Of course, he meant “kill them by means of a personal struggle against things like mischievousness, temptation and personal harm.” Feiz Mohammed Update by Simon Kearney and Tracy Ong in The Australian, with thanks to all who sent this in:
FIREBRAND cleric Sheik Feiz Mohamed’s defence of his comments on a DVD calling children to jihad has been undermined by revelations, the video also urges Muslims to kill the enemies of Islam and praises martyrs with a violent interpretation of jihad.
In the DVD, which runs for almost four hours, Sheik Feiz describes inmates of Guantanamo Bay as better Muslims than those in Australia, who would would not forsake their lifestyles for martyrdom.
“The brothers in Cuba are better than us,” he said. “They are being examined through the best examination (a reference to God’s judgment) and the like of them worldwide.”
The sheik, who left Australia in 2005 to live in his father’s homeland, Lebanon, exorts his followers to seek the honourable death of the believer, quoting from narrations about the prophet Mohammed.
“They fight in the cause, they kill others – the enemies who fight Islam and they themselves are killed as martyrs,” he said. He gives the example of a mujaheddin who fought in Bosnia in the 1990s who spoke of nothing but jihad and was killed on the battlefield. “What a beautiful person to be associated with. Would you not like to be an associate of this person?”
“They fight in the cause, they kill others” is an echo of Qur’an 9:111: “they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain….”
The DVD was a recording of a series of passionate fire-and-brimstone sermons that told his audience over several weeks nearly four years ago his thoughts on the way to live their lives. “This is our intention that we want to have children and offer them as soldiers defending Islam, loving Islam,” he said….
One of Sheik Feiz’s former students, Zeky Mallah, who was acquitted of terrorism charges, said the sermon was normal. “That’s something that’s normal with any Islamic scholar. It’s just a way of speaking about things,” he said.
Sheik Feiz told The Australian on Thursday that his reference to jihad did not mean violence. He said he was against suicide bombing and violence against others.
However, the DVD is littered with references to violence and a call to arms – most of which is made using examples of historical warriors as an admonishment to modern Muslims for straying from their path.
“If you’re a hardliner, you’ll say these in lectures; if you’re a moderate, you’ll keep these views to yourself,” Mr Mallah said. “It’s not really inciting violence. It is saying to stand up for yourself, to defend yourself and defend your land.”
Muslim internet forums were buzzing with criticism of the media for running the story yesterday, accusing news outlets of misinterpreting the meaning of jihad, which can also mean a peaceful quest to be a good Muslim.
Yes, of course. It’s all the fault of misinterpretation by news outlets. Feiz Mohammed bears none of the responsibility. How could he? It’s all Islamophobia.