If you didn’t watch Q&A on Monday night you probably heard about it. Darling of the Melbourne urban left Yassmin ‘dissin my faith’ Abdel-Magied went head-to-head with Tasmania’s angriest canteen lady Jacqui Lambie in a debate over sharia law which resembled less of a reasoned political discussion and more of a 2am Hungry Jacks knife fight. The two seemed to agree on a few things before religion was raised, in particular how the Tories seem to be fucking the poor in every available nook, cranny and crevice with very little romance. Unfortunately, however, as if forgetting the age old warning, as soon as sharia was mentioned all niceties went out the window. The argument was a total shit show. Lambie (of course) was on Team Back-In-My-Day while Abdel-Magied donned the colours of Sharia-Is-Totally-Cool United. The whistle blew and the result a 0-0 stalemate.
I don’t really want to get into the ensuing mess (watch the video). I will however mention that Tony Jones did feel the need to lecture Lambie on how her rhetoric could be seen as offensive to members of the Muslim community. No such lecture was given to Abdel-Magied however when she left out some crucial facts about sharia law, the same facts which trigger offence in the millions around Australia who share the concerns Lambie has about Islamic religious law becoming accepted into Australian culture.
Now before I get started on Abdel-Magied (and I certainly will), I’ll say this; there is no way, at least for a very long time that sharia law will have any influence on the laws of Australia. In Michel Houellebecq’s 2015 novel Soumission (Submission) he discusses a dystopian France where the Muslim Brotherhood with support from the Socialist Party *cough* beats the National Front in the 2022 election. The Muslim Brotherhood end all gender equality programs, women leave the workforce, only muslims are allowed to teach. Hilarity ensues, basically. If Lambie hasn’t read that book she’s certainly imagined similar situations.
Lambie has expressed (frequently, not just on Q&A) a common global concern that certain members of the Muslim community will ignore the laws of the land and enforce hudud punishments on people if they see the situation to merit it. This disregard for the western legal system is extremely well publicised, to the point of sensationalism, in the UK and Europe. The 2004 case of a 23 year old woman, Ghofrane Haddaoui, being stoned to death in Marseille for refusing the advances of a teenage boy is one of many examples of archaic hudud punishments being given in a western democracy. These kinds of acts, albeit rarer than Lambie might think in the west, are a huge part of why people have the attitudes they do in relation to sharia law.
This is something Yassmin Abdel-Magied intentionally didn’t acknowledge on Q&A.
Abdel-Magied is smart, that much obvious. She uses language which the SJW left can’t get enough of. She defended sharia as an individual’s personal dialogue with god. Claimed Islam to be a ‘feminist’ religion and blamed any negative interpretation of sharia on a general ‘patriarchy’. You could have thought it was Lena Dunham talking and not someone defending islamic religious law, but no. It’s 2017 and we’re through the looking glass, remember?
What Abdel-Magied didn’t once acknowledge on Q&A or her subsequent sharia infomercial on junkee.com was hudud punishments. Not once. Her view on sharia was completely personal. This wasn’t about addressing common concerns with sharia, this was about HER personal relationship with it. Like another savvy outspoken media operator Milo Yiannopolous, Abdel-Magied employs language ticks and personal preference as tools to avoid crucial holes in her argument. Just because Milo says he ‘sucks a lot of black dick’ doesn’t mean he’s not racist in the same way when Abdel-Magied says Islam is a ‘feminist’ religion doesn’t mean it actually is. Any mention of women being executed for being raped, thieves having their hands cut off or gays being thrown off buildings is blamed on a general ‘patriarchy’ and not hudud punishments under the sharia law she’s so keen to promote.
Yesterday muslim community members demanded an apology from the ABC for ‘racist, Islamophobic and crude’ comments made by Jacqui Lambie on Q&A. Lambie, it’s true, was a picture of Australian, ill informed bigotry. The thing is though Abdel-Magied did absolutely nothing to confront any gripes Lambie and her ilk might have with Islam. She did not provide data (which is in her favour) to say that hudud punishments under sharia law in western countries are actually rarer than the media make out. Instead she pulled faces, rolled her eyes and made it about her. The only people who were convinced of her arguments were people who wanted to agree with her already. If I was a Muslim community leader I’d be complaining about that.
We do however live in a world where content is king. Abdel-Magied and Lambie have been rewarded with countless think pieces and the extra notoriety and exposure this content provides. Unfortunately though that’s all their heated ideological ‘debate’ is going to do. Nobody converted anyone to the other side the other night. Abdel-Magied’s personal relationship with Islam matters to Lambie’s Australia as much as Lambie’s seething grunts matter to anyone who already agreed with Abdel-Magied. It was a masterclass in missing the point.