This story does not seem to be online. It appeared in Australia’s Daily Telegraph yesterday, and was kindly sent to me by Kevin and diannc. The author is Keysar Trad, the assistant to the Mufti of Australia and a director of the Lebanese Muslims Association.
Islam is misrepresented, Muslims are stereotyped and experts who are not educated in the faith are telling mass audiences what the religion teaches — not based on the teachings but their own fears and apprehensions.
Yet I have brought forward the teachings of Islam again and again, not to stereotype Muslims but to ask them in good faith how they plan to deal with the fact that their holy book and other books they value say, in black and white, that they must wage war against unbelievers. I have never received any substantive answer.
The Muslim woman and the MusÂlim child must be excused for feeling they need to isolate themÂselves from a society that openly says: Australians should not allow Muslims to enter the country, and Muslims already here not allowed to leave. Rather than drawing conÂdemnation, listeners found accepÂtance. Callers were willing and ready to endorse them, projecting an image of an ignorant, intolerant Islamophobic society….
If these comments were made in Saudi Arabia in relation to another religion, or in Egypt or Iran, there would have been condemnation throughout the world.
Really? Somehow I have failed to notice any condemnation of statements that are much more virulent that are made not by private citizens on talk radio, but by religious leaders in those countries. It seems as if the world holds Europe and America on the one hand and the Muslim world on the other to different standards: Muslim groups in the West are quick to charge discrimination and call for their rights in a pluralistic society, but blandly ignore the routine and institutionalized denial of those rights to non-Muslims back home.
Why are these comments being made? Is our society so desensiÂtised towards Muslims that it will accept any criticism of Muslims and Islam, regardless of how spuriÂous or how damaging such allegaÂtions are?…
No person has a greater appreciaÂtion than Muslim minorities of how hurtful the events in Iraq are. No person feels as strongly about the atrocities against civilians as the Muslim community. But deÂspite our pain and hurt that some unknown masked individuals are bringing our religion into disrepÂute, we find people with faces and popular voices, stars that we have adored for years, also hijacking our faith….
Terrorism cannot be combated by one section of society while the other sits and watches.
Right, Keysar. I am looking forward to a massive anti-terror campaign, including a forthright examination of the doctrines of violent jihad and a searching reevaluation of core texts and the ways they are commonly interpreted, within the Islamic community worldwide. I haven’t seen it yet.
Terrorism and it’s root causes must be addressed by society working cohesively for the common good,without creating more victims. Terrorists are kidnapping innocent civilians in Iraq. Some of our talk back hosts are “kidnapping” innocent Australians and forcing them into isolation in their own homes.
Base moral equivalency of a common variety. Equating Iraqi kidnappers with talk radio hosts only serves to deflect attention from the fact that only one of those groups is actually doing any beheading.