The Alhambra – part of Spain’s , and the world’s, rich Muslim legacy.
This afternoon at Sunday lunch someone of my acquaintance seemed to think that all 1.3 billion Muslims are terrorists and seemed to advocate they should be exterminated. I am not joking.
Too much grog and too much dope, perhaps… He had been pretty much a pain in the butt all afternoon, in fact. I found I could no longer stand being in the same room as he was, and if I had had a wine glass I would undoubtedly have smashed it…
It is a pity as he is close to someone I very much respect. But the ideas I heard today were just beyond the pale, in fact, to me, hate and ignorance rampant and totally unlovely, and not something to be around. I think Lord Malcolm and Sirdan were taken aback with the violence (verbal) of my reaction, and my storming out of the Captain Cook Hotel.
Otherwise lunch was good…
Of interest: 1. Gay Muslims
3. In the Australian Catholic magazine Eureka Street after Bali:
The endeavours of people involved in the Liberal Islam Network, which is expanding internationally, deserve support. At present, the powerful nations are focused on eliminating problems by military might. This makes the tasks of liberal Muslims very difficult.
The militant groups base their recruiting technique on showing their candidates how the United States and its allies indiscriminately killed and tortured Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq, and how Muslims living in Western countries are victimised just for being Muslim. If the West continues to fight terrorism by causing further killing, it will only serve to further the arguments of militant leaders.
There is no doubt that Indonesia’s security and intelligence agencies need smartening up. But this should be accompanied by a serious study of the Indonesian social and political situation on the part of Western nations, particularly Australia. There needs to be a window to the world behind Amrozi’s face.
As there needs to be by those in this country locked into the tyranny of US and THEM, the same illness.
4. Colleague and friend Russell Darnley was in Bali at the time of the terrorist attack there.
“I want to write about the overwhelming manifestation of selfless human love and care I have experienced.”
It’s obvious that the tragedy in Bali has brought great grief to the lives of many Australian families. For those of us that have been intimately involved in the tasks of ministering to the needs of the injured, attempting a body count and counselling the grieved friends and families of the missing it has been a demanding task.
This has been a task made more bearable by the massive upsurge of goodwill and the magnificent cooperation that has emerged in the face of this tragedy.
There has been little time to reflect on the intentions of the perpetrators. Our energy has been elsewhere. With the evacuations complete and the forensic process now underway there is time to write.
My first task was to survey a network of private hospitals surrounding the Sanglah public hospital for walking wounded. There were none. What first confronted me was the youth of the patients. Sure there were people of my own age but many were Rugby and AFL players from Australia. As a Rugby coach I found an immediate affinity with lots of the young guys that were lying, not always gravely injured, but bewildered about the whereabouts of missing teammates. I could only ask them to have hope and if the inclination took them, to pray for their friends
My subsequent experiences in the ICU were far more tragic and the morgue a movie that still plays in my mind.
But I don’t want to write about this or the individual cases that I have seen.
I want to write about the overwhelming manifestation of selfless human love and care I have experienced. I want to write about the cooperation I have seen. I want to tell you about the way the Indonesian people have responded to the challenge posed by this tragedy. I also want to tell you about the implications of this tragedy for my many Indonesian friends.
Many thousands of people have assisted in the relief effort. Their care of the sick and dying and the respect they have shown for the dead have filled me with great hope.
The overwhelming majority of Indonesia’s 230 million people I am sure are deeply appalled by the wanton violence. Bali in particular is now confronting the prospect of a significant economic downturn if tourism is no longer seen as safe and viable.
I can only conclude with the words of the Denpasar (Badung) Fire Brigade Crew that I happened to talk with yesterday as a walked back to Sanglah Hospital from the Garuda office.
“Tell the Australians that Bali is safe. We can guarantee this. We will protect them. Tell them that we want them to come.”
LATER: “Russell Darnley, Sydney-based director of Asian Field Study Centres, heard the blast from 26 kilometres away. For his tireless work, using his language skills to help around the hospitals, locating the wounded and assisting in the morgue, he receives the OAM.”
When someone suggested bombing Mecca as an appropriate response to Bali, Russell jumped down the guy’s throat very rapidly on such grounds as: 1) he showed complete ignorance of Islam in general and Indonesian Islam in particular; 2) it is a fact that Muslim charitable organisations and Muslim individuals were second-to-none in trying to help the victims of the atrocity; 3) adopting the mindset of terrorists ourselves is pure tragic folly. I base all that on quite a few talks I had with Russell.