Islamphobia is well and truly alive in Australia, because some national leaders are either experiencing that fear or politically milking it for all its worth.
Once we had rightwing Christian-politician Fred Nile proposing to ban the chador because he claimed that Muslim women could be hiding arms and all sorts of weapons under their Middle Eastern gown, you know, stuff like submachine guns, RPG launchers, cruise missiles and the odd aircraft carrier or two.
Now, I don’t know whether this was true, but he was seen trying to convince a couple of Catholic nuns to support him on the threat of long flowing black gowns.
Well, as for Pauline Hanson, pinup girl for Australia's extreme rightwing and a favourite of very conservative seniors who still think their queen is named Victoria, to be fair, she only warned white Aussies of the perilous danger of an impending Asian domination of Australia, rather than a Muslims'.
Then we had Sophie Panapoulos and Bronwyn Bishop criticising Muslim girls for wearing headscarves to school as an act of rebellion, without even understanding the significance of why female Muslims have been doing that. Bishop even wanted to ban such wearing of a head cover.
Then, just yesterday, there was Danna Vale, a Member of Parliament who warned white Aussies that unless they start procreating instead of just taking anti-abortion RU-486 pills, merely out-f**king those Muslims would not be patriotic enough. She doesn’t want them to ‘kill’ 5 potential white Aussies through the use of RU-486 and by default turn Australia into an Islamic caliphate.
Excuse my f-word but I feel a strong word would be appropriate in the fact of such revolting racist exploitation of Aussie Islamphobia to win support for her pro-life stand.
Now, we have one of Australia’s icons, Margaret Court, coming out to support Danna Vale. All good sports persons, alive or dead, are heros to sports-mad Australians, hence the iconic label. Court, an apt surname, was a legend in tennis. She won a record 62 Grand Slam titles including 24 singles, 19 women's doubles, 19 mixed doubles, before she retired.
Court lives in Perth and had been the founder of the Perth evangelical church. In supporting Danna Vale, Court said that Muslims were bearing children on a production line. Today, she apologised for those words. She said she meant the Muslims were multiplying. She told Southern Cross radio:
"I probably, in the paper, shouldn't have used the words production line. I meant multiplication because they (Muslims) do have large families. We've been having less and less children and I think they (Muslims), they multiply, they multiply in the nations (sic)."
She added: "I think we can coexist ... as long as the righteous Muslims stand up and say some things. I think some of those righteous ones - those people who want order - should stand ... against some of the things that are happening today, and they don't seem to do that."
Margaret Court is such an legendary icon that even the State Premier of Western Australia made excuses for her. But I disagree with Premier Alan Carpenter, who, while disagreeing with what Court had said, suggested that she didn’t mean to create offence.
It’s utterly inexcusable, more so for an Aussie icon, to make such idiotic insensitive comments – whether the offensive words had been ‘production line’ or ‘multiplication/multiplying’.
Margaret Court might have known how to play tennis. She may well be a sporting icon. She may call herself an evangelical Christian. But does she know that Nazi eugenicists have been the ones to remark on the procreation rate of a race or religious group?