Tonight's Q and A was no different with a couple of pollies on both sides of the spectrum (Doug Cameron and Nick Minchin), activisits, authors and the like. And then there was Daniel Pipes.
Wikipedia describes Pipes as an American writer and political commentator. Most of his commentary is based on the Middle East political affairs, including commentary on Islamism and its dangers to the greater world. Ho Hum, you are probably thinking. Another American commentator sticking his nose into Middle Eastern affairs. So what?
Whilst I watch Q and A I also read the twitter feed of commentary of the show, using the hashtag #qanda. Most times the twitterati are more entertaining and more informative than the panellists on the the show.
Anyway, one of the twitterers provided a link to an article written by Pipes on his website, titled Bushfire Jihad? If you really want to you can read the full article here. By why would you waste your time? I did, and am struggling to appreciate the manner in which a number of loose facts, speculation and suggestion can be strung together to produce an article suggesting that the Black Saturday bushfires were the work of Islamic terrorists.
Apparently you need to consider these facts (according to Pipes):
- Humans cause fires
- Terrorists are known to play with fire
- Other people have written in the past fearing that Islamists might use fire as part of attacks in Australia
- Some non-Muslim groups have used arson as part of terror attacks in the last 40 years
- Bin-Laden's group apparently celebrated the Black Saturday bushfires
- Islamists have caused fires in Israel
After these important facts are articulated (sort of) the next sentence provides the connection. And I quote directly from the article here (so you can understand I am not making this up):
Despite this evidence, Bendle notes, the Victoria Police hyperbolically dismissed the possibility of an Islamist attack even as the blaze was in full force and well before it had any knowledge of the fires' cause.And then:
Were the fires part of a jihad effort, it would fit an established Islamist goal.The rest of the article provides apparent examples of other possible arson related terrorist attacks (I probably should use the word "alleged" here, a couple of times) in other countries around the world, most notably in Israel.
OK, it might be that I am a resident of Kinglake and have experienced these fires first hand, but I am reading this guy's article and just shaking my head. This is a person that seems to enjoy conjuring up conspiracy theories to validate his opinons in regards to the Middle East. And uses a devastating natural disaster here in Australia to do that? And then the ABC invite him onto Q and A??
I am sorry, but What the Fuck??
Daniel Pipes, leave the country now. And never come back.
ABC, what were you thinking?