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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, August 29, 2005

Time to resign

The NSW Liberal Opposition Leader, John Brogden, has been caught sprouting a racist obscenity. Again. During an "alcohol fuelled night" - according to the Sydney Morning Herald that placed the story across its front page - Brogden pinched a journalist's behind and called former NSW Premier Bob Carr's wife, Helena, a "mail-order bride". On July 29, soon after Carr's resignation, Brogden says he was "very happy with the change and events in NSW."

Brogden should resign immediately.

This is not the first time Brodgen has displayed racist tendencies. In 2004, during the Orange Grove controversy, he said this in relation to Frank Lowy: "Bob Carr is a Judas to the people of Western Sydney. He has taken his 30 pieces of silver from Westfield and they get a good deal."

The Australian Jewish News rightly condemned the comments as alluding to anti-Jewish stereotypes.

It is amazing, however, that Brogden comes under heavy fire - deservedly, to be sure - and yet any number of Federal Liberal MPs rave on about "Australian values" and banning Muslims headscarves and it's considered an acceptable part of civilised debate.

UPDATE: Good riddance, John.


Blogger Shabadoo said...

Turkey for the longest time banned Muslim headscarves; what do you think about the Kemalist/secular Turk attitude towards the issue? And do you think Muslim wymyn should be allowed to wear face coverings/headcloths in, say, drivers' license photos and such? Given your hostility towards overt displays of Christian and Jewish expression, why should Islam get a complete pass?

Monday, August 29, 2005 1:11:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

I believe all religions should be able to display their beliefs, clothing etc, without issue. That includes Jews, Christians, Muslms etc. For me, France is not a model in this case.
Of course, your dislike - and ignorance - of Islam makes you uncomfortable with any Muslims being here at all. Sorry you.

Monday, August 29, 2005 1:13:00 pm  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

Mate, I said nothing about France -- I was talking about TURKEY. When the modern Turkish Republic was founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, one of the first things he did was legislate secularism, equality of women, etc, and part of that involved banning headscarves. And that was one of the best moves he could have made -- the Middle East could use more Ataturks right now. This was a place with a 95-99 per cent Islamic population whose leader banned the veil, and I wanted to engage you on this topic.

In fact I am not ignorant of Islam, and am very well-versed in its tenets, its cultures, etc., and have spent tons of time in the Mid-East, so don't go assuming I sit in a dark room somewhere channeling Daniel Pipes. But it's only my acquaintance with the faith, its history, etc, which gives me my jaundiced view...and its a view held by many Middle Easterners/technical Muslims as well, privately.

Monday, August 29, 2005 2:01:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Shab, can you explain exactly why banning headscarves was "one of the best moves he [Attaturk] could have made"?

Monday, August 29, 2005 4:06:00 pm  
Blogger joe2 said...

Have heard that a young lib, with a bit of a history, was the man behind the blab!
Blogdens behaviour ,reprehensible, but was this the inevitable shift further to the right, by so called liberals, in extremist N.S.W.?
Dont know much of that states politics,obviously,but was it a further flushing of any small l liberals who RESIGN when they fuck up?
What do you reckon Antony

Monday, August 29, 2005 6:41:00 pm  
Blogger Rich Bowden said...

PM reported the leaker as Alex Hawke, the neo-con in training himself...

As for religious attire, doesn't freedom of religion mean the right to wear the headscarf or any form of clothing if one wishes?

Monday, August 29, 2005 7:32:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Yep, Alex Hawke it is.
He's long thought Brogden is a bleeding heart (God help us!).
Read this for some background:

Hawke and some of his friends are connected to the far-right Christian movement and have essentially taken over the NSW Young Liberals.

Monday, August 29, 2005 8:18:00 pm  
Blogger Rich Bowden said...

Thanks for the link Antony....interesting (and quite scary) stuff when you consider that the likes of Hawke, Clarke et al could be our future political masters.

The Monthly also ran an interesting article a couple of issues back on the Young Liberals conference in Wrest Point, Tasmania.

Monday, August 29, 2005 9:07:00 pm  
Blogger Andjam said...

The Australian Jewish News rightly condemned the comments as alluding to anti-Jewish stereotypes.

As would Margo's comments here?

Why the Coalition hates Barnaby on Telstra, a reminder of their Judas day in 1998


The Judas National Party Senators

Margo a Jew-hater? But I thought one of her best friends was you-ish.

Friday, September 02, 2005 11:40:00 pm  

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