Turnbull Islamic council visit marks shift for Muslims under pressure
“I know that your community feels under pressure, I know that,” he said
Malcolm Turnbull at the Islamic Council of Victoria. Photo: Justin McManus
It all started with a letter.
After the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, Nail Aykan wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and thanked him on behalf of Muslim communities for his measured response.
“Thank you for your words of leadership. We welcome your fresh tone and positive narrative in regards the threats of terrorism,” Mr Aykan, the executive director of the Islamic Council of Victoria, wrote.
The Prime Minister at the Islamic Museum of Australia. Photo: Justin McManus
“The feedback we have from members of our community [says] it has been very reassuring and a much needed boost to confidence in our national leadership.”
Mr Turnbull was so moved by that letter, he says, that he read parts of it during his speech to world leaders at the G20 Summit, and promised to follow up with a visit.
And so on Tuesday, the Prime Minister walked through the doors of the modest 40-year-old headquarters of the Islamic Council of Victoria, in West Melbourne.
Inside, he told a gathering of young Muslims from a large range of countries, cultural backgrounds and sects of Islam, about his visit earlier that morning to the Islamic Museum of Australia, in Thornbury.
What Mr Turnbull saw reminded him of the long history of Muslims in Australia, from the Makassan fishermen from Indonesia who traded with Indigenous Australians, to the Afghan camel drivers who explored the western and central deserts of the continent.
That’s a manufactured history, Mr. Turnbull. Our history begins with James Cook. The camel drivers were nothing but hired hands on 3-year contracts. And they waged the first jihad against us in Broken Hill a hundred years ago.
“This is the most successful multicultural society in the world and the bonding agent is respect,” Mr Turnbull told the meeting.
Our multiculti is the same failure it is anywhere else. Respect needs to be earned, not demanded. Muslims in this country have done nothing to deserve our respect.
Malcolm Turnbull addresses the Islamic Council of Victoria. Photo: Justin McManus
“I know that your community feels under pressure, I know that,” he said, adding that the acts of a small number of extremists who defamed Islam had cast a shadow over the world.
Australians live in fear because of Muslims savages, Mr Turnbull. You better start addressing the real problem.
“And I know you will be committed to … maintaining our solidarity in the face of these terrorists because the richness of our diversity is one of our greatest strengths.”
Turnbull rubbish talk. Diversity divides. Unity unites. Nonsensical drivel does not maintain solidarity in the face of Muslim terrorism.
The Prime Minister’s words were symbolically significant, said Mr Aykan, and his approach markedly different to that of his predecessor, Tony Abbott.
Just two years ago Mr Abbott, who was making changes to counter-terrorism legislation and calling on everyone to join “Team Australia”, had asked to meet with the Islamic Council of Victoria but gave the body only one business day’s notice.
At the time Islamic Council secretary Ghaith Krayem described Mr Abbott’s comments about “Team Australia” as ill-informed and inflammatory, and the council declined to meet without more notice.
Any resistance to the Islamic expansion program is ” ill-informed and inflammatory”. Muslims need to be treated with contempt and harshness.
They did meet with Mr Abbott at a later date, said Mr Aykan. But he found Mr Turnbull’s speech today far more positive.
Although Mr Abbott’s senior ministers had been constructive, Mr Abbott was too quick to blame the Muslim community, he said.
“It’s not as though we shunned the government…it was the just Tony Abbott.”
Sure. “Just Tony Abbott”. Now lets kill him and we can all be happy.
Dr Shakira Hussein, from Melbourne University, said Mr Turnbull’s visit was meaningful and reinforced his “not Tony Abbott” brand, but said anti-terrorism legislation currently on the cards was just as troubling as anything under the previous prime minister.
Right. Infidels need no anti-terrorism legislation to protect themselves from Mohammedan head choppers, that would be “counterproductive”.
Mr Abbott had been warned his hostile and aggressive approach to the Muslim community was counter-productive and making the work of police and security agencies more difficult, she said.
There you go. Didn’t I say “counterproductive” above? For the Muslims, that means not submitting to Mohammedan mores.
“Agencies in Australia and around the world have said that their primary source of information or threats has come from within the Muslim community themselves,” Ms Hussein said.
And pigs will fly.
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