Let’s not allow political correctness to get in the way of a real discussion about Islamic terrorism

Down in Australia’s premiere banking district at the heart of Sydney last Monday, Man Haron Monis, a self-styled Islamic cleric took staff and customers of a Lindt cafe in Martin Place hostage and forced them to raise a black flag bearing an Arabic inscription in white that says “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” The message is consistent with Shahada, an Islamic doctrine that is one of the faith’s key pillars. Ben MacQueen of Australia’s Monash University refers to it as “the testimony or core statement of belief in Islam.” The siege ended with three people dead — two hostages and Monis.

Up in Peshawar, Pakistan, 141 people of which 132 were children lost their lives to a “revenge attack” perpetrated by the Pakistani Taliban yesterday. The attack was, according to a Taliban statement, in retaliation for on-going Pakistani military attacks against them. Some witnesses say that the Taliban attackers who carried out this barbaric execution of innocent children shouted “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great!”) as they shot kids often at point-blank range. This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, 17-year-old Malala Yousafzai, was also a victim of a Taliban attack on account of her being a vocal advocate of women’s right to education there.

Islamic jihadOn both occasions, the barbarity on exhibit was perpetrated on the bases of supposedly perverted interpretations of Islamic doctrine and scripture. The argument of course is that the earlier was the result of the “isolated” actions of a mentally unstable “madman” and that the latter involved the actions of foot soldiers grossly misguided by the vindictive tunnel-visioned zealotry of their charismatic leaders. But the common denominator between the two seemingly unrelated tragedies remained confronting and inescapable.

In Australia, the collective response to that elephant in the debating room was manifest in a Twitter hashtag: #illridewithyou (“I’ll ride with you”). Australians have used this hashtag to rally around the Muslim community here by encouraging people to follow the example of Brisbane woman Rachael Jacobs who, in the days following the violent end to the Sydney Martin Place Siege, posted on her Facebook profile an account of how she spotted a Muslim woman who removed her headscarf as she walked towards a train station and then further writes, “I ran after her at the train station. I said ‘put it back on. I’ll walk with u’. She started to cry and hugged me for about a minute – then walked off alone.” Since then, the hashtag campaign has taken off. A Sydney TV editor tweeted;

If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/MartinPl, wear religious attire, & don’t feel safe alone: I’ll ride with you. @ me for schedule.

The underlying assumption in this preemptive initiative is, of course, that Muslims will collectively be seen as a target for a backlash coming from a majority presumably furious over the latest acts of “Islamic terrorism”. Actually it’s two assumptions: (1) that there will be a virulent resurgence of islamophobia in Australian society, and (2) that Muslims will be the victims of such a development.

Suffice to say, it is easy to incite such feelings after the fact. In normal times, Muslims and non-Muslims generally try to stay out of each others’ faces and spaces at best. At worst, they shun one another. The continuum between both extremes describes Australian society business-as-usual. An event such as the Martin Place Siege usually sparks a trendy re-evaluation of this normal dynamic. Otherwise, the status quo is a familiar comfort zone for most Australians.

What is disturbing is that underneath both circumstances — normal business as usual or in the heat of emotional upheaval in the aftermath of the next in-the-name-of-Islam atrocity — lies a bedrock of political correctness. In normal times, people are tightlipped about one anothers’ deeply-ingrained distaste for the others’ beliefs and practices. Christians and members of the broader secular society of Australia are baffled and irked by what many regard to be the dogmatic and controlling — often oppressive — belief system of Muslims, while Muslims tend to be judgmental of the infidel’s sinfully-liberated ways. But thanks to political correctness, that is all simply not discussed. When tragedies such as the Martin Place Siege strike, suddenly the violence is an “isolated” incident that has supposedly “does not reflect the broader Muslim community”.

Media are laughing either way, in the case-in-point presented by the events in recent days; flooding the airwaves with inflammatory images of a black Islamic flag being waved in the midst of the unfolding atrocity then suddenly shifting its focus onto a quaint hashtag in its aftermath that aims to whitewash the Islamic imprint on them. Political correctness is the cultural trump card that smoothens the landscape of discourse in both instances.

What seems to escape the attention of many thought leaders today is the very way this painting of Muslims as “victims” by movements such as #illridewithyou contributes to the foundation of most terrorist movements which target marginalised people of society many of whom feel that they are victims of an indifferent or even hostile mainstream. The recruitment initiatives instigated by the Islamic State in the West, for example reportedly attract “the young unemployed and disaffected” who “desire to make their lives, and perhaps their deaths, count for something.”

A campaign such as that of the “I’ll ride with you” movement could possibly further re-enforce the idea of a “them” and “us” in society and heighten a need by individuals within certain high-risk sectors of that society to satisfy a personal craving for a sense of belonging making them more vulnerable to radicalisation. Indeed, small wonder that most terror recruits consist of young men according to a Psychology Today report

It is very significant that most terrorists are young men, usually adolescents. Adolescence can be a psychologically difficult period, during which a person becomes aware of themselves as a separate individual, with a sense of vulnerability and fragility. As a result, there is a strong need for identity and belonging. This is why adolescents often join gangs, and become followers of fashion or of pop groups. Belonging to a group helps to alleviate their sense of separateness and strengthens their identity.

Political correctness suppresses motivation and courage to enter into the hard conversations. When the hard questions are ignored for the sake of some kind of contrived “peace”, problems fester underneath the seemingly calm surface. Problems like terrorism.

Perhaps we are long overdue for a more realistic and more confronting debate that is way outside our collective comfort zone as a society and certainly beyond anything that could be effected by trendy Twitter hashtags.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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26 Comments on "Let’s not allow political correctness to get in the way of a real discussion about Islamic terrorism"

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Here’s another elephant in the room, 1 gunman in a coffee shop filled with customers and staff, and only 1 guy decided to physically handle the situation? How many abled bodied men were in there? This seems to be a manifistation of society’s pussification.

Sea Bee

Do not be so quick to throw PC under the bus. The idea that there are “no universal values” is at the very heart of this conflict against god tyranny.
In your macho desire to do battle against the barbarians; be careful that you do not replace one form of fanaticism with another.

triple r

or is it #i’ll-ride-with-you-to-make-sure-you-don’t-bomb-anything?

really though, this may just be lingering white guilt seeing as how australia only formally eliminated race-based immigration policies in the mid-seventies.

Hyden Toro56dr
I am hesitant to discuss about religions; especially Organized Religion. Islam was founded by the so-called , Prophet : Mohammad. This so-called Prophet was illiterate; and claimed to have received messages from Archangel Gabriel. At that time, people were worshiping the “Moon God” in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. They are worshiping there a “meteorite stone”, even this time… The Islamic Koran were the passages written and recorded by people, that allegedly came from the Archangel Gabriel, given to Mohammad… Islam was spread by conquest and wars. Mohammad had many wives; including a twelve years old girl. It is a 10th century… Read more »
In the case of “revenge attack” There’s nothing that can justify killing children, I believe it to be so. Unless Pakistani military did the same thing to them, then perhaps there’s an exception to every rule..but still regardless..it just doesn’t justify anything at all. It’s just plain killing. Maybe in their logic, if they kill the branches as well as the roots..then there’d be no family tree to continue on. Perhaps they get a serious hard-on whenever they do it in the name of their god. Christianity isn’t even excused in this part since in known history they pretty much… Read more »

There are 3 types of phobias that we Hungarians are actually embracing: Islamophobia, Communism phobia and Nazism phobia. All the tragedies in our history were committed in the name of those 3. That’s why Suleiman the Magnificent (origina ISIS) can burn and rot in hell with his buddies Hitler and Stalin. We want to live in the world that is free of those 3 ideologies.

Hans Und

In the west, when MSM come up with articles, debaet etc. on “emmigration”, “forigners” etc. it’s usally about the elephant in room. Islam.

Not about pinoys, chinees, brazilians etc.

..I think I could buy into that hashtag (#illridewithyou). My beef with Islam is not with the messenger, but with the message, or that which manufactures terrorists. I have Muslim friends, and if religion does not come into the picture, I never think of them as Muslims. But having said that, I must admit that there is this subconscious that tells me to keep an arm’s lenght distance from them; for some reason, I could not bring myself to count them among my close friends. Maybe, it is their Taqiyya rule, which prompts them to lie through their teeth to… Read more »
Sea Bee

@Add: Seldom has so much been written that reveals so little. Why don’t you do your readers a favor and boil down your material two a couple of pithy assertions? At any rate, thanx for the history lesson.

Hyden Toro07mk
Islam imposes the Sharia Law…a Law which they claim, came from God…Women are just properties of their husbands. You cannot marry without a Dowry…so people who are rich, can have many wives. People who are poor, cannot marry. Since they have no money to buy a wife. Religious Police imposes every Muslim to pray, when it is time to pray. Torture is prevalent in Islamic society. Cutting of heads is still a form of execution…It is an anachronistic belief in our 21st century. Remove the Politics of Oil…Islam will surely be weakened. Technical People are busy working for the replacement… Read more »
Hyden Toro eu45

Those Muslim Suicide Bombers , like those World Trade Center murderers, who killed innocent people; believed that if they kill non believers) Infidels. They are “martyrs” and go directly to Paradise, with 72 Virgins , as rewards.

Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims kill , also each other, like in Iraq…

Hyden Toro eu45

Women cannot be educated in “Taliban-like Muslim” religious ideology. This is the reason the Boko Haram Islamic faction in Nigeria; kidnapped 300 school girls. Until now, the school girls are not yet found…Recently, they attacked a village, and killed old people, who cannot run and flee…


“Counting coup” could be something as simple as touching an enemy with a stick in battle or taking something from him and escaping.

This is not applicable to fundamentalist terrorism, no matter how they put it.

It is not the religion, it is those who twist it for their own gains. That is true of ANY religion. The Qua-ran is no more violent than the Bible or the Tora.Exodus 32:27-29, 2 Chronicles 25:12, 1 Kings 20:28-30, Deuteronomy 3:3-6, 1 Samuel 15:3,8, Hosea 13:16 are but a few passages of the Old Testament which are extremely violent some even promoting genocide as “God’s will”. Christianity was used to justify slavery in the US from its inception to its downfall. Lawmakers cited the Bible as proof that “slaves” were only “3/4 humans” and this gave them the justification… Read more »
Frank N Stein
Unfortunately their is no middle ground here. Political correctness is just a polite way of saying that: In public places, you do not discuss:1) SEX 2)Politics 3)Religion. JUST DO NOT DO IT. This is ingrained in every person I have ever met at an early age.Disregarding this maxim is the surest way to start a fight,incite a murder or lead to a riot or even civil war or WAR of any type. For proof of this see the history books under ‘CRUSADES’. Reading this article it led me to think that the author seems to want to start a fight… Read more »