I like Piers Akerman. He was always a useful warrior for me and my friends in the conservative faction of the NSW Liberal Party. Piers was ever ready to go all guns blazing against Ron Phillips and other members of the “Group”. His exposes on membership rorts were the stuff solid big-“C” conservative citizens are made of.
But following September 11, another side to Piers came to the fore. Piers revealed a pathological hatred for Muslims that would make even the most hardened Pittwater Liberal Party pre-selector feel uncomfortable.
His most recent column throws invective at journalists and civil rights campaigners whom Akerman accuses of disrupting the necessary work of the Australian Federal Police.
What essential work is this? Part of his most recent column was devoted to stupid Aussie kids who get caught smuggling drugs in places like Bali. Yet he links this issue to that of “idiot kids who have been led to think there really are 72 virgins waiting, hot to trot, in Paradise, do get conned by lying old mullahs and imams hoping to establish a totalitarian Islamist state.”
And what is the link between the two? Which “publicity-seeking, self-proclaimed moralists” and “namby-pamby coalition of hand-wringers” is Akerman referring to?
Akerman describes opponents to the anti-terror laws as seeking to embarrass the AFP. He provides not a single incident of any critic to the proposed laws seeking to embarrass the Feds. Further, he does not address a single provision of the proposed Bill, apart from some vague reference to shoot-to-kill powers (which already exist in state laws anyway).
Perhaps Akerman’s most amusing statement is his re-hashing of this theological fantasy that people who blow themselves up will end up with 72 virgins in heaven.
I want Akerman to show me one source of “militant Islamism” who makes this suggestion. Better still, I want Akerman to show me one verse in the Qur’an which makes mention of 72 virgins for martyrs.
Further, I want Akerman to tell me how he would cope if a control order under the proposed laws were placed on him. What would he tell Uncle Rupert bin Murdoch about why he can’t make it to work for the next fortnight? What excuse would he give David Penberthy for not being able to attend news meetings and write hysterical columns?
It is obvious Piers hasn’t even read the Bill. He isn’t interested in civil liberties and rights of Australians. He is more concerned with continuing his rally-cry about stopping the 72 heavenly virgins from reaching terrorists.
I think I’ll stop here. Had the article been written by Dr Janet Albrechtsen, I may have had enough material to comment for another 500 or so words on. But then again, Dr Albrechtsen tends to write stuff worth commenting on.
As for poor Piers, he just cannot stop fantasising about his 72 virgins.
© Irfan Yusuf 2005