Segregation of the senses

Occasionally, we are smacked in the face with the consequences of our society gone stark, raving bonkers.

Take for example, the media furore surrounding a recent presentation held at the University of Melbourne.

It was titled Islamic Rulings on Jihad in Syria – Why great scholars’ silence and occurred on 13 April, 2013. This was just two days before the Director General of ASIO, David Irvine, confirmed that hundreds of Australian Muslims were fighting in Syria, many with al Qaeda linked Islamist groups.

His warning was that they would return to Australia radicalised, trained and a dangerous security threat.

The national masthead, The Australian, was all hot under the collar about this event, as were other outlets. In response, the Vice Chancellor, Glyn Davis fired back in defence of this religious presentation.

But although this event promoting jihad was widely covered in the media, not once did its content ever become the focus of question or concern.

Instead, the point of contention was the seating arrangements in the Copeland Theatre, where this little talk was held. Apparently, the most upsetting thing about it was that men and women were seated separately.

Have we collectively lost our minds? Are devoid of our senses?

Yes, I grant there should be a hullabaloo about whether the University of Melbourne should allow sex segregation at events held in its lecture theatres.

But isn’t this missing the point? Haven’t we failed to see the forest for the trees?

If sex-segregation was the real problem with this lecture, then it also goes to reason that the public presentation of jihadi messages would be kosher so long as there was an opportunity for a bit of hand-holding and canoodling between the would-be warriors and their wives along the way.

But it isn’t the real problem, so who really cares that the men sat at the front while listening to a lecture that promoted jihad and the imposition of Sharia Law.

The real problem is that the University of Melbourne hosted this event in the first place.

A second issue is that the media allowed it to get off scott free for doing so.

These concerns highlight that our society is afraid of Islam.

I’m not talking about the fear from violent attacks linked to its teachings. In fact, Western society seems quite comfortable in a general sense with the danger this poses. Hence, very little is done to prevent large-scale Islamic immigration.

Instead, I’m talking about a fear of examining the religious ideology itself. It is just something we are too scared to do.

So we happily allow a religious group founded by a man that slept with a nine year old to promote itself in our universities, but then cry sexist when it attempts to commit a lesser atrocity against women – by seating them separately.

This fear is based on two factors.

The first is political correctness. Very few people are prepared to be publicly politically incorrect, so there is a general unwillingness to point out the elephant in the room. That is why not many people actually talk about Mohammed’s inclination for young girls or his teachings that result in the murder of homosexuals. They don’t want to be labelled a bigot, or put under investigation for racism, like I have been by the Australian Army.

The second is a loss of values in the West. Our society, collectively, no longer believes in values and has adopted an attitude that pretty much anything goes.

People who believe in anything goes are afraid of debating those who don’t. They start at an obvious disadvantage. That is because they have already conceded that the ‘don’t’ crowd has a valid argument worthy of defence in the anything goes world.

So the easiest thing to do is avoid debate at all. And the easiest way to avoid debate about Islam is to flee from any analysis of it whatsoever.

It is this second point that is the real killer.

That is why the University of Melbourne allowed this lecture to occur. It is also why the media went all frothy over the most minor issue of that presentation, instead of going to town on the fact it was promoting jihad in Syria to Australian Muslims.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of seven children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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