While families and workers grieved over their deceased in the siege in Sydney’s Martin Place, Hillsong’s Bobbie Houston promoted the latest and tasteless # fad.
Can you imagine pastors like Charles Spurgeon behaving this way? Leonard Ravenhill? David Wilkerson? Paul Washer?
Sadly Bobbie Houston reveals how shallow the “church” is in our culture with her rush to join the twitterati’s #IllRideWithYou campaign. Why is it so important for these leaders to ride the social trend of political correctness? Or was it the social media wave of attention given to the Martin Place siege that was the carrot?
The first article below from the Australian exposes the absurdity of the #IllRideWithYou fad that these self-appointed leaders were capitalising on. Not only was this fad tasteless, the person who started the #IllRideWithYou fad made up the incident (read second article below). It is worth visiting the second article and reading the comment section.
Wisdom is what was needed here. Is trying to be relevant gone too far?
The Australian reports,
Hashtag for an imaginary backlash
ONE of our greatest handicaps in overcoming the pernicious threat of Islamic extremism is the emergence of Islamist denialism — a stubborn refusal to confront the reality of our dilemma.
Even in the wake of this week’s death and trauma, there are deliberate attempts in public debate to ignore the jihadist flag, terrorist modus operandi, video demands on behalf of Islamic State and anti-West grievances.
The ABC managed to run an online profile piece entitled “Who was Man Haron Monis, the man behind the Sydney siege?” without including the words Muslim or Islam and mentioning terrorism only in a quote from Monis’s lawyer stressing the gunman had no links to organised groups.
On Twitter, ABC host Rebecca Huntley and former ABC host Monica Attard were eschewing the terrorist descriptor and focusing on mental health issues.
Others on television were looking for legal, domestic and mental health explanations — anything but jihad.
Yet it is precisely this sort of solo attack that has been foreshadowed by security agencies and has been exhorted by terrorist groups.
Former ASIO chief David Irvine warned about the risk of homegrown “lone wolf” attacks as far back as 2012.
“That is the issue that I think keeps both me and my international colleagues awake at night,” he said.
While 17 blameless citizens endured hours of unspeakable terror that the nation hoped — en masse and in vain — would be resolved safely, a misguided social media campaign highlighted our national incomprehension of Islamist terror.
It proclaimed solidarity with Muslims who might feel uneasy travelling on public transport, through a Twitter hashtag of #Iwillridewithyou. Nice thought. Except it was an empty response to an imaginary problem.
And in the real world, at that time, innocent lives were in the balance.
This was political correctness on steroids as people distanced themselves from a possible Islamophobic backlash to an act of Islamist violence still unfolding.
We understand the lurch for an empathetic embrace but it ignored and demeaned the harsh reality.
No doubt across the nation most people would have been preoccupied with the fate of the hostages. But while social media is self-selecting and introspective, it also plays strongly into mainstream media.
So we saw a grotesque turning away from the horrific plight of innocent people in real peril to focus on empathy for Muslims in our midst who faced no threat.
Some participants, such as ABC presenter Virginia Trioli, argue that #Iwillridewithyou was one “bright spot” on a dark day, demonstrating our shared humanity.
And what could be wrong with a little love on such a trying day?
Priorities might be a good place to start. The Martin Place siege was a callous and life-threatening episode, and focusing on possible future personal abuse on public transport seemed a trite miscalculation. There would be time enough to deal with consequences — afterwards.
And the suggestion that mainstream Australians would indulge in an Islamophobic backlash smacked of leftist self-loathing — with the awful implication that the heinous actions of a gunman were somehow linked to our bigotry.
Worse still, this melds into the narrative of Muslim victimhood. Islamist terrorists rely on such grievances; the woes of the Muslim world are blamed on the West and violence justified as a response to persecution (even when the ultimate aim is Islamic supremacy through a caliphate).
In this respect (and clearly not deliberately) a social media campaign aimed at harmony echoed the Muslim victimhood claims being made in Martin Place.
In a security and ideological struggle set to last many decades, such arguments matter.
When extremists target us because of our values, we ought to stand up for them rather than demean ourselves.
In this country, Muslims are not victims.
By and large, our fellow citizens are inclusive and tolerant.
And while, sadly, every society sees individuals and incidents of prejudice, few nations can match our plurality and harmony.
We saw this unfold in Melbourne yesterday when a Muslim woman was heckled on a train but, of course, was defended by her fellow Australians.
No hashtag required.
We should talk up our robust tolerance, not undermine it.
Our multicultural success should be one of our key strengths as we deal with extremism, not something to be attacked so we can display superior virtue.
We shouldn’t forget that our Muslim population of about 500,000 exists because immigrants strive to enjoy our freedom and tolerance.
Perversely, this same liberal pluralism offends the Islamist extremists and makes us their target.
So, if we are looking for a unity ticket, it is obvious.
The politically moderate Muslim community — the overwhelming majority — and Australia’s non-Muslim community have a shared enemy and are exposed to the same threat.
We need continued and intensified co-operation to combat Islamist extremism — this is our common project.
Prominent Lebanese community leader Jamal Rifi notes the absence of a Muslim victimisation this week: “There is nothing whatsoever, the community has felt no backlash.”
Importantly, as someone involved in community liaison with governments after 9/11 and the Bali bombings, Rifi says there has never been any backlash to speak of, just “isolated incidents”, as he puts it.
At Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque on Monday night, a rabbi addressed the crowd, reading from the Torah, as prayers were offered for the Martin Place hostages.
“This was unprecedented,” Rifi says.
“And the rabbi was listened to, he wasn’t heckled.”
At Martin Place, Australians of all races and creeds placed flowers yesterday.
This is the real Australia, and Islamist extremists are its enemy.
Some seem to think the terrorists will ignore us if we ignore them; but denying the problem will not make it go away.
Source: By Chris Kenny, Hashtag for an imaginary backlash, The Australian, http://m.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/hashtag-for-an-imaginary-backlash/story-fn8qlm5e-1227158594514?nk=b6b5b9093dda89c3c6e9413e7e1e11a0%3Fsv%3Dbb30706598bd5608c994cea32718a676, Published 17/12/2014, 12:00AM. (Accessed 19/12/2014.)
The ‘Poor Richard’s News’ writes,
And here we go with yet another viral story that virtually every media outlet drooled over, and none of them cared to fact check it. As it turns out, that viral story about an Australian woman offering to ride the train with a Muslim woman who was self-conscious about wearing her hijab after the Sydney Siege never happened.
The story is a complete fantasy, so admits Rachael Jacobs, the woman who started the whole thing.
Confession time. In my Facebook status, I editorialised. She wasn’t sitting next to me. She was a bit away, towards the other end of the carriage. Like most people she had been looking at her phone, then slowly started to unpin her scarf.
Tears sprang to my eyes and I was struck by feelings of anger, sadness and bitterness. It was in this mindset that I punched the first status update into my phone, hoping my friends would take a moment to think about the victims of the siege who were not in the cafe.
I spent the rest of the journey staring—rudely—at the back of her uncovered head. I wanted to talk to her, but had no idea what to say. Anything that came to mind seemed tokenistic and patronising. She might not even be Muslim or she could have just been warm! Besides, I was in the “quiet carriage” where even conversation is banned.
By sheer fluke, we got off at the same station, and some part of me decided saying something would be a good thing. Rather than quiz her about her choice of clothing, I thought if I simply offered to walk her to her destination, it might help.
It’s hard to describe the moment when humans, and complete strangers, have a conversation with no words. I wanted to tell her I was sorry for so many things—for overstepping the mark, for making assumptions about a complete stranger and for belonging to a culture where racism was part of her everyday experience.
But none of those words came out, and our near silent encounter was over in a moment.
My second status was written as a heartbreaking postscript to my first. While the woman appeared to appreciate my gesture, we had both left defeated and deflated. What good is one small action against an avalanche of ignorance?
read the rest
So, the woman’s head scarf may not have been a hijab, and she may not have been a Muslim, and she may not have been self-conscious about riding the train. All of that was pure bleeding-heart fantasy from a university professor who wanted some attention online.
And boy, did she get it!
I could keep going, but you get the picture. Virtually every news outlet in America covered the story and reported Rachael Jacobs’s story as if it were fact. None of them bothered to fact check the story. They swallowed a lie that fit a narrative they liked and then regurgitated it all over the world.
This is the state of “journalism” today.
UPDATE: Just for comparison’s sake, here’s her original story:
There was no “put it back on.” There was no crying. There was no hugging. This story simply did not happen.
Source: Surprise! Woman who started viral “I’ll ride with you” story admits it was a complete fake, Poor Richard’s News, http://poorrichardsnews.com/post/105612206913/surprise-woman-who-started-viral-ill-ride-with, Published 19/12/2014. (Accessed 22/12/2014.)
Hear the absurd logic of Rachael Jacobs:
“I’m also a teacher and lecturer and have a responsibility to represent my profession and institution. At a time of heightened emotions, a misplaced word or phrase could cause offence, requiring numerous explanations and reassurances.“
Jacobs states that “At a time of heightened emotions, a misplaced word or phrase could cause offence”. Nevertheless, to falsify an account to start a fad is apparently alright. (Is this the way a “teacher and lecturer” represents their “profession and institution” these days)
The “real story of inspiration”was false. That’s okay, Jacobs appears to think it is alright to mislead, “thousands to publicly and loudly stand up for a decent and humane world,” while lacking in any humane integrity to begin with.
Since when was dishonesty “humane”? The falsified account has captured people’s false ideology of producing a false utopia.
We’ve seen in history what happens when the church rides with popular culture and says nothing with this kind of dangerous thinking. We’ve seen in history what happens when the people are governed by emotion, lies and a mob mentality.
We have seen what happens when the culture is driven to obtain an idealistic utopia above all else. Our culture is changing and the undiscerning leaders of Hillsong are leading the churches of Australia into it’s depravity in the names of “relevance”. Oh- and Jesus too.