Author: Bilal Cleland

Vaccination politics and COVID-19 fairy stories

Anti-vaccination propaganda promoted by the American Right and its clones in Australia is causing infection and death amongst its adherents but one very positive emerging sign is that vaccine hesitancy in Australia is subsiding.
A Melbourne Institute study of vaccine hesitancy showed that earlier this year 40% of respondents reported that they were opposed to or uncertain about getting the vaccine. But the latest study shows of adults aged 18–44, only “…12.1% of respondents indicated they are not willing to be vaccinated, while 9.9% said they are still unsure.”
Associate Professor Seale said “We may get up to 90%. Beyond that, I really don’t think we’re going to get there.” [17 September 2021 Royal Australian College of General Practitioners]

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The attitude of Qaroon and climate change

The career of Qaroon in the Quran serves to illustrate the short-sightedness of serving one’s own financial interests at the expense of others.
Although of Bani Israel, he was one of those who aligned himself with Pharaoh, assisting him in keeping the slaves under control.
For preventing revolt, Qaroon was well rewarded.
Some of Banu Israel were envious of him but those loyal to Musa had a different view.
They understood that his wealth was not of real value.
He did not enjoy the fruits of his tyranny and betrayal.

“ And We caused the earth to swallow him and his home. And there was for him no company to aid him other than Allah, nor was he of those who [could] defend themselves.” (Al Qur’an 28:81)

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Conspiracy theories, religion and politics

Elizabeth Neumann, formerly of the Department of Homeland Security, pointed out that social isolation during the pandemic is a known risk factor for the spread of extremism.

“… states with stay-at-home orders that lasted 10 days or longer, [online] searches for white-supremacist content increased by 21 percent. In states where there either weren’t stay-at-home orders or they lasted nine days or fewer, that increase was only 1 percent. “[2 April 2021 Politico Magazine]

Authoritarian structures in some strands of evangelicalism are “where you see the most ardent Trump supporters or the QAnon believers, because they’ve been told: “You don’t need to study [scripture]. We’re giving you the answer.”  [2 April 2021 Politico Magazine]

Their hatred of anti-pandemic measures  relates to their claim that masks are part of a Muslim plot to bring Sharia law to America.

“That masks leads to a burqa and then goes to Sharia law,” said Richard Hanely, a journalism professor. [29 July 2020 Middle East Eye]

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The waning of the Israeli narrative

An open letter objecting to the biased media reporting on Palestine, released by 675 Australian journalists, media workers, writers and commentators, was started by former Crikey journalist Jennine Khalik. 

 SBS journalists later removed their names, apparently under boss pressure.

“But the organisation’s crackdown on journalists has raised questions about double standards: SBS staff have previously gone on trips organised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and supported by the JCA Haberman Kulawicz Wolanski Fund.” [21 May 2021 Amber Schultz Crikey]

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