Recently I wrote a piece that suggested I knew something about the Middle East and the problems of the Muslim world. I called myself a historian. As I’m sure was obvious to most of you I didn’t know what I was talking about. I’m certainly no historian. They do this thing called research which helps them understand the situations they’re writing about. There’s no App for research and you actually have to make the effort of reading and thinking. What a chore! That’s why I make stuff up. I find when I do that people who are even lazier than I am, say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that and what a clever, brave person you are for drawing it to my attention. So scary!’
That makes me feel pretty damn good! But it’s mostly a lie. Anyone who believes it is as big an ignoramus as I am. It’s time I came clean.
In case you think I’m being a bit hard on myself here are a few examples from my earlier piece.
- I said that the Syrian refugee crisis was SUDDEN. That’s only because I just noticed it. And I couldn’t be bothered checking the outflow of refugees from Syria. Turns out that it began in earnest in May 2011. By September 2013 the UN High Commission for Refugees, which I’ve now heard of, put the number of refugees at 2 million (plus another 4 million people who fled their homes but were still inside Syria). Guess where they went? To neighbouring Muslim countries like Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and even Iraq. Maybe that’s why I missed it because quite frankly those countries mean nothing to me.
- I also suggested that most of the refugees were young men. That sounds really frightening, like an invasion. Only trouble, it’s nonsense. It’s actually almost a 50/50 split between men and women. I know now it was a bit of a stretch to rely on the ravings of the former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, for the invasion story.
- I said that countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain hadn’t taken any refugees at all. That’s absolutely true. What I didn’t say because it would have spoiled the story is that these states are pretty obnoxious and some of their leaders have flirted with ISIS. The refugees are actually trying to get away from ISIS. I guess if I were in their shoes I’d much rather go to Europe too.
- I wrote that by 2050 Muslims will be a majority in Europe. Through the wonder of this exciting thing called research I’ve discovered that by 2050 Muslims will actually make up about 10 per cent of the population of Europe. Bit of a difference isn’t there? I probably gave the game away when I wrote that European non-Muslim families have an ‘average’ of 1 to 4 children, compared to 8 for Muslims. Between 1-4 must be the weirdest ‘average’ ever. By the way, the correct figure for Muslims is about 3.
Finally, a word to my Australian friends. Yes, I know some of you are worried about the ‘Muslim threat’ to Australia. Yes, the world of Islam is occasionally very difficult and it would be good for more Muslims to publicly speak out against the actions of a vicious minority of their co-religionists. I hate to use the research word again but I’ve been actually looking at the figures. A question for you: is the Muslim population of Australia around 2%, 12%, 22%, 32%? It’s not hard to check if you really want to know what’s going on. If you don’t and you’d prefer to stay with my earlier story then I’m afraid you’ll have joined me in the ignorant bigot club.
I’d also add two other points:
- - Australian children are at greater risk from Christian clergy than they are from ISIS.
- - The only people who can legitimately ‘Reclaim Australia’ are Indigenous Australians: so most of you better be careful what you wish for or you might end up joining the queue of all those trying to get to Europe!
That’s all for now. What more can I say but that I am really, really sorry. I know you’ll think I’m a clutz and you should. But I am trying to make amends. Please share this with anyone who you think might be interested in the facts.
With apologies again for misleading you.