ONE of the nation’s most radical Islamic clerics has continued to influence
young Muslim minds by delivering sermons by phone from overseas to a select group of his
followers in Australia.
Former Sydney imam Feiz Mohamed — who has produced extreme DVDs urging
children to die for Islam and calling Jews pigs — also advises his students on non-Muslim
issues and answers queries during his two 45-minute lectures each week.
Sheik Feiz left Australia for Lebanon in 2005 before moving to Malaysia this year to complete his Masters in Islamic studies.
He is understood to be wanted for questioning by Lebanese security authorities for his connection to four Australian Muslims arrested in Lebanon last month on alleged terrorism links.
The Global Islamic Youth Centre, of which Sheik Feiz is the spiritual leader, yesterday would not be drawn on his comments on Jews and jihad but praised his commitment
to serving Australia’s young Muslims.
GIYC president Zunaid Moosa told The Australian Sheik Feiz’s personal views did
not necessarily represent the organisation’s beliefs despite the cleric being one of the centre’s founders. “GIYC condemns all violence and intolerance against any community or faith,” he said.
He rejected accusation that GIYC, based in Liverpool, in Sydney’s southwest,
peddled extremist Islamic messages and radicalised young Muslims.
The group worked closely with national security authorities and helped keep
community members away from drugs and crime, he said.
But Mr Moosa admitted that some people who attended the centre were “bad apples”.
“GIYC rejects outright any assertion of radicalisation,” Mr Moosa said. “A key
objective of the centre is to provide an attractive environment for youth to come and develop their social and religious character and assist them to make a positive contribution to Australian society.
“There will always be a few bad apples and we cannot be held accountable for that.”
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has been scathing of Sheik Feiz’s inflammatory
sermons and vowed to crack down distribution of his DVDs.
“It’s been well-known that I’ve been very critical of some of the material that he’s recorded and put in the public domain and am seeking to effect changes to the classification regime to address the availability of such comments,” he told The Australian last night.
At least three of four men arrested in Lebanon — including Australian champion
boxer Ahmed Elomar and Mohammed Basal, who were released without charge — were connected to GIYC.
Mr Elomar said the Lebanese authorities who interrogated him asked him about
his association with Sheik Feiz.
“I think that they want him bad,” he said. “They kept on mentioning his name
and started asking me, ‘has he trained you with weapons’.”
But Mr Elomar defended Sheik Feiz as a “godly man” who was misunderstood and said he would personally advise the cleric not to go back to Lebanon.
“If I ever speak to him I’d advise him not to come back because then his kids
are going to suffer, he’s going to suffer,” he said.
On a DVD sermon, reported widely in January this year, Sheik Feiz described
Jews as pigs, called for the jihadist murder of infidels and urged children to die for Islam.