Islamophobia revives anti-Semitism

Progressive Jewish Australians, such as academic Ned Curthoys and journalist Antony Loewenstein, both published in Overland, along with Michael Brull, one of Overland’s regular bloggers, have written a statement appealing to Australia’s major political parties to publicly and unequivocally denounce Islamophobia:

As progressive Jewish Australians we are deeply disturbed by the recent outbreak of politically motivated attacks on asylum seeks and Muslims. As Jews we know that most of the criticisms being directed at Islam, that it is a ‘totalitarian’ religion incompatible with Australian civic norms, that its practitioners are obdurate and backward, and that the religion itself is too atavistic to be incorporated within the modern West, are simply anti-Semitic stereotypes now applied to a softer target. For example the argument that Jews are incapable of being truly loyal to the modern state was a perennial argument against full Jewish emancipation in Europe. We call on all major parties to unequivocally denounce Islamophobia and to recognize that rhetorically disenfranchising and othering any section of the Australian community will have appalling long term consequences for Australian democracy.

Ned Curthoys
John Docker
Michael Brull
Eva Cox AO
Sara Dowse
Antony Loewenstein
Peter Slezak
Susan Varga

They are still collecting signatures, so if you’d like to sign, please email Ned Curthoys.

In our current political climate, one in which Muslims are vilified and the likes of Scott Morrison and Cory Bernadi are given airtime to whip up racism, we feel a stand is important. Take a look at the video below to see the kind of racist hatred being projected at Muslims today in the US:

It’s not much of a stretch to imagine a similar scene in Australia.

Jacinda Woodhead

Jacinda Woodhead is a former editor of Overland and current law student.

More by Jacinda Woodhead ›

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