Aussie ‘emir’ preached jihad

Of course he was preaching jihad, that’s what Mohammedan headbangers do. It goes without saying that his jihad would be of the ‘inner struggle’ variety, unless proven otherwise; and if a couple of his disciples misinterpreted his peaceful teachings in order to ‘strike terror in the hearts of the unbelievers’  why would some of us dumb, deaf and blind kafirs rush to judgement about their noble cause?

Harun MehicevicHarun Mehicivic leaves the al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Melbourne’s Springvale yesterday.Source: News Corp Australia

A CACHE of lectures recorded by the “emir” of Melbourne’s al-­Furqan Islamic Centre has revealed a fervent belief in the shared obligation and “dream” of fighting for the mujahideen, along with warnings that parents are using “Satan-inspired tricks” to turn away young members.

In the recordings — dating back to 2011 and obtained by The Australian — Harun Mehicivic promotes fighting to ­establish an Islamic state and warns his followers against discussing certain issues openly. But he says they must know “the basic knowledge” of “how to wage jihad and against whom it must be waged”. He has also told his small, loyal group of followers that the conflict in Syria is a sign of an ­imminent final battle to be waged by Muslims.

At least two young men now fighting with Islamic State in Syria have been regular attendees and supporters of al-Furqan, as was Abdul Numan Haider, the teenager shot dead after attacking two counter-terrorism ­officers outside a police station last month.

ASIO is concerned fighting in Syria and Iraq and the victories of terrorist groups have “radically complicated the threat” of violence by adding “allure to the extremist Islamic narrative”, which can be exploited within Australia through speeches such as those by Mr Mehicivic.

The threat, which would be heightened if more young men joined the estimated 60 Australians fighting in the conflict, has prompted the Abbott government to propose wide­-ranging laws that would including making it an ­offence to advocate terrorism by encouraging people to join or support terrorist organisations.

The more than 80 recorded lectures delivered by Mr Mehicivic, also known as Abu Talha, include strongly worded references for the need for jihad and denunciations of anyone who encouraged Muslims to live peacefully among other religious groups.

In one speech, the Bosnian-born self-styled cleric described the US Navy SEAL who shot “sheik” Osama bin Laden as a “liar” who needed to repent; in another he claimed that any Western attack in Syria could spark an apocalyptic war that could wipe the US off the map.

“When (critics) talk about Islam and Muslims, they love to bring this idea of killing, bloodthirsty — you know, it is almost like a tribute or it was what they call ‘ingrained’ in us, in DNA,” he said in a lecture recorded at the centre in February last year.

“If they mean jihad fi sabilillah (for the sake of Allah), absolutely. We are loving jihad fi sabilillah and we dream, Inshallah (God willing), that each of us one day participate in jihad fi sabilillah.”

Mr Mehicivic declined to comment yesterday.

It is believed ASIO has been monitoring the lectures and the group’s activities. Police raided the centre in 2012 after an informer in the group had lost his phone, which was discovered by other members and shown to have 60 text messages to an ASIO officer.

Following the raid, and after his teachings were denounced by mainstream Islamic groups, who said he had no religious authority to discuss jihad or issue fatwas, Mr Mehicivic told his followers that parents had resorted to “Satan-­inspired” tricks to stop children attending his lectures. One trick was to warn young men that if they continued on their radical path, they would not find a wife. “Shaytan (Satan) inspired them to give them ideas and what to say,” he said in an April 2013 lecture.

In January last year, he told his followers about the need for Syria to become an Islamic state. “If you want to liberate Syria, the liberation of Syria means establishing Islamic state,” he said.

In April last year, Islamic State’s predecessor in Iraq was praised by Mr Mehicivic during a speech in which he also promoted the “mujahideen” in Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria for using violence to establish sharia.

Two months earlier, Mr Mehicivic said Muslims who denounced jihadist groups were on the wrong path. “You find that there are people of Tawhid (monotheism) and people of jihad — this is the people that go a different way, the right way,” he said.

One six-month long series of lectures was based on the book In Pursuit of Allah’s Pleasure that ­argues there should be a jihad to establish an Islamic caliphate. Another foretold of an apocalyptic battle between Muslims and disbelievers. In June last year, Mr Mehicivic said the current battles in Syria were a sign of that final war.

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