Home' Scoop : Scoop 71 Autumn 2015a Contents 42
he idea of a camera floating unseen at your bedroom window will
evoke either a sense of Orwellian dread or dead-eyed indifference
– depending of course on when you were born. So many of us are,
after all, perpetually on the make, procuring selfies. So the idea of
potentially one more, albeit unsolicited, pic isn’t even worth sharing in a post,
right? Perhaps. But the advent of the drone-mounted camera has far broader
implications for those still invested in that quaint old concept called privacy.
Consider the drone that buzzed into my Perth backyard recently, hovering for
a moment at a window before scooting over the roof, then peering in from
another side and disappearing over the garden wall. Call me paranoid, but
the experience carried the chill of cat burglary. It turned out to be part of
a real estate marketing campaign, the intimate vision of our house making it all
the way to the cutting-room floor, but you don’t need much of an imagination
to consider its darker potential. In this edition, Gail Williams explores the
growing craze for drone-mounted cameras (Spy in the Sky, p134) and
the lagging regulation around it. Meanwhile, writer Mark Irving unpacks the
so-called “sharing economy” (The Share Market, p118), and how the global
swapping and trading trend is playing out here in WA. Consumers may be
enjoying more choice but what about customer care? And where does it leave
small businesses still constrained by onerous regulation? There’s so much more
at stake for businesses and consumers than the hype suggests.
From business disruptors to gender variations... staff writer Anna
Christensen takes a look inside the compelling world of sex and gender
in her feature Trans Perth (p126). At last count, Facebook had a dropdown
menu of 71 custom gender options around the world, and it seems, Perth has
its fair share of folk on this fascinating spectrum. Elsewhere in this issue, you
will discover that the arts feast we indulged in over summer continues almost
unabated into autumn, and when it comes to choosing the best events on
offer, we’ve got you covered. Plus, as always, expect to be inspired by our
style, food, fashion and insights pages.
Fiona Adolph, Managing Editor
Journalist Mark Irving’s excellent piece about Islam in WA
(Scoop 70) attracted much reader comment. As his story
demonstrates, many members of Perth’s disparate Islamic
community generously engaged with the piece. At the
same time, calls to the Islamic Council of Perth seeking
members’ input for a round-table at Scoop were less
fruitful. Needless to say, our warm invitation remains!
More to the story
Journalists consistently portray any questioning or challenging of Islamic
beliefs or behavior as springing from ignorance. (Your story) gives a very
brief summary of Sharia Law (but) no information regarding discrimination
against people of other faiths. Journalists have a duty to not just write off
concerns as bigotry and ignorance. Most Muslims would not agree with the
extreme brutality of Islamic State (but) there are valid problems with Islam
in a secular democracy.
Joan, by post.
Australians like us
It’s not often that the media takes the time to present the real lives of
Muslims – not the tiny minority who have misinterpreted and distorted
religion to serve their own political and social agendas. I hope that your
story planted a seed of doubt in the minds of those who continue to insist
that Australian Muslims are ‘not like us’. We are, in fact, very much like you:
we are, after all, Australians too.
Azza, by email.
A personal perspective
I was raised in Perth as a Muslim and have had lifelong exposure to Islam.
In the Quran, God is not a moderate. Regarding the claim that the religion
is misrepresented by fanatics and extremists, the truth is exactly the
other way around: (in my view), it’s moderate Muslims who misrepresent
the Quran in their attempts to square its (contents) with modern
westernised lifestyles. The message is clear: to disbelieve is the worst
of all sins. Apologists for the Quran will sometimes point out that the
Old Testament Bible has its share of barbarity and bloodshed. How
this is supposed to mitigate the same in the Quran is beyond me. Religions
aren’t all equal. It is time for liberals and moderates to face an inconvenient
truth: The Quran does encourage contempt for non-Muslims. And to the
extent that there are – thankfully – many peaceful and moderate Muslims,
this is (in my view) in spite of their exposure to Islam, not because of it.
Hassan, by post.
Scoop welcomes feedback. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your
say. Letters have been edited for space and content.
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