Julian Burnside has become a defender of the faith – the Islamic one, of course.
The Sheik Shady saga continues, thanks to the late intervention by the barrister and human rights activist Julian Burnside, who has been finally been goaded by Twitter into looking into the whole controversy surround his remarks on homosexuality on his blog:
“It seems that Sheikh Shady’s comments were confined to the likelihood of practising homosexuals contracting diseases, which is probably accurate as a matter of medical observation, and it seems that the Grand Mufti’s comments were accurate as a matter of religious doctrine.
“In 2010 Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman said that Allah will give gay people ‘diseases that they have never experienced before … if you speak to a doctor – he’ll tell you the most terrifying disease come from what? From sexual activities… or also homosexuality that is spreading all these diseases.’
“Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed wrote a two-page statement in which he said the sheikh had ‘simply conveyed a religious ruling … Despite Islam’s long-standing position on homosexuality, which no person can ever change, no matter who they are. … That which Sheikh Shady has said regarding homosexuality is simply a conveyance of a religious fact which is known to every practicing person in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths.’
“What Sheikh Shady said appears to have medical support.”
Let’s recall Sheik Shady’s full quote:
“What’s the most common disease these days? HIV, AIDS, that’s so common and there’s no cure whatsoever. And when did it exist? Decades ago. And more diseases are coming. And most of the diseases these days, if you speak to a doctor, the most terrifying diseases come from what? From sexual activities, where in someone who is not clean sleeping with someone who is clean. Also homosexuality that is spreading all these diseases. You know lets not deny the fact. Don’t call it the name of freedom. Don’t talk about freedom and, you know, this is the freedom of action and we could do whatever we want. It doesn’t mean that freedom of action you destroy a nation. These are evil actions that bring evil outcomes to our society.”
Unlike Mr Burnside, I’m not an expert on Islam, or medicine for that matter. I will, however, venture a guess that there is not a great deal of medical support for the propositions that AIDS is the most common disease these days, that most terrifying diseases come from sexual activities (Ebola, anyone?) and that homosexuals are destroying their nations by spreading diseases.
I may be verballing Mr Burnside, but it seems to me he’s bending over to explain away and justify views that, were they to be expressed say by a Christian, would be considered the height of ignorance and unacceptable bigotry by anyone on the trendy and sophisticated left.
Mr Burnside, after all, famously lumped Tony Abbott in with “paedos in speedos”, presumably because all conservative lay Catholics, like all Catholic priests, are child molesters. Yet somehow I don’t he would call a Muslim politician the same name just because Mohammed is said to have slept with a minor and the underage marriage has been commonly accepted throughout Islamic history.
Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk