Teaching our young Muslims a lethal victimhood
If this is the “moderate” message, we must again ask whether we can afford to increase the Muslim minority in this country:
The principal of Victoria’s largest Islamic school tells students not to join Islamic State because it is a plot by Western countries.
Al-Taqwa College principal Omar Hallak told The Age he believed IS was a scheme by Israel and America to control oil in the Middle East. But he said he did not explicitly mention these countries to students, instead telling them some Western countries were behind IS.
“They are trained and equipped by them: [the] evidence is all the shiny new equipment,” he said. “We don’t believe Muslims are creating IS.”
Mr Hallak said killing innocent people was not “the Islamic way”…
There are 1950 students enrolled at Al-Taqwa College this year, making it the largest Islamic school in the state.
And is this really all that can be said of such poisonous and stupid comments?
Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Kuranda Seyit, who is also a teacher, said he did not support Mr Hallak’s comments…
“Everyone has a right to have their own theories and beliefs but I don’t think we should be confusing young people…”
“I don’t think it’s fair to blame the principal when he’s trying to stop people from joining a violent terrorist group,” he told Neil Mitchell.
“But what I think is important to do is maybe have a chat with him and say ‘Look we appreciate what you’re doing, we appreciate the sentiment … but by the same token, please help us eliminate the us and them approach’.
That’s it? Teaching children that Israel and the US created and armed the Islamic State just to control Arab oil is merely unhelpful, at most ”wrong-headed”, but we should “appreciate” the principal’s “sentiment”?
Age writer Julie Szego is right:
Victoria’s Education Minister, James Merlino, called the principal’s comments “reckless and dangerous,” but said there wasn’t much he could do because the school is “independent.” The Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Kuranda Seyit said he did not support Hallak’s comments …
But last year the council itself drew an explicit link between Israel’s actions in Gaza and the surge of recruits to IS, without challenging the underlying premise that a geographically removed conflict largely focused on slaughtering Muslim apostates is the responsibility of Israel. Hallak goes even further than alleging Israel fuels IS and says that Israel is IS.
Neither Seyit’s nor Merlino’s criticisms nail the problem. Hallak isn’t simply “confusing” his students with his quirky “theories,” he’s feeding them outright lies, sinister, not to mention racist, fairy-tales directly contradicted by evidence… . What’s our Western education system worth if independent schools are allowed the independence to represent toxic lies as verifiable truth?
Szego points out that Hallak’s bizarre conspiracy theory is actually part of the dangerous problem:
Hallak’s views are as unoriginal as they are disturbing. They spring from a pathology that’s widespread in the Arab and Muslim world – and fast spreading to the West – where conspiracy theories and anti-Semitic propaganda run rife and uncomfortable truths can be supplanted with delusion and lies. The Holocaust is a hoax. The Israeli Mossad orchestrated 9/11. The West or the Mossad staged the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a theory advanced by several Turkish politicians from the ruling party, including, in some cryptic doublespeak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself…
In Iran, a minor PR hiccup last November saw the deputy foreign minister claim IS was created by the Mossad to “tarnish the image of Islam” when previously the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had instead attributed the group to the US and Britain.
Last month in Sudan, President Omar al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 for directing genocide in Darfur, responded to the IS’s video purporting to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, with the claim the CIA and the Mossad are behind IS and Boko Haram as “there is no Muslim who would carry out such acts.”
And in Melbourne, Hallak regurgitates these lines even as he insists he educates his students to be good Australian Muslims.. I don’t doubt his sincerity. I do doubt his capacity to grasp the irony that it’s precisely these types of distorted narratives, casting Muslims as eternal victims and Israel as the cause of all the world’s troubles, on which IS and other militant groups feed.
Related to the excuse-making – Mark Steyn on a tale of two rapes.