Al Hilali’s faithful foot-soldier, the duplicitous ‘out-of-context’ Keysar Trad, praises Islam & Lebanon and writes up a whiny song and dance since he doesn’t feel ‘loved’ by fellow Australians, which he calls the ‘criminal dregs of white society’
Keysar Trad | July 14, 2007
ONE Australian killed and several arrested was the news last month as the nation’s media scrambled to make sense of arrests of dual-citizens in Lebanon.
Since then, the Lebanese authorities have confirmed the arrests of five Australians and reassured the public that no Australians have been killed.
Two of the arrested Australians have been reportedly charged with terrorism offences, with one allegedly supplying weapons to Fatah al-Islam. Again, we will have to wait until the Lebanese military intelligence reveals more results of its inquiry.
When I hear the term military intelligence, I often think: “Oxymoron.” Having said that, a country such as Lebanon, with a small army and a very small police force, often calls in the military to assist in what would be regarded as police matters in many countries.
During my three trips to Lebanon in the past 15 months, it was a common sight to see army personnel stationed at various checkpoints on the roads connecting the main cities and towns. In this sense, the two can easily be seen to be sharing tasks.
Tragically, since the fall of the Ottoman empire, Lebanon has faced one problem after another. It was under French occupation until 1948; there was the 15-year civil war (which claimed the lives of several of my relatives); the bombing of the US marine barracks in Beirut; the killings in Sabra and Shatila; the two Qana massacres in 1996 and 2006; the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon; the 2006 bombing of Lebanon by Israel (which led to the injury of many of my relatives); and now, finally, there is this misnamed Fatah al-Islam, a group of fanatical murderers killing their hosts.
* Keysar wouldn’t tell you what causes all these problems. Obviously, none of it has anything to do with Islam…
* Why doesn’t Keysar tell us that it is a million times better for Leb’s in Australia than for kuffars under Islam? Why not, Keysar? Is it because the kuffar is something beneath feces, urine and cadavers in the Islamic caliphate that you want to bring us..?
Having settled in the relative freedom and security of Australia, people such as me take up the option of visiting Lebanon and sending our children there because it gives us access to a wonderful culture. It presents to us the true meaning of multiculturalism, and the opportunity to practise Arabic, a language spoken by more than 200 million people; a language that has kept one of the world’s great religions alive for more than 1400 years.
There are many attractions to spending a few years in Lebanon. Apart from the learning opportunities, the antiquities and rich culture, there is also that wonderful food, genuine Lebanese food made to original recipes by master chefs using fresh, local ingredients.
There is the hospitality, the friendship, the extended family, the relaxed nightlife where families get together. There is so much that we do not experience in the hustle and bustle of modern-day, double-income city life. While in Lebanon, we reminisce about Australia and thereby we are torn between the love of two countries. If it were not for the distance, we could live happily spending a day in each. Having experienced life in both countries, I can say that a person needs to experience life in two countries to be whole, to have a more rounded perspective on the world.
This is perhaps why about 25,000 Australian Lebanese are living in Lebanon. It is the option that is open to us, that we can live in two countries, that when we want the hustle and bustle of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, we are here, and when we want to relax and introduce our children to another culture, we can be there. We are there with a love for both.
Yet there is one difference: in this country, many Australian Lebanese may be derided as “wogs”. Over there, they are lauded as Aussies. Ironic that they find dignity as Australians in Lebanon, while no matter how long they live here, they will always be derided as Lebs.
Keysar Trad is spokesman for the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia.
An enemy in belief
SIX years after the 9/11 attacks on the US, Western societies remain psychologically and politically ill-equipped to manage the Islamist terrorist threat with its ability to mutate, spread and to spontaneously erupt.
The 9/11 Commission report grasped that this struggle transcended any war on terrorism. The enemy, of which al-Qa’ida is part, is a global ideological movement. The threat is millennial. When bin Laden says that the US must be converted or destroyed, the progressive instinct is to laugh at such nonsense. The Western progressive mind has no mechanism to process this threat or manage this enemy.
It takes refuge in the stereotypes: that Bush is a liar, that Iraq is the problem, that John Howard corrupts our democracy, that the real danger is the risk to civil liberties. This is a political culture with no hope of rising to the challenge. Finding a new path between Bush’s militaristic hubris and the appeasement of the progressive class is a vast, though not insurmountable, task.