Speaking too frankly about Islam could alienate Muslims. Speaking too dishonestly about Islam could alienate non-Muslims, and make them fear they are being lied to by our leaders and journalists.
Despite dropping the death cult slogan, Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t kept true to his promise of explaining complex political issues to the public.
Research released last week by the Centre for Religion and Geopolitics found that 42 per cent of the three main Salafi-jihadist groups’ propaganda referenced the end of times. These groups, including Islamic State, have a theology that is centred on an apocalyptic view of the world, one in which humanity is counting out its final days. This world view is embraced because the life to come is of more value than the life we live today, which leads to a yearning for death — in other words, a death cult…
Similarly, the inevitable shutting down of debate by referring to Islam as a religion of peace is also damaging.
People who watch the news see Islamic fundamentalist violence around the world, from Boko Haram or al-Shabab in Africa to Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as al-Nusra Front, in the Middle East, or al-Qa’ida and the Taliban in South Asia. These groups openly and proudly justify their violence within the ideology of Islam. Yet people are told that Islam is a religion of peace. This creates a contradiction that must be explained, yet never is, leaving people with the choice of believing what we see or the slogans of commentators and politicians.
We need to move away from a head-in-the-sand approach of those who are afraid of engaging with the complexity of Islam and recognising the intelligence of the community.
Now, the key to that mutual respect is that it is a two-way street. Every religion, every faith, every moral doctrine, understands the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
That “Golden Rule” that Turnbull claims is common to all faiths is actually a quotation from the teaching of Christ, not Mohammad:
Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
This is a central teaching of Christ and Christianity, echoed in the Parable of the Good Samaritan and Christ’s defence of the woman caught in adultery.
Can Islam be seriously said to be the same in that respect, with its message of submission and the killing or subjugation of non-believers? From the Koran:
5:33 “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger … will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom.”
The “golden rule” of Islam is kill the unbelievers, rape their women and sell their children into slavery. (SY)
Take this difference.
Here is Christ on punishing adulterers:
John 8:7: And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Here is the Koran:
24:2 “The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah , if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.”
The Koran and Hadith give repeated examples of Mohammad having his critics killed, even women who mocked him. There is no turning of the other cheek; no offering of his life. Christ would not even let his disciples fight to save him from capture and death.
Yet Turnbull would have you believe that Christ’s teaching is Islam’s, too. That Islam is just Christianity in new robes.
That is false.
[A] survey on migration attitudes has indicated that almost one in two voters believes an increase in Muslim migrants has been “bad” or “very bad” for the nation. This compares with 8 per cent who think it has been “good” or “very good”, and 42 per cent who are neutral.
The survey findings [are] from a Brisbane-based think tank, the Australian Institute of Progress … The hostility to Islamic migrants identified in the AIP research is most strongly felt among Liberal voters (75 per cent) and those who support minor parties other than the Greens (69 per cent). Among Labor and Greens voters, most respondents took a neutral position, but about 20 per cent said Islamic migration had been negative, and 15 per cent believed it to be positive.
AIP executive director Graham Young, a former campaign chairman for the Queensland Liberal Party, said he had been surprised at the depth of feeling uncovered in the survey. “There is a genuine level of concern,” Mr Young said. “People are in favour of immigration, so this is not, per se, xenophobia towards someone who does not have a European or Anglo-Saxon background. This is a specific group that we are specifically worried about.”
The qualitative survey, derived from questionnaires of almost 1400 people last November, cited concerns about a potential “clash of cultures” based on Islamic migrants holding beliefs that were not in line with widespread Australian values. Examples given from across the political spectrum included the perceived treatment of women and homosexuals, the wearing of the burka or niqab, and sharia law being incompatible with Australia’s legal system.
“There is a very strong feeling that immigrants from Islamic countries are part of a culture war pitting their way of life and beliefs against ours,” the report says.