The media backlash on television host Sonia Kruger over the comments about “banning Muslims” to Australia has been huge. Many have taken to social media to have a go at Sonia over the remarks and Waleed Aly has had enough.
“Sonia Kruger isn’t evil. She’s scared, and she’s trying to make sense of the world. Yesterday, she admitted to not feeling safe. How do you think she feels now? And how do you expect her to react?” Waleed said on Channel Ten’s The Project last night.
In Waleed’s popular editorial segment, he has tackled many pressing issues. His take on the Sonia Kruger incident where she said on-air that she is worried for her safety and thinks “banning Muslims” might be the answer. Waleed stated that he “pull apart Sonia Kruger’s statement” or he “could point out that Japan has had its share of terror attacks, or that the UN has attributed Japan’s low crime rate to low inequality and low gun ownership. I could point out that if Sonia is afraid, logically, as a woman in Australia, she has a much higher chance of being murdered by a man she knows, than a Muslim from another country.
“And I could do all of this with the best intentions, but really, all I’d be doing is encouraging the inertia of outrage that spins the Gravitron that we’re all on. I’d be fuelling the same cycle that has led to absolutely horrendous personal attacks on Sonia in the last 24 hours.” Waleed concluded referring to the backlash via social media that Sonia has received.
Waleed said that when anyone gives a polarising opinion that people can react constructively or destructively. Saying “We can react emotionally, carelessly, and with little genuine critical thought, and we can destroy a perceived enemy in the hope that it will neutralise the threat that is making us feel unsafe,” reiterating that this is reacting destructively.
“Or when we are presented with what we perceive as an outrageous opinion, we can consider what motivated that person, try to understand their fear, and empathise with how they came to their conclusion. The truth is, what motivates them, is fear. And fear is one thing we all share.” Waleed continued. He stated that many have fear about the future and about pressing issues but that people should act with venom.
Waleed concluded “While it feels good to choose destruction, right now I think we need to try construction. I’m not saying you should be silent in the face of bigotry. But when you do engage with someone you disagree with, I’m talking about assuming the best in people, showing others radical generosity in the face of their hostility. Which is the much harder choice because it demands much more restraint, patience, and strength.”
The message being that if you disagree with someone’s opinions, it’s better to engage with them constructively than with attacks.