Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi)

Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi)

Have you ever heard of Rita Panahi? Nope. Neither have I. Not until this morning. She wrote this pretty ridiculous article for the Herald Sun. It was titled ‘Stifling debate empowers radicals’.

You’re probably thinking ‘Oh, great! Someone else who thinks it’s important that we discuss the full extent of issues that lead to the radicalisation of Muslims. What a great woman! How important in light of the Charlie Hebdo attack!

I wish I could tell you to click that hyperlink and read the article to feel a sense of harmonious togetherness; a sense of one, united force standing in the face of terrorism.But really, you’re not going to get anything like that out of it. You’ll see how Rita reckons that all Muslims are to blame for the crimes of a handful.

You’ll see that she thinks that we Muslims are all a bunch of Neanderthals with a ‘permissive attitude towards violent jihad’ which, quite clearly, demonstrates why ‘so many young men raised, and often born, in Western countries have gone to the Middle East to fight alongside terrorists’. (Trust her. She knows us better than we know ourselves).

You’re going to see a bunch of useless, nonsense calculations that show that even 1% of Muslims being in favour of terrorist activities is bad because 1% = x number. Impressively, you’ll see how Rita somehow manages to, for the first time in human history, prove that 99% is in fact smaller than 1%. You read that right. Because clearly, we shouldn’t treat the 99% of Muslims, who are decent, law-abiding citizens, as the majority – oh no – it’s the violent 1% that is the majority. Let’s call it Rita’s law.

Rita Panahi, everyone.

Let’s look at her article properly. She starts with

The overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world are a peaceful people but what are their attitudes to the extreme elements within their religion? Just how deep is the chasm between radical and moderate Islam?

She started off great! Most Muslims are just normal people. Unfortunately, she goes on to say

But let’s not be too hasty in dismissing the significance of the 1 per cent of those polled who said the suicide bombers were right to carry out the attack.

There are about 2.7 million Muslims in the UK.

If that 1 per cent is representative, then that’s 27,000 Muslims who saw the utter carnage and devastation caused by the London bombings and thought that the attacks were “right”.

Oh wait, nope. Muslims aren’t normal people. Muslims are crazies. Apparently, not a single other human in the UK thought that the attacks in London were okay. The only people who are categorically insane are Muslims.

Look, you guys. I know you might think that 99% is much larger than 1%, but you’d be wrong, because Rita’s law. That group of almost 2.7 million (rounding properly, Rita) Muslims are a much smaller number than 27,000.

She goes on to blah blah some more about Jihad, Sharia law etc.

Incredibly, after blaming all Muslims for the vile acts of terrorism that we’ve seen in modern history, she says

‘We are never going to be in a position to properly tackle these issues and fully integrate the Muslim community into the mainstream if we refuse to acknowledge unpleasant facts and shy away from openly debating how we can overcome this hatred from within.’

Uh…wait. Waaaaiit. Muslims are supposed to stop the terrorists from within and ‘integrate’ into mainstream society while also being painted with the same terrorist brush using Rita’s law?

Rita, darling. You cannot have your cake and eat it. Even using Rita’s law, that doesn’t work.

The best part of her little conclusion is that she implies that society has to accept us – as though we currently live off in the fringes of laa laa land somewhere. We’re not part of society. She’s part of ‘we’ and we’re the other. I suppose that’s a side effect of Rita’s law.

Amazingly, this morning on Sunrise, Andrew O’Keefe (yeah, the Deal or No Deal guy and also winner or runner up of the Great Celebrity Spelling Bee in 2005, or something) explained to Rita that her law actually doesn’t work in the real world. You can watch him do that here. To make things easier, Andrew tried to make a comparison with Christian fanatics who bomb abortion clinics in the US. He explained how these people do not reflect all Christians. Rita replied ‘that’s such a nonsensical argument’. Rita was there for a debate. Of course, instead of engaging in this debate that she so passionately wants to start, Rita ended the interview talking about women wearing burqas in Saudi Arabia. LOL. What even?

Well, Rita. You’re a pretty nonsensical individual.

Look. Rita is minimally right – there needs to be greater discussion and debate about what is going on in the Islamic community. Problem is that Rita doesn’t even remotely understand the sort of debate and discussion that needs to be happening.  She doesn’t seem to realise that the discussion is happening (Rita – Google it. Maybe use keywords like ‘Muslims’ + ‘Condemn + ISIS’ or something. You might find something).

We need a better understanding of what drives someone so far away from feeling like they belong that they can even begin to have these violent thoughts. What needs to be done to help Muslims feel like they belong in their Western homes? (Hint, Rita. Don’t make them feel like they’re outsiders). How do we support Muslims who loudly stand in the face of the extremists? (Rita, you don’t make them feel like terrorists). What needs to be done to quash the bigoted voices of those who see to think that if you’ve seen one Muslim, you’ve seen them all. I mean come on, Rita, this isn’t an Adam Sandler movie.

Rita, stop writing stupid articles about how Muslims are a ticking time bomb – no pun intented – and start doing something productive with your time.

Interestingly, this afternoon, Rita has taken to twitter to say that she’s not racist. You guys, she’s using Rita’s law. Just because 99% of her is racist, it doesn’t mean that she is overwhelmingly racist; just like how 99% of Muslims being good people doesn’t result in Muslims being good people.

Want to keep up to date with new posts?

Follow me on Twitter. Prefer Facebook? Okay, off you go.