Guest Column

Not All Religions Are Created Equal

Over the last two months, we have witnessed brutality, carnage and discrimination against the Jews on a scale only comparable with the Holocaust. This anti-Semitism was ignited on October 7 with the terrorist attacks upon Israel by the Palestinian terror organisation Hamas.

Footage of the October 7 attacks has since been shown to a select number of journalists and politicians. According to the journalists present, the raw footage included videos and images of babies burned alive in ovens, men and women decapitated, Jewish families bound together and incinerated, and grenade explosions blinding young children. In other words, viewers were left with no moral quandary concerning the guilt of Hamas.

One such viewer was the British political commentator Douglas Murray. Murray went as far to argue that Hamas are worse than the Nazis, because at least the Nazis sought to cover up their crimes. Speaking with Piers Morgan of SkyNews, Murray said:

I’ll tell you one very big difference, if you look at the raw footage … that is at least as barbaric as the Nazis did but here’s the difference—they did it with glee; they were deeply proud.

Just this week, it was revealed that a number of hostages held by Hamas—both men and women—were raped by the terrorist group during their time in captivity. No Palestinian militant has been treated in such a manner by Israel at any point during the war over the past few months.

Sadly, due to the times in which we live, a few caveats must be given. First, one does not need to be a Zionist to condemn Hamas’s actions. Second, one does not need to believe Israel is perfect (which it is certainly not) to confront evil. These ought to be self-evident, though they are necessary to state due to our current political climate.

While many are decrying Israel as a genocidal state, one can only imagine the international outrage if it were uncovered that a member of the Israeli Defence Force killed a single Palestinian in the manner similar to Hamas’s actions on October 7. Furthermore, how would the world respond if Australia were to hold an anti-Palestine rally at which protesters were yelling “Gas the Palestinians”, as was done to the Jews in recent weeks? Surely not radio silence from Australian politicians.

On a sidenote, where are the “moderate” Muslims who are opposed to terrorist groups like Hamas? The Australian public are waiting for them to come out and condemn the atrocities that occurred on October 7. On the contrary, all we seem to witness from Australian Muslims are pro-Palestine flags hanging out of cars, “Boycott Jews” stickers on the storefronts of Australian businesses, and violent sermons from Islamic preachers in the south-west of Sydney. Things have become so bad that Israel has issued a travel warning to Jews considering travel to Australia, given the current level of anti-Semitism. Again, where are the “moderate” Muslims?

While there are certainly complex historical and geopolitical tensions between Israel and Palestine, the Western intelligentsia tend to avoid the elephant in the room: Islam. Due to their rationalistic, secular pseudo-religious worldview, they tend to interpret all international events through the lens of secular theories. They believe “religion” is merely a social construct and hope to educate the rest of the world to come to this realisation. They refuse to believe that religion has the power to transform a culture and society, and they refuse to listen to militants when they tell the Western world what is motivating their actions. This was clear as crystal during my undergraduate degree majoring in government and international relations at a leading Australian university.

During my studies, certain lecturers would explain away Islamic terrorism through the rubric of poverty, lack of opportunity, and other sociocultural factors. (I even had one lecturer with the audacity to argue that Islam is a democratic, feminist religion.) Translated into modern vernacular, the only reason terrorism occurs is because of a lack of opportunity. Rather than considering the role of ideology and religion, terrorists were assumed to be victims of Western imperialism and “genocide”, thus excusing their actions. Rousseau’s notion that “Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains” has been repackaged for the modern world.

This fundamental blind spot of the twenty-first-century intelligentsia prevents many from drawing a causal link between Islamic doctrines and Islamic terrorism. In their eyes, if Islam is merely a social construct, how could it be responsible for barbarism? Or maybe they do not want to highlight a causal relationship for the risks it involves. Speaking honestly about Islam may lead to the drying-up of government funding, the loss of academic tenure, of their very life being put at risk.

Yet, as Edmund Burke purportedly once said, “The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

As a gentle reminder, Islam is a religion, not a race. This is self-evident to anyone who has studied Islam, and to all those who have fled an Islamic nation due to persecution. At its heart, Islam is a religious and political ideology that seeks to colonise the world and draw all things into subordination to the will of Allah, as prescribed in the Koran. Read in light of the Hadith (the sayings and traditions of Mohammed), the Koran sets forth a vision of global conquest by military might.

Thus, criticising Islam is not “racist”, “Islam­ophobic” or “intolerant”. Attacks using such terms are attempts to stifle discussion about the true nature of Islam, and the way it is shaping the world as we know it. Islam must be open to criticism and critique, just like any other religious worldview, especially in a nation in which freedom of speech is prized. No one is mocked as a “Christophobe”. The true “phobes” are not those who question Islam, but those who silence debate by castigating their opponents as “Islamophobes”.

The fabric of religious freedom in the Western world finds its origin in Christianity. The fundamental reason we believe in free speech in the West is because of the conviction that God gave humanity the freedom to worship Him. When Israel was about to enter into the Promised Land, Joshua declared:

… choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

Freedom of speech matters because truth matters. History demonstrates that restricting debate on political and religious issues is always the consequence of tyrannical powers who refuse to be challenged. If we refuse to challenge the rise of militant Islam, we will witness the further erosion of freedom of speech, and its counterpart, freedom of religion.

We must restore the conviction that not all ideas are equally true, and not all religions are worth building a society upon. We must resist the trend to cower away from religious debates, and refuse to wave the “multiculturalism” flag. This has nothing to do with ethnicity, and everything to do with ideology. Indeed, we are witnessing the multiculturalism test before our very eyes, and the results are not too edifying.

Shortly before Mohammed died, he gave these instructions to his followers:

So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them. (Surah 9:5)

Fight against those who do not believe in Allah. Fight those who don’t believe in the day of judgment. Fight those who do not follow the Sharia of Mohammed, and those who do not follow the religion of truth. (Surah 9:29)

Shortly before Jesus was betrayed by his own disciple, Judas Iscariot, he and his disciples were confronted with a large crowd armed with swords and clubs (Matthew 26:47). Simon Peter drew a sword and struck the son of the high priest, cutting off his right ear (John 18:10). Jesus rebuked Peter with these words: “Put your sword back in its place … for all who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).

It is because all men are created equal in dignity by God that we must reject the lie that all religions are created equal. The attacks of October 7 made this abundantly clear, and we should not be afraid to speak the truth.

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