It’s all about PR.
By Bernard Gaynor, a man of great honour who gets it right.
The Australian Islamic community’s leadership is without honour.
There is no doubt of that.
And we can all thank Uthman Badar for highlighting this in bright glowing lights. I’ve written about thisÂ characterÂ and his organisation,Â Hizb ut Tahrir,Â before and, no doubt, he’s going to get a run again. Badar is great at blowing the cover on what Islam is all about.
For those not aware, this man was scheduled to speak at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in August. His topic: Honour killings are morally justified.
And as you can see below, the blurb for this unhonourable speech that was to be held at the Sydney Opera House contained the following quote:
“Overwhelmingly, those who condemn ‘honour killings’ are based in the liberal democracies of the West. The accuser and moral judge is the secular (white) westerner and the accused is the oriental other; the powerful condemn the powerless.”
Excuse me while I thank God for Western society. Although I will point out to Mr Badar that the strong moral ethics of Western society are based on Christianity and its wonderful influence on its culture and institutions.
It’s a matter of public record that the outcry has forced the cancellation of this speech. That is a good thing.
What’s less well known is that the so-called condemnation of Mr Badar by prominent Islamic leaders is just a dishonourable smokescreen.
This illusion is typified by an article in Friday’sÂ Daily Telegraph. Of course, any story that begins with the screaming headline “Muslims call for an end to hatred and provocation” after a Muslim sought to justify honour killings is bound to sell the wrong story.
So let’s have a look at this so-called condemnation.
It starts out by acknowledging that Australia’s Islamic leaders have demanded Mr Badar and his Hizb ut Tahrir buddies cease their public sermons (the word ‘vile’ was used, but it is unclear whether that is the view of theÂ Daily TelegraphÂ or Australia’s Islamic leaders – going by the actual quotes I strongly suspect it’s been added in by the former).
Not because justifying honour killings or beheadings in Iraq or child marriage is wrong. But because the public articulation of these messages tarnishes the Islamic community’s reputation.
In fact a spokesman for Australia’s Islamic Head Honcho, Imam Mohammadu Nawas went on to say this about Uthman Badar’s musings:
“They send the wrong message about Islam and they should refrain and have better judgment about preaching a message of inflammatory nature.
Â The vast majority of Muslims in this country do not subscribe to anything what they say. We call on them, and any other organisation making inflammatory statements that can cause upset among the general public, to restrain. We want them to stop.’’
Not a word in there about whether these views were wrong and why. Just a bunch of words that say these statements were sending the wrong message. It’s all about PR.
In fact, the harshest thing the good Imam had to say about the speech justifying honour killings was that it was ‘inflammatory’.
Now there’s an interesting line.
Inflammatory is the word you use to put someone back in their box because, while you agree with what they say, you don’t like the way it’s being said. It’s a dishonourable way of running for cover when the general vibe of public opinion goes against your personal beliefs.
But don’t worry, Imam Mohammadu Nawas isn’t the only person to have criticised Badar.Â Zali BurrowsÂ is the lawyer representing ‘Australians’ who have had their passports cancelled by ASIO. Her advice: Badar should stop talking because he’s hurting their legal case.
Great. Don’t shut up because what you are saying is wrong. Zip it because your actions are jeopardising the courtroom action of a group of Muslims who want a bit of frontline action with terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.
Now, to be fair, some Muslims have stated that Hizb ut Tahrir should be banned. And others have called on the Islamic leadership to condemn this group in sermons at mosques. But they point out that Australia’s Islamic leaders are not doing this.
And Uthman Badar gives us the answer why. They agree with him.
He posted this message onÂ FacebookÂ last night regarding the article in theÂ Daily Telegraph:
“I was also able to speak to the Mufti, Dr. Ibrahim Abu Muhammad, and his senior advisor Br. Samir, in person after jumu’a. He denied making any such comments and was at pains to say that he does not, as a principle, criticise Muslims in the media. He said that he too was shocked at the comments by Sh. Mohammadu Nawas and the attribution to him.
To be fair though, the attribution was not on part of the later. Rather, it was a cheap tactic employed by the DT journalist who after quoting Sh. Mohammadu described him as, “spokesman for both the ANIC and the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed”. Dr. Ibrahim has clarified that this is untrue. He is not his spokesman at all.
In sum, Dr. Ibrahim does not agree with the comments and in fact deplores the way the media has treated the whole FODI issue by crucifying me without me having said anything. I suggested that his office should issue something clarifying this.”
Badar also went on to say:
“Our differences are for us to discuss internally, in Muslim forums and on our terms. Taking things to the media only aids them. We should never forgot that our differences as Muslims are branchial, whilst our differences with the kuffar are fundamental.”
I think what that means is that Muslims believe honour killings in principle are ok, but that there is some disagreement about the subjective nature of individual cases. And that, as a whole, the Islamic community should not let the internal debates about the whys and wherefores of the beheadings of Islamic women get in the way of a united opposition to the dirty infidels who run this country.
But I could be wrong.
Maybe Australia’s Grand Mufti, Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammad, might care to clarify this for us. After all, he did give Mr Badar a personal interview yesterday and Badar is now claiming to have his support.