Issam Jameel — The issue of famous Australian broadcaster Alan Jones comes again to be on top of breaking news in Australia. According to the court decision, Alan has been put under pressure to make a public apology to Lebanese Muslims after assaulting them in one of his Radio programs in 2005 as a result of Cronulla riots, South Sydney. Australians still carry in mind the events happening at the Cronulla beach when 5000 angry people revolted on a racial tension caused violence and clatter between them and police.
Jones was incited for hatred after he flung verbal contempt at the Lebanese Muslims, describing them as “vermin” who “rape and pillage a nation that’s taken them in”. After the Cronulla riots, many posters and car stickers were printed, showing the Australian flag accompanied by the text “love it or leave it”. These words were accusing Lebanese Muslims that they do not show love to Australia and hence deserved to be out of its boundaries.
In 2009, a tribunal ordered Alan Jones to make a public apology. As a result, jones had appealed against the 2009 decision by the New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal.
Lights spotted on jones again after his appeal was dismissed recently, and so now, Australians look forward to Jones’s speech of apology while media still reminding public the offensive words of Jones with which he assaulted Lebanese Muslims” “If ever there was a clear example that Lebanese males in their vast numbers not only hate our country and our heritage, this was it.”
In the context of the new court decision, Jones is now legally as well as morally obliged to tender a public apology for inciting hatred against an ethnic segment of the Australian population. His case shows the power of media abused to fuel fire in society instead of using it thoughtfully to serve social justice. One can only hope that Jones remains sincere in his apology and changes his public image for better.
About the Author
Born in Iraq, Issam Jameel worked for Iraqi army’s newspaper Al-Qadesia while studying art and gradually achieving the status of a dependable theatrical critic. Earning a degree in theatrical studies in Baghdad, he later moved to Jordan and became a Christian. Now residing in Australia, Jameel has authored a book Iraq Through A Bullet Hole: A Civilian Wikileaks about his visit to post-war Iraq. Besides his regular job, he takes time for creative writing and reading.