Once again, it’s not the “interior spiritual struggle” variety of jihad. The good news in this case is that Muslim community members alerted authorities, though Islam’s texts and traditions will undoubtedly generate this behavior again unless and until they, too, are addressed forthrightly, and not with evasion and denial. “Radical Islamic elder preaching jihad in Perth’s suburbs,” from the Sunday Times, March 28 (thanks to Twostellas):
A RADICAL Islamic elder who praises the Taliban and preaches violent jihad to a band of keen followers is being investigated in Perth by WA and Federal police.
Sources confirmed the joint-agency investigation after The Sunday Times revealed to police that the newspaper had infiltrated a group in which the sheik described armed jihad as the “top” ideal for Muslims and likened the Taliban to “angels”.
Muslim community members said they warned police weeks ago that the Middle Eastern man was recruiting disaffected young Muslim men at a Perth mosque and spreading dangerous messages – about armed jihad, or holy war, against those fighting Islam; and that he claimed to know, and have trained with, Osama bin Laden.
They stressed that mainstream WA Muslims did not share the views and were concerned police had not acted on their tip-offs.
They alerted The Sunday Times as a last resort “before something really bad happens . . . before this poison spreads”.
In an undercover investigation, The Sunday Times obtained information from meetings at the sheik’s northern suburbs home where, before a group of young men, he promoted armed jihad as the highest ideal for Muslims, praised the Taliban and said he had fought in Afghanistan against Soviet forces.
In other meetings, he praised bin Laden – and even Hitler, justified the actions of suicide bombers, claimed that US presidents were priests and said that Allah would “get” the US and Jews for their actions.
The man, an Australian citizen whom The Sunday Times has not named under police advice, also said that though Islam forbade killing, people who had tried to stop those bringing the religion to others in the past were killed so that people could receive the word of God.
Muslim community members said they feared police were waiting for the man and his followers to do something “terrible”, so they could make a dramatic arrest and then point to “home-grown terrorists” as justification for repressive police measures and surveillance of all Muslims.
But sources confirmed an investigation was under way because of earlier information received. It involved both the WA Police State Security Investigation Group and the Australian Federal Police.
Last Saturday, in front of five men and youths, the man said that jihad, at its “top” end, was to fight those who fought against Islam, and that going into battle and “putting your life on the line” for Islam was the highest ideal.
“I’m not afraid to say that if angels walk this earth, they are the Taliban,” he said….