Malcolm Turnbull, ASIO head Duncan Lewis, Sydney Mayor Clover Moore and Assistant Multiculturalism Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, among others, apparently believe that it is discordant, dangerous even, to be too critical of Islam. So here we have a diseased ideology which we have to tiptoe around lest its adherents become upset. What the heck is happening to our civilisation?
OK, am I going too far in calling it a diseased ideology? Well there must something of the like at work. How else is it possible to explain so much symptomatic violence, hateful preaching and sheer intolerance wherever there are Muslim populations? Surely large numbers of Muslims were not born that way. Of course they were not. They have been infected.
The fault does not lie with Muslims as people. It lies fairly and squarely with Islam, and we have to say so unashamedly, loudly and often. But what about the moderate Muslims, the hand-wringers whine, don’t we need them onside? Hmm! First a question: What do moderate Muslims believe?
My concise OED defines “moderate” as “not radical or excessively right or left-wing.” I therefore buy the siren cry that most Muslims are “moderate”. It does not alter the fact that they are moderate Muslims, a qualifier we never hear in regard to “moderate Christians” or “moderate Hindus”. The evidence is that there a world of difference. That is why we don’t hear about ‘Hinduophobia’. The difference goes to their belief systems.
Zuhdi Jasser (US) and Raheel Raza (Canada) together with twelve other Muslims — five from each of the US and Canada and one from each of the UK and Denmark — have recently founded the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM). They epitomise moderate Muslims.
They are a pro-democracy and reject ‘political Islam’. I have often seen Dr Jasser on TV and have met Ms Raza. I am as confident as it is possible to be as a casual observer that they are genuine in their views and aims. But what do they believe when it comes to their faith? Why do they call themselves Muslims? Is it just a cultural thing with no religious connotation? This is part of what they say:
We are Muslims who live in the 21st century. We stand for a respectful, merciful and inclusive interpretation of Islam. We are in a battle for the soul of Islam, and an Islamic renewal must defeat the ideology of Islamism, or politicized Islam, which seeks to create Islamic states, as well as an Islamic caliphate. We seek to reclaim the progressive spirit with which Islam was born in the 7th century to fast forward it into the 21st century. We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by United Nations member states in 1948.
We reject interpretations of Islam that call for any violence, social injustice and politicized Islam. Facing the threat of terrorism, intolerance, and social injustice in the name of Islam, we have reflected on how we can transform our communities based on three principles: peace, human rights and secular governance. We are announcing today the formation of an international initiative: the Muslim Reform Movement.
Pardon me for saying so; but this, to me, is well-meant platitudinous guff. Muslims believe the Koran to be the verbatim words of Allah, which repeatedly identify Muhammad as a model to follow. If the moderates don’t believe that they should say so and then go on to explain what they do believe and identify their common, presumably expurgated, body of Islamic scripture. In the meantime, to paraphrase the Koran (25:52), ‘I will not listen to them but will strive against them with utmost seriousness.’ The Koranic injunction itself identifies unbelievers as the recalcitrants; and this, apparently, when Muhammad was in Mecca and Allah was in a “more progressive” less strident mood. Does the MRM disavow this verse?
Adjem Choudary and so-called radicals like him say that they are true Muslims and that those who don’t believe in the implementation of sharia law are not Muslims at all. They seem to have a point. It’s fine for the so-called moderates to protest that they are, in fact, the true face of Islam. But that leaves completely vacant what they actually believe. What scripture guides their thoughts, words and actions?
We have to get this straight. That is those of us who are prepared to face reality and who are not already, like many leading citizens here and elsewhere, in a state of dhimmitude. It is not about terrorism. Will Islamic terrorists sneak in as part of the flight of Syrian, and pretend-Syrian, refugees? Well, yes they will. Will Muslim enclaves in the West continue throw up home-grown terrorists? Again, yes. This is a grave concern. But it is not the grave concern.
However horrific are terrorist attacks they will not undo our civilisation or way of life. Terrorists will be routed out and defeated. Mosques and minarets spread across the landscape are quite another thing. That is the grave concern.
You might think I am being a cultural absolutist. I plead guilty. If Islamic countries, which generally form part of the bottom of the free, tolerant and prosperous world league table, want to embrace the morbid cave visions of an illiterate war lord good luck to them. But it is totally unacceptable in Western countries. We are moulded by Judeo-Christian values which is precisely why we are at the top of the free, tolerant, and prosperous league table.
I don’t want to hear about moderate Muslims. I want to hear about Islam being abandoned in droves and Christmas is an apt time to contemplate the prospect. Or, perhaps, if it is remotely possible, which I doubt, an Islamic revolution might do the job. (Mind you, according to Mr Turbull’s admirers, Tony Abbott should keep shtum about it. As we know from the hand-wringers, he is an ignorant troublemaker even when he simply echoes the call of devout Muslim President el-Sisi of Egypt.)
It makes you wonder what el-Sis was talking about if everything is lovely in Islamic-ideology land and nothing can be done. Let’s hope for the sake of Western civilisation and, not least, for the wellbeing of coming generations of people born into Muslim societies that Islam can and does undergo a revolutionary change. President Obama’s fawning admonishment “that the future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet” is a complete distraction from the attitude of mind we must have.
Muhammad’s scriptural excesses lay waste to civilised values. It is well to think – this time of the year – on the way Christ’s words provide a template for living together. Loving your neighbour as yourself, needs no clever-by-half interpretation to make it peaceful. Nor moderate Christians to excuse those who take the words literally. Merry Christmas.