Jimmy Barnes: Stop using my music to protest Islam
AUSTRALIAN rocker Jimmy Barnes has urged anti-Islam protesters to stop using his music as a rallying call at protests.
The Cold Chisel singer took to his Facebook page to say such groups did not represent him.
The Scotland-born Barnes said: "If you look at my family you can see we are a multicultural family."
His wife Jane, with whom he has four children, was born in Thailand.
"It has come to my attention that certain groups of people have been using my voice, my songs as their anthems at rallies," he wrote.
"None of these people represent me and I do not support them."
Barnes is known for his pub-rock classics including Working Class Man and Khe Sanh.
Australian songs and flags have featured heavily in protest rallies - but from both sides of the debate.
At a Maroochydore mosque protest on the Sunshine Coast, university students targeting alleged 'racism' started singing Australian anthems.
Pauline Hanson was surrounded by Australian flags during her appearance at a Reclaim Australia protest in Rockhampton on the weekend.
The United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia have been staging rallies around the country brandishing Australian flags and protesting the "spread" of Islam, halal food and Asian immigration.
Reclaim Australia were reportedly playing Barnes' Khe Sanh, the song written about an Australian Vietnam veteran returning home and suffering with post traumatic stress disorder, at the relatively peaceful Brisbane Reclaim Australian rally on Sunday, Fairfax reported.
Whistles v khe sanh. Noise at 10 paces. pic.twitter.com/YqQoM2395z— Michael Best (@michaelbesty) July 19, 2015
By Wednesday morning, Barnes' Facebook post has attracted more than 21,000 likes, almost 1000 comments and more than 4100 shares.
The most liked response was this:
Wendy Lisac I don't have any problems with anyone , black or white, religions or political views....I have a problem with people who want to hurt, kill, rape, and don't respect others.
But almost as popular in likes was this lengthy response from Farooq Yousaf.
"To all Reclaim and UPF supporters commenting here, let me put things for you in a simpler perspective:
I am Muslim by faith/birth/social upbringing, but secular by choice. I have lived in Germany and the UK, and I finally had a sigh of relief coming to Australia for my PhD.
"The last thing I was expecting here (after witnessing neo Nazi protests in East Germany) was a substantial section of society reading one side of the Australian media, without looking at the Muslims around them, and generalizing all of them on false notions.
"Almost each and every Muslim I have met here loves to be here, enjoys life, has local friends, goes out often with them, has a couple of drinks even and respects the law. We are ourselves against Sharia (most of us in the Muslim world) let aside implementing it a country where we come to at least live a free life.
"Even in my country of origin only 2% of the seats in legislature were won by religious parties, and rest by non religious centrist parties (same goes for countries like in East and Central Asia, Malaysia Indonesia along with Arab states like Jordan and Egypt).
"Why do you think "we" want to take you over? I used to follow cricket matches in Australia as a kid and the only thing that I could associate to this country was DIVERSITY... how have you people started believing a notion that is only spreading hate and fear.
"I recently came here for my post grad, and only in my second month, I was attacked verbally with a racist slur, and then someone tried throwing a bottle at me.. I cant even dare going out alone at nights now and I have to live here for the next 3 years. What is my fault in all of this? or a majority like me?
"I wish to live, study, and take back with me memories of an Australia that I knew as a kid.
"Not an Australia where I fear being attacked on a confused notion of my identity or religion. Believe me when I say this, No ONE wants to take you over. We love being here in this amazing country. But words and thoughts like yours are doing nothing but creating fear for majority like myself.
For argument's sake: You have a 23 + million total population with only 2% Muslims, even if in that 2% a very very minute fraction "maybe" calling for sharia, get them arrested, as it is against the law to give such a call.
"How can a rational person expect a fraction of 2% (which is also an imaginary fraction) rule over a 98% non Muslim dominated country? But for starters, how can those 2% think to impose their values on a majority, a majority that gave them a new home, a new life and saved them from oppression (in many cases)."