Slowly but surely the world is waking up and is seeing that Islam is not just
another religion, that Muslim immigration will not solve any problem but will
create more and that playing multiculturalism with Islam is suicidal. The
following article was published in Australia's Herald
It's time we accepted the difficult truth: many of the
Muslims we invite to live in Australia want to destroy us.
FOR four years, since the September 11 attacks, I've begged our Islamic leaders
to drive extremists from their mosques.
For four years I've also reassured you that most Muslims here are moderate.
I've even insisted they have some moderate Muslim leaders, and last week
again endorsed Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam of Preston mosque as a man of peace.
How eager I was to praise. Heavens, I described as "moderate" the
Melbourne-based Islamic Information Services Network of Australia (IISNA), which
purged from its website articles I'd noted claiming democracy was a sin, Jews
were behind September 11 and Western society was a pollution.
But was I just kidding myself? Isn't it becoming terribly clear that Islam --
at least the Islam of Australia's Arab sheiks and imams -- is hostile to our
Isn't it now obvious we should never have let into our country those imams
who now preach hate?
Isn't the evidence that some cultures -- Muslim Arab ones -- pose more
problems than their importation at this rate is worth? Isn't multiculturalism
making these problems worse?
I know these are dangerous, hurtful questions. I also know many Muslims will
feel deeply offended, loving this country and obeying its laws, and I wish only
I heard from them far more often.
But the London bombings, perpetrated by home-grown Muslims, makes our silence
on such issues not a sign of civility, but suicide.
So let me admit that the past few days have been terrible for those of us who
thought we could count on Muslim leaders for real help against the Muslim
extremists who threaten us.
Such setbacks we've had.
Only last week I'd praised Sheik Fehmi as a good man, who'd condemned the
London bombings. But a day later he was asked about fellow Melbourne sheik
Mohammed Omran, a friend of a suspected al-Qaida boss, who'd claimed September
11 was really the work of a US-based conspiracy.
"He is entitled to his own thinking," Fehmi replied meekly. Then,
asked if Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorists had committed those
attacks, he added: "We cannot say. We do not know these things."
How can Muslim leaders fight terrorism, when the most moderate of them won't
condemn even bin Laden, or admit that monster's self-confessed guilt?
Fehmi was not my only disappointment. I checked the IISNA site this week, and
among the announcements of classes and prayers found this advice to a reader
who'd asked if it was a sin to kill non-Muslims:
"In regard to non-Muslims who are at war with the Muslims and do not
have a peace treaty with the Muslims or are not living under Muslim rule, then
Muslims are commanded to kill them, because Allah says . . . 'Fight those of the
disbelievers who are close to you, and let them find harshness in you.' "
If that's advice passed on by a "moderate" Islamic group, what must
the radical ones here say?
Well, we know that, too. In a Melbourne bookshop run by Omran a Herald Sun
reporter this month found books being sold that command Muslims to ready for
war and to hate Jews.
In Sydney last week, the Islamic Bookshop, Australia's largest of the kind,
was found (again) selling similar poison near the Lakemba mosque, including a
book with tips on how to blow yourself up and kill plenty.
"The form this usually takes nowadays is to wire up one's body, or a
vehicle or a suitcase with explosives and then to enter among a conglomeration
of the enemy and to detonate," it says.
"There is no other technique which strikes as much terror into their
Again and again we're told such things aren't typical. Apologists, too often
Muslim converts with little clout among ethnic groups, claim Islam means peace.
But again and again we are left feeling like dupes.
The genuinely charming Waleed Aly, of the Islamic Council of Victoria, goes
on 3AW to tell us the radical Mufti of Australia, Sheik Taj el-Din el-Hilaly,
who has praised suicide bombers as "heroes" and called the September
11 attacks "God's work against oppressors", is not a big worry because
he represents no one. Aly says he doesn't even know who made the man a mufti,
our highest ranking Islamic cleric.
But the truth, Waleed, is that your own council voted to make Hilaly
the Mufti in a decision of the Federation of Islamic Councils of Australia. Why
won't you sack him?
Everywhere disappointment. Hilaly's spokesman, Keysar Trad, soothes us with
false claims that the Mufti is misquoted and is a proud Australian, but he turns
out himself to have been a translator for the Islamic Youth Movement, a pro-bin
Laden group whose leader, Bilal Khazal, now faces terrorism-related charges in
We also find Trad has written articles with lines such as: "The criminal
dregs of white society colonised this country (Australia) and . . . the
descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us."
Faced with such evidence whichever way I turn, what else can I think about
Islam -- or Arab Islam, at least -- but that it is an enemy of our culture, our
society? And I ask: How did we come to let in the extremist preachers of such a
Why did we let in sheiks such as the Jordanian-born Omran, who declares Islam
rejects democracy and instructs Muslims to go to Iraq to fight coalition troops?
Why did we let in the Egyptian-born Hilaly?
But so much that we did in the name of multiculturalism was dangerously
naive. Just think: only a few years ago the jihad-preaching Islamic Youth
Movement, which met in Hilaly's mosque, was given three grants -- two state
multicultural grants to run language classes and one work-for-the-dole grant to
smarten up its offices.
Then there was all that other multicultural pampering to help Muslim ethnic
groups here keep their distance, their "identity".
In March, the Victorian Multicultural Commission, whose grants budget the
Bracks Government has tripled, even ran a football carnival for teenagers who
were split into ethnic teams -- the Turks playing the Greeks, the Lebanese the
Jews and so on.
Does this make any sense in a society where the urgent need now is not to
reinforce old tribal loyalties, but dissolve them in a warm pool called
As you figure the answer, remember that Lebanese Australian children at the
Muslim-dominated Moreland Secondary College, now closed after non-Muslim
students fled, danced for joy at the September 11 attacks. Remember Lebanese
ethnic gangs are strong in Sydney.
How hapless we've been, refusing to admit we were importing a problem that
multiculturalism could only make worse.
For example, we have allowed into Australia Lebanese -- many of them Muslim
-- who are often uneducated, unskilled and poor
in English. Their Islam was yet another barrier to their assimilation.
The results were as predictable as they were politely ignored -- a jobless
rate and imprisonment rate double that of other Australians. Gangs. Poverty. A
near ghetto in Lakemba.
What an unholy recipe: First we build a vulnerable underclass of
unassimilated people with a religion of rejection. Then we let loose on them
imported radicals preaching a hatred of our society; teachers who instruct them
in the shame of our history; and multiculturalists who pay them to keep their
distance and retain their much nicer ways.
A LL this always was foolish. Now we see it was dangerous as well, since
British-born Muslims bred in a similar stew of multiculturalism, ethnic enclaves
and Islamist extremism, have gone to war.
We need now to change ideas once thought sacred by our cultural elite.
First, we must be more wary about the dangers of importing cultures that
clash with the one that has built this free, rich and democratic society.
As a former Chief Justice, the late Sir Harry Gibbs, said in 2002: "A
state is entitled to prevent the immigration of persons whose culture is such
that they are unlikely readily to integrate into society, or at least to ensure
that persons of that kind do not enter the country in such numbers that they
will be likely to form a distinct and alien section of society, with the
resulting problems that we have seen in the UK."
Second, we must ban mosques from hiring imams from overseas, or at least
those who preach race hate or damn democracy. If Islam does mean peace, let only
peace be preached.
And, third, we must show more pride in this country, and switch our
multicultural cash from funding division to building unity.
After all, the duty of government is to make one nation out of many tribes --
and not the deadly reverse.
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