“Tony Abbott opens his mouth and incites people; it’s not the imams that are radicalising young people…”
The backroom leader of the peak national body for Muslims says the federal government should “grow a spine” and it has “no moral right” to lecture the community on terrorist threats.
Muslims NSW president Amjad Mehboob, who was also chief executive of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils for 35 years and its current spokesman, said the government could never win its fight if it did not stand up for Muslims.
“What the young people see is a lot of empty Muslim rhetoric, they don’t see anything about the issues that concern them,” he said.
“So when they see ISIL [Islamic State], they see they are doing something about their problems.”
Mr Mehboob invoked the Palestinian cause as an example of the government’s “empty rhetoric”.
“Tony Abbott opens his mouth and he incites people; it’s not the imams that are radicalising young people,” he said.—Read the whole thing below the fold….
A national conversation was needed about citizenship and changes to laws to keep Australians safe from growing threat of homegrown terrorism, Julie Bishop said today.
The Foreign Minister also denied there had been a breakdown in trust between her and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, following reports cabinet was ambushed by a proposal to strip Australians suspected of terror offences of their sole citizenship.
“We expect there to be a national conversation about the rights and re…See More
Turnbull cloak and dagger
As a member of the Abbott cabinet, Malcolm Turnbull is obliged to keep any criticisms of the government’s performance to himself. Unless, of course, it’s in the confidentiality of the cabinet room itself.
“This is an extraordinary proposition,” the Communications Minister said to the cabinet meeting on Monday night, according to people present in the room.
The Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, was proposing that he should have the power, at his own discretion, to strip an …
“For God’s sake, if we are truly fair dinkum about why young people are being radicalised Australia needs to get its spine checked. They have no moral right to speak about anything if they do not stand up for Muslims around the world.”
AFIC, which has been exposed this week as an apparently dysfunctional body plagued by infighting and power squabbles, has rarely engaged with the government in recent times.
Mr Mehboob said AFIC was “working with the government” on matters of national security and that late last year president Hafez Kassem did attend a counter-terrorism meeting with the Attorney-General’s Department.
“This is the same government that had [Lindt cafe gunman] Monis in its sights and still could not see the threat,” he said.
The Weekend Australian understands the organisation was invited to community consultations leading into the Foreign Fighters bill in August and September but did not attend. AFIC was also invited to April’s talks on terrorism threats but did not attend.
In a frank admission, Mr Mehboob said he did not believe AFIC spoke for all Muslims.
“We do not represent the entire Muslim community in Australia, that is the reality, we just don’t,” he said. “But even though there are those who want to lead a coup against us, it is not my intention to cause disruption in the community.”
Newly appointed special envoy for citizenship and community engagement Philip Ruddock said the government was “not about targeting Muslims”. “If it was a secular terrorist or a Buddhist it would be dealt with in exactly the same way. The fact that is relevant is terrorism,” he said.
Its never about “targeting Muslims”. But since we don’t have “secular terrorists or a Buddhist” it is Islam and Muslims that must be targeted.