He has angered Australian Muslims by saying this, but we have already seen evidence that the jihad ideology has been taught in some Australian mosques. How, since neither Australian nor any other Muslims have actually declared Osama bin Laden and his ilk to be unbelievers, can anyone be sure that it is not being taught now? Why, if Australian Muslims know this but are loyal to Australia as it is currently constituted, would they not favor such measures?
From the NY Times, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
CANBERRA, Aug 24 (Reuters) – Prime Minister John Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spies monitoring the nation’s mosques….
Howard said that while the government had no wish to interfere with the freedom and practice of religion, he supported sending people into mosques and Islamic schools to make sure nobody was promoting support for violence or extremism.
“We have a right to know whether there is, within any section of the Islamic community, a preaching of the virtues of terrorism, whether any comfort or harbour is given to terrorism within that community,” Howard told Australian radio.
Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network convenor Waleed Kadous said Howard should be consulting more with the Muslim community.
“Such hardline talk only isolates some parts of the Muslim community even further and makes it harder for cooperation between the Muslim community and the government,” Kadous told Australian Associated Press.
Why would it do that? He is saying that the Australian government has a right to know if sedition is being preached in Australian mosques. Consequently, says Kadous, Muslims in Australia will feel more isolated and not want to cooperate with the government. How does that follow? If Howard said that he was certain that sedition was not being preached in Australian mosques, would Kadous say that Muslims in Australia feel less isolated and more willing to cooperate? In other words: “Admit we aren’t do anything wrong, and we will help you prove it.”