Local Muslims allegedly beat up Kurt Kennedy

johnboy 7 May 2007 57

Back in the day we were keen watchers of Kurt Kennedy.

We thrilled at his tilt for the the 2004 Legislative Assembly with his policies which included stamp duty concessions for having the relatives living next door, more voting power for large families, and being able to sink a bore in your backyard to get ‘free’ water.

We pondered the madness of his website (sadly now reworked, but happily still just as mad. And then when he sent in the answers to our candiate questionaire we really had a good old giggle.

We were a little bit sad when he only got 168 votes in that election (by no means the lowest candidate vote in Molonglo that year).

Then he surprised us all by converting to Islam and founding the “Best Party of Allah” which managed to goad Sophie Mirabella (née Panopoulos) into hysterics on the floor of the national parliament. This was followed up by a withdrawal of the party’s application allegedly for fear of being tagged as terrorists.

So imagine our surprise when today’s Canberra Times ran a story on this local legend getting beaten up on the grounds of the Canberra Mosque. It seems Kurt is now the secretary of the ACT Islamic Society. He had just announced that he was replacing the local imam of 13 year’s service, Mohammed Swaiti, with Yahya Atay.

While we would never advocating beating Kurt Kennedy up, we do wonder how more traditional members of the Muslim community would feel about this recent arrival, with a most unconventional grasp on reality, ditching their long standing spiritual leader?

We also wonder why the Canberra Times didn’t see fit to mention Kurt’s past.

UPDATED: The CT’s Graham Downie is now on the story with more background and at least a passing mention of Kurt’s colourful past. The Australian is always keen on a story about violent muslims and does not fail to deliver. The Oz notes that an AVO has been sought, more interestingly they also have the claim that Kurt converted to Islam 11 years ago. Maybe he’s been off in his tardis since 2004 when he was asked about his faith by this website and replied thusly:

“what are your religious beliefs and how do you anticipate they would guide your actions in the Assembly, which policies of yours are motivated by your religious beliefs” I BELIEVE IN SOMEONE STRONGER THAN YOU AND ME. I’M JUST A SERVANT OF THAT PERSON.

An answer which could be consistent with being a Muslim, but is not one of more ringing statements of faith ever uttered.

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57 Responses to Local Muslims allegedly beat up Kurt Kennedy
VicePope VicePope 6:10 pm 09 May 07

On the first, I think you may be right, but hardline atheism still exists. Agnosticism is at least defensible.

I don’t agree with your interpretation of teh question I put to bonfire. We can either make up a set of “moral” or “ethical” standards based on our own presumption and what the civil law and civil society will countenance, or we can accept that there are notions of right and wrong that have a more general application. On the other point, I can forgive (and always try to forgive) what is done to me. But I cannot forgive an offence against God, any more than I can forgive the Nazis for their treatment of Jews, Gypsies etc – it was fundamentally wrong, but the ill was not done to me but to other identifiable people and, at a broader level, to the trust humanity might want to give itself.

Here endeth the lesson. We will now sing Psalm 23.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 5:11 pm 09 May 07

I believe most atheist’s even the most hardcore are agnostics. Reject the notion of god as we know it, but can’t say for sure as beyond what we know;we don’t know.

And to answer the question you pose to bonfire, what you are saying is that sometimes it is easier to blame someone else rather than taking personal responsibility for something? And in the same sense you say it is comforting knowing that someone will face judgement or account for their actions. I find that rather unchristian, because the christian ethos is to forgive is it not, therfore no one should need to account for their actions if they are forgiven? God certainly does not forgive if it sends you to hell and makes you accountable for actions, which as discussed is a very OT kind belief.

VicePope VicePope 4:55 pm 09 May 07

Absent Diane – to believe in nothing is as absolute and as unsubstantiable as to believe in anything.
Bonfire – do you really think society would be any better (or people any happier) if the only motivation for being honest and caring was that it satisfied some personal sense of ethics? Sometimes, it is a comfort to say that things happen because of something one cannot see and sometimes it is comforting and helpful to believe that everyone will have to account for their actions at some point. It may be a crutch, but so far as I know,I have not met a person who was not already limping.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 4:30 pm 09 May 07

Also there is without doubt cultural factors influencing fundamentalism and all religious belief as you say eg the middle east and the bible belt area of the u.s. The major factors for fundamentalism essentially being poverty and education. In theory moderate believers should divorce themselves from these fundie types for the good of their religion (all religions). The paradox for religions then as I see it is that it would be ‘unchristian’ (I would deem it irresponsible) for them to divorce these people due to the unfortunate hand they have been dealt in life. But to help them is to sponsor their ideals. And the fundamentalist meme is so ingrained into these cultures, that it would probably take several generations before it is replaced with something more moderate, therefore you would be sponsoring fundie actions for until that point which it is no longer required.

As fundie atheist as I am, sometimes I think it would be easier for us all if some godlike creature came down and spelt it all out for us.

bonfire bonfire 4:26 pm 09 May 07

ahhh vicepope.

the problem with the theological rambling is that there is no god, dingular, plural, binary, seen, unseen etc etc.

these are all manifestations of (take your pick) primitive, uneducated, ill-informed, possibly mentally ill HUMANS.

now if you want to argue that one could adopt a philosophy based on the teachings of a group of men (which is what i would group organised religions as), that would hold more ground.

as a person who endured bible studies all the way through to HSC – i found the more scrutiny a biblical text wa subjected to, the less believable they were. im aware of the various commentaries written over the years. im amazed more priest scholars didnt recant a lot harder in the days when they burnt you alive for heresy i guess.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 4:07 pm 09 May 07

So going by that theory; you would believe that a polytheistic religion such as hinduism, are seeing various manifestations of one singular entity? As they are able to break god down and personify different elements of god? would that then give them a deeper insight into gods mind?

VicePope VicePope 3:11 pm 09 May 07

Assume for the moment that there is one God – the product is not divided into separate bits for literalists/metaphorists or for Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists etc. No single church is right for all, because it would be alienated from the challenges facing the life of any specific believer.

Those who have faith all have a glimpse of God, but each from a different angle. Parts of the determination of the way each of us sees God will depend on social, political or cultural factors (cue the boring truth that the same person born in England would be Anglican, in Spain Catholic, in Germany Lutheran etc). Those cultural factors clutter something of what we see by distracting us with ritual or specialised clothes or whatever. The text-based literalists have those distractions, but they also have something like a smearing of their glasses through an inability to see that the medium through which they perceive God is compromised by the time and context in which it was produced.

Once one accepts that God is indivisible, it makes manifest the stupidity of those who resort to violence, exclusion or scorn or who interfere with an individual freedom to choose his or her path to God or who think that God loves only one church or that God demands particular political or social beliefs or actions.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 2:56 pm 09 May 07

So do you feel that within the non-fundie churches today there is a greater push for the personal god? as opposed to the fundie god of OT/koran etc.

The biggest problem I have with open minded moderates, is that their existence will always open the door for fundamentalism. And that is something that I don’t have an answer for.

VicePope VicePope 2:11 pm 09 May 07

For what it’s worth (which will be little in the eyes of some), the mainstream Catholics/Anglicans/Uniting church etc all think creationism (and creationism-lite, in the form of intelliget design) is a crock. It is impossible to conceive of any God as a being who goes around laying misleading evidence everywhere throughout the universe for no apparent reason.

The Old Testament was put together as the random ramblings of various leaders of a group of semi-educated itinerants in a culture where literal truth was neither offered nor expected. Not every account is included in the Old or New Testament, meaning that neither is reliable at the factual level. (It’s like memory, where it’s easier to recall how you felt than what you saw or heard). It is heavy in allegory and metaphor, and light on for anything resembling facts, especially in areas where the hearers (this was predominantly oral tradition) might have had some contradictory knowledge. However, they had the wit to ask themselves some questions about how and why they got there. They devised a system of belief that made some sense (at least as much as the SCientologists) and formed the basis for some sensible social rules.

A mainstream approach these days is to see it as an early work of literature from an alien culture (sort of like Beowulf) but to think about what it meant, rather than memorise and treat as fact what it said. There are now a couple of thousand years of commentary, all of which helps to contextualise what is in the text.

But this highlights a distinction between the OT and, say, the Koran and the Book of Mormon. The first is an acount written by man and asserted (at a limited level of literalness) to be the account of man’s interactions with a God who both cared and policed. The second is seen a literally the word of God and the third is claimed to have been written by God or an angel. We can interpret the first, but it is hard to argue with anyone who says that any informed reading of the second or third is as valid as any other. And in both cases (and with those who take the OT and creationism literally), there is a great deal of cultural paint that gets added to the structure.

shauno shauno 2:00 pm 09 May 07

Probably the same religion the Time Cube guy belongs to

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 1:07 pm 09 May 07

All fossils and evidence of evolution were planted by the flying spaghetti monster to test the faith of the Pastafarians. The world was created with a touch of his noodly appendage and heaven contains beer volcanos and a stripper factory.

The church of the flyuing spaghetti monster also has conclusive evidence that global warming has been caused by the decline in pirate numbers. As numbers of pirates dwindled, we have seen increased evidence of global warming and major environmental catastrophies. The proof is here:

Pastafarianism: the religion of choice for athiests

Absent Diane Absent Diane 11:08 am 09 May 07

yeah ok – that’s a concern, I think people with mental issues or people that are unstable due to personal issues are the target niche of a lot of religious organisations. Which is sad, as they do it under the pretence of genuine compassion.

shauno shauno 10:13 am 09 May 07

I think its a genuine mental health problem actually.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 9:58 am 09 May 07

That is truly bizzare. You do hear the odd story of seeming intelligent and learned people crossing over to creationism (the lowest form of religion in my less than humble opinion). You have to wonder what it drives it, a desire to be a part of something?

bonfire bonfire 9:51 am 09 May 07

i encountered a similar person – i asked how she could reconcile her belief that earth was only 4000 years old when the fossil record ad other sceince showed the earth was clearly millions of years old.

Her response was (paraphrasing) ‘who knows what the scientists of tomorrow will find out. a lot of scientists are wrong.’

unlike human contribution to global warming where the scientific community is divided, i think something like evolution and the age of the earth is something that there is no disagreement about.

now back to our scheduled program.

i saw this story got a run on the 9 news last night (the imam bashing, not nutty christians) and i think this is going to get messier before it is resolved.

who actually ‘owns’ the physical property of the mosque ? who forms the committees that run it ?

and how is kurt kennedy involved in them ?

shauno shauno 9:34 am 09 May 07

““what are your religious beliefs and how do you anticipate they would guide your actions in the Assembly, which policies of yours are motivated by your religious beliefs” I BELIEVE IN SOMEONE STRONGER THAN YOU AND ME. I’M JUST A SERVANT OF THAT PERSON.”

I just read that and thought what a total crack pot. It reminds me of a mate of mine that after completing his degree in Geology and and also completing a thesis in soil science the basis of which was describing various soil profiles dating back 100’s of thousands of years.

Suddenly he got mixed up with a fundamentalist Christian group who believed that the Earth was 5000 years old or there abouts and was totally brainwashed.

Under weight of evidence such as the 4000m ice cap in Antarctica with seasonal layering proving that it alone is much older then 5000 years lol. And isotope decay ratio dating like C14 and others.
The Himalayan mountain range etc etc lol

No amount of argument could convince him, his mind was totally closed off to reason and logic and instead the mind chose to believe not what his scientific training had shown him but in tales of magic and great wonders and fantasy.

It wasn’t that surprising really because he was always one to fall for things like pyramid schemes and other dodgy money making scheems so it seems his mind was easily manipulated.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 2:51 pm 08 May 07

My invisible friend is cooler than your invisible friend.

bonfire bonfire 12:15 pm 08 May 07

many parts of the old testament are direct steals from pre-judaic religions – example 1 – the epic of gilgamesh recorded in cuneiform by the sumerians, later converted into the great flood noah tale by the jews.

so is it the word of god or the word of man or is it just a tale they used to tell around the campfires pre electricity and television?

eg 2 the continual mis-referencing of the virgin mary – when it was common among jewish peopel of the time to take a wife who was a virgin until officially married – even if they lived together for the rest of their lives. so the virgin mary immaculate conception myth is deliberately used to force people (and especially women) to conform to certain moral codes for a few millennia.

i could go on, but you get my drift.

the little pebble etc are just the latest in groups of peopel who are excluded from ‘mainstream’ fairy tale believers because they dont tow a certain code laid down by man to ensure the corporate brand maintains authority.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 12:00 pm 08 May 07

If they all became Pastafarians and followed the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster all the worlds problems would be solved.

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