Anne Aly won’t discuss Guardian article with ‘non-academic’

UPDATE: Dr Aly shows her true colours again in this unnecessary and uncalled for tweet:

Maybe that is the kind of conduct that is to be expected from staff at Curtin University…And of course, ‘polemics’ are only written by other people that disagree with you… LOL!

'Shut up' she explained…

‘Shut up’ she explained…

I think we can all draw our own conclusions from that.

Dr Anne Aly’s biography at Curtin University reads as follows:

Dr Anne Aly is an Early Career Research Fellow at Curtin University. She has a professional background in policy having worked as a Senior Policy Officer and Manager within the Western Australian Government.

Anne’s research interests are in the areas of terrorism studies and counter terrorism with a focus on the public and policy responses to terrorism. Her PhD explored the mediated [which I infer from the context means ‘via the media’] fear of terrorism among Muslim communities and the broader community in Australia.

Anne has published widely on diverse issues including Muslim identity, Muslim media activism, terrorism and the internet, the terrorism discourse and counter terrorism responses. She has presented at national and international conferences and workshops on terrorism and counter terrorism and Australian Arab relations. She is the author of Terrorism and Global Security: Historical and Contemporary Approaches (Palgrave Macmillan).

Aly’s first degree at the American University in Cairo was English Literature (British and Commonwealth). Her graduate diploma at Edith Cowan was in Comparative Linguistics, and her PhD was on the subject of Migrant Muslim Women and English Language Provisions. Her second PhD in Media and Culture, also at Edith Cowan, was on the subject of Audience Responses to the Media Discourse on Terrorism.

All very impressive, if you’re into that kinda soft social sciences stuff as The Guardian and its readers no doubt are.

Me, on the other hand, I have an Engineering degree from Cambridge University and I then re-qualified as a lawyer – both completely irrelevant to the issue of Islam, I know.

But, weirdly, I can read. I can also use my eyes to look at what is happening in the world, and draw conclusions. Also, weirdly, I possess that rather too uncommon virtue: common sense – something that is quite handy in the über-politically correct time in which we are unfortunate enough to live.

Studying law teaches you not only about the actual laws of the land, but also, more importantly, how to think and use your brain to assess and analyse evidence at a high level. Having to make arguments defending a particular position, or critiquing another position to expose weaknesses is fundamental to the practice of law. In fact, that is precisely what a barrister is doing during cross-examination, probing a witness’s story to find holes and at the same time suggesting an alternative version of events.

I have ‘studied’ Islam and the emerging conflict with the West for nearly ten years, on and off, as a keen amateur if you like, but one who has sufficient powers of thought and logical reasoning to form his own conclusions and comment fairly intelligently on the current situation in Australia and the West. I don’t pretend to be an expert, but I possess vastly more knowledge on the subject than the average member of the public, and am smart enough to construct rational arguments for the positions I take.

Given all that, it was particularly disappointing when I tweeted to Dr Aly and invited her to respond to my rebuttal of her latest article in The Guardian:

and received the following rather terse reply (try to ignore the typo):

to which I responded:

and followed with:

But that wasn’t enough to persuade Aly to play ball. The following exchange put an end to the discourse:

Yes, I do not have Dr Aly’s academic credentials in her particular field, but that is (or at least, should be) irrelevant when considering the merits of an argument.

Unfortunately, rather than defend the many egregious errors and misrepresentations in her article, she hides behind rather childish academic elitism.

Despite this, according to The Guardian and the ABC, she is the ‘go to’ commentator on all things Islamic. Go figure.

All I know is that if someone refuses to debate, we can reach our own conclusions as to why that may be.


  1. Simon Colwell says:

    Using her twisted logic no one should ever have listened to Tim Flannery’s rantings about climate change…


  2. Typical. Confront them with any form of logic and they run for the hills.


  3. James Murphy says:

    Such professionalism and integrity from someone who, as an academic, should be very happy to discuss their work with members of the public. By no means does she have to agree with everyone, but she should be willing to interact on some level with people outside her own echo-chamber.

    Lets hope Anne Aly doesn’t ever discuss any topic she isn’t qualified for, hasn’t published research about, and hasn’t attended “experts meetings” about, otherwise she could, quite rightly be accused of hypocrisy.

    Not much left for her to talk about, is there…?


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