Australian Islamist Monitor

Islam Under Scrutiny

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

True Moderates?

E-mail Print PDF

Which Moderates are True Moderates?

I’ve been writing about Muslim leaders who have been in the news recently, and you may have noticed my reservations about distinguishing the true moderates from those claiming to be moderate – let’s call them faux moderates. It’s not easy for non-Muslims, let alone non-experts, to work this out, especially when the experts themselves are often fooled.
Spot a Moderate
Spot a moderate Muslim. 

But what we do know is that for Islamists, terror is just one tactic in their arsenal. It is often counter-productive, as the host country tends to get rattled when their citizenry are blown up. So leaving terror aside, how do we spot true from faux moderates? Descriptions don’t help, as Islamists often claim they are democratic and support our western values, just as Hamas supporters will march under “peace” banners.
Ed Husain
Ed Husain - A true face of Islam??? 

Spotting extremists like Hizb ut-Tahrir, which advocates jihad in the name of Islam, isn’t hard. Reformed Islamic radical Ed Husain, in an interview with Tony Jones, tells how young, impressionable members are recruited, and warns of the rising tide of radical Islam in the West. Addressing the recent failed terror plot in the UK, Hussain says:

“I'd like to make that distinction between Islam the faith and Islamism, the political ideology set up in its name. Just as we don't blame the Catholic Church for the IRA or ETA violence in Spain we don't blame Islam the religion with a 1,400-year track record of creating civilisations from Spain to China to the Middle East for what going on now.
What we blame is the marrying of an Islamist ideology set up in the 1950s in Egypt and later in Pakistan with what you correctly identified as Wahhabism….Hizb ut-Tahrir is one manifestation of that Islamist ideology based on a warped reading of text and under heavy Marxist influences…. The good news is there are lots of people leaving these organisations now…. we blurred the lines between genuine religion ie Islam and perversion of it, ie Islamism married to jihadism."
Jones asked how he pulled back from the brink. Hussain replied:

“I was fortunate in that I was raised as an orthodox Muslim so, I knew there was an alternative way of being Muslim without being an Islamist. My parents were telling me, "We raised you as a decent human being as an orthodox Muslim as someone should contribute… That was backed by the fact that I saw a murder… on my campus directly as a result of extremist ideas. But backed up with all of this was exposure to genuine religion, that we may call orthodox Islam where there is a traditional of plurality, a tradition of acceptance of the other, there is a traditional of spirituality, of honouring fellow human beings. Enobling and being merciful and compassionate... My belief is that that's the sort of exposure we should be given to genuine authentic religiosity, and thereby chasing after and flushing extremists who operate in our name." (source)
So according to Husain, Islamism has hijacked the real Islam, which has a 1,400 year track record of creating civilisations, supports religious pluralism and respects their fellow humans – sounds good to me! Try telling it to the Zoroastrians from what was formerly Persia, if you can find any  – I’m not sure that they’d agree about the track record.
1400 years of civilizing the world
1400-year track record of creating civilisations


So how to spot the lawful Islamists?

With some, the thin veneer is obvious to all except the truly gullible, as their associations, words and actions belie their self-described moderate label. Waleed fits this pattern, as he is involved with Islamic Council of Victoria, which is linked to CAIR, the US terrorist supporter, also the student group FAMSY which reglarly invites Muslim Brotherhood members to speak on campus. Moreover, he never misses an opportunity to demonise the West and excuse the worst excesses of the Islamists. Yet the gullible amongst us accept his claims of being the voice of moderation, and he is feted in the academic circles, lectures at Monash on Global Terrorism and has interfaith “dialogue” with progressive Jews and Christians who regard him as the apotheosis of Moderation.

Kara-Ali is more problematic. The Islamists attack his brand of Islam, as it certainly seems much more tolerant and compatible with our own values. So is he a moderate?
Kara-Ali
Mustafa Kara-Ali - A moderate or a sectarian radical? 

Irfan Yusuf, a Sydney writer and associate editor of altmuslim.com, doesn’t think so, describing him as “a representative of the Lebanese Sunni Muslim sect known as the al-Ahbash”. Irf attacks his claim there are ideological sleeper cells in Australia, and add “Kara-Ali’s own sect, the Lebanese al-Ahbash, has two of its senior leaders about to face trial in Lebanon… were found by an independent UN Report to have been involved in a plot to assassinate former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. That plot involved the use of suicide bombing.”  and:

“Given the strong relations between the al-Ahbash and Syria, one wonders whether Mr Kara-Ali will come clean on his sect's links to other pro-Syria groups in Australia, including Hezbollah.” and “Like Kara-Ali, I have strong theological objections to Wahhabism. Unlike Kara-Ali, I don't try and bring overseas sectarian conflicts and impose them here in Sydney.” (source)
Irfan claims there is a turf war within Sydney's Lebanese Sunni Muslim community between the Lebanese "al-Ahbash and other Sunni sects, each painting their opponents as terrorists or "Wahhabists". (source)


So is Irf a moderate? Well, he has attacked Ayaan Hirsi Ali, saying:
“Many Muslims have attacked Ayaan for her ignorance of Islam as well as for her links with far-right groups in the Netherlands” and makes it clear he considers her a fraud:
 
"I must say I have my own doubts about her claims.”
“Ayaan’s most unusual claim is that the dominant strand of Islam in Indonesia is wahhabism, and that Saudi Arabia funds the majority of Indonesian religious schools. I asked her if she had been to Indonesia.
She replied: “Do I have to go there to know a self-evident truth?” When I asked for evidence for her claims about Indonesia, it was clear she was the one conducting the witch hunt of the world’s largest Muslim country. Ayaan is happy to make sweeping statements about a diverse range of societies whose only common feature is some element of Islam. She has not travelled through Muslim countries and met Muslim communities.
Malaysiakini.com June 26, 2007.
He also criticised Brigitte Gabriel on her recent visit here, describing her as a ‘peddler of hate’:-
“Unfortunately, by hosting such a Muslim-hating propagandist, the JNF is disrupting the good work which other Jewish organisations are doing toward building bridges with members of the Islamic and other faiths,” (source )
In today’s Al Age, Irf writes about British Muslim Ed Husain's autobiographical The Islamist, detailing his experiences with Hizb ut-Tahrir. Irf observes:
“HT is the closest Muslim thing to socialist groups congregating on our campuses. In Australia, it would be lucky to have 100 core members, yet calls continue for the group to be banned. Its goal is preparing Western Muslims for what it believes to be the inevitable re-establishment of the caliphate — the Muslim theocratic state. How? By handing out pamphlets and holding conferences about the inevitability of the caliphate."

So it seems Irf thinks HT is harmless, a bit like the loopy socialist groups that one finds on campus.

In my day, we weren't worried about re-establishing caliphates. My generation of political Islamists were too busy supporting jihad in Afghanistan. Unlike HT's caliphate, our jihad was backed by the US.
Today, Saudi Wahhabist Islam is attacked by conservatives. Back then, these same conservatives regarded it as an excellent antidote to the less desirable revolutionary Iranian Islam of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Yes Irf, it’s all the fault of the US – gee, I think I’ve heard that one before.

“I was accustomed to mixing religion with politics. I'd spent six years at an Anglican school whose chaplain couldn't hide his admiration for Fred Nile's Festival of Light.”

Yes, Irf, we know there are Christian fundamentalists as well, but they are not slaughtering non-Christians in the name of religion.
Irfan Yusuf
Irfan Yususf - Definitely not a moderate


Irf reveals how he wanted to fight with the Afghan mujahideen and approached Sheikh Fehmi for help, but how the good sheikh warned him off, saying if you die to be glorified, you will go to hell.
So it seems you have to fight jihad for the right reasons!

From his encounter with Fehmi, Irf learned 2 lessons.” First, the best antidote to fringe political Islamism for young Muslims is a good dose of mainstream orthodox Islamic religion.
Second, this mainstream religion is taught by mainstream Australian imams and in mosques across Australia roles of sheikhs Fehmi and Na'eem.” (source )

Sheikh Fehmi has long been hailed as a moderate, that is, until he came out in support of Hezbollah!

Kuranda Seyit, founder and director of the Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations, could be a moderate.

Aside from the fact he wants to abolish Christmas and doesn’t like Cardinal George Pell, who he sees as a symbol of ‘Western hegemony’, he is Executive Director of the Forum of Australia’s Islamic Relations (FAIR), whose aims and objectives include:
  • To defend the rights and freedoms of all Australians to practice their religion openly and without fear of persecution or discrimination
  • To protect our civil liberties and promote an open and harmonious society
  • To educate the community about the differences and similarities between various religious communities and to eradicate ignorance and intolerance towards any one religious group
  • To promote inclusiveness and participation between various inter-religious and ethnic groups
  • To ensure accurate and ethical media reporting of events concerning the Islamic community and to provide an avenue of complaint in the case of a breach in the code of practices and ethics in the print and broadcasting media
  • To provide appropriate and adequate representation for the grassroots Islamic community and to have a strong unified voice
  • To enter into inter-community and inter-faith dialogue and have active involvement with the public in general utilising existing inter-faith groups and organisations
  • To promote Islam within the community

He doubts Kara-Ali’s report that up to 3000 young Muslims in Australia are vulnerable to radicalisation:
 
“Do we really believe that 3000 people are in sleeper cells awaiting the green light from Osama bin Laden?
… while there are Muslims with extreme ideas in Australia, by and large they do not advocate violence or any form of terrorism… we can definitely tone down the fear-mongering rhetoric which does little for the average Mohammed and Fatima who have to live with the stares and the taunts on a daily basis. The very grave issue of over-stating the facts, particularly if it can create a negative backlash against Muslims, must be addressed. It is simply not acceptable to make unfounded statements that create fear or suspicion of the Muslim community.”

No Kuranda, far better to face wholesale terror attacks than to be wary of Muslims! Our Islamophobia is the problem, not their potential for terror.

“Muslims in Australia cannot be compared to the British model. In some British cities… Muslims live in marginalised ghetto-like suburbs which provide deep cover for dissent and rebellion.”
Oh, so it’s because they are marginalised and disadvantaged – NOW I understand!

“In Australia we do have nutcases and radicals who preach that we should protect ourselves and our children from the evil influences of a non-believing society. They are relatively harmless, albeit distasteful.”
Yes, we’ve seen examples of these relatively harmless nutcases in Bali, New York and London!

In terms of numbers they are significantly small and only a tiny percentage within that tiny percentage have the potential for extreme violent behaviour.

Yes, but you only need a tiny percentage to cause carnage, Kuranda!
.
“Australia does have one great tradition that transcends all religious boundaries, and that is the freedom to believe what you want and to live your life the way you want as long as you don't try to stuff it down others' throats.
A great motto to live by, don't you think?”
Yes, Kuranda, I do think so, but do you?


Daniel Pipes points out that generally in the US, the right accept as moderates only those Muslims who actively oppose the Islamist goal of imposing Islamic law worldwide.
“just because Muslim organizations or individuals denounce terrorism or work through the system does not make them… either moderate or mainstream”  The left, on the other hand, usually distinguish between violent Islamists, which they reject, and political ones, which they accept.

We need a checklist! Luckily Pipes has compiled one. He emphasises that “the questions need to be specific, as vague inquiries ("Is Islam a religion of peace?" "Do you condemn terrorism?") have little value, depending as they do on definitions (of peace, terrorism).”

So here is his list:-
1.    Violence: Do you condone or condemn the Palestinians, Chechens, and Kashmiris who give up their lives to kill enemy civilians? Will you condemn by name as terrorist groups such organizations as Abu Sayyaf, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Groupe Islamique Armée, Hamas, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and al-Qaida?
2.    Modernity: Should Muslim women have equal rights with men (for example, in inheritance shares or court testimony)? Is jihad, meaning a form of warfare, acceptable in today's world? Do you accept the validity of other religions? Do Muslims have anything to learn from the West?
3.    Secularism: Should non-Muslims enjoy completely equal civil rights with Muslims? May Muslims convert to other religions? May Muslim women marry non-Muslim men? Do you accept the laws of a majority non-Muslim government and unreservedly pledge allegiance to that government? Should the state impose religious observance, such as banning food service during Ramadan? When Islamic customs conflict with secular laws (e.g., covering the face for drivers' license pictures), which should give way
4.     Islamic pluralism: Are Sufis and Shi'ites fully legitimate Muslims? Do you see Muslims who disagree with you as having fallen into unbelief? Is takfir (condemning fellow Muslims with whom one has disagreements as unbelievers) an acceptable practice?
5.    Self-criticism: Do you accept the legitimacy of scholarly inquiry into the origins of Islam? Who was responsible for the 9/11 suicide hijackings?
6.    Defense against militant Islam: Do you accept enhanced security measures to fight militant Islam, even if this means extra scrutiny of yourself (for example, at airline security)? Do you agree that institutions accused of funding terrorism should be shut down, or do you see this a symptom of bias?
7.    Goals in the West: Do you accept that Western countries are majority-Christian and secular or do you seek to transform them into majority-Muslim countries ruled by Islamic law? (source )

I have reviewed a few of the players on the Australian Islamic landscape, and as you can see, it is difficult to draw any conclusions.

First, my own observations:-

1.    It’s time to start putting the blame where it lies. On Islam.
EXAMPLE 1 Bnai Brith, a Jewish organisation held a meeting to raise awareness of the tragedy of Darfur, to which all funds raised would go to Oxfam. No-one denies the horror of Darfur, but it is a horror inflicted by Arab Janjaweed militias (Yes, that’s right Arab MUSLIMS) on Black Africans who are mostly Muslims. So what does that tell you about Islam? Clues: Arab supremacism, racism against blacks. Oxfam is notorious for supporting Palestinian Islamists and criticising Israel’s attempts to defend itself against their jihadi intentions, so why does Bnai Brith give money to them? Is there a guarantee it will go where it is intended? Should they not instead be supporting those who want to defend Israel which is under existential threat?
EXAMPLE 2  The recent failed terrorist attempts in London/Glasgow and maybe even Australia, were not the fault of our greed and imperialism (sorry Wally!), nor the result of poverty, disempowerment and victimisation.
What turned doctors, committed to save lives, into potential mass murderers? The answer is jihad, espoused by the Qu’ran and hadiths.

2. 
   It’s time to get tough on Islam and hold it accountable. “No fear, no favour and no funding” should be our motto. Islam can exist as a private religion alongside others, but given no special privileges and enough of educating us about Islam. If they want to talk about their 5 pillars or their noble Mohamed, let them do it in private, but not at our expense. And certainly no more sending them into schools to lie to our children. I don’t care what religion people follow – they can dance naked at midnight for all I care – but no need to tell us all about it.

As for Dr Pipes’ list, sadly most of my potential moderates have fallen at the first hurdle!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 August 2008 07:24  

AIM Listed by NLA

pandora

Australian Islamist Monitor's web publications were selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia. Access to our materials stored in the NLA Archive is facilitated in two ways: via the Library’s online catalogue; and via subject and title lists maintained on the PANDORA home page.
Click HERE for direct access to the archive

Islam Kills

History - Articles

Lest We Forget the Battle of Tours

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Violent Jihad

Australians celebrate and revere Anzac Day on April 25th each year in remembrance of our brave soldiers who fought in two great world wars to secure our freedom. Every Australian identifies with the slogan “lest we forget” and in services held around the country people reflect on the battles and men who died to secure our freedom. Yet across the world in France, there is one remarkable battle which helped form the Europe we know today and allowed the development of civilization based on Judeo Christian principles. This one famous battle has become known as the battle of Tours and effectively stopped the Muslim advance into Europe. After the death of Mohammed in 632AD, Muslim armies exploded out of the Arabian peninsula to conquer much of the Middle East, expanding across north Africa. From there they crossed into Spain in 711AD and eventually controlled much of al-Andalus by 715AD. It was the victory at Tours by Charles Martel that stemmed the tide and eventually the Muslim marauders were expelled from Spain in 1492 when the last outpost at Granada fell to King Ferdinand of Spain. 

Read more

Shivaji’s Coronation Laudatory Landmark

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Infidels' Resistance

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born, lived, fought and won battles against religious and social oppression in the 17th century Bharat or India. He was a shining star in the Indian firmament and is renowned as a champion of the downtrodden and depressed masses. He was and continues to be an icon for the classes and masses alike and is seen as a rallying point for peasants oppressed by foreign rulers, Pathans and Moghuls alike. Sexually exploited women found in Shivaji Raje a protector, a benefactor and flocked to his Hindavi Swaraj to find solace and feel liberated under his saffron flag. 

Read more


Ransomer of Captives from the Muslims

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Tolerance Myths

Perhaps some readers might be interested to know that January 28 is considered a feast day among Catholics – actually 2 feast days are celebrated on the same day – one is of ST Thomas Aquinas, the great medieval theologian and philosopher who adapted Aristotle to the western Judeo-Christian worldview. . It is also the feast day of a lesser known person – St Peter Nolasco, the great ransomer of captives from the Muslims.

Read more


Islamic Pirates

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Violent Jihad

Barbary Corsair
Somalian Islamic Pirates & Lessons from History
 
The dramatic rescue of the American cargo-ship captain Richard Phillips from the hands of Somalian Islamic pirates by the U.S. Navy—killing three pirates, holding him hostage at gun-point, through precision-targeting—warrants a review of the U.S. struggle with piracy and hostage-taking in North Africa, which ended two centuries ago.

Raiding trade-caravans and hostage-taking for extracting ransom in Islam was started by Prophet Muhammad. Having become powerful and secure after his relocation to Medina from Mecca in 622, Muhammad initiated Jihad or holy war in the form of raids of trade-caravans for earning livelihood for his community. In the first successful raid of a Meccan caravan at Nakhla in December 623, his brigands killed one of the attendants, took two of them captive, and acquired the caravan as “sacred” booty. The captives were ransomed to generate further revenue. Muhammad, later on, expanded this mode of Jihad to raiding non-Muslim communities around Arabia—for capturing their homes, properties and livestock, capturing their women and children as slaves often for ransoming and selling, and imposing extortional taxes—which sometimes involved mass-slaughter of the attacked victims.

Read more


The Battle of Broken Hill

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

Battle of Broken Hill Logo
 
The First Islamic Terrorist Attack on Australian Soil
 
On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, armed themselves with rifles, an homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill.

The train carried about 1200 Broken Hill residents to Silverton where a picnic to celebrate the new year was to take place.

The two Muslim men, Gool Mohamed originally a Pashtun tribesman from Afghanistan and Mullah Abdullah from what is known today as Pakistan, decided to wage jihad against Australian infidels after Australia and the Ottoman Empire officially joined the opposite sides in the WWI.

Read more


Jihad Galore

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Tolerance Myths

Jihad Galore and the Toledo Whore

Battle of Higueruela

Alhambra - GazelleHow often in conversation with a Muslim, do they quote Spain as the crowning achievement of Islam, where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in harmony for about 800 years?

And when you mention the killings and massacres, you are told that the Spanish Inquisition was much worse.
This is a misconception, since the Inquisition in Spain was responsible for only between 4,000 and 5,000 lives. [1]

Yet in 1066AD, in a single day, muslims murdered over 4,000 Jews because Vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela had risen to a position greater than them, and of course, this upset the Muslim sensitivities. [2]

Read more


Arabs Hated The Quran

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Stolen Heritage

 
How the Arabs Hated The Quran
 
Old Quran

Wh y are you a Muslim?
Musli ms in general love to hear the above question because it has a simple and readymade answer in their minds besides it gives them the opp or t u nity to propagate their religion and talk proudly about Islam.

 

Read more


Lepanto Anniversary

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Imperialism

Decisive Victory for the West

At this time of year, it is timely to remember one of the greatest victories of the west against the Islamic world. On the 7th October in 1571, Don Juan and the Holy League, led by Admiral Doria, defeated the larger Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto, saving Europe from the Turks and militant Islam. The Holy League was a coalition of different armies - of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and some others.

Read more


Muslim Jerusalem

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Stolen Heritage

Jerusalem - Coat of ArmsWhy do Muslims insist that Jerusalem is their Holy City?
When Mohamed and his faithful followers moved from Mecca to Medina, they found themselves among three Jewish tribes/clans (BANU-L-NADIR, BANU KAINUKA and BANU KURAIZA)  which settled there some time after their expulsion from their homeland and also living there were  two Arab, pagan tribes.

Mohammed, who at this stage needed more followers, decided to win those tribes over and convert them to his newly invented religion.

Islam was yet not as fully developed as we know it today, and Mohammed was still having his sessions with Allah (the Medina period revelations).

Read more


Killing of Banu Quraiza

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Imperialism

Did Prophet Muhammad order Killing Surrendered Jews of Banu Quraiza and Khaybar?  A historical Analysis

In the post 9/11 era of this modern-world, Islamists around the globe are busy with ‘damage control utopia’ in order to correct the image of religion Islam. We all know that the nucleus of Islam are: Quran, Hadiths (Sunnah) supported by Islamic histories and biographies recorded by various famous Islamic scholars and historians.

What Mecca?

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

History - Early History

A great tragedy of the Islamic control of our universities and political correctness plus the fear of extreme violence if anyone dares question the roots and claims of Islam is ...that nobody dares question the roots and claims of Islam!!!  I want to stimulate interest and offer this summary of information on Mecca from (LINK) which discusses some problems with Muslim claims in a comparison of evidence supporting Islam/Christianity. 

Read more


Yahweh or Hubal

Attention: open in a new window. PDF | Print | E-mail

FlagThere is a very strongly entrenched view among majority of Westerners today that the three main monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam share one common God and therefore despite the obvious differences, the core foundation of these three religions is the same. 

Read more