Is Australia a continent of Islamophobes?

FIREBRAND Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley says Australians are among the worst Islamophobes in the world.

The controversial British Muslim, who considers the architect of the Beslan school massacre to be a martyr, believes Australia’s attitudes to Islam are sliding faster than any other country.

“I’m deeply shocked,” she said. “It’s not what it was when I was last here three years ago.”

Hm. Supposing that she isn’t just mau mauing a whole country for fun and profit, why would Australians be more hostile to Islam today than three years ago? What could possibly cause such a poor attitude to take root Down Under?

It can’t be this, from last October:

A Muslim cleric’s claim that women who do not wear the veil are like ‘uncovered meat’ who attract sexual predators sparked outrage around Australia yesterday.

Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the nation’s most senior Muslim cleric, compared immodestly-dressed women who do not wear the Islamic headdress with meat that is left uncovered in the street and is then eaten by cats.

It can’t be Hilali’s apologism for Muslim rapists that accompanied the “uncovered meat” comment. Can’t be.

It can’t be this, from December 2005, either:

In Australia this week amidst anger over an Islamic man’s rape conviction and the bashing of two Aussie life savers, working-class locals erupted in a rampage of anger and brawling in some of the worst racial riots in decades. But there is more to the story than is being repeated in the American mainstream media….

Four days after he set foot in Australia, the rape spree began. And during his sexual assault trial in a New South Wales courtroom, the Pakistani man began to berate one of his tearful 14-year-old victims because she had the temerity to shake her head at his testimony.

But she had every reason to express her disgust. After taking an oath on the Qur’an, the man – known only as MSK – told the court he had committed four attacks on girls as young as 13 because they had no right to say “no.” They were not covering their face or wearing a headscarf, and therefore, the rapist proclaimed: “I’m not doing anything wrong.”

Wherever it’s coming from, its existence gives Ms. Ridley something to do.

Ms Ridley will speak about Islamophobia today at an Easter weekend Muslim conference at Melbourne University.

And she can’t be a reason for increasing Islamophobia.

Politicians later called for the ejection of Ms Ridley, who has discouraged British Muslims from co-operating with anti-terrorism police. She also refers to suicide bombings as “martyrdom operations”.

Her friends certainly can’t be sources of Islamophobia.

The Immigration Department this week refused to issue a visa to radical Muslim academic Dr Bilal Philips on character grounds.

He has been linked to the 1993 World Trade Centre bombings and has described US-led western culture as an enemy of Islam.

Nah, it can’t be any of that. Australia’s new and rising Islamophobia must be emerging ex nihilo. It certainly can’t be explained by anyone’s actions or statements.