Daisy Khan & Abdul-Rehman Malik: we gotta let “the kidz” come home!

Smooth talking slime 

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Australia’s taxpayer funded ABC, (the insufferable Tony Jones on Lateline) presents another muselmanic “expert” who believes (just like Wally believes) that we should be nice to returning head choppers.  To top it of, he even got Abdul Rauf’s tilt, the preposterous Daisy Khan, on the ‘show’. What more do you need for dissimulation? Predictably, they tell Tony Jones just what he wants to hear: its all our fault. Gitmo, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, we are undermining our freedom of speech… what? You can’t beat the absurdity.

He said instead of taking away citizenship, the Government should be working with “reformed extremists.”

“There’s going to be kids — it’s already happening — who’ve gone out there, who’ve survived and who want to come back.

“Don’t take their citizenship away. They could be our best allies.”

Islamic State: Tony Abbott’s ‘death cult’ tag feeds terror group’s propaganda machine, expert warns

Calling the Islamic State death cult a death cult feeds the death cult’s propaganda machine, according to one follower of the false prophet, while another follower of the false prophet says that followers of the false prophet must take the lead in rooting out other followers of the false prophet who seek to hijack the world for the evil god of islam

A terrorism expert has warned that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is feeding Islamic State’s own propaganda machine by calling it a “death cult”. …

More chaff and baggage at ABC Newsthanks to Mullah, pbuh

Related:

A terrorism expert has warned that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is feeding Islamic State’s (IS) own propaganda machine by calling it a “death cult”.

Abdul-Rehman Malik is the programs manager at Radical Middle Way, an outreach group for young Muslims.

“I think to call [Islamic State] a death cult, as the Australian Prime Minister does, is a complete misnomer and it actually feeds in to IS propaganda,” he told the ABC’s Lateline program.

“The propagandists of the Islamic State, when they hear themselves referred to as a death cult hell bent on global domination, are patting themselves on the back because you know what?

“You’ve bought in to their narrative.”

Speaking at today’s Countering Violent Extremism summit in Sydney, Mr Abbott said the threat posed by IS, also known as Daesh, was global.

“Daesh is coming, if it can, for every person and for every government with a simple message: ‘Submit or die’,” Mr Abbott said.

“The declaration of a caliphate, preposterous though it seems, is a brazen claim to universal dominion.

“You can’t negotiate with an entity like this, you can only fight it.”

When they hear themselves referred to as a death cult hell bent on global domination, [IS] are patting themselves on the back because you know what? You’ve bought in to their narrative.–Abdul-Rehman Malik

Mr Malik, who attended the summit at the invitation of the Federal Government, said Mr Abbott was headed in the wrong direction.

Mr Malik said the demographic of young people joining Islamic State was the most unique in human history.

“Globalised, spiritualised, politicised. They come from backgrounds which are from all over the world,” he said.

He said instead of taking away citizenship, the Government should be working with reformed extremists.

“It doesn’t sound right… some of that language — the death cult language, the language of taking away citizenship is headed in the wrong direction,” he said.

“There’s going to be kids — it’s already happening — who’ve gone out there, who’ve survived and who want to come back.

“Don’t take their citizenship away. They could be our best allies.”

Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, also attended the summit and told Lateline that the Muslim community was one of the most important stakeholders in the issue.

“There is an urgency in the community to really step up and take control of rooting out ISIS [Islamic State] and its messaging and its ideology,” she said.

Mr Abbott today also said that Australia was discussing its military commitment in Iraq with coalition partners.

US president Barack Obama has approved the deployment of up to 450 additional American military personnel to train forces fighting Islamic State militants.

Australia currently has around 530 troops in Iraq.

Together with New Zealand soldiers, their role is a “behind the wire” on-base mission to train Iraqi army units.

Here’s the transcript:

Reporter: Tony Jones

Abdul-Rehman Malik is a London based journalist, educator and programs manager for ‘Radical Middle Way’, an outreach group for young Muslims. Daisy Kahn is the executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. They spoke to Tony Jones about the roots of, and remedies for, violent extremism.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: My two guests tonight were both invited by the Australian Government to speak at the Sydney summit on countering violent extremism.
Abdul-Rehman Malik is a London-based journalist and educator. He’s programs manager for Radical Middle Way, a group trying to encourage young Muslims to embrace social inclusion and reject violence.
And Daisy Khan is the executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement.
They were here in the studio just a short time ago.
Thanks to both of you for joining us.
ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK, PROGRAMS MANAGER RADICAL MIDDLE WAY: You’re welcome.
DAISY KHAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT: Thank you.
TONY JONES: Now, Abdul-Rehman first to you, the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today said the first question she’s always asked on this topic is what motivates young Australians to leave our safer and tolerant society as she put it to join a violent and unforgiving organisation thousands of miles away?
It’s a question for Britain, it’s a question for people in America, in Canada, in France and other places where people have gone to join Islamic State.
What do you think the answer is to that?
ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK: Well I think the first thing is to say there’s no easy answer.
Obviously the answer needs – needs to focus around a whole range of issues. Part of it is ideology. Part of it is theology. Part of it is connection to a globalised identity. Part of it is giving- someone giving their life meaning and purpose, sacrificing for a higher cause so to speak.
For some it’s exercising a sense of adventure. For others it’s a sense of returning back to an imagined homeland or an imagined utopia which they can’t find here.
But for many, it’s alienation from the societies that they live in; it’s economic, social and cultural marginalisation. I mean, look, this demographic of young people, this group of young people is most unique in human history.
Globalised, spiritualised, politicised.
TONY JONES: Take those ones with a higher purpose just for a moment.
This is one of the biggest moral conundrums. How can young idealistic men and women be seduced by a millenarian cult which openly advertises its brutality, with beheadings and mass killings we hear of rape and all the rest of it.
How can idealistic young people be seduced by that?

ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK: Well I think first we have to question whether this is a cult or not.
I think to call it a death cult, as the Australian Prime Minister does, is a complete misnomer and actually feeds in to IS propaganda.
The propagandas of the Islamic State- when they hear themselves referred to as a death cult hell-bent on global domination are patting themselves on the back.
Because you know what? You’ve bought in to their narrative.
The fact is that IS- Daesh absolutely a brutal force but it’s not an irrational force.
It has a political agenda. It has an agenda which emerges from an existing political context which is absolutely chaotic, linked right back to the invasion of Iraq, to the sectarian division, to political divisions that are- that have been in Syria and Iraq and in the Levant for decades, maybe even longer.
TONY JONES: Let’s hear from Daisy on this. Daisy Khan, how do you explain these weird conundrums the moral conundrum of the idealistic person who signs up to a brutal organisation, cult or not?
DAISY KHAN: So like Abdul-Rehman said there are many factors.
But if I could just focus my attention on one area, which is really if you look at it from evolving your identity, people usually try to do a search for their own spiritual being.
Where do they come from? And so it begins with very humble beginnings, trying to be a good Muslim.
And then they sort of log on and they go on to certain kinds – they find certain preachers who are very charismatic, very inviting.
Then before they know it they’ve kind of gotten themselves lured into a certain way of thinking and the next step is, you know, look around you, just look around you.
The world is in a mess. And you know, there’s wars everywhere and you know, we were glorious in the past and look at us, we are nowhere, we are defeated in every aspect.
So don’t you want to create a new change, a beginning, don’t you want to be part of the beginning? And then they kind of like lure them into their sort of brotherhood and say there’s hope, “You can change this world if you join us.”
And then step three is for you to take that leap and join that hedonistic sort of attitude that the world is coming to an end, and they show you many examples of why the world is coming to an end.
You just have to look at the images and see how they compile that-
TONY JONES: But there must be two places in your mind then, a place for idealism when one gets seduced by such an organisation, a place for idealism and hope, and also a place for the darker things, because as I said, they’re putting up these videos themselves of the beheadings, of these ritual beheadings, the mass killings of non-believers.
These kinds of things, it’s hard to imagine smart young idealistic people seeing this stuff and saying yes, I want to be part of that.
DAISY KHAN: Yeah but they only show it in the context of collateral damage.
They say look this has to happen, the world is coming to an end, you should only really think about your afterlife.
This has to happen because we have to create a change. We have to reverse everything, whatever’s happened to us and we’re going to create a new beginning, we even got a nice geography for ourselves.
We’re going to build peace, we’re going to create new governance. We’re going to… The idealism of Islamic State is here. Be part- be a founding member.
TONY JONES: Is the reality check-
DAISY KHAN: The reality check is when you’re there. The reality check is when you’re over there.
TONY JONES: That’s right. Because the UN envoy on sexual violence reported very- last week that teenage girls are being abducted by Islamic State and sold in effectively slave markets for as little as a packet of cigarettes.
Now, doesn’t that reality seep through as well?
DAISY KHAN: Well, but they call it a spoils of war. They’re just- basically what they’re doing is they are undoing 1400 years of Islamic heritage, 1400 years of Islamic thought, and they’re just recreating whatever is convenient for them at this particular moment, including the fact that you can enslave people, you can, you know arbitrarily destroy property, you can forget about prisoners, treatment of prisoners is not relevant.
Basically they break all the rules of war that have been established in the last 1400 years by-
TONY JONES: Okay, let’s hear from Abdul-Rehman on that.
ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK: No I agree with Daisy- But I would take it one step further.
The fact is that their ignorance- or their ignoring of that is really a very contemporary phenomenon.
You know you talk about the barbarity of the beheadings and the brutality of the images that they’re shown. They will come back and you and say look at Abu Ghraib, look at Guantanamo, look at drone attacks that have destroyed families and destroyed villages.
Look at the invasion of Iraq that killed anywhere between half a million to a million innocent people.
For them they contextualise all of that within a broader political narrative and within a broader political story.
You’re talking about morals and ethics to kids who think there’s no morals and ethics in the world to begin with.
Now, that as much our problem as is as it is their problem.
TONY JONES: So, let me ask you this then notwithstanding the seriousness of the threat posed by Islamic State, and its capacity to reach out to young Muslims, is there a danger that western governments by imposing tougher and tougher restrictions on citizenship and other things as you heard is happening in this country as it’s happened in Britain.
Is it likely to be a backlash to that, is that sort of feeding into the propaganda from Islamic State?
ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK: You know, the interesting thing is that what we’re doing by bringing in these legal provisions is undermining our own democracy.
Undermining our own set of values, undermining our own freedom of speech.
Look, if we think and we believe as I do, as Daisy does and those of us who are working on the ground and in the field, that what Daesh represents is not only an aberration, it’s immoral, it is unethical, it is wrong and it needs to be defeated then we should be able to defeat it through ideas, through a robust debate within the public square, through engaging with communities.
I’m not saying that we don’t need any legal provisions. Not saying that at all. Good policing, good security, there’s room and space- necessary space for that.

TONY JONES: What about the citizenship question? Britain has actually gone further than Australia in this. You can strip the citizenship of anyone who joins the organisation.
ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK: You can and I think that’s very disturbing and it’s a bad precedent.
Because it begins now, where does it stop?
The same with the curtailing of freedom of speech. The fact is that, you know as last as I remember, people were allowed to say pretty outrageous things, in this country, people say pretty outrageous things, in the United Kingdom, people say pretty outrageous things.
To begin to thought-police the way people think and feel is our collective failure not to make a better argument.
TONY JONES: Well let me hear from Daisy on that. Do you take the same view there?
I mean obviously in the United States you’ve got a constitution which much more strictly protects citizenship for example, but do you think some of these measures could backfire in terms of the effect they have on the potential jihadis?
DAISY KHAN: Well, they already have backfired. We’ve had 160 people join ISIS. There’s no rhyme or reason for them to go. They have all the opportunities in the world that they can have.
So it’s not a socioeconomic factor. Most people have an opportunity to get a job. You know, they have- they come from good educated families.
It’s think it’s the images that people around them of civil liberties eroding or in our case when we were trying to build a community centre, all of a sudden, you know we were attacked for just proposing a community centre.
TONY JONES: We’re talking here, we should make this clear, because your husband is the Imam who is trying to create Islamic prayer centre at the base of Ground Zero where the 9/11 attacks were.
DAISY KHAN: Yeah, it was- 10 blocks away from Ground Zero. It was neither a mosque nor was it at Ground Zero. But yet we were called extremists. And that is how-
TONY JONES: There was a backlash?
DAISY KHAN: Yes. There was a backlash. Yep
TONY JONES: You described it at the time as a sort of horrific Islamophobic backlash?
DAISY KHAN: It was. And that backlash has continued on and has spread and has gotten bigger.
And you, know we have things like you know, draw the cartoon contest in Dallas and we have these cartoon contests are continuing, and there are some people, a few people, who feel marginalised.
They feel their religion is being attacked in a country that is really- was built on the foundations of religious freedom.
So it feels as though there’s a double standard for Muslims, that religious freedom is not for us because anything can be said about Muslims and it’s really quite OK.
TONY JONES: So a final question for both of you.
Because we are sort of running out of time. But we could spend a little time on this issue.
And that is, what can you do about it?
We heard the Foreign Minister today saying part of the key here is to reach into the families, the families in fact, families, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, relatives, friends, they can be agents for the State.
It was maybe a poor choice of word there. Because I don’t think a lot of people will want to be agents for the Security Services but is that the answer?
ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK: I think that’s part of the answer. I think part of the answer is building resilience.
Part of the answer is supporting families. Part of the answer is supporting civil society and community organisations. Look here in Australia just as in the United States or in the United Kingdom, there’s incredible energy at the grass roots.
There is incredible civil society energy. You have people investing incredible amounts of time not only being Australian but developing Muslim communities, developing cross-cultural work.
In the United Kingdom I’m always impressed. We hear about places like Bradford and Birmingham and Leicester as if they’re these enclaves of Muslims cut off from the rest of the world. When I travel into those communities I see not only incredible hope but incredible success stories.
TONY JONES: Briefly, do you sense that- well you’ve seen pretty much the Australian response, and the Prime Minister came out today and once again underlined Islamic State is out to get you, essentially, and we’re going to do more to sort of restrain citizenship.
Are we going about it the wrong way?
ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK: Frankly, it doesn’t sound right. And I think some of that language, the death cult language the language of taking away citizenship. I think it’s headed in the wrong direction and remember there’s going to be kids and it’s already happening, who’ve gone out there, who survived, and who want to come back.
Don’t take their citizenship away. They could be our best allies. The rehabilitation engagement as it happening in Denmark, and in other countries- in the Netherlands, where people are coming back from the brink, we’re coming back from Raqqa, coming back from the front are being engaged with in a meaningful way, they’re going to be our best allies, they going to be the best ambassadors to say, “You think you’re creating a utopian society out there? You’re not. I’ve seen it, its hell; let’s not go down to route.”
TONY JONES: Daisy, a final word to you. What do you think? I mean you’re hearing kind of arguments, we are sort of getting it wrong to some degree, what do you think?
DAISY KHAN: Well the Muslim community is one of the most important stakeholders in this whole thing, because our community is not only suffering because every time we take a step forward, we take, you know 10 steps backward.
Every time there’s an attack or anything like this happens the perceptions of Muslims in America is at an all-time low partly because of what people are seeing on television and there is an urgency within the community to really step up and take control of, you know rooting out ISIS and its messaging and its ideology from its own community.
So what we’re doing is we’re actually creating a community guide where we will flesh out this ideology so that Muslims and non-Muslims can actually see what ISIS stands for and what it really stands for which is an absolute corruption of the Islamic doctrine and what Islam really stands for.
This is the work that- this is the piece of the puzzle that’s been missing.
This is something government can not do, something that no-one else can do other than the Muslim community. So we need to take ownership and I think we’re ready to take ownership.
And I’m glad to see these kinds of summits happening where they’re saying it’s time to collaborate.
It’s not that we are working in collusion with government but we are collaborating on something that, you know where our synergies together will have a much bigger impact.
TONY JONES: I’m afraid so much more to talk about but we’ll have to leave you there.
Daisy Khan, Abdul-Rehman Malik, thank you very much for joining us.
ABDUL-REHMAN MALIK: Thank you very much.
DAISY KHAN: Thank you for having us.

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