Satirist – or Racist and Anti-Semitic?

Satirist – or Racist and Anti-Semitic?

There’s nothing better than a good satire. Fairfax’s Ben Pobjie, after bewailing the lack of talent on Australian TV compared with the US and Britain added that

“we should take a moment to recognise that we actually have some damn talented folk in this country …for all the – often justified – wailing about dreadful locally made comedy, we keep turning up…satire like Legally Brown, and the production line of sharp local comedy minds continues with LB‘s Nazeem Hussain

So… let’s not let the brilliance under our noses go unnoticed… once you start looking for diamonds in the mud, you’ll suddenly find them everywhere.” HERE:

So is Nazeem a diamond? Pobjie’s accolades aside, let’s examine the evidence:

The Australian’s Chris Kenny wrote in 2011:

Described as a comedian and the treasurer of the Islamic Council of Victoria, he joined ABC television’s Q&A program to give a young Muslim Australian’s perspective on the death of Osama bin Laden.

The result was highly disturbing and dangerous.

In what amounted to an apologia for terrorism he displayed a warped view of the war against terrorism and drew a moral equivalence between the deliberate and senseless slaughter of almost 3000 innocent people in the US on September 11, 2001 and the targeted killing of terrorist leader Bin Laden.

Given more than 100 Australian civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks since those planes were flown into the twin towers, we all live with the trauma of modern security concerns… it is too much to accept these misguided and insensitive views as part of a broad public discourse.

Let’s examine Hussain’s words…

“You know, look this is the war on terror. This is the age of rendition, torture, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib Prison.”

Really? Most of us would characterise the age of terror by the vile atrocities perpetrated against civilians. More than 200 people blown apart and burned by bombers in Bali, or dozens of London and Madrid commuters slaughtered in trains on the way to work, or Pakistani families cut down by suicide bombers in a marketplace, or tourists hunted and shot like feral animals in Mumbai – this is the age of terror.

It is also the age of soldiers at sports venues, screening at airports and daily worry we have about travelling friends.

Hussain insults us all by defining the age of terror not through this insidious evil and its consequences but through a list of anti-American grievances.

This is a moral backflip that instantaneously converts the terror campaign from being a savage and unprovoked attack against western people, their supporters and their values into a tale of western wrong-doings fomenting resentment and violence.

…Hussain went on to explicitly blame the west for terrorists.

“You know, Islamic terrorism exists in the context of many, many years of western intervention in the Middle East dating back to the first Gulf War with sanctions and bombings of Iraq… eventually you’re going to create someone like Osama bin Laden who is going to react in a way that you just can’t control.”

So Hussain is saying it was all our fault.  What a terrible, wrong and dangerous thing to say.

This is the sort of muddle-headed self-loathing that can only endanger the very existence of liberal democracies because it leads inevitably to us doing whatever the terrorists demand.

This bright young man neglected to condemn the horror and went straight to criticising our response.

He neglected to detail the evil of bin Laden’s actions but immediately protested the trampling of the al-Qa’ida leader’s rights: “You know due process isn’t something that the US has always kind of followed, so it’s not surprising that they essentially perhaps, you know, executed this guy.

… He actually drew an unqualified moral equivalence between the actions of Osama bin Laden and those of President Obama: “I think you shouldn’t respond in, you know, the same way that bin Laden has  you know, bin Laden killed people indiscriminately.

“I don’t think the United States should be proud that they’re stooping to the same level.”

Surely he cannot seriously contend the shooting of a terrorist mastermind in a military raid is comparable to the deliberate slaughter of 3000 civilians.

Hussain seems to think we all have a lot to learn: “Now, that he’s gone, now we can just take a break, pause, look back and see where we are and see if we’ve actually progressed since September 11 in terms of our attitudes towards minority communities not just Muslims but people who aren’t white in Australia.”

Get it? Osama bin Laden apparently taught us a lesson about how we treat minorities.

If Hussain doesn’t understand how offensive this is, he really needs to sit down and discuss these issues with a mature person.

 So according to Nazeem, our attitude towards Muslims and non-white minorities is the problem. What’s worse is that many in the audience – brainwashed by political correctness, which deems that anything said by non-whites and Muslims must be commendable – applauded him.

All reasonable people agree that racism is deplorable.

Watching Nazeem’s Legally Brown, it struck me how racist he was towards white people, constantly making sweeping generalizations about them. The odd thing is that many white people, admittedly from the leftie elite, think he is hilarious. Would they have felt the same if he’d made the same statements about black people? Of course not!

There is a common misconception that only white people can be racist, easily disproved by looking at nearly all Arab countries. Dubai, hailed as a modern miracle, has a society where people are treated differently according to race. Nazeem would fare badly there, paid much less than Arabs and probably forced to live in a compound with fellow ‘brown people’, despite being a Muslim in an Islamic country. It seems not all ‘brothers’ are equal!

Compare his treatment in Australia, where he is feted as a comedic genius and given generous government grants. He is wealthy, well educated and given special treatment, presumably because of his ethnicity and religion.

Despite all these advantages, Nazeem promotes the idea that Australia’s ethnic majority are a bunch of racists.

Not only is Nazeem racist towards white people, but he is also a supporter of BDS, the racist, anti-Semitic movement that seeks to demonise Israel and Jews who dare support their historic homeland.

Vickie Janson wrote:

The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) has previously used vilification laws to prosecute Christian pastors for apparently vilifying and mocking Muslims. Yet ICV Spokesperson Nazeem Hussain and his partner in comedy presenting ‘Fear of Brown Planet’ received a VicHealth grant of $150,000 to legally vilify and mock non-Muslims because having a good laugh at others is deemed beneficial for mental health. Mr Hussain also supports the radical anti-Semitic BDS group making a complete mockery of the notion of charging others with vilification.”

In 2010 Nazeem joined “a day of solidarity with Palestine”.

500 individuals participated in pro-Palestine activities in Melbourne,  protesting against both the brutality of Israel’s actions in recent weeks and the ongoing support of the Australian government for Israeli apartheid.

The day started off with a Students for Palestine forum at RMIT University discussing the reality of Israeli apartheid. In one of the emotional highpoints of the forum, one of the speakers read a quote from Desmond Tutu — a leader of the anti-apartheid campaign in South Africa — which argued that the situation in Palestine is worse than anything he saw in his struggle.

…the forum participants then marched down to the state library where they joined around 500 persons in a rally with the slogan “Break Ties with Apartheid Israel.” …. One speaker after another denounced the Australian government for this slavish support for Israel.

Nazeem Hussain from the comedy duo Fear of a Brown Planet said:

“The government that we voted in is one of the only countries in the world that votes alongside that terrorist nation. Australia and the US, in the last couple of weeks, didn’t vote to investigate war crimes committed by Israel. Shame on Australia. Shame on this supposedly left-wing party of this great democratic nation.”

Inaf Sammak from the Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth said:

“… We demand that Australia cut ties with Israel — apartheid Israel. We demand that the transgressions of the holy sites be condemned.”

Just last year Julia Gillard… announced her total support for Israel in the midst of the slaughter of Gazan civilians, asserting that

“Israel has the right to defend itself.”

One of the Palestinian speakers asked: “How can Australia remain silent while Jerusalem cries?” The hundreds of students and community supporters involved in the day of solidarity’s actions are committed to campaign for Palestinian rights as long as is necessary, until the apartheid nature of the state of Israel is abolished .

So Nazeem is committed to abolishing the State of Israel, a UN member with which Australia has friendly relations.

 I’d like to pose two questions:

1)   Is Nazeem a cutting edge satirist, or is his brand of comedy racist?

2)   Does his support of BDS – racist, anti-Semitic group – make him a racist and an anti-Semite?

“Legally Brown”  SBS  videos


Waleed Aly endorses Nazeem’s view that Muslims are victims of our racism – even though Islam is not a race!

“He exposes a binary world where there’s whiteness, and then otherness. Where white people are individuals and non-white people (a singular group) are not.

 …his is the world of post-9/11 Australian Muslims…It’s about being a consistent target of political opportunism, where everyone from the Prime Minister to the Foreign Minister to an otherwise washed-up backbencher with a view on burqas has you in their sights; where bombs detonate in Western capitals and unrelated nations are invaded. It is an altogether heavier, more politically contentious world.

 Uncle Sam… was designed to embody society’s greatest fears about Muslim radicalism. In Legally Brown he is an unlikely prime ministerial candidate with a promise to “Make Australia Halal”.

 There’s no doubt Hussain is testing social limits… on Salam Café, by far the most common theme was that we had no right, as Muslims, to be critical of some aspect of Australia. We were lucky to have been allowed into this country…  we were outsiders, and should behave as such…We are welcome, but only as supplicants, celebrating the nation’s unblemished virtue.

 Is that edgy? …He’s just speaking with a voice we rarely hear from a minority: one that simply assumes its place as an insider. His is a political voice, sure. But it’s also an Australian voice. And that, I suspect, is what’s most likely to offend. Read here SMH

Wal is wrong that we are offended by those with an Australian voice; what we object to are attempts to undermine our egalitarian culture by introducing sharia.

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  1. Leon Poddebsky

    For the ABC, SBS and SMH, he’s a real gem.

  2. Unbelievable. Thanks again Pam for yet another insightful and well researched article .. thanks for drawing this to our attention so that we can openly decry any event or program he participates in. I for one stopped watching the totally biased Q&A long ago, which means I don’t get to see people like him. Perhaps that’s a bad thing for my own ‘political’ awareness.

  3. Pam, bloody brilliant, comprehensive and compellig.

    Nazeem fits in with the general Aussie ethos of “healthy” mirth on ANY occasion:
    – best approach in Parliament, crack a joke, besmirch the other bloke oposite, one liners and you’ve made it. Did we get intellectually inspired gags from Paul Keating, no way, but we got the best one liners, epithets the more insulting the better.
    – Funny funerals, the louder the laughter the better for the bereaved poor bugger seeing off a parent.
    – Political satire, give us all you got, just like on Q&A where this new light on the hill Tanya Pliberscek – or whatever – treats with humorous disdain any legitimate criticism of her impeccable political mob to the delight of the punters in the audience, aparently selected from all political shades.
    – And then this clown Nazeem fitting in perfectly.
    Here’s his formula/scenario. Allay any possible criticism of pro Islam bias by cracking first a few cheap darts at HIMSELF, obviously a “darky”, “refo” and “bloody muzlim”. Bring in his Mum, Dad, bros and cousins. Here’s a few I just prepared earlier for yourze:

    ” Me bro Ali is such a bloody religious bludger he still reckons Mohamed should come to him. You know, Mohamed the delivery guy who works for “Fatah Pizza” around the corner.” boom-boom !!!

    ” Me Mum loves me to bits and reckons I’m better lookin’ than Brad Pitt and she wont let me move out.She reckons once I’m out of her strict Muslim (!!!) control I’ll be easy prey to all those women crazy about her Adonis, she calls me in Arabic Al Adonis ( laughter ). Mainly she dont trust Angie Jolee being faithful to Brad. I said ” , dont worry Mum, would I ever take Angie from Brad !!?? No way , yourze know why, I could never see her while wearing a hijab “boom-boom – deafening laughter, TV producer says “..mate that’s fffff’n good, you are having a go at your own bloody religion, your own Mum, brother Ali and that’s just great !!!

    Then, once established that the cretin is fair and balanced, he gets stuck into everybody else, sublimaly, as in the stuff Pam described so well. By now Nazeem is already bona fide “one of us”, selfdeprecating, he sacrificed HIS OWN MUM and bro Ali. What more do we need !!??

    Would our own, much better, actually the best local product, Sandy Guttman be allowed the same TV space !!?? No bloody way !!

  4. I’d just watched ABC’s Four Corners documentary detailing the horror for those terrorised and killed in an Al Qaeda attack on a remote North African gas plant and Nazeem’s show came up next on SBS. Here he was joking about blowing people up. This is simply not funny when it is actually happening in epidemic proportions all around the world to families sitting in churches, on trains, at work or in shopping malls. Bad taste Nazeem. People are really losing loved ones and body parts whose lives will never be put back together – is it really a laughing matter? Better you stick to mocking whites than mocking the slain and their grieving families.

  5. Pam, a brilliant article. Whilst the “west” have to answer for its wrongs, consider the saying: “two wrongs do not make a right”. It is unacceptable to have satire about the ill conceived destruction of others – no matter how it is done – and fortunate we can comment in this open manner. Or, am I also going to be targeted for having my respectable thoughts aired?

  6. Excellent article, Pam. I want to post it on FB but it goes from right to left which is difficult to read. Can it be fixed, and reposted Rachel

  7. Thanks Rachel. I’m afraid I can’t anwer that question – too technical for me!

  8. Thanks everyone for your comments, which are much appreciated. Because there’s a word limit, I wasn’t able to include this review, but it’s worth reading:

  9. Thanks for this article, Pam. We really need to keep the heat up on this kind of duplicitous creep.
    Shame on those Australians who alow themselves to be sucked in by him.

    I just want to make a comment about what Chris Kenny, who you quoted, said about the 9/11 attacks; that is, that they were “deliberate and senseless.”
    This word “senseless” comes up all the time in media reports about terrorist attacks. But the attacks are in no way “senseless”.
    Brigadier SK Malik, in “The Qur’anic Concept of War” outlines the important strategic use of terror in psychologically dislocating the enemy (that’s us, folks). “Terror struck into the hearts of the enemies is not only a means, it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent’s heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved. It is the point where the means and the end meet and merge.”
    We can see the results of attacks such as 9/11 quite clearly all around us. Terrorists have attained respect for Islam, and the respect manifests itself both openly 9we give Muslims whatever they ask for…just in case…) and subtly – such as the fawning of audiences over people such as Nazeem Hussein, whose role is to position himself publically to justify terrorism using “humour” and cries of victimhood. His audience cannot see that terror has mesmerised them.

  10. One hopes that “disclosures” of civilised substance within Islam, totally missinterpreted by prejudiced Islamophobic commentators ( as we are constantly reminded by the Muslim elitte !), find the rational echoes expected from an intelligent Australian – admitedly non Muslim – audience.
    That SMH promoting Walleed Aly promoting Nazeem Al Clown is a travesty of decency in journalism.
    I was right; Nazeem has a go at his own kind, careful to follow the strict limits traced by his private Mufti, and then having gained carte blanche as a “equidistant” social commentator, he does the “other” stuff the same Mufti inspired him to go for, i.e. get stuck for real into the Yahudi Zionist so and so.
    He has gained currency within the existing non Mulsim prejudiced mob, those who decide cultural values of the multi kind at SBS and they are plenty there. I remember, for instance, many years ago, having the silly idea of working at the Romanian SBS Radio as presenter. My credentials, let me tell yourse, are impeccable. Bucharest Uni., perfect Romanian etc. The panel interviewing me was made of a dozen or so multi-cultural SBSists. The crucial question was : “Do you think that the Romanian listeners would mind you being Jewish !!??” I replied that I never mentioned that I was Jewish, but being proudly so, I am sure that any antisemite would be worried sick about that.” I didn’t get the “job” ( unpaid ) and never been happier.

    Back to our Nazeem and Aly, laughter cannot drown the pain of terror felt through the bones of those who have witnessed the exploits of an Islam bent on destroying everything which is not THEM. The puerile games of “humour” are not fooling those who have been exposed to the Islamic pillars of pain inflicted by these stand up ,NOT funny at all, purveyors of farce…..

    • Otto, for once I can understand you clearly. Yes, there is nothing funny about terror, and those who have experienced it first hand are certainly not fooled. I remember going to hear Arnold Roth, a Melbourne man who made aliyah and whose 15 year old daughter was murdered at a pizza cafe. I’m sure he wouldn’t find Nazeem at all amusing, just sickening.

  11. wrote

    . Because there’s a word limit, I wasn’t able to include this review, but it’s worth reading:

    The word limit isn’t that strict. It’s merely a guideline.

    If you want to add more send it to me.

  12. Pam
    to be frank , I am just as happy when people understand me un-clearly, considering that the same ME wrote everything else.
    Just reminding what me mate Seneca said once, so clearly : Optimum est pati quod emendari nequit. In English we say : best is to endure what cannot be altered. That’s me alright……….

    • Otto, I wasn’t really too serious. I enjoy reading your comments, except sometimes they are a bit too intellectual for me to comprehend.

      Shirlee, thanks for adding that. I’ve been trying to discipline myself to keep within the word limit, which is why I left it out. But I think Wal is such an prominent figure in Melbourne – political commentator, lecturer on terrorism, media personality and much more – that his view is important.

  13. By the way, it’s fascinating to read the comments – 123 of them before comments were closed. Surprisingly, not all of them showed fawning admiration.

    They actually reveal quite a range of view – worth an article in themselves.

  14. Hey, Pam, don’t knock yourself, love. Yourse is pretty smart too and the stuff yourse write is like cool and like awesome and I like real dig it.

    ( me “too intellectual”………!!!)

  15. Bravo to this article I find this racist pro Islamic agenda by the sbs to be horrorifying. Only white people are racist. If it was a white person saying the same thing about any other race it would be barred.