Thursday, January 25, 2007

CRIKEY: The PM discovers YouTube

It’s been slow news days at the Daily Telegraph with Luke McIlveen had to trawl the portal to come up with stories.

All he found were some offensive videos online since November 2006. And some offensive comments attached to them. As if the comments here aren’t bad enough.

Fairfax websites also jumped onto the bandwagon. Yet no one could explain a simple issue which even a school boy could figure out:

I went to 'Cronulla riots' on YouTube and there's all these videos of Anglos saying 'We are proud of what we did'. So there's already other race hate videos out there. Why are they only targeting one [community]?

You can find some of them here and here.

The PM claimed that the video serves as

... a reminder that there is undoubtedly within a section, a small section, of the Lebanese Muslim community a group of people who are antagonistic to the values and the way of life in this country.

Really? Did he ascertain whether Lebanese Muslims created and/or uploaded the video before making such provocative sectarian remarks? Did he hold information that wasn’t available to either the NSW Police or the NSW Education Minister?

I watched one of the videos before it was taken down. I saw/heard:

• Rap music in the background.
• Images of stereotypical young Lebanese boys with bad haircuts and hotted-up cars.
• Repeated images of the green and red cedar symbol of the Lebanese flag.

And I never knew that Lebanese Muslims had a monopoly on rap music. Either that, or Eminem must have changed both his ethnicity and his religion.

Further, in what sense do images of hotted-up cars and pop music show hostility to Australian values and lifestyle? I used to see the Anglo thugs doing the same in East Ryde in the ‘70’s. They’d shout racist insults at me and whistle and hoot and anything slightly resembling a female. Instead of rap, they had heavy metal.

But that doesn’t stop the PM from turning this into a sectarian issue. Nor does it stop the Tele from running the story again and from running Paul Kent’s hysterical column comparing “fundamental Muslims” to Nazis. Not even John Ilhan’s column (published last week in the Herald-Sun) makes the DT look better.

Here’s more.

An edited version of this first appeared in the Crikey! daily alert for 25 January 2007.

© Irfan Yusuf 2006

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