So we are all agreed that there is something wrong with Islam? Fine. Then why don’t we try to reform it there instead of bringing it here in large numbers?
THE World Trade Centre 2001, the Bali bombings 2002, the Australian embassy in Jakarta 2004, the Madrid railway station 2004, the London Underground 2005, the Taj Mahal hotel Mumbai 2008, Charlie Hebdo, the Parramatta police station, the Bataclan in Paris — I could go on, but you get the picture…
Nor is the killing entirely indiscriminate. The gunmen holding the hostages in Mali were prepared to release some who could recite verses from the Koran…
After each atrocity complacent political leaders trot out the same platitudes. They tell us: “This has nothing to do with Islam, etc.” It is wearing thin with the public. All these attacks are coming from people who subscribe to one religion, which is not Catholic or Protestant or Jewish or Buddhist or Yazidi. Plainly it has something to do with Islam. And the people who are doing it think it has everything to do with Islam. That is why they shout Allahu Akbar while firing their guns and detonating their explosives…
Now it may be they have got Islam all wrong — and the good thing is that their interpretation seems to be a tiny, minority one. But the fact is this interpretation has followers from different continents and different cultures, which tells us there is something in the source documents and history of Islam that gives them a peg to hang their hat on. If there were an easy demolition of this school of theology why hasn’t it been done by now?…
Religions are not all the same. Christ never sought to establish an earthly kingdom — “My kingdom is not of this world,” he said. But Mohammed did. He led an army in the conquest of Mecca. As an earthly ruler he had quite a lot to say about how to wage war and make peace. These are the teachings radical Islamists rely on to justify their conduct.
So what we need from the Islamic scholars is to tell us, and more importantly to tell would-be jihadis, why these difficult sections of the Koran and the Hadiths are not to be taken literally and not to be followed today. They should explain why “jihad”, which once did include warfare, no longer means that…
Fourteen years after the September 11 attacks we are still waiting for signs that senior Muslims clerics are working on this reform of Islam.
If this work does not start soon, we may have to conclude that reform is not possible.
Another example of what Costello mentions – the lazy and even cowardly avoidance of the fact that we confront a class of cultures.
On the night of the Paris attacks, Michael Doran listened as his daughter Sophie Doran cried uncontrollably moments after she escaped the Bataclan Theatre where she had pretended to be dead for half-an-hour as armed men murdered more than 80 people.
On Monday’s Q&A, Mr Doran berated Australia’s political and Islamic leaders for their “lack of vision” when it came to stopping potential terror attacks at home.
“What is done when we select the people to come and settle in this country to ensure they have a clear understanding of the values and norms here and that, although this is a beautiful country, these values may be different to those they are accustomed to and will be?” Mr Doran asked the panel via video link.
And, once again, the evasion by the Left – but this time one that confirms what it seeks to deny:
When Q&A host Tony Jones mentioned the Syrian passport found by the body of one of the Pairs suicide bombers had been used to enter Europe via Greece along the refugee trail, Varoufakis, popularly known as the “rockstar” finance minister at home, pointed out that the majority of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks had been French and Belgian nationals, not refugees.
“So the notion we are going to overcome this problem by erecting fences, electrifying them and shooting people who try to scale them, this plays into their hands,” he said.
Who mentioned shooting? But Varoufakis actually confirms the point. The majority of the perpetrators of the Paris attacks were indeed French and Belgian nationals, but not just that. They were French and Belgian nationals whose parents were Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa.
Conclusion: to let in people from a different culture and with different values is to let in parents of future children who will often be raised in that different culture with its different values as well.
Back to Doran’s point, so glibly avoided: how do we avoid importing a clash of cultures so potentially dangerous? And, yes, border controls are essential.
And more of the same victimology does not help us at all:
Addressing Mr Doran’s concerns that refugees from Islamic countries may have different values that need to be changed, Chair of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, Tasneem Chopra, said the “convenient political point scorer” ignored the largest group of IS victims.
“[W]hen you view the conversation on the victims of terror through the prism of Paris, what you are neglecting is that the majority of the victims of terror, the majority of those on the ground who are fighting terror, are Muslims and a lot of them are refugees,” Ms Chopra said.
Our first concern is that we don’t turn Australia into another Middle Eastern war zone. It’s terrible what’s happening in Syria, but that’s no excuse for exposing ourselves to a bit of the same.
Resistance is building, but vilified by the usual suspects:
THE ugly violence at an anti-Islam rally in Melton this weekend mimics exactly what happened three months ago in another Victorian community.
Bendigo’s name became a byword for extremism as the nation watched protesters break through police barriers, throw punches and hurl missiles during an anti-mosque rally organised by the United Patriots Front in August.
So the city decided to take a stand, rescuing its image, restoring harmony — and pushing ahead with plans for a $3 million mosque. Campaigners hope Bendigo can become a model for other towns that want to beat the racism far-right activists are spreading through Australia.
“Bendigo was targeted by extremists, rallies were held and we received a lot of negative press,” campaign leader Margot Spalding told news.com.au
“The reputation of Bendigo was trashed nationally. Its reputation became about violent rallies. If you were thinking of coming here to live or work, you certainly wouldn’t.”
To her delight, the businesswoman found other prominent figures in the education, business and the wider community shared her desire.
“We were all thinking the same. People had been very quiet until then, thinking the nonsense would go away. I thought it was time to stand up.”
The 62-year-old former Telstra Business Woman of the Year started a campaign called ‘Believe in Bendigo’, with 120 organisations paying for adverts in local newspapers condemning extremism. They organised a nine-day picnic attended by thousands in the same area as the hate-filled rallies, a diversity education program and, most recently, a series of community meals.
Margot, who employs three Afghan refugees at her multimillion-dollar furniture company Jimmy Possum, has received hate mail since the campaign began and her home has been put under police surveillance. “I find it extraordinary how it becomes so personal,” she says. “We discussed that it was likely to happen, but I can’t bring up my kids to believe something and not stand up for it. I’m resilient. I don’t like seeing people bullied.”
Muslims in Australia have come under fire for not loudly speaking out against the global violence in the name of Islam in the Middle East and now Paris, but “they’re quiet people”, says Margot.
“The anti-Islamic, anti-mosque sentiment has been exacerbated because of what’s happening in the Middle East. What’s happening is appalling but the Muslim community thinks so too.
“People get nervous, too. If leaders come out they have leverage and influence, they empower people.”
what happened to Vietnamese people in the 1970s and 1980s, it was shocking what happened to their community and look what they’ve contributed. Hungarians, Polish people, Germans have been targeted. Jewish people have been persecuted for decades. It makes me wonder who will be next.”
In the meantime, plans for Bendigo’s mosque are moving forward after anti-Islam campaigners lost a Supreme Court bid to halt the development in September, but there were still isolated clashes at a rally against the project last month. Police had warned that “hardcore” protesters were travelling interstate to stir up trouble.
Bendigo Mayor Peter Cox admitted it was disappointing to see another anti-Islam rally, while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was organised by “outsiders in every sense of that word.”
But Margot and her fellow campaigners remain firm. “Bendigo was being battered and now we have more positive views,” she said. “We don’t profess to be able to solve terrorism and anti-Islamic sentiment worldwide, but we understand our community very well. We empathise with Melton, it’s very unpleasant, to say the least.
“I’d like Bendigo, Victoria and Australia to be a welcoming place for people who are different. Australia’s reputation is being trashed.”
That’s another lie. Its not the “far-right” that is violent. Its the far-left lunatics that attack them.