In recent years, I have come across several individuals who fancy themselves as ISIS Hunters (so-called on account of their choice of apparel). None have struck me as the type who have actually seen combat, let alone combat in Syria or Iraq.
In my estimation, what the ISIS Hunter trend actually represents is an expression of anti-Islamic sentiment: a hatred of Islam in its entirety, not simply the fundamentalist aspect of the religion’s ideology. I make this argument because when I engage with Islamophobes (as far as I can recall) none make any kind of distinction between moderate Muslims and their extremist counterparts. However, I am digressing. Time to get back on track.
I fully understand why someone would want to hunt down ISIS operatives. After all, they are murderous, rapacious, homicidal lunatics that must be stopped.
Yet, when the former individuals present themselves as engaged in physically combating ISIS, they demonstrate the most grievous degree of disrespect towards those combatants in the Middle East who, as I write this, are locking horns with ISIS. The brave warriors of the Peshmerga (and the like) deserve more than to have their life and death struggle co-opted by individuals far-removed from the conflict, for their own political agenda no less.
Before signing off, I would just like to express my admiration for the brave fighters in Rojava (Christian and Muslim alike), who are actually fighting to secure their future, and that of their children.
We are fast approaching the 20th anniversary of the Port Arthur killings in Tasmania. Considering the current wave of Islamophobic hysteria sweeping the nation of Australia, a brief appraisal of the Port Arthur Massacre is needed to provide some perspective.
Martin John Bryant (pictured), born and raised in Tasmania, executed 35 people and injured a further 23. His weapons of choice were an SLR and an AR-15. The Lindt café siege pales in comparison, in terms of the human cost.
Currently, this is the third-largest mass-shooting by a lone gunman in history.
Guess what? Bryant wasn’t Muslim.
The United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia, along with their supporters whilst happy to foment social discord around the topic of Islamic extremism, are quick to forget that Australia’s worst terrorist attack- and that is exactly what it was- was perpetrated by a ‘true blue Aussie’.
So let me ask you, are you still scared of Muslims?
Reports are flooding in that 30 year-old Syrian journalist Ruqia Hassan, who wrote under the pen name of Nissan Ibrahim, was executed by IS in September 2015.
After the city of Raqqa was captured by IS forces in 2013 she refused to leave. Instead, Hassan chose to document life in the occupied region. She was outspoken, and critical of the extremist regime, something that many Syrians are terrified to even contemplate. Via social media she made her views on IS known the world over. Hassan had little time for the strict social rules enforced by them. Unfortunately, her dissident activity brought her to the attention of the extremist organisation.
IS suspected Hassan of communicating with the Free Syrian Army. This led to her incarceration, and eventual execution on a charge of ‘espionage’.
May this brave human being rest in peace, and forever be remembered as a true hero.
Sources: the Independent; the Guardian; the Daily Mail.
“Anyone who thinks women ought to endure the hell of war; wield assault rifles and stifle in disease and famine could only be a sheltered pleb. Women can be precious or equal, but not both.”
– Blair Cottrell, 2015
I find it appalling that Mr. Cottrell thinks it is appropriate to spout this kind of total nonsense from behind a computer screen and keyboard, whilst Kurdish women are fighting and dying in a war against IS extremists.
These women put themselves at great personal risk. Can you imagine the horrors these women would be subjected to if taken prisoner by IS?
What Mr. Cottrell has done, with his obnoxious statement, is denigrate the heroic effort made by these brave Kurdish women.
It seems to me, that Mr. Cottrell’s comments reveal his own personal fear of strong females. The fact that a woman is able to take the fight to radical Islam emasculates him. As does the fact that they are doing more to combat Islamic extremists than he can ever hope to do. That is, unless he were to maybe buy a one-way ticket to say Iraq or Syria. There’s an idea Blair: join a Peshmerga unit. Maybe then you could boast of a contribution to humanity that is possibly comparable to the brave young Kurdish women of the YPJ.
Just a thought…
I have held off making a blog/statement about the horrific attacks in Paris. It is generally better to take time to evaluate a situation. Jumping to conclusions, as we so often see, leads down the wrong path.
After much contemplation, I feel compelled to break my silence. In particular, the social media trend of melding one’s profile picture with the French tricolour has me twisted. Annoyed. Angered even. Why does the atrocity in Paris warrant the world’s sympathy more so than the countless other horrors and injustices being perpetrated throughout the world at this very moment?
I speak of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land; the mutilation of female genitalia by Christians, Jews and Muslims in central and southern Africa; the bombing of innocent civilians by Russian and American air-strikes in Syria; the two women a week who die as a result of domestic violence here in Australia; the list goes on and on.
We, as a species, cannot afford to be indifferent to any atrocity.