Sonia Kruger said what she said because she’s fearful of the carnage on display in Nice and around the world, Aly contends. And he’s fearful too—of a climate in Australia that fosters calls to ban and even intern Muslims. He suggests a way to exit the Gravitron: “When we’re presented with something that we perceive to be an outrageous opinion, we can consider what motivated that person, try to understand their fear, and then empathize with how they came to their conclusion.”
Aly is right, in my view, to stress the role empathy can play in constructive debate on divisive issues, and to lament the cyclical dynamics that are currently sapping public discourse of such understanding. It’s remarkable that Aly is able to empathize with someone who says people like him should be banned from the country.