It may well have been the greatest speech that Australia never heard.

But I doubt it.

Sydney’s Festival Of Bad Ideas is known for pushing boundaries however it would seem they pushed a little too hard when they announced a speech by Ulthman Badar entitled “Honour Killings Are Morally Justified”. Badar is a spokesman for an Islamic group called Hizb ut-Tahrir.

After the uproar that was no doubt expected the talk by Badar has been cancelled and the festival has scored itself a lot of extra free promotion.

Some of you may be surprised to know that I actually support a slightly different version of the honour killing.

My version goes along these lines.

Any man who dishonors women by endorsing their murder based on a distorted belief should be killed to restore humanity’s honour. Quite simple.

Ulthman Badar - Distorted beliefs?

Ulthman Badar – Distorted beliefs?

However, I actually wondered if the whole shock speech was really a clever ploy by festival organisers to put something on the discussion table at a very appropriate time, and if this is indeed the case I take my invisible hat off to them.

The subject I refer to is of course freedom of speech.

The reason that this is so timely is that any day know we are waiting on George Brandis to put forward his legislation to amend the Racial Discrimination Act.

The changes are to allow greater freedom of speech that would allow the racial vilification of others or promote racism and bigotry.

After all as George Brandis stated we 

“Have the right to be bigots”

That is a right that leaders of the Coalition clearly seek to promote.

Changing the Discrimination Act, which was designed to protect all of us who live in a multicultural society, was of course a promise that Tony Abbott and George Brandis made to columnist Andrew Bolt after he was found guilty of breaching the act.

George Brandis - Speaks of the right to be a bigot

George Brandis – Speaks of the right to be a bigot

Since the intention to amend the act and soften it has been made widely public the government has seen a huge backlash against it by those who don’t support state sponsored racism. The backlash has come from particularly minority groups, human rights organisations, the Labor Party, The Greens, and even many from within the Liberal Party.

The usual suspects from the far right have come out saying that to speak against changes to the Act is an attack on free speech.

The angry mob is of course led by Andrew Bolt and include a swag of right-wing columnists and shock jocks, and a few politicians such as Cory Bernardi who helped promote the Australian tour of white supremacist Geert Wilders last year.

How ironic then that these “defenders of freedom of speech” are the same ones calling for the ban on Badars speech.

Do they only support selective freedoms?

All of a sudden those who were backing the proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act find themselves arguing against their own defence.

Mr Badars speech may well be a load of crap but it has helped prove an important point without a word of it being uttered.

Something that is so hideously offensive and morally repugnant does not deserve the right to the freedoms we take for granted in our country.

I think the same goes for endorsing racism.


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9 thoughts on “Ironic – Honour killings, Andrew Bolt and the Racial Discrimination Act

  1. I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

  2. I also wonder if this speech actually exists or if its a ploy by the festival to prove that there’s no free speech unless you are part of the overrepresented anglo-australian mass. I really think the ‘dangerous idea’ is the removal of 18C. Well done to the festival for highlighting this.

  3. Yes, I was surprised to read that you propose killing any man who dishonours women by supporting their murder for supposed breaches of what they class as honour. I don’t agree with the death penalty in any circumstances, but I do understand the sentiment behind your statement.

  4. Yes, it was more sentiment than any sort of serious intent…

  5. Men used to murder each other in duels of honour and Dubya invaded Iraq to appease daddy’s honour after Saddam threatened to kill him.

    Fair dinkum, Australia has now become so hysterical about words they forget about actions that are maiming, killing and destroying people all over the world.

  6. Did Ulthman Badar really have such a speech prepared on this neferarious topic? Could the topic have in fact been a ‘null hypothesis’ type of subject, in that he was going to present the opposing point of view?

    To be honest…either way, as a Feminist, I would have appreciated hearing his speech, because it’s best that we know what we are dealing with, rather than IT being hidden away, or swept under the carpet. As the old Arabic proverb states: “Better a thousand enemies at your gate, than one inside your home.”

    If these individuals are silenced, they don’t go away, and we cannot hope to educate or enlighten them…

  7. “…should be killed to restore humanities honour.”

  8. Not that it matters but Voltaire probably didn’t say that. I think it was a biographer writing that about him.

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