Where better to display diversity than the Melbourne International Film Festival, where an array of films caters for all tastes.
And if your tastes run to jihad, then you're in luck:
THE unofficial leader of the Uighurs, Rebiya Kadeer, used her visit to Australia to urge the Federal Government to take a stand over China's violent repression in her homeland...and to try to persuade Australia to take the remaining Uighur detainees from Guantanamo Bay.
Kadeer was here for the launch at the Melbourne International Film Festival of a documentary about her life and her people's struggle.
The Uighurs say the Chinese Government is committing "cultural genocide" by banning the teaching of Uighur in schools, discriminating against Uighurs in jobs, closing mosques and demolishing ancient Uighur cities such as Kashgar, on the Silk Road.
Mrs Kadeer put the death toll in the July 5 demonstrations in Xinjian at more than 1000...the Chinese security forces fired on 10,000 Uighur demonstrators. Five thousand were arrested in the following days, she said.
As for the 13 Uighurs in Guantanamo Bay, who were declassified as enemy combatants in 2005, and whom the US has asked Australia to take, Kadeer says Australia has nothing to fear.
"Those people are completely innocent, just like you and me. They happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said of their capture in Afghanistan. "If the Australian authorities would accept them as refugees I would be very grateful … They won't bring any danger to Australian society."
The Chinese consulate in Melbourne asked festival director Richard Moore not to screen the documentary, a request that was declined. Kadeer expressed her surprise at the Chinese reaction. "As soon as you begin to talk about democratic rights and freedom, the Chinese authorities say, 'Look, you should not intervene in our internal affairs.' Yet they are prepared to interfere in the democratic affairs of Australia." (source)
He told the festival if it did not reconsider the sponsorship, he would not allow the festival to screen his film.
...he said that "Palestinians, including artists and academics, have called for a boycott of events supported by Israel" and cited "illegal occupation of Palestinian land, destruction of homes and livelihoods" and "the massacres in Gaza" as reasons for the boycott.
Mr Moore said he would not accede to the request: "I wouldn't do it. It's like submitting to blackmail."
He said the Israeli Government had supported the festival in previous years and sponsored many cultural events in Australia.
Earlier this year, Loach successfully pressured the Edinburgh Film Festival to reconsider Israeli Government sponsorship. It decided not to accept funding from the Israeli Government that was to be used to bring filmmaker Tali Shalow Ezer to Edinburgh with her short film. (source)
Strange how Loach seeks to boycott the only democracy in the Middle East, yet supports Palestinian jihadis: good filmmaker he may be, but his grasp of history and basic ethics is deplorable. Bouquets to Festival director Richard Moore for standing up to this attempt to blackmail the festival into boycotting Israel because of Israel's defensive military operations in Lebanon and Gaza. Brickbats to the Edinburgh Film Festival' for cravenly capitulating to Loach's outrageous demand for censorship. As Bill Anderson wrote in Al Age:
It is ironic that Land and Freedom (1995), which many consider Loach's finest film, presents a powerful and moving story about those who fought against Franco's fascists in Spain in the 1930s. Loach can recognise and oppose European fascism but would appear to have a blind spot when it comes to the Islamo-fascism of Hamas and Hezbollah.
Maybe Loach's sensibilities could be better accommodated by showing his film at the Jeddah film festival:
Mamdouh Salem, organizer of Jeddah film festival, said the latest festival is being organized on an international level where films from around the world will take part.
There will be almost 70 Saudi films, 17 from UAE, 13 from Bahrain, 7 from Kuwait, one from Oman, 42 from other Gulf countries and 50 films are from Europe and Asia.
This year the slogan of the film festival is “About Gulf Film Industry” with the aim to promote Arab culture, traditions and to enhance the youth morally and culturally and also to encourage the creative energies of young filmmakers and support them for international partnerships, and to build a bridge between the cinematic experience of Gulf and other Arab countries and get experience on an international level. (source)
Loach would be right at home with all those who “enhance their youth morally and culturally” by propagating anti-Israel hatred, such as the cute Hamas kids' films featuring a mouse or bee who wants to kill Jews. Or maybe he would prefer the Jew-eating bunny: (reference)
Or the promotion of child martyrdom: (reference)
Sadly, the festival was canned at the 11th hour.
The Jeddah film festival... had been a rare showcase for movie-makers in Saudi Arabia, where cinemas are virtually nonexistent, was cancelled after apparent pressure from religious elements within the highly conservative Islamic kingdom.
In December, a company owned by Saudi royal and media mogul Prince Alwaleed bin Talal arranged for public showings of local comedy production Menahi in Jeddah. The film, which was screened before mixed-sex audiences, attracted such large numbers that it was shown up to eight times a day.
Alwaleed himself was a major sponsor of the Jeddah film festival and an advocate of relaxing restrictions on public viewings.
But when Menahi was brought to the more conservative capital city of Riyadh, attempts were made to disrupt screenings by hardline Saudis, including volunteers with the kingdom's feared religious police organisation, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.
Many Saudi conservatives believe that films from the kingdom's more liberal neighbours violate religious taboos. The head of the religious police, Ibrahim al-Ghaith, said last year that cinema was an evil, though he qualified tto say that cinemas should show good things and not violate teachings of Islam. (source)
So no festival opportunities there for Loach and his fellow desperados anxious to appease jihadis by attacking the only free and democratic country in the Middle East.
The abrupt departure of the three Chinese films (Perfect Life, Petition — The Court of the Complainants, and the short Cry Me a River) — has resulted in at least six sessions being cancelled.
Festival director Richard Moore said yesterday it was a major disruption and uncalled for.
Asked whether he believed Chinese filmmakers had been pressured to withdraw by the Chinese Government, Mr Moore, said it was extremely sensitive: "I can't comment further."
Perfect Life was to be presented by long-time festival sponsor, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, which had planned to fly the film's director, Emily Tang, and producer Chow Keung to Melbourne for the festival.
Mr Chow said he was withdrawing both films to protest against Kadeer's attendance at the festival. He said most of the families of those killed in the ethnic riots in Xinjiang believed that Kadeer's organisation, the World Uighur Congress, was somehow involved. He and Ms Tang had cancelled their trip to Melbourne.
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown, who launched The 10 Conditions of Love at the festival, said that while Canberra was approving the sale of Australian properties to Chinese companies, "the Chinese Government is giving us a lesson in censorship". (source)
Good on Mr Chow for protesting against the festival's welcoming a representative of an ideology intent on permanently destroying our freedoms. Under Islam, not only would there would be no film festivals, but non-Muslims would be killed or enslaved.
It's hardly surprising that Bob brown would throw his weight behind jihad, but why do so many apparently normal people fall under the spell of this moral inversion?
It did not come with the promise of 72 virgins, but newly released Guantanamo Bay detainees managed to make it to paradise after all. What the fawning media neglected to mention was that these supposedly friendly lads all trained at an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist camp in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Not that you'll hear any such inconvenient facts from the mainstream media, of course.
The absence of critical coverage might help explain why Team Obama is proudly still planning to reward even more Gitmo detainees soon with new digs in paradise—almost all of whom possess terror training on their résumés Nor will the press spend much time explaining that taxpayers could be footing a bill of over $1 billion for the new Terrorists in Paradise Program .
Serving as a painful reminder to Americans about the degradation of journalism, the mainstream media “reported” on the exploits of hardened Islamic extremists—as they went swimming, fishing and frolicking.
News accounts have suggested that they are harmless chaps who were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Perhaps. But the “wrong place” was very wrong: Pakistan and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and most of them trained an al Qaeda-linked training camp in Tora Bora.
Officially, the Uighurs are not a threat to the United States because the sole focus of their rage is China. Then why does the U.S. government deem the Uighur organization, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a Specially Designated Global Terrorist?
Despite news accounts conveniently describing the Uighurs as simply unlucky tourists, evidence suggests otherwise. The ETIM-run Tora Bora camp wasn't exactly a vacation resort, as the vast majority of the Gitmo-detained Uighurs admitted receiving weapons training. As the blog The Long War Journal observed, ETIM “is dedicated to international jihad and shares a similar ideology with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.”
Contrast known facts to the fuzzy feature stories about the Uighurs in paradise.
“The four men in short-sleeve shirts looked like ordinary tourists, enjoying a Sunday lunch and butter pecan ice cream afterward as they observed the sparkling waters surrounding this Atlantic resort island.”
While many in the mainstream media are cheering Obama's planned closure of Guantanamo Bay, does their fervor excuse them from meeting even minimal journalistic standards? (source)
Good question. Why have we allowed standards of journalism to sink into the mire?
Time was that we relied on journalists to report the facts, but now they are mostly ideologues.
The Australian media have followed this trend:
Uighur protesters have rallied outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney, demanding freedom and justice for their Muslim countrymen in China.
Australian Uighur Association spokesman Kuranda Seyit contrasted the Sydney protest with the Chinese rally.
"We are gathered here today at a peaceful protest," Mr Seyit told the crowd.
"There's nobody shooting us. There's nobody hitting us with sticks. There is nobody oppressing us.
"We want our freedom and democratic rights to express our disappointment and anger with the Chinese authorities.
"This is how a free and open society can be and this is what we want in China ... for the Uighur people."
Mr Seyit called on the international community to pressure China after it supported Beijing's successful bid to host the Olympic Games.
"With one hand they open their palms to welcome the people of the world and with the other they are beating and killing Uighur people."
Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said a long-standing relationship between Muslims and Chinese for more than 1400 years should not be allowed to be overtaken by violence and injustice.
South Australian independent MP Kris Hanna has organised a rally in Adelaide calling for the military crackdown in Xianjing to be condemned.
"Just as in Tibet, this is a disturbing case of old-fashioned imperialism by a repressive autocracy intolerant of cultural diversity."
"In spite of our economic relationship with China, we need to tell Beijing that brutal violence and unjustified killing on ethnic or religious grounds is wrong and an offence to humanity." (source)
Personally, I'd be more impressed with these Islamic representatives if they supported our democratic rights, such as freedom tell the truth about Islam and to oppose sharia. As for dhimmi Hanna, is he aware that by supporting the Uighurs, he is supporting the very thing he claims to oppose -“killing on ethnic or religious grounds” ?
Incidentally, Kuranda Seyit also founded the Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations (FAIR), which aims to promote Islam within Australia. He gets angry when Islam is associated with terrorism:
… while there are Muslims with extreme ideas in Australia, by and large they do not advocate violence or any form of terrorism… we can definitely tone down the fear-mongering rhetoric which does little for the average Mohammed and Fatima who have to live with the stares and the taunts on a daily basis. The very grave issue of over-stating the facts, particularly if it can create a negative backlash against Muslims, must be addressed. It is simply not acceptable to make unfounded statements that create fear or suspicion of the Muslim community.”(see AIM: True Moderates )
He is aggrieved by Cardinal Pell:
When we listen to Pell’s interview about Islam, it is clear that he has his own agenda, much like the Orientalists before him and much like the hawks in the Whitehouse (sic), if Islam were to regain the ascendancy then it would mean a catastrophic outcome and possible end to Western hegemony once and for all.He spoke at the Columban Mission for Muslim-Christian Relations forum, "Growing Peace in Blacktown".
and has some good ideas about how it can be done:
''it's time for Australia to fall in line with the UK, where councils have renamed Christmas as 'Winterval' . Australia is now so diverse with so many cultures, we need to acknowledge the need to be inclusive of our identity.'' (source )
Great! Let's get rid of Christmas. Can't have a reminder of that infidel religion! Besides, people of all religions and none have fun at Christmas, and we must remember there is no fun in Islam.
Personally I think Muslims are being ungrateful, as China favours Islam over other religions: whilst other religions are tightly circumscribed, with those not meeting official requirements persecuted and their members often imprisoned and tortured, Islam is recognised as most like Marxism and given many more freedoms and privileges. A large mosque in Beijing attests to Islam’s favoured status.(reference)
In 2007, the Year of the Pig, pigs were banned from appearing in ads on the state-run broadcaster, "to avoid conflicts with ethnic minorities." In case you didn’t guess, that's a reference to China's 20 million Muslims, about 2 percent of the population.
Even Coca-Cola, whose ad featured a cute, Babe-like piglet braving mean city streets to get home for the Chinese New Year, shot a second version using pandas to show in Muslim areas. (reference)
It seems that China is mindful of the pressures Islam can bring to bear and usually bends over backwards to appease, so the recent clamp down on Uighurs is atypical.
But have the Muslims ever been grateful for China’s forbearance?
Well, the two men who killed 16 policemen in Kashgar, Xinjiang Province , last year were Uighur members
of the insurgency seeking to break Xinjiang away from China and establish an independent Islamic state of “East Turkistan”.
Repeated warnings from the Chinese authorities of a serious terrorist threat from the Uighurs were dismissed as cries of wolf to justify a security crackdown during the OlympicsDonald Rothwell, Professor of International Law, ANU, thinks we have a moral obligation to accept Uighurs from Guantanamo Bay.
Although the two killers were taken away alive, it was essentially a suicide attack – they gave no sign of having a getaway plan.
The last unambiguous attacks by Uighur separatists were in 1997 and 1998 when they carried out a series of attacks on buses, police stations, military installations, prisons and political leaders . After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the United States supported Beijing in having the East Turkistan Islamic Movement listed as a terror organization by the UN.
China says that in 2008 alone it has arrested 82 people for terrorist activity, including plots to kidnap Olympic athletes and an attempt to set off a bomb on a domestic flight. Last month, after people were killed by series of explosions on buses in southern China, a video claiming responsibility was posted on the Internet by a group identifying itself as the Turkistan Islamic Party. (source)
If the Uighurs were released from Guantanamo as free men who, because of fear of persecution could not be returned to China, then the most obvious legal grounds for Australia accepting them would be as refugees.
Accepting the Uighurs will inevitably create a backlash for Labor from some sectors of the electorate, especially from those communities where the Uighurs may resettle. This is where the government will need to emphasise that if Australians want to be at the front line of the global war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, then they need to accept that certain responsibilities flow from that.
Any Australian government could clearly point to our close defence and security relationship with the United States as being a primary factor for accepting the Guantanamo Uighurs.... Given the unquestioning support of the Howard government for the Bush administration’s conduct of the global war on terror... Australia clearly supported the ongoing detention of these and other Guantanamo detainees.
Whilst accepting the Uighurs would delight the Americans, it may provoke a reaction from the Chinese who consider them to be terrorists...Australia has, of course, accepted refugees from China in the past, most prominently when the Hawke government granted asylum to Chinese students following the 1989 Tiananmen Square riots.
If China truly considers them to be terrorists and a danger to their national security, China may seek their extradition to face criminal charges. Whilst Australia could always deny extradition on technical grounds, this would inevitably create some strains on the bilateral relationship.
Tthe Rudd Government needs to ask itself how good a friend it is of the US and what moral obligations it has towards the Uighurs who have been caught up in the global war on terror in which Australia has been an active player. (source)
Sadly, Rothwell's attitude is mirrored by many in academia and the media. The National Press Club even invited Kadeer to speak:
Kadeer accused China of trying to use its economic clout to dampen criticism of its human rights record, while Australia's foreign minister said Chinese diplomats who opposed her trip should mind their manners.
She thanked the club for ignoring China's bullying and thanked Australia for resisting "enormous pressure" from Beijing to deny her a visa to visit the country.
"It is a fact that the Chinese government has been exerting enormous pressure on Western democracies because of its huge trade, in order to dampen down the Uighur and Tibetan issues in all these different countries."
China is Australia's largest export market, buying billions of dollars worth of coal, iron ore and other raw materials each year, and maintaining strong economic ties is in both countries' interests.
Australia also has active communities that criticize Beijing for harsh rule in Tibet and repressing human rights elsewhere, and that want Canberra to take a stronger stand.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said that foreign diplomats were entitled to voice the position of their governments on any issue but that they must do so politely. (source)
So should we be welcoming the Uighurs to our shores?
The Federal Government is still considering a request by the United States for Australia to resettle 17 Uighur detainees from Guantanamo, as the US Government fears they will face persecution if they return to China.
I can help KRudd here by asking one simple queston: do we want more Islamic terrorists in Australia?
Shouldn't we instead be giving refuge to religious minorities fleeing Islamic countries, as well as those Muslims
persecuted because they want to leave Islam?
Say NO to SHARIA!