Attila the Pun
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Mixed messages

I have tremendous sympathy for the family of Douglas Wood, and of course for Mr Wood himself. I also would also welcome anything that may help secure his release, short of paying a ransom, either morally or financially.

This is why I am very conflicted regarding the statement by the Islamic Council of New South Wales.

"The Islamic Council of NSW urges you to consider that any harm which might befall Mr Wood will reflect badly on us here in Australia, as well as upon you and all the just causes for which you are pressing," the statement says.

One would like to think that they would release Mr Wood because it is the only just and humane thing to do, not because failing to do so might reflect badly on Australian Muslims. And what is the "just cause" for which these murderous barbarians are pressing for? The withdrawal of Allied troops? A return to dictatorship? Civil War?

"For the sake of maintaining good relations with the Australian people and safeguarding the warm relations between the Australian people and the Muslim community in Australia, we renew our urging and trust that you release Douglas Wood."

It is strange that the consider the muslim community to be different from the "Australian people", though they may argue that this is the Australian people's fault, and not theirs.

And it emphasises that the Australian people "strongly sympathise with the people of Iraq and understand their predicament".

We do sympathise with the Iraqi people, and therefore helped them escape from the nightmare of decades of Baathist terror. We do not, in any way, sympathise with Mr Wood's captors. The suggestion that we do is the highly unpleasant undercurrent throughout this message.

The group argues Mr Wood should be released "as a token of gratitute towards the great Australian people who have demonstrated against the war in their tens of thousands, and still do so today in condemnation of the Western invasion of Iraq, as they call on the Australian government to withdraw its troops from the country".

I would like to think that many of the people who opposed the war, for whatever misguided reason, would have the moral sense to totally reject a token of gratitude from these masked head hackers. It is a terrible thing that I am not confident that many would.

I sincerely hope that Mr Wood is released unharmed, but am troubled by the nature of this message, coming as it does from one of Australia's largest Muslim associations.

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