Taliban are too liberal.

The Enemy has made this a choice between them and us. Between the democracy that makes your dissent possible, and the dictatorship that never will. Between the superpower that guarantees your security, and the fascism that will take it away. Between the way you live now, and Afghanistan one year ago.

And if none of this moves you, then I want you to do one more thing: wait until late evening, and look at your daughter’s sleeping face. Remember what The Enemy has in mind for her. You are responsible for what happens to her, and nobody else. Now choose

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