11 March 2008

An unfortunate choice of words?

In today's Crikey Keysar Trad , who frequently features in the media commenting on behalf of Muslims, asks "Can we please stop talking about Muslims?" He's referring to a federal government proposal to create a seven person Muslim reference group to replace a larger one set up by the previous government.

Well there you have it. Laurie Ferguson has found the solution to the problem, the more than $440 million that the previous government wasted on the "Muslim Community Reference Group" can now be spent on a smaller group made up of seven that includes academics, business and sports people. Problem solved!

This hyped approach tells people that "a lot of Muslim youth in my electorate that are totally irreligious, or its marginal to their existence and they don't spend a lot of time thinking about the Koran."

Firstly, what problem are you trying to resolve? What are the objectives of the group? Surely starting with the group before stating its objectives is like putting the cart before the horse. I won’t buy the old story of "factors contributing to the radicalisation of young Muslims", this issue has already been the subject of research and literature and has been done to death.

The last three words may not be the most constructive way to express disagreement in the current environment.

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