Category Archives: violence of language

Fresh Insights on the 4/21 Salafi Bombings in Sri Lanka

Samanth Subramanium, in New York Times, 2 July 2020, where the title reads “Two Wealthy Muslim Brothers became suicide Bombers, but Why?”

There’s a video of the exact moment Inshaf Ibrahim decided to abandon his life as a rich young man and turn into a mass murderer. In one sense, he had made up his mind weeks earlier, which was why he was loitering in the Cinnamon Grand hotel’s breakfast buffet on Easter Sunday last year in Colombo, strapped into a knapsack of explosives. Once he arrived, though, he appeared to dither. Later, investigators picked him out of CCTV footage, standing near a vacant table, wearing a baseball cap and a T-shirt, his back to the camera. In the footage, he moves like a perplexed penguin. Two steps forward, half a step back, a turn, another turn: a choreography of hesitation. Perhaps he is reconsidering? But no, the investigators concluded; he is waiting for more people to come in. Finally, a microsecond of stillness, arms heavy by his side; then his hands reach toward the front of his waist, and the film goes dark.

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The Rhodes Statue and Battle Lines in Oxford University: Aristocratic Brits face Black Extremists

Anonymous Oriel College Collective …….The letter (below) is a response from [one part of] Oxford University to black students attending as Rhodes Scholars who demand the university removes the statue of Oxford Benefactor, Cecil Rhodes.

Interestingly, Chris Patten (Lord Patten of Barnes), The Chancellor of Oxford University, was on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 on precisely the same topic. The Daily Telegraph headline yesterday was “Oxford will not rewrite history”.  Lord Patten commented: “Education is not indoctrination. Our history is not  a blank page on which we can write our own version of what it should  have been according to our contemporary views and prejudice.”

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Smashing Statues: Issues of Sense and Sensibility … and Nonsence

Rihaab Mowlana, in Lifelk, 19 June 2020, where the title runs thus “Are We Erasing History?”

The statue of Thomas Jefferson, the founding father who also enslaved more than 600 people, was toppled in Oregon, while the statue of navigator and coloniser Christopher Columbus was ‘spray-painted, set on fire and thrown into a lake’. In England, the Statue of Edward Colston suffered a similar fate, resulting in ‘the boarding up of the Cenotaph in Whitehall and Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square’. In many parts of the world, the predicament will befall many such monuments.

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A Chilling and Terrifying Word-Picture of USA Today

David Kilcullen, in The Inquirer, 30 May 2020 and the Australian, 4 June 2020, with this title Home of the hateful, fearful, heavily armed” …..

Coronavirus is threatening to ignite a tinderbox of grievances in the US. The growing parallels with Iraq, Lebanon and Somalia are real and disturbing.

The rise of militias and armed protesters across the US is sometimes seen as a fringe right-wing issue, but it is much broader. Armed groups have formed across the political spectrum, worsening divisions the coronavirus has exposed in American society.

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Imagining Minneapolis Elsewhere

Karen Attiah in  Washington Post, 30 May 2020, where the title runs “How Western media would cover Minneapolis if it happened in another country”

If we talked about what is happening in Minneapolis the same way we talk about events in a foreign country, here’s how the Western media would cover it. The quotes and those “quoted” in the piece below are fictional.

In recent years, the international community has sounded the alarm on the deteriorating political and human rights situation in the United States under the regime of Donald Trump. Now, as the country marks 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the former British colony finds itself in a downward spiral of ethnic violence. The fatigue and paralysis of the international community are evident in its silence, America experts say.

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LH Mettananda assessed by DB Dhanapala in 1962

DB Dhanapala on LH Mettananda in his book Among those Present, 1962

OF COURSE, L.H. Mettananda is a fanatic. Anybody who dares to talk of Buddhist’s rights in a Buddhist country is bound to be called a fanatic bent on disturbing the peace and rousing up religious feelings.

Mettananda seated alongside Banda

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Holy War Unmasked

 Brian Victoria …… Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. John Donne

Introduction: Is religion a force for peace or war? Or to borrow a phrase from the title of Christopher Hitchen’s book, God Is Not Great, does religion really poison everything, including the possibility of living in a peaceful world?

The answer is much like posing the question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. That is to say, for every example cited to prove that religion has supported warfare and violence, other examples can be presented to show ways in which religion has contributed to peace and the avoidance of war, reconciliation between bitter enemies and the general betterment of humanity and the world. When the question is posed in this way, the debate is as endless as it is futile unless the “winner” is the side that amasses the greatest number of examples.

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Anti-Chinese Racism flares up in Australia

ONE: A Note from Fair Dinkum in Melbourne, 17 April 2020

There have been over 178 attacks on Chinese people and anyone of Asian appearance in the last weeks in Australia which began after the Australian government launched a vicious attack on China, for political reasons. Note that the New South Wales govt has been anti- China for quite a while.

If you follow the Australian media, they simply replicate the government’s discourse on China. The government and the media work together.  So, it is right to blame the government.

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WHO trumps and blunts Trump

ONE: Fair Dinkum

Trump has no evidence whatsoever to launch this bizarre attack the WHO.  So, why did he do it?  As a superpower, the US have always been obsessed with having an enemy or an adversary for domestic political reasons, as Dr Tedros suggests in his response (see below).

Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization, ….. Photo by Naohiko Hatta – Pool/Getty Images)

Let’s be clear:  When the Cold War ended after the break-up of the Soviet Union, the US continued to regard Russia as No. 1 enemy. Then it became Iran. After Sept 11, it became Iraq and based on US lies submitted to the UN they initiated an illegal war. When the Soviet Union were in Afghanistan, the US sided with Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. The US side with terrorists whenever they like. Continue reading

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The Agars of De La Salle College hit the Headlines

Michael Roberts

In early February 2020 Wes Agar of the Adelaide Strikers and the South Australian Sheffield Shield side was named the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year at the Annual Australian Cricket Awards. About ten days later, on 21 February 2020, his elder brother Ashton Agar produced a hat-trick in a five-for haul that led to the demolition of the South African side in a T20 match at Johannesburg.

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