http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sout … 5938380292Hawke says fanatics the danger, not religion
RIGHT-WING "nutters" in the US are as dangerous as Islamic terrorists, former Prime Minister Bob Hawke said yesterday.
Mr Hawke was in Adelaide yesterday welcoming the new head of the University of South Australia's International Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding, Dr Salman Sayyid.
Mr Hawke said religion was not a problem but fanatics of all religious persuasions were, and said he hoped the centre, which he has helped found, would be a world-leading institution for creating understanding and banishing ignorance.
"One of the greatest dangers to peace and stability in the world is this question of misrepresentation, misunderstanding, between the Muslim and non-Muslim world," he said.
"The difficulties of Muslim fanaticism are well established ... but never let us forget the equally dangerous fanaticism of extreme right-wing nutters in the US who inspired and sustained the President's unjust war in Iraq which killed and displaced hundred of thousands of people. Those fanatics are also dangerous. Our problem in the world are fanatics, people who misrepresent the great truths that underpin these great monotheistic religions."
Multicultural Affairs Minister Grace Portolesi said the "Muslim question" needed to be rationally discussed in the community. She said that, to date, too much debate was prompted by reaction to "crazy ideas" such as banning the burqa. "I am certain that this is not the number one issue facing Muslim women in Australia," she said.
"We will do everything we can to educate and inform the community in which we live, because this is the best way to limit fear, exclusion and behaviour that marginalises others."
Dr Sayyid, a UK academic and author, said people needed to learn a new, more adequate language in which to discuss Muslim issues.
"One of the key assumptions behind the centre ... is to accept that for better or worse more and more people around the world are addressing themselves and being addressed by others as Muslim," he said, describing it as a "wave of historical proportions". "I'd like to suggest forgive me if it sounds stereotypical that perhaps when confronted with a wave like that ... the best thing is to try to learn to surf."
Last edited by Dilbert_X (2010-10-13 23:24:50)