Let us not talk falsely now; the hour’s getting late.Â Uthman BadarÂ and hisÂ group Hizb ut-Tahrir are not “radical” or “militant” or “extreme”, they are just devout Muslims. They take their Islam seriously. What is it that you don’t understand about that?
Radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir says Australia and the US should be labelled terrorists for their Middle Eastern ‘invasions’
Too dangerous for Festival of Dangerous Ideas
The former claim was lobbed a day after the Sydney-based group’s chief propagandist Uthman Badar was stopped from delivering a provoking sermon at an Opera House arts festival that asked whether honour killings were “morally justified”.
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In an attempt to deflect from the outrage caused by the sermon topic, set to be preached at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas event, group spokesman Mr Badar said any violence stemming from the Islamic community, such as honour killings, paled into insignificance in light of the atrocities orchestrated by the US and its allies.
The group also came under fire for an article on its website that suggested the practise of adult men taking child brides could be deemed “morally acceptable” if there was no coercion and the girl was mature. It was a statement in direct response to the charging in January of a 26-year-old Muslim man who married a 12-year-old girl.
While refusing outright to answer questions as to whether his Islamic group believed in the barbaric practise of honour killing – murdering a female if they brought “dishonour” to their family – Mr Badar said “all peoples are willing to justify violence to prevent those (red) lines being crossed”.
“The point of the speech was to question some of the assumptions on the issue of honour killing … and really to show that the issue isn’t about violence towards women but about cultural and political imposition, about imposing liberal values in third world countries,” he said.
“All civilisations, all ideologies, all peoples have red lines. And all peoples are willing to justify violence to prevent those lines being crossed.
“Iraq, was a nation laid to waste. But after all that, the United States or its allies are still not terrorists? They are not terrorists even though the Australian government’s, and most western states agree, that their definition of terrorism at its essence is the use of violence for ideological or religious ends. What else was Iraq or Afghanistan other than that?
But they can do that, and lay to waste an entire nation and not be a terrorist, but if you respond, if you resist oppression, if you resist that invasion in Iraq or Afghanistan … you are a terrorists. You are an extremist.”
Mr Badar also refused to reveal any details of the group’s methods, finances and leadership structure, with the latter believed to centre around a trio of hard-line but intelligent brothers, Ashraf, Wassim and Soadad Doureihi, the former being an engineer at North Sydney Council.
Its spiritual head remains Palestinian-born sheikh Ismail al-Wahwah who had been banned from entering Jordan and Indonesia in recent years.
Meanwhile Mr Badar, who still may give a speech at the Opera House festival on a different theme, is not all that he suggests.
The self-styled University of Western Sydney PhD student in economics is not even enrolled in the university.
The University confirmed that he had withdrawn from the PhD course last year, despite promoting himself as one of their students.
Mr Badar’s LinkedIn profile lists him as a PhD candidate as well as a lecturer at the University â€” which the university also denies.
Mr Badar claimed that he was set up by the Opera House, who “insisted” on the pro-honour killing title for the event.
Festival co-curator Simon Longstaff took to Twitter yesterday to defend Mr Badar in light of the cancellation of the event, saying: “Have not the ‘Islamophobes’ already won the day when a person dare not speak on controversial matters because he is Muslim?”
Now that’s a useful idiot for you: Longstaff declares Badar the victim, so he can take over.