The Q Society and Marrickville Council

March 20, 2011 by Larry Stillman
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In the past week or so, it has become clear that the organisation which has is behind the petition against the Marrickville Council’s Boycott Divestment and Sanctions declaration is an active right wing, racist organisation.  the QSociety, whose official HQ is a post box office box in the western suburbs of Melbourne. It has strong links into other circles of haters and racists who just don’t like Muslims but other people as well. When the issue of a Muslim prayer group in the heart of the Jewish community in Melbourne, was attached to their cause, it took me only 5 minutes of searching on Google to figure out what these people represent, and that is what makes the Sydney response so scandalous.

The QSociety petition, with over 4,000 signatures, contains the names of many prominent Jews. All names are publicly available on the petition and there may well be others (I looked for those with the title ‘Rabbi’). Michael Danby has also thrown his weight behind the campaign in the media.

I can only hope that Newtown Synagogue, with whom the QSociety met, and the thousands of others who signed the petition, now know that they have had the wool pulled over their eyes and regret this unfortunate hijacking of their names for an organisation that goes well beyond objection to the Marrickville Council.  It is one thing to oppose Marrickville council, but it is another thing to be engaged with an organisation that promotes hatred of all members of another religion.

In Melbourne, the QSociety has been behind a campaign to out a small group of Muslim men from a community house in St Kilda, which along with Caulfield, is the centre of Jewish life in Melbourne. The outcome has fortunately been different, perhaps because the issue is much more local.

It was very quickly realized by a number of people in St Kilda that the QSociety were out to create a wedge between Jews and Muslims to promote their nasty cause, which has also been accompanied by scaremongering leaflets and an online petition, which since the airing of an interview with Vickie Janson on a current affair, has become even more infected with racist comments.

Deborah Stone of the Anti-Defamation Commission made it very clear in Galusaustralis that the Commission was completely opposed to the bigotry being promoted in Melbourne, and other organisations, including the Australian Jewish Democratic Society worked the phones and the email to ensure a strong campaign in support of freedom of religion.

This week, 6 orthodox Melbourne rabbis (Ralph Genende, Ian Goodhardt,James Kennard, Stephen Link, Stephen Boroda, Shamir Kaplan) in an unambigous public letter, have made it clear that they “support the St Kilda Islamic Society” and stand for freedom of religious expression.  James Altman, the National President of the Anti-Defamation Commission has taken much the same line.  But there have been some notable public absences: Michael Danby, the local member, a  proponent of multiculturalism, has said nothing.  To be accurate, they have said nothing about the QSociety, perhaps because things have moved very rapidly, and they may have not known this additional information. But the eminences in Sydney did have the opportunity when the QSociety got the campaign going a number of weeks ago.

The QSociety, as it makes abundantly clear on its website, and online information published by its key members, Geoff Dickson and Vickie Janson, particularly on sites such as Islamicmonitor engages in the worst form of stereotyping and invective against Muslims, much of it based on pseudo-academic and regrettably, a highly intolerant version of Christianity which sees Islam as a completely false religion (where have we heard words like that that before?).  Janson has been a candidate of Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party with its so-called Christian and anti-multicultural platform in the past and has made it clear on A Current Affair that she is thinking of running for office again?). Janson  also has made submissions about the danger of Islamic banking, sharia law, Muslims on campuses,  the connection to terrorism , and all measure of things Muslim to both HREOC and other government departments. Her impressive qualifications for this foundational work  are “undergraduate studies in Biblical Interpretation and World View Analysis”. Amen.

The QSociety is opposed to Halal slaughter and sees a conspiracy in it makes great play of segregated prayer for men and women, and infection caused by ritual washing (so why not kosher meat, or the activity of Cohamim and Levitiim?). The websites of the organisations and people who are its great supporters are also full of imagery that is uncannily reminiscent of that directed at Jews by Nazi propogandists—devils’ horns on Muhammed,  pedophilia, the works. This is stuff that Jews need to keep right away from.  Senator Cory Bernardi has also been making crude statements about Muslims come out of the same script.  Another  person who is engaged in bizarre arguments is Bill Muehlenburg of the Australian Family Association and other conservative causes (accidently eating Halal meat means worship of a false god. So why not kosher baked beans?)

Some years ago, the academic Paul Gardner, who also worked for the Anti-Defamation Commission,  spoke of the anti-Semitic League of Rights, an ancestor of many right-wing organisations in Australia as using “self-serving definitions, idealistic appeals, obfuscation, innuendo, illogic, blaming (or accusing) the victim, distortion and group libel”, and QSociety is using precisely  the same tactic in sending out scary misinformation about ALL Muslims, despite its claims that it only has problems with some extremist Muslims. One of the lines put forward is that in fact, even liberal Muslims are secret extremists (again, all too familiar historically).   It also has problems with the different way of life (so why not haredim in Australia?).

It is one thing to be very angry about Marrickville Council’s politics–they have gone out of their depth– but it is a community disaster for people who signed the petition to continue any association whatsover with such a fringe group.  Likewise, to oppose the Community House on religious grounds is a political and community, not to speak of moral disaster.

 

Not checking out who the QSociety was in Sydney demonstrates a high degree of negligence.  If in fact, there are Jews who are sympathetic to their racism, then that is a matter for equal concern, as this only provides ammunition to people who are using hatred of Muslims-confusing all adherents of a diverse religion with a small group of terrorists–as a political campaign issue.  In the United States, even the Antidefamation League, which does not pussy-foot around when it comes to  extremists of Muslim background or anti-Zionism has realized the absurdity and dangers racist characterizations of Muslims and has thus been engaged in campaigns to defend their religious liberty because they realize that engagement with such a bigoted agenda threatens the rights of all.

Frankly, I am amazed that no attempt has yet been made by eminent people to distance themselves from this very nasty group of people, even if they claim to be friends of Jews and Israel.

Due to the strange way that Senate voting goes, Janson or another of those who work with her could well end up in Parliament-is that what people in the Jewish community want by endorsing their activity?

 

Larry Stillman– is on the Executive of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society and this is his personal opinion .

 

Comments

48 Responses to “The Q Society and Marrickville Council”
  1. malcolm says:

    I note a right wing society is a racist society . A leftwing society is a democratic society ! ! ! What a lot of crap. Join a feftwing group and LEARN how undemocratic they are.

  2. Nicole says:

    The author clearly has not done his homework!
    Q society has nothing to with Hate or Racism!!!
    It is organisation committed to defending Western values and Australian way of life.
    What is hateful about that? Most muslims do not integrate into western society, and that is the ugly truth.

  3. Matty says:

    Wow… I am a muslim, and I always thought the religious extremism was due to a lack of education and over-reliance on old dogmas passed on through the generations. I hopped once our youth were educated we could be more informed, like I thought, the Jewish community.

    But now I realise, your all just the same as the religious extremists. Choosing to follow half truths, and wrong interpretations to feel better about persecuting another person. I understand why too: you want to continue your religious faith and are afraid of losing your followers.

    I am a muslim, in my faith we are taught to respect all people of religion, especially the people of the books (ie. Bible and Torah). I have nothing against a jewish state, to me there isn’t really much of a difference. Both faiths do not allow pork, alchohol or interest, and followers of both religions have bank home loans 😉

    Was it not the muslim world that opened their doors and homes years and centuries ago to your Jewish ancestors who were being persecuted in Europe?

    I don’t understand how hate can make a person happy, I know the world tells us to hate each other, but do we need to be sheep and follow others? Remove the hate, and believe me, a big weight is taken off your shoulders.

    If you truely believe in your product, you have nothing to fear from another tradesman.

    Goodnight my friends

    • Humanearthuniverse says:

      To understand hatred you must look at the history of the middle east with an open mind in detail and you will see how hatred is in response to events and rooted in history

  4. celltech says:

    Larry
    My comment may be a little late, but damn.
    Your naive ideas about Islam are extraordinary. You are a liability. Rudeness can be forgiven, but stupidity can not. I very rarely accuse another of stupidity. But today I break my routine. Your article reveals levels of stupidity…the word “Special” comes to mind.
    Sincerely yours.

  5. Simon says:

    Something else I believe that some people just cannot accept as obvious fact – the existence of a “Jewish state” on what is considered as “Muslim land” is unacceptable to the “fundamentalist Muslim.” If the state of Israel had been created on Australian soil there wouldn’t have been such a big problem. A Google search on references to Jews in the Koran and hadiths will reveal anti-Semitism — “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him” (Sahih Muslim, Sahih al-Bukhari hadiths). Every Person of Jewish descent should be aware that these attitudes derived from scriptures exist in the Muslim world. “Neville Chamberlain” style appeasement doesn’t work with the substantial amount of Muslims who are “fundamentalists.”

  6. Simon says:

    Larry, there is something I believe that well meaning people such as yourself just don’t understand. Have you ever wondered why “moderate” Muslims are mostly silent about violence in the name of Islam? I believe it’s because the “Islamists” feel themselves to be supported by Islamic history and scripture which compels them to force Islamic practices (sharia) onto any community in which they live. The “moderates” have difficulty in refuting the “Islamist” stance. They can be accused of being “apostates”, the penalty for which has historically been death. This is very different from Judaism which does not seek to proselytize as Islam does. Anjem Choudary in Britain is open about his desire for sharia law in Britain. Sharia does discriminate against women. Sharia does not tolerate “unIslamic” practices in Muslim neighborhoods such as drinking, gambling, uncovered flesh, freedom of expression etc. The acceptance of “parallel legal systems” is just the beginning of social division and friction. That is the opposite of “multiculturalism”. The big difference with Anjem Choudary and Siddiq-Conlon in Australia is that they are honest about what Islam stands for – it isn’t “multiculturalism” it is “monoculturalism” and an end to democracy as we know it. Government by immutable laws based on religion is totalitarianism. “Tailor made” for dictators like Ahmadinejad of Iran.

  7. david singer says:

    Larry

    What you appear to be saying is that Marrickville Council got way out of its depth in its ill-conceived, naive and foolish boycott decision. In that we both agree.

    Helping Marrickville’s twin sister Bethlehem economically as you suggest by purchasing olive wood sculptures would certainly be a far better use of Council’s resources.

    Addressing Bethlehem’s treatment of Christians as outlined in the following article might also be a possibility given Marrickville’s goodwill and connection with Bethlehem.
    http://www.hudson-ny.org/501/the-beleaguered-christians-in-bethlehem

    Come to think of it – what about Marrickville placing a boycott on any further contact with Bethlehem until the Palestinian Authority ends the discrimination against Christians in Bethlehem and its surrounding districts?

  8. Of course the sentence ” What may upset you is that I do support purchasing products from the West Bank and believe that such targetted sanctions are justified” should have read ” What may upset you is that I do NOT support purchasing products from the West Bank and believe that such targetted sanctions are justified”

    Second, I have outlined my reasons in the articles I alluded to. Palestinians themselves have expressed support for sanctions, particularly because they draw a distinction between the Occupied Terrorities and Israel.

    On the kashrut issue, I was meaning ‘you’ as in a number of people who have made posts, not ‘you’. Defamatory–no. Misdirected you–yes.

    On the issue of the landswaps and negotiations I will have to write another post. I am pressed for time today, but in general, I regard it as a disingenous position and I can provide reasons why. I think I have written a post about this. I will have to find it. But as well, Abu Mazen’s position has been by and large rejected as weak–as the Paletinine papers reveal. It would not solve anything.

    Now, onto Marrickville. If they wanted to (foolishly) have a better resolution as a sister city to Bethlehem they should have stuck to crafting something about that and because of israeli restrictions, they would boycott products from the West Bank. But it would have been deeply problematic in anycase in the eyes of the Jewish community. . Councils pass resolutions of do symbolic acts all the time. Maybe a purchase of some large olive wood sculpture or object with a political message from Bethlehem would have been better.

  9. david singer says:

    Larry

    Firstly – I have never discussed the issue of Halal or kosher slaughter. Accusing me therefore of selective bigotry is defamatory. I hope you have the decency to apologize.

    Secondly – I think you are saying you only support a boycott of goods from the West Bank (although your post says exactly the opposite) as a means of separating and highlighting West Bank issues from Israel.

    Would this have been your advice to Marrickville Council?

    I thought the idea of a boycott was to economically destroy Israel. Your proposal appears to be a headline grabber with very little economic effect for Israel but great hardship for the West Bank Arab population who rely on their jobs there,

    Israel anyway has agreed to cede sovereignty in 95% of the West Bank with equivalent land swaps for the residue. Isn’t this deemed sufficient enough for you to justify the cessation of any boycott of West Bank products? What about a boycott of West Bank Arab products to show your disapproval of their rejection of Israel’s offer and their refusal to resume direct negotiations with Israel?

  10. David Singer, many of my posts do not go though,and maybe this one will. Perhaps I am posting too many responses. My views on BDS are expressed on ajds.org.au on many posts on face book and elsewhere.

    What may upset you is that I do support purchasing products from the West Bank and believe that such targetted sanctions are justified. . This has been a policy held by some Israeli organisations for many years. I have engaged in more discussions than I dare to think of on Facebook on this issue and these are read by hundreds of people. If I had been happy with the wording of a petiion about Marrickville, I would have signed it.

    I have written a long piece in which I said (way before Marrickville, but it is just as relevant) (the full text is available at http://ajds.org.au/node/307, and about 550 people have read it. In it I wrote “Much as some BDS rhetoric or activity (sometimes tied up in the theatre of modern protest) may make its protagonists feel good and vindicated, strong and blaming language that resonates with historical tropes and images (certainly exploited by anti-Semitic elements) can serve to achieve an opposite effect on an ethnically-conservative community raised in a situation of polarization and a sense of victimhood. Bringing along Israelis and Diaspora Jews in the struggle to liberate both communities from the evils caused by the Occupation is, as far as I am concerned, a key step to resolving one of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Separating issues in Israeli proper from the Occupation in the West Bank is one place to start, because many Israelis would agree that the West Bank is a burden. Making more Israelis aware of the evils caused by the Occupation is a good place to start .

    Here are some conumdrums in resposne to other points–

    You object to Halal meat as a barabaric form of animal slaughter (Cory Bernardi in particular calls it barbaric, a remnant the 7th century or some such). Halal can used stunned animals.

    Due to various technical reasons involving the law of kashrut, the hindquarters of kosher slaughtered meet are not fully kosher, but are sold in supermarkets as ordinary meat. The kosher industry also has its fees and abuses. Kosher meat does not permit the stunning of animals, so I suppose it is more barbaric than halal slaughter.

    Yet you never object to kosher slaugther. Why?

    If there is no bigotry, why are the QSociety and its mates so obsessed about the dangers of hand and feet washing or skin flakes to public health?QSociety has not objected to nappies of being changed even though that offers much more of a public health problem.

    Or are you being selective in your bigotry?

  11. David Singer says:

    Larry

    Since writing my last post – to which you are yet to reply – the Mayor of Marrickville has failed to be elected to State Parliament.

    Your expressed viewpoint about her championing the BDS in Marrickville Council as being “stupid and naive politics” was proved to be 100% accurate.

    Congratulations. Your analysis was spot on.

  12. I am not Herr Stillman. Nor do I ride a horse.

    A couple of my posts have not appeared yet (conspiracy 🙂 ), but I will only take up this for the moment as I hope the others will.

    “only Muslim males accredited by self-appointed “halal authorities” are allowed to work as slaughterer” -er, that sounds like the Kosher meat industry to me. What’s the difference then?

    I’ll be interested to hear about compliance costs which I am sure are aborbed by the massively profitable supermarkets and others. You just don’t like Muslims, that’s all. I don’t see how halal meat amounts to the Islamisation of society. I would be interested in what good ol Aussie meat producers who are dependent on meat exports and sales think of your viewpoint. They are ‘real Australians’ not blowins like most of us.

    What is claimed about fees going to support terrorism etc appears to be a hoax to scare people, see http://www.hoax-slayer.com/halal-certification-cadbury-protest-email.shtml Given that Australian intelligence agencies have a mandate to watch out for transfer of funds to terrorism, it is interesting that such activities have not been noted by them or prosecutions launched. Or are they terrorist sympathisers as well

    Last night, I spent quite some time looking at old government files from about 1938-39 full of protests about allowing in Jews as threats to business, public security, and the Australian way of life. The parallel between what you argue for and the people of that era is stunning..

  13. Confused says:

    Hello! What is you’re agenda here?
    I am truly confused. Isn’t Islam and it’s followers out to persecute Jews and any other religion that stand in their way. Comments were made on 60 minutes from well known Muslims that they are out to take over the world and want to destroy western society and democracy and other religions.
    How you have come to the conclusion about the Q society is truly bizarre and I can’t fathom you’re intentions unless you are misguided. Muslim blow up Jews, where is there ever a situation that Jews just out of hatred blow up Muslims?
    As for driving the thought that the Q society is likened to the Nazis is as bad as Nazis themselves. How can you say your a Jew and follow the old testament?
    Thank the God I worship you are just a fringe dweller like some of the radical Muslims the Q Society will eventually stop.

  14. Gary Rumain says:

    Larry sounds like another libtard dhimmi with absolutely no clue as to the true nature of pislam.

  15. If ad hominems, cheap slander and leftist broohaha is the best Herr Stillmann can come up with, the world is still safe. So does it make any sense to mention here that Q has never taken issue with ritual slaughter? Does it actually register if I point out that, what Q actually opposes is the viral growth of Sharia-compliant (Halal) certification schemes and that unsuspecting consumers are being fleeced with the extra compliance cost — going into the pockets of the individuals and organisations behind all those mushrooming “Halal Authorities”?

    Does Q mind if observing Muslims want to eat food according to their deitry laws? No.
    But does Q have a problem with breach of our constitution by religious and gender discrimination in over 100 Australian meat processing plants in contradiction of s116 of our constitution (only Muslim males accredited by self-appointed “halal authorities” are allowed to work as slaughterer)? Yes, we do! Do we object to being sold unlabeled Sharia-compliant food, given no fair choice in our shops to not help financing the Islamisation of our society? Bloody oath we have a problem with this.

    Does this make members and supporters of Q unreasonable, right-wingnuts, racists, xeno-islam-o-whatever-phobic bigots? You be the judge.

    The same principal can be applied to the petitions re the instant mosque in Alma Road and a suburban council subscribing to BDS: Once you actually take the time and diligence to read – and perhaps ask – what our objections are really about, you may come to a factual and balanced view. But were fairness, facts and balance in writing ever virtues of the leftist nobleman on his high horse?

  16. David Singer says:

    Larry

    I never claimed that the the links to Q Society had only come out in the last week. It was only when I read your article that I had any knowledge of their program. Even if I had known I would have still signed the petition. Marrickville Council needed to be publicly shamed for that decision and the petition was a vehicle for me to display my indignation..

    You still insist on attacking the messenger and ignoring the message.

    Yet you agree with the message – that the Marrickville Council decision was in your words ” stupid & naive politics that contributed nothing to the cause of progressive politics and the future of Israel and Palestine. Full stop. This is an issue over which I have a difference with Palestinian friends and some on the Israeli and anti-Zionist left.”

    Thank you for your public condemnation of Marrickville’s decision.

    Now could you also tell us what you told your Palestinian friends and some of the Israeli and Anti-Zionist left to support your view. Your opinion will no doubt be read by many who have been confounded by the apparent belief that there is a monolithic view among the Palestinians and the Israeli and anti-Zionist Left on the Marrickville decision.

    Yours is apparently a voice of moderation and your reasons are important to know for those who oppose this pernicious treatment of Israel by Marrickville Council and would not like to see this nonsense repeated again in Australia by other Councils.

    Maybe you can indeed start up your own petition – as I suggested – to be signed by others of your Palestinian friends, the Israeli and anti-Zionist left who agree with you. I will gladly sign that petition.

  17. Janusz says:

    Larry,
    [quote]Of course, there is a problem with the word ‘racist’, since Muslims are not a race (nor are Jews), but it often used as short hand term, as you well know, referring to bigotry against people of an particular religion and cultural mix[/quote]

    It is a not ” a problem” it is a total misuse of this term,

    If we take away your accusations of being “racists” (and fruitcakes of course) there’s nothing that you can accuse Q Society of doing – apart from the fact that they are supporting Jewish community and their right to live in peace (wherever they chose to live).

    Bigotry?

    On the same basis you would have to stick the label “BIGOTS” to most of atheists who attack all religions.

    Well, I may not agree with atheists like Richard Dawkins or Pat Condell but I would never call them bigots – would you Larry?

  18. JJ says:

    The only important thing about Antony Loewenstein is that he makes anyone reading him feel like a genius.

    Oh wait – compared to him, anyone IS, in fact, a genius.

    As for larry Stillman, he shares with AL the bizarre and unhappy charactyerisrtic of sharing his antiJewish hostility and ignorance with as many people as possible.

    A simpler exercise larry – actually READ the Koran and the hadith and find out exactoly where islam stands doctrinally with regard to the Jews, Christians, apostate Muslims and Hindusd (polytheists).
    Recognisisng the danger is not bigotry, it is common sense!!

  19. To respond to David Singer–to put your name to an organisation full of right wing nuts (and having seen a few in person now), is dangerous stuff. As your claim that the the links to their nasty agenda coming out in the past week or so, I was actually only referring to my own research. The QSociety website had documents not linked off their front page, but in fact, when I used Google, pages buried within the site turned up-including their rants about Islam. But even the used of the expression ‘Islamist BDS’ in the petition should have alerted people (since many of the BDS supporters are neither Islamist or Muslim) that a particular line was being pushed.

    In fact, googling the names of key people in QSociety weeks ago would have saved a huge amount of embarrassment. Vickie Janson, Geoff Dickson are not invisible people on the internet–far from it– and I cannot believe you were not told who the key members were by them in Sydney. This is how I started my search about them, knowing very little, and it took very little time to find their ugliness.

    And I thought the Marrickville motion was stupid & naive politics that contributed nothing to the cause of progressive politics and the future of Israel and Palestine. Full stop. This is an issue over which I have a difference with Palestinian friends and some on the Israeli and anti-Zionist left.

    And given that stuff started to emerge from at least A Current Affair a few weeks ago, it seems strange that ‘people in the know’ didn’t start to have second thoughts. And the QSociety petition accompanying material is completely off the planet and reeks of bigotry. That people didn’t become aware of it beggars belief since it has been linked to various anti-Muslim. sites all over the internet.

    David Singer, do you really take you statement seriously that you one doesn’t have to” believe that one has to agree with everything an organization or indeed a political party might espouse?” when it comes to being associated with an organization that is on the fringe right? . Even the at the Anti-Defamation Commission of Bnai Brith–who I have accused at going over the top in their accusations of people being anti-Semitic etc– have come down like a ton of bricks on this organization.

    Worst of all, people associated with its views have been involved, with how to put it delicately, without causing problems for anyone, actionable though law and frightening for people. Of course, there is a problem with the word ‘racist’, since Muslims are not a race (nor are Jews), but it often used as short hand term, as you well know, referring to bigotry against people of an particular religion and cultural mix. And strategically, from a basic community relations perspective, why alientate Muslims even further over such a hot political issue by associating with extremists?

    I just wonder how many of the rabbis who unknowingly signed the petition would still wish to be associated with people who in another age, would have been anti-semites, if many of them are still not vicariously so. Furthermore, seeing comments attached to the signatures on the petition–all publicly available since January, should have alerted you of the fruitcakes you were dealing with.

  20. L-J says:

    I am not Jewish. I am a practicing Christian who lives in and worships in Yarraville. I recently had a series of email exchanges with the “president” of this group. In one of his emails he provided the names of several male Taxi Drivers of Middle Eastern ethnicity living in Britain and European countries which had reportedly raped or attempted to rape their female passengers He claimed that these Taxi Drivers were Muslim and that is why his group was opposing the small group of Muslim men – who were portrayed in some parts of the media as all being Taxi Drivers – meeting at the Alma Road Community Centre in St Kilda, for weekly prayer. I clicked on the links this person had supplied, all of which were newspaper reports, and lo and behold, what did I find. None of the reports said the men named, were practicing Muslims.
    I doubt though we’ll be seeing or hearing anything more of the Q Society or its racist activities. After their latest and very public defeat at Port Phillip Council – it’s a sure bet they’ll be retreating back under the rocks from whence they crawled out from under.

    What particularly struck me though in the series of email exchanges was the type of grammar used by this groups “president” and that all his emails were in large print – all fairly indicative that the author was perhaps elderly. It was not a particularly edifying experience exchanging emails with this person. After receiving and reading his various emails, I always felt a sudden need to have a shower!!

  21. Will says:

    Larry Stillman is writing with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight. I signed the petition and I am aware that inquiries were indeed made about the Q Society by a number of people (with Ralf Schumann) at the time that the petition went around in the first week of January (ie two and a half months ago, not merely “a number of weeks ago” as stated by Stillman). Attempts to Google the name ‘Q Society’ at that time yielded no results. Their website went up some time afterwards. All that was known or could be found about the Q Society in early January was that it was a new group of pro-Israel people, mainly Christians. It had not issued any anti-Muslim statements or anything else that could be construed as racist. The Marrickville petition was circulated well before the story concerning the Muslim prayer hall in St Kilda broke. So the accusation of a “a high degree of negligence” doesn’t wash. Even Stillman acknowledges that details of the Q Society’s links have only come out “In the past week or so”.

    And there is absolutely nothing racist or objectionable about the terms of the petition itself. The community leadership has come out many times in total opposition to all forms of racism and religious bigotry. Signing the petition against Marrickville Council’s ludicrous anti-Israel boycott is not in any way an endorsement of any of the other views of the Q Society, as they have subsequently emerged.

    • Karl says:

      Dear Will, sadly Larry Stillman– is on the Executive of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society and thanks God (whatever…) that this is his personal opinion.
      He must be totally ignorant about the purpose and ultimate goal of Islam. If the Q-society is “mad as hell” and should be shut down, well then ISLAM is here already my friend.
      Islam is a Religion of Peace because it demands complete SUBMISSION of all aspects of human culture and aspiration for everyone living. Yes, Larry when we all submitted to Islam as revealed in the Quaran, the caliphate will proclaim peace on earth. So tell me – who has got the extreme ideology? Is it Islam or the new-fangled Q-society idea of universal freedom of thought and free voices? Think about it and you find you don’t need som many words you stack in a row as you do here above.

  22. Janusz says:

    Larry,
    Anti-Islamic has nothing to with racism
    Anti-Catholic or anti-Christian also has nothing to do with racism.

    Can you understand that?

  23. An excellence piece Larry. You have shown sophistication in reasoning that is all too often lacking. We can agree or disagree about Marrickville Council’s position. However, you have been able to show others how you can intelligently indicate your grievance with Marrickville Council’s position, without falling into the trap of demonising or vilifying the other (as too many authors on this site have done).

    Further you have been able to warn the broader community to beware of being duped into aligning themselves with an organization that stands against an inclusive, diverse and vibrant Australian society.

    In terms of your response to Sergio about Antony. I realise you two don’t see eye-to-eye. However, Antony’s voice is an important one within the community, as is yours. We don’t always have to agree, however, every generation needs courageous people to question the status quo. Antony is one such important voice as is yours. Noone has all the answers but we need the dissenting voice to move us to a place that enables us to see our own hypocrisy. Only then can we ensure that we move in the direction for fairness and equality for all.

  24. Michael says:

    I agree with Janusz 100% If only we had so many Muslim and Arab friends that would lobby for our causes, but hey we Jews are such good guys thats why every body loves us { yeh]

  25. PDC says:

    You must be a mind-reader or possessed of some other arcane skills, Larry, because “Googling” Q Society will tell you virtually nothing. You see, Q Society has not even publicly launched itself yet and, to date, its public offerings are this:
    – the afore-mentioned petition against Marrickville Council.
    – another petition against the improper use of the Alma Rd Community House in St Kilda.

    Q Society seeks to represent community concerns.
    Q Society became involved in these petitions at the behest of members of both communities.
    Both situations were brought to the attention of Q Society members by people based in those communities.

    So far, that sees them batting 100 in the “address community concerns” stakes.
    How are you doing? Who have you been aiding and facilitating recently?

    Q Society members were at great pains NOT to alienate the Jewish constituents of those communities and they were very aware of the divisive possibilities. Q Society is aware of the invidious position that Islam has placed peaceful and lawful Jewish citizens in and does not seek to co-opt their voice for mere political gain.
    That is why the majority of the work done on those public submissions was attended to by Jewish members of Q Society. Who better to carry the torch?

  26. Tony Mawad says:

    Marrickville Council’s Boycott Divestment and Sanctions is a load of rubbish,The councils should get back to doing what there suppose to, Marrickville is no shinning city,and theses members that want to be idiots by putting religion into local politics should be sacked.muslim or not there wrong.!!!

  27. Geoff Dickson says:

    Larry,
    I think you should check your facts before slandering Q Society and myself.
    Q Society is neither racist (Islam is not a race) nor against Muslims.
    Q Society opposes the doctrines of Islam which call for segregation (apartheid) because Muslims are not to mix with unbelievers. We see this everyday in separate toilets and washrooms for Muslims only, separate prayer rooms (they won’t share a room with other faiths), separate swimming areas even curtaining off public pools for Muslims only.
    This is not the Australia our soldiers fought for in two world wars.
    And talking of Nazis Larry, it was the grand Mufti of Jerusalem A-Husseini who raised two divisions of Muslim soldiers to fight for Hitler’s cause. They shared the same passions, to kill all the Jews.
    Read the hadith of Muslim book 41 no. 6985 if you don’t believe me.

    Australia has a freedom of religion policy dictated by Section 116 of the Constitution.
    Freedom of religion does not mean freedom of law.
    We have one law for all Australians and no aspect of Sharia law should be tolerated.

    Islam acknowledges Moses as a prophet yet Sharia law is contradictory and is the complete opposite to the law given to Moses which is tha basis of our Judeo Christian society.
    We don’t want polygamy, child marriage, slavery, FGM, stoning women to death, beheadings or all the other aspect of Sharia that decent people find intolerable.

    In Britain the disaster is unfolding as non Muslim men turn to Sharia courts to get a more favourable ruling in divorce where women are discriminated against. This has created a parallel legal system and is divisive in the extreme. Is that what you want for Australia?

    Geoff Dickson

  28. David Singer says:

    Larry

    1. I signed the petition because I believed the Marrickville Council decision was wrong. Please tell us – “yes” or “no” – do you? If you believe it was wrong and start up a new petition I will sign that one for you too.

    2. Do you really believe that one has to agree with everything an organization or indeed a political party might espouse? That smacks of dictatorship to me rather than freedom to express one’s opinion in a democratic society. I agree with the Arab League’s lukewarm and by no means unanimous decision to support a no-fly zone over Libya. I reject their 73 years old refusal to recognize Israel. Aren’t I allowed to do that in your considered view? Must I totally hate or totally reject?

    3. Now that I am on the Q Society’s mailing list I may receive other petitions to sign. I will judge each petition on its merits. That is what every person should do on any issue. Shooting the messenger and ignoring the message is a favourite tactic of many that I just don’t happen to agree with.

    • Karl says:

      Larry Stillman– is on the Executive of the Australian Jewish Democratic Society and thanks God (whatever…) that this is his personal opinion.
      He must be totally ignorant about the purpose and ultimate goal of Islam. If the Q-society is “mad as hell” and should be shut down, well then ISLAM is here already my friend.
      Islam is a Religion of Peace because it demands complete SUBMISSION of all aspects of human culture and aspiration for everyone living. Yes, Larry when we all submitted to Islam as revealed in the Quaran, the caliphate will proclaim peace on earth. So tell me – who has got the extreme ideology? Is it Islam or the new-fangled Q-society idea of universal freedom of thought and free voices? Think about it and you find you don’t need som many words you stack in a row as you do here above.

  29. Larry Stillman says:

    I don’t have a clue what Janusz means. Since a number of Rabbis in Melbourne have also objected to racist activity, I assume he includes them as well.

    Thank goodness at last night’s Port Phillip Council Planning Committee, where the Bnai Brith, not the AJDS spoke–as opposed to bizarre objectors–the Port Phillip Council unambiguously denounced the racist activities of the Qsociety and its supporters.

    Or are Bnai Brith, rabbis and numerous other people also enemies of the Jewish community?

  30. Janusz says:

    Withe “friends” like Larry Stillman and the Australian Jewish Democratic Society would the Jewish community in Australia need any enemies?

  31. Paul Winter says:

    Stillman’s comments, as usual, are rubbish. He derides the group opposing Marrickville’s BDS resolution on the basis that the supposed QSociety intervened and that that group is racist. The BDS resolution is evil and racist and no matter who is associated with the opposition to it, it remains so.

    The mohammedan intrusion into a Jewish area is not an act of friendship and reconciliation. In an ideal world none would oppose a house of worship anywhere. But in the real world, where Islam is a supremicist conquering creed that commands its adherents to subjugate all others, they should be opposed unless the particular group speaks out against Islamic antisemitism, terror financing in Australia, apologising for terror planners, the planned introduction of sharia compliant banking, the agitation for special sharia based privileges like sex separated swimmng pools, etc.

    Jews do not have to be politically correct and support their enemies who plot against them. It is not racist to speak out against those who plot to undermine our democracy to impose their totalitarian medeivalism in us. In fact it is most despicable to smear others with the aim of intimidating them to toe the PC line and to dismiss all departures from PC once the opponent has been smeared. It is anti-intellectual and anti-enlightenment. And just slightly anti-Jewish, because our genius has been to argue and think for ourselves.

  32. Jennifer says:

    Larry I do not agree that “Marrickville Council’s politics–they have gone out of their depth” – I think it is quite reasonable for a local council to include ethical considerations when deciding on purchasing and investment, in a just world we have to consider more than just cost and quality important though these are.
    However I can respect your concerns because you have distanced yourself from the ratbag racist hangers-on – not something that I have from heard anyone in Sydney opposed to Marrickville.

  33. Ilana Leeds says:

    B’h

    Don’t you like my analysis of your blog Larry? I noticed you have nipped and tucked it a little. You said:

    ” It also has problems with the different way of life (so why not haredim in Australia?).”

    By the way haredim are not in the habit of butchering muslims in their beds on a peaceful Friday night, and they do not celebrate the deaths of enemies, they are pretty close to their community and peaceful in intent towards others. Do you hate Orthodox Jews so much that anyone wearing a black hat or a coat or a tickel or a sheitel is immediately suspect and a Jewish Terrorist???????

  34. Michael says:

    It should be made aware that Larry’s far left wing fringe group AJDS whose editor/ executive and spokesperson Sol Salbe claims he has been fighting for ”Palestinian Rights for 35 Years” * not Jewish or Israeli rights mind you, do not represent a significant part of the Jewish community.
    Of course they are entitled to their opinions however this pro Palestinian group do not represent the views of mainstream Australia any more than Bob Brown represents mainstream Australians.

    DISCUSSION: Truth strengthens the case for Palestine | Green Left …
    11 Jun 2003 … [Israeli-born Sol Salbe has been campaigning for Palestinian human rights for 35 years. He is a member of both the Greens and the Australian …
    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/29648 – Cached

  35. Tanya Arons says:

    I agree with Larry Stillman. Our nations and societies across the globe can only survive if the oppressors and those in free lands, maintain the rights and privileges of all their citizens, allowing freedom, liberty, and justice.

    Xenophobia, violence, rightwing campaigns based on intolerance and irrational hatred serves no purpose other than to foment more ugliness, horror and degradation.

    We need to look very hard at the kinds of policies, decisions, ‘interpretations’, that lead to the persecution and hatred of fellow human beings. We need and must encourage dialogue. We live in a multicultural society for a reason.

    To quote another Biblical line “We must not stand idly by while our neighbour bleeds”. This can be adapted to meaning that we must not hide our eyes, or add to the abuses of others, in destroying others’ lives or belief systems. Harm no-one!

    To maintain peace, we must accept peace. Those who attack and kill us, should and must be dealt with, as terror organisations or individuals – NOT blaming, shaming, attacking, killing members of other faiths, cultures for the crimes of a few.

    We all remember the Holocaust, and the genocidal, frenetic, unobstructed slaughter of millions of innocents for their only perceived crime, that of being ‘different’. To repeat this in our own communities is the ugliest, most heinous disgrace of all. Quit while you are ahead, and stop allowing hatred to be your modus operandi.

  36. Sergio says:

    Larry, the issue about Islam has been going on in Australia for me personally since 1983, I was a board member for the Sydney Youth Festable, even back then we’re getting Police reports of extremist Imams doing there “THING”.
    Like most Australians I have been waiting for the day that integratiion was/is going to happen, just like the rest of Australia, sorry to say that we are all wrong and we are all still waiting for something that will never happen.
    When the visual Arts of any country starts getting attacked by a minority group ( like Islam/Muslims ) and they start telling artist what we can or can not do, it is time to stand up and say NO. WE DO NOT NEED TO CONFORM TO ISLAM, people of Islam need to conform to Australia.
    Very simple idea Larry, pull your head out of the sand and open your eyes, because I for one don’t like the idea of cleaning up your mess.

  37. Michael says:

    Can you tell me if Debrah Stones org BB ADC have submitted an official complaint against the racists at Marrackville council for selecting Israel as their pet hate and have they organized and lobbied the community to sign a a petition against the racially based boycott of Israel.

    Or is it the ADC are too busy working on Islamic Community affairs?

    Michael B.

  38. Ilana Leeds says:

    B’H

    Sorry I submitted without editing and that should be ‘Islam and Islamic practices’. Naughty and sloppy of me.

  39. Larry Stillman says:

    1) The comments so far reek of stereotyping bigotry and inaccuracy and focussing on hotheads such as those found on Youtube.

    2) Sergio identifies me as an ally of Loewenstein, and I am not.

    I am not personally particularly religious, I do recognize the role that ethical leadership when it sees the danger in pushing people aside. The situation in the US is far more challenging than in this country, yet I urge readers to go to this site, and listen to US rabbis who are aware of the dangers of anti-Muslim bigotry such as that suggested in the two posts above .

    http://www.rhrna.org/?p=1648

    These American words can be very easily translated to our situation:

    “Ever since the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States, hatred and discrimination against Muslim Americans has been growing. Over the past year, the rhetoric has only gotten louder and more violent. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights protects the freedoms of religion, speech, and assembly. These are also essential American values. Yet across the United States today, we see attempts to prevent the construction of mosques, laws outlawing Sharia law, and the vilification of our Muslim neighbors and friends as un-American. Jewish historical experience remembers that not too long ago, we too were the victims of suspicion and hatred based on our religion and ethnicity. The actions of the few should not condemn the many, and every religion has its teachings both of violence and of peace. Jewish tradition demands that we remember the heart of the stranger, because we were strangers in the land of Egypt. If one minority can be singled out for congressional hearings or restrictions on places of worship, anyone can be.”

  40. Shirl In Sydney says:

    Firstly, I will put Larry VERY straight……..at NO POINT did the Marrickville group make contact with anyone at the Q Society. They made a big point of distancing themselves.

    Larry, Islam is not a religion by the way, also being anti Islam is not racist, as it isn’t a race either.

    Ask any Muslim – it is an all encompassing, totalitarian political and religious ideology

    If you are concerned, this is more of a worry. A rally in Sydney flying the black flag of jihad. Pay attention to the third speaker

    • Khalil says:

      Islam is a religion, to deny that is also to to deny that Judaism is a religion, or Christianity for that manner. Every religion is not just concerned with personal faith, spirituality and practise, but also has an “all-encompassing” socio-political world-view which constitutes an ideology.

      Islam is no more totalitarian in itself than Christianity. After all didn’t the Catholic Church operate as a totalitarian machine, waging the Inquisition against the ‘heretics’ who didn’t agree with them, against the so-called ‘evil witches’ whose pagan beliefs/herb knowledge offended them, against the Bogomils & Albigensians who had a different vision of Christ from them. They never hesitated to claim the monopoly on truth and to kill opposing Christians to try to maintain their hegemony. Of course they gradually lost that war with the rise of the Protestants.

      Beyond their war against opposing Christians, they also persecuted the Jews for 1500 years. they persecuted and murdered the Muslims of Spain. They attacked the muslims several times in the Crusades in the name of Christ.

      Right-wing Protestants & Catholics today in spite of hostility to each other still hold to this idea that they have the monopoly on truth, declaring each other and all other Christian groups as not being truly proper christians.

      Yesterday the rightwing western discourse was anti-Semite/anti-jew, today it is anti-semite/anti-muslim. Yes the Arab Muslims are Semites too.

  41. Sergio says:

    Come on Larry, get real about your long winded veiws.
    The Q Society is made up of differnet groups, 1/3 Jewish.
    You probibly think Anthony Loewenstein is a hero and if so your veiws don’t hold any water.
    The one thing Muslims do in Australia is close up debates about themselves as soon as anything starts, you have nothing to fear from Groups like the Q society however you do have lots to fear about people like your self that can not have a heated debate about Islam.
    Try doing what I have, call the people you fear and talk to them, see what is true or fulse, then make a comment. The media is not always the friend of such groups they love the story and the anger they can produce. The media has been doing the same thing to Jews !!!

  42. PJG says:

    I can only suggest that you take an honest look at the “religion” of Islam, and look at what millions of Muslims actually believe about Jews and the treatment of Jews from the time of Mohammed. Then why not look at the history of the expulsion of Jews from Muslim lands? And at the behaviour of many Muslims at present in Europe towards Jews? If you believe that your own feelings of goodwill towards Muslims is enough for peaceful relations, you might satisfy your view of yourselves as decent people – but being proved wrong, even if you are not around to see the consequences, involves others. Maybe you believe synagogues and Jewish schools do not need security guards, either, or that Israel needs that wall? After all, if tolerance is enough to create peace, why does anyone need to take precautions? It must surely be “racist” to notice that Muslim suicide bombers want to kill Jews in Israel, mustn’t it?

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