A challenge for Glenn Mohammed

Dear Glenn,

Thank you for taking the initiative to write in The Age on 29 August, 2014 your article ‘My Muslim religion has problems that need fixing’.

At the outset, I would like to acknowledge some important things. Firstly, I do not know your history. You may be a recent arrival to Australia, or your family may have a longer association with our nation. Either way, it is unimportant in one sense. Australians have always welcomed those who come to this nation and contribute to its future. It is clear from your military service and involvement in politics that you are a contributor and I do thank you for that, even if we may disagree on many issues.

Particularly, I would like to acknowledge that what you wrote was courageous. It was also very important. It was, perhaps, the first time that someone of the Muslim faith acknowledged publicly in a major Australian newspaper that the Islamic religion does have problems that need fixing.

More importantly, you stated publicly that these problems are a threat to this nation. You called for the Islamic community discuss these problems, denounce the actions that flow from them and then fix these problems so that they no longer affect your own community and others. You called for the Islamic community to change its mindset.

Most Australians from all walks of life would agree with you. And from the tone and style of your article, it is clear that even you recognise that the ones most likely to disagree with you come from within the Islamic community.

Australians see these problems graphically portrayed every day. They are right to be suspicious of a creed that leads men to carry out violent atrocities in its name. They are right to be worried about Islamic leadership here that takes a default position of silence, or that blames others when it does speak. Australians are tired of hearing how these problems are the fault of America, or us, or imperialism, or insults to Islam. They are sick of being labelled racist for questioning the beliefs of those who behead.

What your article did not do was call for the ‘true’ meaning of Islam to be taught to those who violently ‘misinterpret’ it. I think this is because you know that this ‘misinterpretation’ is nothing more than a myth. I think that you understand that the British man holding a knife on our television screens is logically following the fundamentals of Islam to their bloody conclusion.

So let’s be clear. You want to change the Islamic faith. To redefine its fundamental beliefs. You do this because those who follow the very basics of Islam are those who pose a threat to us here and who are beheading their way across Iraq.

And this point is very important to understand.

Muslims believe that Mohammed was the most perfect man to walk this earth. They believe that they must follow his example. You know this better than most.

Yet Mohammed was the man who ordered an entire tribe to be beheaded. He was the man who commanded that those who insulted him be murdered. He was the man who took sexual slaves from those he conquered. He was the man who decreed: submit, pay the jizya (yearly tax in return for life), or die. He was the man who told his military commanders that they should fight the non-Muslims until they worshipped Allah alone.

I do not write these words to offend. I write them because you are rational and to highlight the challenge that you have. While Muslims believe that they must follow the example of Mohammed as outlined in the Islamic texts, beheadings, sexual slaves and war will always go hand-in-hand with Islam.

So there are only two ways that you can ‘reform’ Islam.

The first is to accept that Mohammed’s example is not to be followed. Logically, this means accepting that Mohammed’s life was flawed and it necessarily calls into doubt the entire basis of the Islamic religion. How can Islam be true if Mohammed’s followers are to reject his actions?

The second way is to re-write Mohammed’s life. It means rejecting the Quran, the Hadiths and the Islamic traditions and replacing them with something novel. Are you going to become the author of the New Quran? And which Muslims will accept it?

I respect you for recognising that there are problems with Islam. But I submit that these problems cannot be ‘reformed’ away. If the foundations are flawed, the building will always be shaky. And if you put in new foundations, you must recognise that the building that grows on top will have new roots. It will no longer be Islam.

I also accept that raising these issues must be difficult for you. You cannot do so without questioning the ideology that is part of your family, your history and your identity. It cannot be an easy thing to do.

But I applaud your courage to do so, and I encourage you to continue doing so. And even if we continue to disagree over basics into the future, I would like you to know that you have my respect. If the Islamic community mirrored your example, it would not feel so isolated, and nor would Australians have so much reason to harbour suspicions about Islam. But let’s not try and hide the reason why: this would be because all of us would recognise that rejecting basic Islamic beliefs is part and parcel of keeping Australia safe and contributing to its future.

Finally, if you disagree, please respond. Debate and dialogue is the best way of shining a light on error. And if you do disagree, I am genuinely interested to know why.

I hope, therefore, that discussion continues.

Kind regards,

Bernard Gaynor

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. Smudge, reread the post, and try to understand it as its written, not what you choose take it as. At no point did I say taking dictation from the book made anyone no better than an extremist. But calling (as others on this thread have) other people’s beliefs “dirty” and “false”, is no better than any other extremist. Live and let live. A catholic, a Muslim, a Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist … could argue a life time with each other about who’s religion is the ‘one true religion’, and all of them will put their evidence forward and strongly believe in their own case. Do you get what I’m saying? Let people believe what they want, if they’re not harming others, and don’t call Pagans “dirty” or “false”, just because you believe in something else. This is all I’m saying.

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    • Penny, on September 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm arcs up at Rory and blasts him: “Your comments are offensive”. Penny, on September 11, 2014 at 3:29 pm says to Smudge: “Let people believe what they want, if they’re not harming others …” What’s it going to be, Penny? You going to smile benignly and let Rory believe what he wants to believe? After all, he’s not harming others by merely stating what he believes – is he? Or is it OK for you to ignore your own rules, because Rory is a Catholic, and go for his jugular?

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      • Um, no actually. Nothing to do with him being Catholic. I never said he harmed anybody. And I, personally, wasn’t offended as I have no religion. But I didn’t say that others’ beliefs are “dirty” or “false”; comments which I’m confident would offend people of the faiths he was referring to.

      • Oh, I get it! You’re one of those nice, touchie-feely atheists who insist that everybody has the right to say and do what they like, PROVIDED what they say and do is in accordance with YOUR beliefs! You’re just another pocket Hitler in a world full of atheist pocket Hitlers.

  2. See the difference between some people is, me for example; I don’t need to be ‘God fearing’, fearful of going to hell, or require dictation from certain books (which are simply the musings of misogynistic old men) to know the difference between whats wrong and what’s right. If a person needs to be fearful of ‘God’ or hell to be a good person, then what does that say about them fundamentally? If you think it’s right to be so narrow minded that ONLY what YOU believe is the only way to live then so be it, you are not much better than any other extremist, no matter what religion. In my opinion, people have the right to believe what they want, as long as it doesn’t harm others. And its not for anyone else to judge.

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    • “…not for anyone else to judge” unless of course one wishes to judge the tendency of another to “take dictation from certain books (which are simply musings of mysoginistic old men)” in turn making them “not much better than any other extremist”. Then it’s okay.

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  3. While the Islamic false religion is clearly a problem, let’s not forget that homegrown pro-abortion Australian feminists have savagely slaughtered far, far more Australian children than even the most crazed mohammedan jihadists – including participating in gruesomely dismembering and/or beheading their innocent young victims. What are we going to do about these vicious feminazi mass-murderers? Vote more of them into parliament???

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  4. It doesn’t matter what we in the west believe. The fact is that Muslim immigrants are outbreeding the rest and Europe will adopt Sharia law and women will become chattels again. After that other countries will follow suit. Australia already has aspects of sharia with many companies paying the halal tax to them which we are all paying on our meat and other items. Over 20 labor electorates in Sydney are controlled by muslims.

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  5. Islamic takeover of British public schools,Google ‘Trojan horse England’

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  6. Any mohammedan who sincerely searches for Truth will be led by the Good Lord to His One True Church – the Catholic Church. On the other hand mohammedans who become integrated into your typical Australian pagan community have merely exchanged one dirty, false religion for another.

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    • Rory Donnellan, what makes you the authority on “true Religion”? You are entitled to your beliefs, others are entitled to theirs. Your comments are offensive. I don’t believe in any religion or any ‘God’. Religion is the root of most evil, and the cause of most wars. I believe in live and let live, and look after our planet and other living things. Does this mean your ‘God’ will punish me? Or that I won’t go to ‘heaven’? Bring it on!

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      • Penny,
        Hopefully this link will help you realise that the Catholic Church is the One, True Religion of God…

      • Nope. I still don’t believe in God. Especially don’t believe in religion. And if I did, Catholicism would be way down the list.

      • Penny,
        Apart from the invincibly ignorant, all of us are bound by the dogma that “outside of the Catholic Church there is no salvation”. It may profit you to consider this important point further…
        This is also in full accordance with John Chapter 6 (since only Catholics in a state of Grace can worthily eat and drink the Body and Blood of Christ):
        48 I am the bread of life.
        49 Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead.
        50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.
        51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
        52 If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.
        53 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
        54 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.
        55 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
        56 For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
        57 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.
        58 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me.
        59 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.

      • Hi penny,
        If you don’t mind, could you please back up your statement about religion being the root of most evil and the cause of most wars. Thankyou.

      • fletch, sorry I missed your earlier. Just off the top of my head;
        Palestine – Israel
        The Crusades
        The thrity years war
        French wars of religion
        Civil war in Lebanon
        Nigerian Civil war
        Ottoman wars
        The Mongol Invasions
        Ethiopia and Somalia
        There are more I think, but that’s all I can think of for now. But all in the name of one religion or another. All thinking THEIR religion is the on true religion, and willing to kill for it; this I will never understand.

      • Penny,to say that religion is the root of all evil is absolutely absurd.What then of Hitler or worse Joseph Starlin,what of todays crime rate-is that caused by religion?No Penny the root of evil in the world is sin,its mans lust and Satans phychopathic desire to destroy everthing GOD created.GOD exists whether you believe in him or not and he has a plan for you,to prosper and not harm you,the enemy wants to steal that from you.God tells us he will make good appear bad and bad appear good and thats exactly whats happening around us today.Why not ask Jesus if he is real Penny I guarantee he will anwser you.By the way Penny the Bible says nothing about the Roman catholic church being the true religion.To be accepted into GODS kingdom one only needs to , ask Jesus into your heart, believe and confess to GOD she is a sinner,believe Jesus is the only begotton son of GOD,and that he died in place of us,for our sins and rose on the third day in a corperal body,and of course try to follow his teachings.

      • chase, I like your post. I respect you.

      • Fletch. Hitler was a Roman Catholic. The majority of the German Army were confessing Catholics or Lutherans. The army belt buckle contained the words GOT MIT UNS “one with god.” The army swore an oath to god and the Furher. The first treaty the Nazis made after coming to power was with the Vatican in relation to who controlled schooling. Hitler, the SS nor anyone else were ever excommunicated by the Pope, except Goebbles, who was excommunicated for marrying a Protestant!!! No wars have been fought in the name of Atheism! There is only one thing that will make good men do evil things and that is Religion. Still I send my kids to Catholic schools because of the the values of Christ, but not Christianity!

      • Oops sorry Fletch, I was talking to Chase,
        a few too many beers this evening!!!!!!

    • I just love it when god botherers start spruiking their religious mantra’s. There is one thing none of you, regardless of which GOD you worship, can do, and that is prove that god exists. It is all a matter of faith. It is a crutch for those that are weak willed and can’t admit that the world is made up of people that do good and bad and that sh&t happens that has nothing to do with mythical beings good or bad. By what right do you claim your religions, which are just the latest in a long line of religious beliefs stretching back to mans beginnings, are the one true religion? In time your religions will fall just like all those that have preceded yours, man will create new ones or just maybe accept that we and nature are the cause of all the good and bad that happens in the world and throw off the need to believe in fairy stories. How funny will it be when future man looks back at our naivety, just as we look back now on the ancient religions of mankind.

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      • Jim, you are absolutely correct in your assessment that no one can prove God’s existence, but then again no one can prove that God does not exist. But there is also a much more profound problem in your denial which tends to lead those who decide that God is dead or has never ever existed into unchartered waters, and it is this: When one embraces the thought that there is no God then what is the purpose of our being on this planet?

        Does one then necessarily have to believe in evolution, which by the way, is still very much an unproven theory and will remain so because there is no missing link that could give that theory some much needed credibility, but more importantly, why are we here then?

        Maybe you happen to believe that you and I and everyone else are mere accidents of nature. That we through sheer luck turned out to be the most intelligent species on this planet, a species that has yet so much more to learn. If that is your thinking then why and how has that come about, especially if evolution cannot be taken as the means of our existence, what then will you personally fall back on to account for that existence?

        Take a good look around you Jim and then appreciate that what you observe also has its own purpose by intelligent design, not through sheer accident of nature.

      • Just remember nemesis, some of us in this world have had experiences that prove to ‘ourselfs’ the existence of God. It’s somthing no one, like Jim, can even begin to dispute or take away from us. Then there are those who’s faith remains strong even without having experienced the indisputable truth, I have a great deal of respect for these people.

      • You’re so wrong Jim,Christianity is the opposite of everything you have called it.IT take guts to be a Christian in a Godless world.Christianity builds character,wisdom and inner strength.The Abrahamic faith[which christianity is the extention of] has been with mankind since the first two humans and is showing no signs of fading away,no false religion can claim that!!.,No false religion has a saviour who rose from the dead,no god of any false religion has any sort of plan for mankind,or even cares. Yes the world looks back on ancient religions, they are dead but as you know Jim christianity is alive and well.The bible states the earth as being round[It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers,that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain,and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. Isaiah 40-22],The Quran on the other hand states the earth as being flat,being spread out by allah like a sheet.Why not research Jesus christ for yourself Jim,what you decide will determine where you spend eternity.In the mean time here is an a quote to ponder on…'[‘I would rather believe in GOD and find he did not exist than not believe and find he did,that would be a tragedy.] I can’t remember the person those wise words came from.

      • Hi Jim,

        “There is one thing none of you, regardless of which GOD you worship, can do, and that is prove that god exists.”

        I can prove God exists. You exist and someone as magnificent as you could never proceed for evolutionary physics alone.

        You! are my proof that God exists.

  7. Bernard Gaynor is an exemplary radical polemicist: trying to find the fundamental roots of the situation, with integrity, reason and courage, and in an superlative style to boot.

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