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Pussyfooting with intent

By Rex Ringschott - posted Monday, 15 January 2007

Fear gripped the pulsing metropolis of Melbourne on this meaningful Monday the 11th. Fear and dread. Fear, and dread, and doubt (no doubt). We’d been warned just this weekend past that we were on the top of the list of targets, and so on this day of symbolism and portent, we approached the commute to work with an alertness that the rest of Australia could be proud of.

The tram network was groaning under the weight of suspicion. The drops of water from the roof of the domain tunnel onto the windshields of the cars below had their cringing occupants envisaging a biblical opening up of the heavens, and inundation by the waters of the Yarra. The hot air balloons hanging in the air over the city invoked just one single powerful thought in the minds of the astonished burghers below. Were they about to ram the Rialto?

When I arrived at work today I began with good intentions. I had a choice. I could finally complete that irritatingly persistent first item on top of my “to do” list, or I could surf the net, hunting for terrorists. As it was, I stayed with the good intentions. The boss would just have to wait.


First stop was the daily pilgrimage to Australia’s most patriotic newspaper website, The Australian. And ‘twas there we had our suspicions confirmed. Muslims have been pussyfooting around terror.

John Howard has called on moderate Muslims to speak out more often against terrorism and declared it is no good “pussyfooting around” about Islamic terrorists.

That’s enough to get any red blooded patriot surfing with intent, and so the hunt was on, and I must say, even I was shocked by what I found.

Take this for instance. The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has not issued a statement condemning terrorism since November 2005. Worse still the Islamic Council of Victoria has issued nothing even remotely looking like a condemnation since October of that same year, the very same month and year that Australian Islamic Mission put out its last statement condemning terrorism.

Conspiracy or co-incidence - you decide. The Prime Minister in his moderate and even-handed way, calls it pussyfooting. I call it outrageous.

But gentle reader the shocks do not end there, for what I was to find on the web today, was enough to send a chill up the spine and the spineless alike. I was gobsmacked to discover that the Australian Catholic Bishop’s conference has also refused to put out a statement condemning terrorism since November 2005. That’s exactly the same time that the Islamic websites put out their last statement. Can you believe that? I know what you’re thinking - they’re in cahoots!


The pussyfooting doesn’t end there though. It’s everywhere, and worse. Far worse. The Master Plumbers’ & Mechanical Services Association of Australia has never made a statement condemning terrorism, nor the Australian Direct Marketing Association, nor the Australian Computer Society.

Even Melbourne’s very own game for patriots, the AFL issues no condemnation of terrorism. Never has, doesn’t look like its going to.

The pussyfooting is rife. In fact it’s almost getting out of control. No matter where you look, Women’s Netball, Angler’s associations - no condemnation, ever. I pretty much scoured Australia’s entire “not for profit” sector, the sector where most suspicion naturally falls, and all I saw was pussyfooting.

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First published in Club Troppo on September 11, 2006. It is republished as part of "Best Blogs of 2006" a feature in collaboration with Club Troppo, and edited by Ken Parish, Nicholas Gruen et al.

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About the Author

Rex is a crotchety ALP member based in Melbourne, who works neither in the media or government, but is facinated with the workings of both. He posts on the LaborFirst Bloggers.

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