Uthman Badar was scheduled to address the topic of "honour" killing at Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas in August. Yesterday, festival joint founder and co-curator, Simon Longstaff, announced that the talk had been cancelled, due to "the level of public anger" over the title: Honour Killings are Morally Justified.Gosh. That couldn’t have been anticipated. Could it?
Badar had intended to "explain the world view that could lead people to assume that it was morally justified" to kill in the name of honour. Had the title been put in the form of a question, Longstaff conceded, members of the public might not have assumed that the speaker would condone the practice.Heh! But wait! It’s not a semantic issue at all!
In Badar’s view, posted on Facebook, there was no difference between his "dangerous idea" and the others the festival has aired. "What is different is that I'm Muslim," he wrote, "one willing to intellectually challenge secular liberal ideology and mainstream values – and that says a lot about the true extent of freedom and equality in modern Western liberal democracies such as Australia."Right. Sure. Ok. Of course. It must be. Right? There’s no other explanation.