Recently, The Australian, in one of its irritating two-bob-each-way editorials, described those objecting to the building of a mosque in Bendigo as a ‘mob’ and ‘bigoted’. Apparently, according to reports, the mosque will cost $3 million for the three hundred Muslims in Bendigo. That is $10,000 per person. I think there is an expectation that more will come.
I wrote to The Australian pointing out that that those objecting to the building were not necessarily bigoted if they believed that the mosque would propagate values inimical to Australian values. To his credit, the Prime Minister said more or less the same thing last week, though in a different context. “It’s not compulsory to live in Australia,” Mr Turnbull intoned. “If you find Australian values are unpalatable then there’s a big wide world out there and people have got freedom of movement.” Well said, Malcolm.
He said this when talking at the NSW Liberal Party State Council meeting in Sydney. “We acknowledge the right of each individual to observe his or her faith, to be true to their own conscience, to express freely their own beliefs provided they do no harm to others and provided that they do not preach hatred against others.”
It is hard to disagree with either of these two statements. Yet gnawing away is the premise of the second. Is it possible to observe the Islamic faith and do no harm to others? Mr Turnbull might profitably try to find Muslim spokespersons, even of the most moderate kind, willing to stand up and say that Australian law trumps sharia law. Good luck with that one. There will, however, be plenty of empty platitudes on display, as required.
Numbers of Islamic spokesmen that I have seen and read make the point that sharia law must rule the world. Do they know what they are talking about? Have they got Islam all wrong? All the killing, all the maiming, all the raping, all the desecrating in the name of Islam; have the perpetrators got it all wrong? And then there is the radicalisation of the young in the name of Islam.
Back to the PM: “While Australia is a world leader in countering violent extremism, we must continue thinking about innovative and creative solutions to this problem. We must continue exploring the causes of radicalisation to help us devise new approaches and strengthen existing ones.”
Mr Turnbull, taken at his word, wants to continue exploring the causes of radicalisation. It’s the religion stupid! I would say if it were not so clichéd. Oh, what the hell, I’ll say it anyway. It’s the religion stupid!
It is all designed to drive sensible people into psychological care I think. Exactly how much mayhem does Islam have to create before the political elite connect the dots? I say Islam and not Muslims for a good reason by the way. Any of us would have a high chance of having any enlightenment thinking within us thoroughly compromised if we’d been brought up in, say, Lebanon or Saudi Arabia by Muslim parents. Let’s not blame Muslims. They must be treated with the same respect and kindness as anyone else.
The Godfather‘s Michael Corleone became a gangster because he was brought up by the Mafioso. He wasn’t born a gangster. Muslims are not born despising infidels. They are taught to despise infidels.
Now as Islam has been going since the seventh century and has something like 1.7 billion-and-growing adherents, we have a problem. It is an intractable problem. It cannot be solved. It can only be contained; as, for example, Atatürk contained it in Turkey.
Its containment depends upon Western politicians recognising the source of the problem, which are the scriptural tenets of the religion itself. And they will not be changed. The Koran is the Koran. The Hadith is the Hadith. Exactly who will ever have the authority to change them?
Turnbull’s talk of “innovative and creative solutions” is just so much more ineffective guff. I don’t want to single him out. You can find the same kind of pointless things said by most Western political leaders.
Containment means well-resourced counter-terrorism measures; it means, more generally, targeting Islam by curtailing Muslim immigration. It also means scrutinising the activities of Islamic schools, mosques and charitable institutions and removing government assistance, including tax-exempt status, where there is evidence that values inimical to Australian values are being propagated. To be seen to be even-handed this regime could be extended to any government-assisted institutions, across the board.
I see nothing else that can be done. Defeating ISIS would have a dampening effect on the recruitment of jihadists but something else will spring up. So far as possible, the problem must be kept outside of our borders. To that objective, letting in yet more migrants wedded to Islam is tantamount to gravely risking the infliction of self-harm on us, our children and their children. This might hurt the feelings of some Muslims within our midst. But, really, salving such feelings can’t be allowed to put the nation at risk.