‘We tell youth we have a contract with Australia’: Muslim leader
I’m puzzled. What kind of ‘contract’ would that be? Under Islamic law, all contracts with infidels are as worthless as the Treaty of Hudaybiyya
STILL reeling from the news that a 23-year-old student from Perth has joined Islamic State fighters in Iraq, Western Australia’s Islamic community says it is disappointing that Tony Abbott has called for leaders to say more often that Islam is a peaceful religion, “and mean it”.
“We tell our young people that Islam is a middle path, and that we have a contract with Australia,” said Tarek Anzar, president of the Dawa Centre, which attracts youth to play table tennis and receive religious instruction.
He said the centre had increased the number of classes in a bid to spread moderate Islamic messages.
But in a bid to protect the Dawa Centre from extremists, Mr Anzar said a difficult decision had been made several months ago to refuse preaching rights to Junaid Thorne, the self-styled Islamic preacher who is on a terrorism watchlist and who recently described the Charlie Hebdo massacre as “justified”.
Thorne is believed to have befriended Mohammed Sheglabo, the young Libyan visa holder from Perth who had attended the Dawa Centre.
Sheglabo’s family was alerted to their son’s jihadist activities in Iraq only when police presented them with images of him holding an AK-47 assault rifle.
Thorne, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and Perth , is due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on Friday after police issued him with a summons for buying an air ticket and travelling between Sydney and Perth under a false name.
Abdullah Eshtewi, a spokesman for the Islamic Council of WA, said the Prime Minister’s comments this week about Muslims “meaning it” were disappointing.
“The Muslim community has raised its voice and condemned violence and terror of all sorts,” he said.
“We expect the Abbott government to do the same against all far-right groups … who have been spreading hate and dividing the community for quite some time.”