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Damascene moments

by
December 2006–January 2007, no. 287

Us and Them: A journalist’s investigation of media, Muslims and the Middle East by Peter Manning

Random House, $34.95 pb, 313 pp, 009183693X

Damascene moments

by
December 2006–January 2007, no. 287

The timing of Peter Manning’s book, in which he seeks more Australian empathy with Muslims, was exquisite. The mufti of Australia in September urged the opposite, telling his flock that Jews and Christians were ‘the most evil of God’s creation on the face of the earth’. He also had colourful things to say about women being responsible if men turn to crime, or commit rape or adultery. Of course, the media overlooked Taj Din al-Hilaly’s interesting view that the axis of evil is Jewish and Christian. They also ignored his peculiar take on criminology. As usual, sex was what sold, giving the government a useful diversion from its floundering on climate change and the quagmire in Iraq.

Young Muslim men are now serving record sentences for widely publicised gang-rapes in Sydney, but more child molesters, gang rapists, serial killers, wife and child murderers, batterers, threateners and stalkers in Australia are non-Muslims. It wasn’t Muslims who were responsible for the Sutton forest backpacker murders, the Queensland hostel fire, the Port Arthur massacre, the Snowtown barrel bodies, the Peter Falconio shooting, the Norfolk Island killing or the cruise ship drug death. What do these have in common? Obviously, not that Muslims were culpable, but that men did them, somewhere in Australia.

Alison Broinowski reviews 'Us and Them: A journalist’s investigation of media, Muslims and the Middle East' by Peter Manning

Us and Them: A journalist’s investigation of media, Muslims and the Middle East

by Peter Manning

Random House, $34.95 pb, 313 pp, 009183693X

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