It has been hard not to watch the pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt, Libya and across the Arab world, without emotion. Perhaps for me, it is harder than most, because I have many Arabic friends.
Over the years because of those friendships, I have been able to learn to speak a few words in Arabic. Those words have made friends for me with both Muslim Arabic people and Christian Arabic people in countries all over the world. Maybe it's part of my DNA. I like people but I dislike political correctnesswhatever form it takes. Let me explain.
My mother was a nurse and a governess in Sudan in the late forties and she gave presents to the Arabic Muslim servants at Christmas time. These servants were both surprised and overjoyed. Her boss reprimanded her for her kindness to these lower class people. It just wasn't the 'done thing'.
Mum's reply, in her delightful Scottish accent, was quite direct. "I will give presents to whoever I like at Christmas time, thank you very much!" My mother was both a woman of courage and of character and she would not bow down to the politically correct opinion of the day, whatever that might have been at the time.
This week I read a story in the Australian newspaper of Adel Idris. Adel Idris is a man of courage and conviction too. He stood up against the evil regime of Colonel Gadaffi and the politically correct opinion of his day and was imprisoned as a slave worker for 13 years. He escaped before his impending execution with a silver wedding ring.
The ring did not belong to him but he promised to deliver it to the owner's fiancée. The couple had been due to marry next month. But now the owner is dead, set upon by 20 attack dogs, including Alsatians and Boxers, in a jail in Muammar Gaddafi's home town of Sirte…Mr Idris's voice is strained after nine days in the internal security forces base in Sirte, halfway between the capital, Tripoli, and Benghazi, the main rebel stronghold. The engineer, 32, from Benghazi was held and forced at gunpoint by the technology-illiterate police to inspect the laptops of other suspected rebels. He had been due to be murdered himself but escaped at the last minute…
Of the ring's owner he said: "They released 20 or 25 dogs for more than 50 minutes. He was bleeding from every inch of his body."The man was thrown into the same cell as Mr Idris for 10 minutes - long enough to hand over the ring but not to give him the address to deliver it to. "They put him on his knees with his hands on his head and said 'Long live Gaddafi'. He refused (and) they shot him with a Kalashnikov," Mr Idris said.
I don't know the name of the owner of the wedding ring but his bravery really inspired me. He was a man of real character and conviction.
This last week was also a tumultuous week in Australian politics as three brave federal parliamentarians made a stand against the political correctness of our day.
The Green's have a bill before the Senate to allow the states and territories, in particular to introduce policies such as euthanasia. In short, such a government policy allows doctors and relatives 'to get rid of old people' as Joe de Bruyn said this week. Euthanasia has been exploited wherever it has been introduced in the world and many healthy people have died as a result. Where do you draw the line?
Bob Brown could see that his current pro-euthanasia bill was going to be defeated in the Senate so he made some clever amendments to disguise his bill's true intent. He presented the new bill on the basis of the democratic rights of the territories to self determination, and the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, either wittingly or unwittingly, accepted the bill to be passed by the Labor Party. The newly amended bill made not only euthanasia a certainty in Australia, but a backdoor introduction of homosexual marriage by default. The headline in the Australian said it all, "Greens Gay Marriage Victory".
The headline in the same paper the next day, "Labor Revolt on Gay Marriage", told the story of three brave men of courage and conviction who were prepared to make a stand for the truth – that children need a mother AND a father. Homosexual marriage will effectively rob children of that right. If you think that the Family Law Act is bad for children, wait until you see the effect of the legalisation of homosexual marriage and the consequences for children and families here in Australia. Gender does matter no matter what the political correct feminists say.
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