For those not aware, the First International Symposium on Liberty & Islam in Australia was held over the weekend in Melbourne.
It was a great event and I am very thankful for the Q Society for organising it and providing me with an opportunity to speak. I thoroughly enjoyed the main event on Sunday – there was a great line-up of presentations and you can read the full text of my presentation on the Australian Defence Force & Islam here.
And while family duties prevented me from attending the full range of events, it was wonderful to meet with so many people, especially at the main conference and the social function on Saturday night at Docklands.
Of course, it is impossible to hold an event like this without a bunch of ‘tolerant’ radicals from gate-crashing it. I was back in Brisbane when this occurred, so I missed out on the all excitement. However, Pamela Gellar has given a good description of the mindset of these people at her website:
“Then this evening, the Q Society held a welcoming reception for us at a local restaurant. This event was neither open to the public nor publicly announced. It was a lovely affair with longtime supporters and activists greeting us, welcoming us, and taking pictures with us. We weren’t there ten minutes when suddenly a crazed mob of left-fascists attempted to storm the room, attacking and throwing their bodies against our security team while frenziedly screaming that we were the fascists — the irony was unmistakable. These savages were really out of control. Had they managed to break through our security cordon, it is clear that they would have brutally assaulted as many of the freedom-lovers in the room as they possibly could. It was eerily reminiscent of the Muslim riots that took place in Sydney in 2012.”
Robert Spencer also highlighted the ludicrous irony of these people:
“This incident vividly illustrated the nature of our struggle: it is truly, as Pamela Geller has so indelibly put it, a struggle of the civilized man vs. the savage. One side was enjoying drinks and polite conversation, having gathered together in service of the cause of freedom and human rights. The other side, while it professes to be the true guardian of those things, came to the restaurant determined to harass, assault, and maybe even kill us. They are, as I have said before, the true children and heirs of the Nazi brownshirts who menaced and assaulted people at rallies and speeches of the Nazis’ opponents in the early 1930s. The struggle we are in is one that will determine whether our societies will remain civil and free, or fall prey to violence, thuggery, and authoritarianism.”
You can also read Bill Muehlenberg’s take on it here. I was disappointed to miss the presentations from Bill Muehlenberg, Pamela Gellar and Robert Spencer as I had to return early to help my wife with our new baby. The good news is that I understand that they will all be available in the not too distant future.
The presentations that I did see were thoroughly enjoyable and informative.
Kirralie Smith from Halal Choices kept the audience engaged with her vibrant speech on the halal food certification racket. The Endeavour Forum’s Babette Francis spoke about Islam’s poor record when it comes to treatment of women. Mordechai Kedar provided a fantastic presentation of the role of immigration in jihad – a topic particularly relevant for Australia. British lawyer, Gavin Boby, gave a very entertaining (and hopeful) presentation outlining how the efforts of the organisation Law & Freedom was stopping the approval of mosque developments in the UK.
Perhaps the presentation I found most interesting was that of Dr John Perkins. He is an atheist, and we obviously have some different viewpoints about religion, but I found his concern about the ‘blind eye’ that many humanists turn towards Islam fascinating.
All-in-all, it was a very worthwhile and informative event. Now it’s time to take action and, by all accounts, plans are well developed to ensure that successful action is under way.