MW, Marr missed mark on Manji

It's time to leap to the defence of fiery Muslim Refusenik (her words) Irshad Manji who copped a rather unfair clip around the ears by the departing David Marr on Media Watch tonight. See the allegation as it was spelt out on the show here. Essentially, Manji has been reusing the same Op-Ed piece despairing at the extremist dominance of Islam in response to a variety of different Islamist episodes - in September it was after the Jakarta bombing, and just this week the Theo van Gogh murder in the Netherlands.

The criticism is absurd - Manji has been using her own words to make the same point on several different occassions, each time making them relevant to recent events. Yep, that's it. No smoke and mirrors, no heart-wrenching snuff film, just a bit of intellectual conservation. Without sounding like Graham Morris after drinking too much port, go and find a real target, Media Watch.

In true Media Watch spirit, Ariontheweb must declare an interest in all this - when she was in Australia in September I was lucky enough to have dinner with Manji and am a big fan of her work, and more importantly her ideas. While on the topic, it's worth checking out her public letter to Yasser Arafat from a few years back - not sure if he read it at the time, but it might be a bit of a struggle to get him to read it now:

Do you glimpse the breakthrough? I mean, here’s a form of Arab ammo, rooted in an Arab past, that permits Palestinians to claim the occupied territories as their own and yet compels them to welcome the other children of Abraham! Jewish tradition provided our Prophet with sanctuary and succour. Today, it’s payback time.


Anonymous said…
Ari, as ever, a little one eyed mate. Occasionally, you know, people with simmilar views to you with regard to Israel/Palestine can be wrong you know. Just sometimes. Maybe. No?

Sure, we'd all like it if Marr fried some bigger fish than this (boom boom), but let's not say it was undeserved. Its the SAME piece, barring the "I wrote this after" guff tacked on at the front to give it that added freshness and relevance to the moment. Lazy work.

Besides which, more than anything else it was a platform for Marr to launch into the awarding of the Campbell Reid Perpetual Trophy.

So call off the dogs mate, that was theatre, light comedy. You've got more of a sense of humor than that.


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