The President of the Islamic Council of Victoria shows just why the ‘moderates’ are part of the problem. On Sunday, Ghaith Krayem complained at an ‘anti-racism’ forum that:
- Muslims were unfairly targeted by an approach that aimed to stop people fighting for the Islamic State,
- the government was biased because it did not take the same approach to two Australians who chose to fight with the Kurds against the Islamic State,
- the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, was being unreasonably harsh for suggesting that Islamic State fighters would be arrested if they returned to Australia, and
- the Reclaim Australia rallies were sophisticated and racist programs designed to stop the Islamic community from questioning Australia’s role in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
This is what the the Guardian had to say:
The forum was attended by about 300 people of diverse backgrounds and revealed the depth of feeling within the Muslim community about what many saw were unnecessary laws and rhetoric that gave ammunition to extreme groups such as Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front. That group held a rally in Richmond at the same time as the forum, with speakers decrying halal certification and Sharia law.
“The Muslim community is a community under siege,” Krayem said, pointing out the small amount of money given to social programs within the Muslim community compared with the $1.2bn boost in funding for intelligence agencies and law enforcement in the May budget. “It’s a community in trauma.”
Yes. Krayem’s upset that the government is spending billions more on countering terrorism than Islamic cultural programs. And as someone who spoke at the Gold Coast Reclaim Australia rally in April, I’m upset that Krayem’s got it all wrong about me. The government’s rhetoric is not making me concerned about Islam. The actions of Muslims shooting, raping, pillaging, looting, beheading and condoning their way across Iraq and in places like Martin Place makes me nervous.
Given all of this, you don’t have to be an expert to come to the conclusion that Australia’s Islamic leadership should not be given any taxpayer funds at all. And, not surprisingly, the experts are coming to the same conclusion.
A more credible paper, the Australian, ran an excellent piece by Clive Kessler, an emeritus professor of sociology and anthropology at the University of NSW over the weekend. Professor Kessler has been studying Islam, the shaping of Islamic civilisation within world history, and the sources of militant Islam for more than 50 years and this is what he had to say in his piece, titled ‘Deradicalisation of militant Muslims not a viable option‘:
“Many Muslims, not just the militants but those throughout the mainstream or centre ground of their faith community’s social spectrum, chafe against the humiliation the world of Islam has experienced in modern times at the hand of non-Muslims, believe this situation must and will be reversed, and that determined action on the part of the faithful is necessary to bring about that divinely ordained historical restoration of Islamic dignity, autonomy and even ascendancy.
The mainstream and the militants, including the violent implementers of militant ideas, share this outlook. The difference is simply, or largely, one of the means and measures and strategies that different kinds of Muslims are prepared to countenance in realising Islam’s divinely vouchsafed historical destiny.
The implication is clear. Since the radicals and the mainstream share — if in different forms and style and emphasis — the same religiously grounded historical world view, the two orientations are basically complementary and congruent, not opposed. So there is no ground within the mainstream for calling back the deviant minority; no distinctive standpoint, authentic and authoritative, to which the radicals may be called to return by abandoning their own identifiable heresies. The moderates from the centrist mainstream stand bereft of the religiously based political and moral authority to make such calls persuasively, in ways that may prove enduringly convincing.”
As such, it would seem that the real solution to the problem of Islamic violence is not deradicalisation, but deIslamification.