It seems a lot of people are pretty unhappy that Scott Morrison has dared to speak of “the radical and dangerous ideology of extremist Islam”:
The Australian National Imams Council is among a number of Muslim organisations accusing Prime Minister Scott Morrison of politicising Friday’s Bourke Street attack that left one man dead and two others injured.
The Council called the attack a national tragedy but said it was “outraged” by the Prime Minister’s recent comments linking Islam to a radical and dangerous ideology.
“It is extremely disappointing in such difficult times and during a national tragedy, when all Australians of all faiths and backgrounds should be called upon to unite and stand together against any form of extremism and violence, to see our nation’s leader politicising this incident and using it for political gain,” a statement released on Sunday said…
While agreeing that Mr Morrison was “rightly upset by this terrible attack,” the Forum On Australia’s Islamic Relations (FAIR) joined the Council in saying the PM’s assertions, while condemning the attack, were incorrect.
“The Muslim community will not be scapegoated and we will endeavour to keep Australia safe where we can, but the actions of a mentally ill person suffering from a psychotic episode, is not the fault of a whole religious community,” a FAIR spokesperson said.
“We demand the withdrawal of his comments and an apology to the Muslim community.”
A similar view was held by Muslim Friendship Association spokesperson Keysar Trad, who called Mr Morrison’s comments “very divisive”.
“This really plays into the hands of the Islamophobic crowd in the community and I’ve since received emails from these people basically applauding Morrison’s comments because they just wait for any political leader to say something negative about Islam and just jump on it,” Mr Trad told SBS News.
“They don’t consider or appreciate the pain and the various repercussions that are caused to members of the Muslim community. Even though he’s trying to isolate his message to those with an extremist interpretation of the religion, many in the general public view that as an indictment of the entire Muslim community.”
Also chiming in are the Krazy Kaliphate Kidz of Hizb ut-Tahrir, well-known defenders of secular liberal democracy:
Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has a draft constitution calling for the death of ex-Muslims and is banned in many Muslim countries, responded to the Prime Minister by slamming Western societies.
‘PM Scott Morrison has asked Muslims to call out dangerous ideologies when it comes to terrorism,’ the group’s spokesman Uthman Badar told his 18,782 Facebook followers.
‘I’d like to oblige and call out the dangerous ideology of secular liberalism.
‘The violent exploits abroad of this extreme ideology are well known—wars, invasions, propping up dictators, wreaking political and economical havoc of an enormous scale on weaker nations.’..
Hijab-wearing Muslim activist Hanan Dover also sought to turn the accusations back on to politicians.
‘Australian federal politicians won’t get rid of extremist and radical elements within Parliament who continue making deliberate and conscious decisions traumatising and /or killing asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island,’ the psychologist said.
The hardline Sunni group, Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association, which urges Muslims to avoid wishing Christians a Merry Christmas also accused the Prime Minister of being divisive.
‘A Prime Minister saying we should do more, yet his words are what creates more tension and divide,’ Wollongong-based sheikh Jamil El-Biza said on Facebook.
The ASWJ advocates a Salafist, seventh-century version of Islam and its preachers have described it as sinful for women to show their ears in public and for children to listen to music.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a self-avowed enemy of our society, wanting to replace “secular liberalism” with an Islamist caliphate. So to them, briefly: fuck you and the donkey you rode into town on (I’ll leave pleasuring the latter to you). You totalitarian trash get as much respect out of me as communists and fascists — none.
To everyone else: Dear Imams, you know what else is “divisive” and “outrageous”? The followers of Islamism, which is a significant minority of both your community and the worldwide Islamic ummah, stabbing, shooting, running down and blowing up people in Australia and elsewhere.
I’m sorry that the actions of the few – fueled by the beliefs and enjoying sympathy of a more substantive few – cast the whole Muslim community in a bad light, but sweeping the problem under the carpet and not pointing out the obvious, namely that some interpretations of Islam (particularly if seen through a political lens) are dangerous and deadly, is neither going to make the problem go away or advance community harmony and cohesion.
The politico-religious ideologies of Wahhabism, Salafism, Daobandism, of the Muslim Brotherhood, of Hizb ut-Tahrir and others, are inconsistent with and hostile to the political, social and economic system of our Western societies and should be called out on that and challenged.
Even when not violent themselves they are the gateway drugs towards terrorism, stepping stones on the road to extremism. Only a minority of Muslims are extremists, and only a minority of extremists become terrorists, but no terrorist ever acts without being first radicalised or self-radicalised.
The fact that many of the violent ones do indeed have mental problems or are former criminals is beside the point; extremism has always attracted a far larger proportion of the outliers and misfits than the mainstream ideologies or religions. No one tries to exculpate Nazism because some of its followers were psychopaths and thugs – it goes with the territory and actually makes these sorts of belief systems even more dangerous.
Earlier this week, the British government has declined to offer Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi political asylum. After nine years in prison spent awaiting execution for alleged blasphemy, the Pakistani Supreme Court has overturned her death sentence, unleashing a wave of public anger still baying for her blood.
The Brits are citing “security concerns”, claiming that admitting Bibi could cause “unrest among certain sections of the community.” In other words, the British government can no more guarantee Bibi’s life and safety from their Pakistani and Muslim citizens than can the Pakistani government.
I guess granting a Christian woman an asylum would be “divisive” too. I hope we never get to that sad and pathetic point in Australia.
This is precisely why we cannot let the poison of extremism fester unchallenged.
Arthur Chrenkoff blogs at The Daily Chrenk, where this piece also appears.
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