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October 06th 2015 print

Peter Smith

Mohammad Wouldn’t Be ‘Baffled’

Another Muslim murder, followed by hand-on-heart protestations from our political class that Islam is the religion of peace. Perhaps, after the 'community leaders' have been glad-handed and the TV cameras vanish, our leaders should actually read the Koran

behead posterYears ago, John Howard was ridiculed by chatterers when he extolled the value of immigrants embracing Australian values. They sneered and they postured. What Australian values? Shrimps on the barbie? Well, giving people ‘a fair go’ is an Australian value. And that is not to be sneered at.

Values matter. Modern Western civilisation — the best that mankind has known – is built upon a set of shared societal values. In general, these mould the minds of individuals in their formative years; for the better or, depending on those values, for the worse.

Described as a radicalised youth of Middle Eastern background, fifteen-year old Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad, shot to death, in cold blood, NSW police civilian employee Curtis Cheng. It was a shocking business, in the sense of being tragic for him and his family and deeply upsetting and saddening for all of us. But it should not have come as a shock, in the sense of being surprising.

Yet our political leaders were evidently taken unaware. They expressed shock and incomprehension that such a thing could happen.

NSW Premier Mike Baird said, “…there is no doubt that this tragedy will echo around the world, as people try and understand how someone so young could commit such a hideous crime.”

Roger Franklin: For Islam, Media is the Massage

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, “It was doubly shocking because it was perpetrated by a 15-year-old boy and it underlines the importance of families, communities, leaders being very aware of whether young people are becoming radicalised.”

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, describing the shooting as a “shocking incident”, continued: “Our thoughts are also with the family of the alleged young perpetrator. Like all Australians, they will be struggling to comprehend how someone so young could be part of such a terrible crime.”

I don’t think people who have been paying attention will have any difficulty at all in comprehending what happened. People who’ve been paying attention expect more of it to happen. I don’t think our political leaders are dullards. Therefore, I can only assume that their expression of incomprehension is a way to block out the problem — the worldwide propensity of Islamic (religious and cultural) values to throw up murderous young (and ever-younger) terrorists. Apparently, ISIS is targeting potential Western jihadists from age 13.

As with the rest of us, Muslims come in all shapes and sizes. But that shouldn’t blind us to the systemic (‘values’) problem within Islam. It doesn’t blind people like ex-Muslim Hirsi Ali. She has experienced the problem firsthand. She, nonetheless, harbours some hope (in Heretic) that Muslim thinking is potentially salvageable, if it has been mainly shaped by the values of Mohammed in Mecca, when he and Allah were fairly tolerant. But even that might be fanciful.

The Koran isn’t neatly divided. It isn’t chronological. It goes from longer to shorter chapters (surahs). It would take a very learned Islamic scholar to sort it out. For example, suppose you came across Surah 4.89 (Pickthall version) in your formative years.

They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve that ye may be on a level with them. So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back to enmity then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend or helper from them.

What would you think? Well you might guess it was written in Medina and ignore it, rather than support killing apostates. How about this tricky one (9.5)?

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

There’s killing en masse for sure but then we are told about Allah’s mercy. Hmm! Somehow, I would still guess Medina. Anyway, I suppose one could proceed by ignoring Allah’s words whenever something unpleasant was uttered and produce a potted version of the Koran; ditto for the Hadith.

Is it peaceful one could ask? Peaceful is in; everything else is out. Fanciful indeed!

But, something along these lines must have been in the mind of President al Sisi of Egypt when he called for a religious revolution within Islam. Muslims must stop following a violent creed, he plainly said.

That thinking – I am not say ‘religion’ but ‘thinking’ – that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It’s antagonizing the entire world! Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants –that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

What is likely to happen if minds are poisoned by imbibing a violent creed from a very young age? Is it surprising that a percentage of those so indoctrinated turn violent? After all, a percentage of any population is unstable; combine this with a hallowed textual imprimatur to kill, and rabble-rousing radicals, and you have a heinous brew. Apparently, this all goes over the heads of our political elite who, unlike President Sisi, hear nothing, see nothing, know nothing.

Communities who need constant attention and support lest their young people turn violent are a problem. Or am I talking out of turn? Am I being obtuse? I don’t know, but wouldn’t it be equally troubling if Hindus, Sikhs, Presbyterians, Jews, Chinese, Greeks, Vietnamese, Hare Krishnas, or any other group, was similarly afflicted?

The problem will only be solved by Muslim communities embracing, and inculcating in their children, Australian (Western) values. As examples, to uphold people’s right to change religion and to be critical, even insulting, of other religions without fear of physical harm; to give primacy to parliamentary law over religious law in all non-ecclesiastical matters; to support the equality of women with men without qualification; to reject discrimination on the basis of race, religion or sexual preference; to give everyone an equal fair go, whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

Perforce, some of Allah’s very words will have to be set aside or reinterpreted or put in context. I doubt that this is possible. I hope I’m wrong and President Sisi’s call is answered, otherwise the carnage will continue (unsurprisingly) here and elsewhere.

 

 

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [11]

  1. Bran Dee says:

    Once again Peter Smith is spot-on!
    The essence of what he says could be expanded into a book and given to politicians but that has already been done in 2009 with the David Claydon edited book. In that book ‘ISLAM – Human Rights and Public Policy’ David Claydon in his Preface says “MPs in general tend to lack the kind of knowledge about Islam and Islamism that is necessary for well-informed considerations of public policy. This book is a modest attempt to help fill the perceived information gap –”
    All politicians, I understand, have been given a copy of this book. Few show indications they have read and understood.

    • The book on Islam is probably sitting on the shelf along side the books by Carter (Taxing Air) and the IPA-compiled book Climate Change – The Facts, all given gratis to Federal politicians, unread, ignored, and gathering dust. I call it gross negligence of due diligence. A day of reckoning will come one day.

  2. hwka says:

    “The problem will only be solved by Muslim communities embracing, and inculcating in their children, Australian (Western) values.”
    Will not happen.
    Even a casual reading of the Koran will indicate why that will always be so.
    Unfortunately…”The problem will only be solved…” if and when when a major outrage is successfully carried out.
    A mass killing at a major sporting event…or a mass killing in our seats of government.
    This is of course highly unlikely for two reasons , the obvious reason being that the dumbest of terrorist leaders would immediately see that as counter-productive.
    Far better to prosecute the “lone wolf attacks” which are nothing of the sort but are deniable.
    The second reason is our diligent security forces will prevent most if not all attacks , especially ones that involve a number of participants.
    No the lone wolf attacks will continue apace.
    We are led by idiots.
    We are informed by a traitorous media.

  3. Bill Martin says:

    I would add some questions to Peter’s excellent article, questions addressed to imams, other Muslim leaders, but most of all to Muslim parents in Australia. Do they ever tell the youngsters any of the following? That Muslims are in no way special and definitely not superior in any way to non-muslims. That western societies are not inherently enemies of Islam. That women are in every way equal to men. (Do Muslim father’s demonstrate that attitude within their families?) That they owe loyalty and alligence to Australia, the nation that accepted them or their parents/grandparents and gave them the opportunity for a far better life than what they left behind. That none of the problems of any of the Islamic countries are due to anti-islamic western scheming. That the west is not endeavouring to destroy Islam. That the Crusades were attemps by Christianity to reclaim from Muslims lands of religious significance to Christians, which the Muslims conquered by violence and not because the Crusaders were out to destroy Islam. An endless list of such statements could easily be compiled, but these will do for now.

    As to “deradicalisation”, would any of the Muslim leaders or spokesmen enlighten us just what that means. Does it involve some of the above, or do they simply tell Muslim youth and even older would-be jihadists that random violence is counterproductive to the “softly-softly”, gradual process of islamising Australia one concession at a time.

    And finally, a word for the vast majority of our politicians, journalist and all other opinion-leaders, with due respect to the few exceptions: You are spineless cowards or at best, hopeless lunatics. Probably both in most cases.

  4. Stuart says:

    The sand must feel warm and satisfying on the heads of our politicians and police commissioners , thus they cannot hear the sounds of crickets or see the extended middle finger of the vast majority of these Islamic mosque dwellers. They fail to understand the crusades have never ended and the war for our heritage and cultural identity has flared up once again. A war that the ideologues of Islam have never let die only this time the enemy is already within.

    http://thestoryofmohammed.blogspot.com.au

  5. Alistair says:

    From The Australian 6/10/2015 :-

    “The Australian understands mosque officials across Australia are aware of small numbers of extremists operating within their communities, but are often unsure how to confront this threat, partly from fear of confronting the individuals involved.”

    I would have though there was a perfect headline “Mosque Officials Aware Mosques Across Australia Harbour Extremists” right there, and the basis for an interesting article. Unless of course it is The Australian itself that is “unsure how to confront this threat, partly from fear of confronting the individuals involved.”

    Then there is the small passage from a Sydney Morning Herald report dating back to The Lindt Cafe shooting.

    “After receiving the calls, the (Muslim) community leader rang everyone she knew. ‘I must have called 50 people trying to find an IS flag. I found plenty of people who had one, but they didn’t want to give them up. They also believed that the police were trying set them up,’ the leader said.”

    The facts speak for themselves – the Community leaders are shielding the extremists – and the media are shielding the Community leaders.

  6. Jody says:

    And the Australian people have had enough of it!! The ABC needs to run a permanent disclaimer across the screen at all times, “the views of the ABC do not necessarily reflect those of the Australian people”.

  7. acarroll says:

    The worry with Islam is a distraction from the real issue.

    Why were we led down the path of changing our immigration policy away from strictly European immigration? Why is strictly European (with some small number of exceptions) a bad thing?

    Because Nazis? As in, all indigenous Europeans (read white people) are Nazis?

  8. Roy Edmunds says:

    We tend to focus on what is wrong about Islam.

    Islam tends to focus upon what is wrong with the West.

    I see much that is wrong with Islam.

    I see much that is wrong with the West.

    I see a battle of ideas.

    The West was soundly defeated by an idea that Vietnam would unite the North and the South…there was
    a perceived inevitability about the idea that persisted regardless of the military victories that the West inflicted on the Vietnamese. They just kept coming. Eventually the West caved in from within. The immorality of the whole war finally sunk in. It sunk in while we continued to believe that the fight against communism was
    worth the sacrifice….but really,we gave the Vietnamese people nothing to believe in…. A clash of civilizations? Or was it a final failure of our own belief…and an inability to bring feudal people
    forward to some concept of freedom they could not identify with…because ultimately it was a lie.

    That is the problem we have with Islam.

    Our system, the New World Order is in disorder. It is destructive and creating havoc in the world.
    Debt. Debt in the new world. Crippling debt. Deliberate debt.
    But we continue to presume we have something better…..but do we ?

    I think the answer is mixed. Yes, obviously in many areas. And definitely we have problems in other areas.
    So, even if Islam is flawed, we are also flawed, and the Islamic leaders focus on our flaws for their own
    purposes…which is of course the age old struggle for power and space.
    We do the same.
    We are so used to the Hollywood themes of good guys versus bad guys that we tend to unconsciously assume that
    somehow applies to our reality….it does not obviously….
    Rather it is a story about some bad guys versus some bad guys….liars and thieves versus liars and thieves…
    We seem to have some idea that we are the good guys as we were in World War II against Hitler and Nazi Germany…everything seemed so clear…but the first global revolution called the New World Order
    heralded the return of global fascism….and we adopted it…hook line and sinker from 1947 onward the push
    was to bring back fascism….the Mont Pellerin Society found common ground with Fabian Socialism …whether it
    is fascism of the right, or fascism of the left, ultimately the two extremes meet at the bottom…
    So be it.
    What to do.
    Fight it out.
    I have to support my bad guys cause they are my bad guys….but I fear we have another Vietnam on our hands
    and this feeling grows as I hear of the victories that ISIS has…and the fact that like the Vietnamese did….
    they just keep on coming.