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Teachers' Feast: An Interesting Day Out

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The grand plan of having all Australian children learn an Asian language has bitten the dust, but Asia-awareness is still very much on the agenda, with a twist; the focus is now on Islam in Asia. Well, okay, forget Asia: "Asia" was just the useful entry point. Australian children must learn about Islam, and an Arabised Asian Muslim is just the man for the job - the job of teaching our teachers how to helpfully infiltrate our schools with Islamic "content" - and agenda.

Eeqbal Hassim immigrated with his Muslim family from Singapore when he was ten, and went to Ivanhoe Grammar on a scholarship, that is until a teenage epiphany drove him to switch to King Khaled College so he could be a Muslim "by choice". This choice led him on the path to becoming a "career Muslim". He and Jennet Cole-Adams, of a growing breed in Australia which could be called "career dhimmis", together prepared a book and programme for schools, and a full-day introductory workshop which sounded so irresistible that I simply had to book myself in.

Irresistible in a rather creepy way, I mean: what was now in store for our children who our national decision-makers experiment with so playfully, so freely, pushing these innocents ahead of them into uncertainty and in the way of danger?

The "workshop" was held at the National Centre for Islamic Sudies at Melbourne University, on Wednesday 2/6/10, from 9.00 a.m. until 2.30, with sumptuous, halal-labelled plateloads of snacks and lunch laid on. The workshop and book were entitled "Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives Into Australian Schools", and the book's first page, enticingly, has written in large, flowing script on a peaceful blue background these wonderful words of profound Koranic wisdom to whet our appetite:

"People, we created you from a single man and woman, and made you into nations and tribes so that you should all get to know one another." (Quran, 49:13)

So there we have it: the different tribes have been created so that "we can get to know one another". Baffling, isn't it? But so heartwarming...especially if taken out of its rather unpleasant context as a prelude to a typically Koranic expression of Muslim superiority.

We only have ourselves to blame for the fashionable dominance of "perspectives" in education which has done much to push aside facts and narrative in favour of issues, grievance groups, fantasy and feelings. Even in maths, apparently, it is unfair to make no mention of Islam's "contribution", and the writers seek to rectify this and a plethora of other omissions in the recognition of Islam, as well as instructing us how to attend to the needs of Muslim students, whose numbers, as Dr Hassim gleefully told us, are growing fast.

Dr Hassim began by emphasising the diversity of Muslims in Australia, and how this diversity "impacts day-to-day life in schools." "I can never do justice to Islam or Muslims: despite unity, they are such a diverse group," he enthused, going on to explain that although Muslims all believe that Mohammed was God's messenger and that the Koran is the word of God, they disagree on most other aspects in Islam, even the "five pillars" and the "nature of God". He gave Jesus a brief mention, due to Jesus' status as a prophet "previously 'revealed' by God". He then went a little bit Buddhist, saying that for every action there is a consequence, and then surprisingly said that Heaven was for those who do good deeds; that although fate and predestination were areas of dispute, Muslims were "encouraged to do good deeds for the best outcome".

Having got off to a rather confusing, interfaithy start, we were brought back to basics. The "five pillars" were given a quick run-through; the shahada, the prayers, zakat: "money for the poor...for purification of their wealth", fasting and Ramadan: "for self-control, and achieving God's consciousness" and the haj. Also, the topic of "halal" was raised and stated as being about "social dealings and the requirements thereof." This must have all sounded quite innocuous to the teachers, who were taking it all in with unfurrowed brows, seemingly unaware of the the ominous undertones of carefully chosen wording.

He cited reasons for studying Islam as "political", as Islam is "under discussion". And how well they have managed that, I thought: the attention-seeking and often aggressive (and worse) behaviour of Muslims worldwide feeds into programmes such as this one, designed to capitalize on the attention, manipulating the bullying aspect of Islam into a kind of need for understanding and self-esteem development. The number of young Muslims in Australia, said Dr Hassim, and their understanding of the "different context" of Islam in Australia, means "we will see change" - "generational change" - as Muslims "negotiate their position in Australia". ("Negotiation", however, is quite a euphemism for some of the behaviour we have witnessed so far as we placidly subject ourselves to "change".)

Dr Hassim intimated the special status Muslims have as bilingual "global citizens" from sixty different, and mostly Muslim-majority, countries, ranging "from police states to liberal states". Little mention was made about reasons for their migration to Australia and he paid equally little attention to Australia's benefits besides the obligatory mention of "diversity". It was tempting at this point to ask if, with his love of diversity, he was perturbed by the continuing disappearance of diversity from Muslim-majority countries, but perhaps an answer to such a query in this forum would sidestep the Islamic injunction to make Islam dominate and the doctrine that whatever benefits the growth of Islam is good, and of course "diversity" as a Western principle is working very much in Islam's favour.

Dr Hassim told us that many Muslims can read the Koran in Arabic but don't understand it, and went on to say that Islam has become Arabised in many countries, which was "almost unavoidable because of language" - which seemed a trifle disingenuous after what one has read and heard about the arrogant and racist strutting of Arab Muslims in countries with a Muslim presence, including Asia, where Dr Hassim was born. However, he added a bit of what seemed like arrogance of his own with his choice of words on the subject of "cultural Muslims" in Indonesia, who are "not devout" but whose version of Islam is "limited to festivals", when he said that their ideas of Islam are "clouded" by Hinduism. Not a very positive word for a man who sings the joys of "diversity".

Colonialism, he said, caused a loss of faith in Islam, and the only things Muslims could argue for in colonised countries to maintain their cultural distinction was the penal code.This is an absurd contention. But "Muslims themselves have misunderstood Sharia", which was "made up of theology, faith, law and social life". The teachers were then given a run-through of the five schools of Islamic Law, something which will no doubt fascinate Australian school children. Again he extolled the benefits of diversity as he explained the debates existing in the Islamic world about differences in the five schools.

Muslims are "beyond generalization": more about diversity; some Muslims engaged in "night prayer", for example, (thinking it was wrong to get a good night's sleep and neglect Allah in favour of healthy rest...?) Therefore it is difficult for the media to talk about Muslims "without insulting some of them". For example, some want Sharia, some don't. Was he trying to say the media should not mention Muslims? After all, "insulting" Muslims can be dangerous, and evidently is unavoidable. Perhaps only finely-tuned praise is acceptable.

Regarding devoutness and practice of faith, "such value judgements are not encouraged in Islam...we can't tell who is more devout and more favoured by God" when it comes to, for example, the wearing of hijab. I do hope he sends a memo to the "morality police" in several Muslim countries to remind them of this sophisticated wisdom.

We then learned something of Muslim history in Australia. In the 18th century, there were Muslim sailors and convicts. (Convicts?) Cameleers, who had to leave because of the White Australia Policy (which probably came in handy as an excuse to expel people associated with Australia's first terrorist attack, by Muslims in 1915), Turks who came after World War Two "because we felt sorry for them" and then multiculturalism, although "we don't really know what that means." But! If we want to see ourselves as multicultural, diversity, especially in the context of education, interfaith study and dialogue is necessary.The message about diversity was coming through loud and clear...

And then, to continue with Islam's presence here, Muslim students from overseas "choose Australia"; and the Muslim presence has "kick-started" a "fascination for halal trade" which is so "good for Australia". Skilled migration, Islamic schools and small business have further embedded Islam into Australian life. This does not mean Muslims need "special treatment": "there is enough scope within Islam to not demand it. Practical amendments can be made" regarding Islamic practices: for example, prayers can be combined or shortened; although, he said, "this is a controversial stance" (which more than hinted at the ability of hardline Muslims to create pressure). And of course, this entire "Islam in Schools" project was about "special treatment".

Teachers were then given the opportunity to discuss "stereotypes and misconceptions" about Muslims. We were to discuss these stereotypes at our tables as groups, and report back.This little exercise presumably validated the naming of this propaganda session as a "workshop".

Firstly, are women inferior to men in Islam? Teachers reported lack of respect from Muslim boy students, and had mixed views but seemed reluctant to make any judgement. When asked for feedback from my group, I related two verses from the Koran which I had quoted to them (to their surprise), about Mohammed looking into Hell and seeing mostly women, and the annulment of a man's prayers if a dog, donkey or woman passed in front of him. Dr Hassim's reaction was peculiar: he said that such hadiths "can be seen as snapshots of Mohammed's life" requiring interpretation, and asked rhetorically, "Is what Mohammed said a dictate?" (In that case, are the hadiths expendable? Was Mohammed Allah's messenger; was he not a "perfect" man? Or was he someone whose word was optional? Was Dr Hassim's question tailored for a non-Muslim audience to portray Islam as unthreatening due to its flexibility in interpretation and its Australian context?) That is why, said Dr Hassim soothingly, there is debate; there is such diversity in Islam.


Islam: It's all good! Celebrating Islamic diversity (Ashoura In New York 2008)

At this point Jennet Cole-Adams butted in to say that actually, Mohammed was a feminist: his wife was a businesswoman! Thus apologetic absurdity was added to reductionist flexibility in this increasingly strange session.

Does Islam condone terrorism?. Well, opined one teacher thoughtfully, terror can be an act of an individual or a democracy; for some, terrorism is an "only way out". Another said that there is confusion in regard to Islam, Muslims and the State. Ms Cole-Adams told us that Islam has no central authority like the pope, which was possibly meant to sound comforting, or at least knowledgeable, from this eager-to-please non-Muslim.

Is Islam intolerant of other religions? A teacher informed the rest of us that historically, Islam has been more tolerant than other religions. But Dr Hassim demurred: "It was not as rosy as you think," he smiled, speaking briefly of dhimmis. But he added that sometimes Muslims are more intolerant of each other than of non-Muslims, which, he said, is typical of any religion, believing that "everyone else will go to Hell". He might have had a point, but documented facts, both past and present, regarding Muslims' propensity for personally despatching Muslims of whom they disapprove to this "Hell" rather belie his earlier picture of a cheerful diversity of belief within Islam.

Do Muslims want to be different, dress differently? According to a teacher, they don't necessarily want it, but it is a requirement of Islam to dress Islamically. And this makes them, he said sympathetically, easily identified and they can be persecuted. He did not elaborate on the "persecution" recorded against Muslims, but commented that in a liberal society, they should dress as they wish. Ms Cole-Adams again made a comment, about adolescents also wanting to dress differently, a comparison which she presumably did not find patronising to Muslims!


Islam: It's all good! (Encouraging women to dress modestly in Afghanistan)

Is Islam against democratic values? A teacher thought that "terrorists" were against democracy, while Ms Cole-Adams made the "point" that some Muslim countries had "repressive, undemocratic governments", stressing that it was a "government" thing, implying pure coincidence. A teacher asked if there was anything in the texts saying that God must come first. Dr Hassim said there is no separation; God's law and State law are the same; the core Islamic texts show an Islam which "looks like democracy but is headed by religion". There is "no distinction". But now Muslims are "struggling" when Sharia is pushed aside; they "have a problem; many want Sharia back". He did not speculate on the "problem" for non-Muslims if Muslims' "Sharia problem" was to be solved by its introduction, but did paint a rather tragic picture of Muslims with their beloved but missing Sharia, struggling pitiably in an alien democratic system.

Are Muslims potential terrorists and a threat? A teacher, as spokesperson for his group, boldly said "Yes!". There was a surprised pause in proceedings. Then, having enjoyed his moment of shocking everyone, he cleverly continued: "But not more than anyone else! There are many reasons people become terrorists. Look at 9/11 and the way it was filmed..." and "regarding national security, if we can target a group, it makes us feel more safe." So with that question so ably sorted out by an Australian who has been awarded a university degree and diploma of education in this country, and has a responsible role in the intellectual development of our children, we moved on... 

Muslim perspectives in schools were the next item to consider. The justification for their need was that "some Muslims will display sensitivity; it is about managing this."
With English, Muslim parents are concerned with aspects such as sex, drugs, music, immorality and crime (the stuff of Western unIslamic, and all so terrifyingly new to Muslims.) Muslim parents, Dr Hassim conceded, can be "so uptight! They say, 'We are Muslims!' I say, 'Relax, they are kids!' " And of course, such issues are a good opportunity for "classroom understanding, in a climate of enquiry." (His own experience of this "enquiry" was to flee from an Australian Anglican school to an Islamic school, where perhaps the "enquiry" was tempered with good, wholesome Islamic values.)

Science is a "pet area" for many Muslims, said Dr Hassim with a melting smile. We all know this, of course: who has not seen a TV programme about the wonders of Islamic science? "Muslims," he said, "believe they have played a major role in science, and they are proud of it." A little problem for them here, however, is Darwinism. "God did not make humans from apes: humans are a distinct species. Humans facilitate the will of God." (This is surely shaky ground for Muslims, many who, from their "holy" Koran, consider non-Muslims to be akin to animals, that is, "pigs and apes", because logically speaking they cannot not become human if they convert to Islam. This would be an interesting debate among Muslims to witness.)

Maths is another "pet" area: a Muslim was the "father of algebra." (Truly? Not a polytheist, a Hindu, perhaps?) There are "no other issues. Muslims like maths as it is similar to the halal/haram idea; black and white". (Unlike the complexity of Western and non-Muslim thinking, by which the laws of logic were painstakingly devised?)

Geography mysteriously appeared on the Islam-in-schools agenda: boundaries are disputed. Boundaries are more politics than geography; mountains and deserts, lakes and rivers exist as land formations, but to a Muslim perspective, apparently geography is about "boundaries." But there is a "cultural aspect" to geography: there is socio-economic disadvantage in much of the Muslim world because, as "some Muslims say, of Western capitalism." "This is a simplistic view," Dr Hassim said, "But it should be paid attention to." (Indeed: perhaps geography class could be a forum for indoctrination about the "rights" of Kashmiri Muslims, who have somehow achieved demographic dominance yet still "suffer" under the yoke of a Hindu state, a "capitalist" state which, absurdly, subsidises unproductive Kashmir at great cost to its own citizens and has had to find space for the many thousands of Hindus Kashmiri Muslims have kicked out.)

With the arts, there is "a problem with animate objects". We know that, don't we? We know about Muslim art and the ban on representation of figures, especially since the Denmark cartoon furore. But forget that for now: Dr Hassim only mentioned the delicate issue of passport photos, which he said could be dealt with by some Muslims according to the "tool of necessity".( Is the "necessity" to do with the injunction to spread Islam by emigrating, or benefitting from aspects of the modern world which make life comfortable? He did not elaborate, but this "tool" of apparent accommodation has certainly been used by means of the "flexible" aspect of Islam to great advantage in recent decades.) As for the national anthem, "most Muslims are happy with it." Some of us have heard differently, however, but presumably the anthem can be tolerated for now.

Sex education is another issue for which Dr Hassim offerred "no solution" except to talk to Muslim parents. The "only difference" is that Muslims talk about sex "in the context of marriage" - which would seem to indicate to the cynical person that sex education should be taught at primary level, at least for girls. But Dr Hassim is an up-to-date educator: as he said, we live in the 21st century, and all communities "face issues about sex." Even in Malaysia, for example, he said, there is "so much pre-marital sex...these things happen because it is a modern society." Whereas, in Mohammed's day, immorality was forestalled by simply having sex with a captured slave girl if one's wives did not suffice. (No, Dr Hassim did not say that.) And despite"modernity" in the problematic West, child marriage is banned. (He did not say that, either.) It was not surprising that our lecturer wanted to skim over the topic of sex education.

Dress requirements are another issue if difference. Muslim girls are "proud" of their hijabs. A teacher who had come down from Albury, where her school was newly won over to the excitement of multiculturalism, complained however that Muslim girls were not going to swimming carnivals, and the Muslim school captain did not turn up on a day in which she had an important role. Dr Hassim was sympathetic, but sighed that it was "all about modesty", and talked about males being required to "lower their gaze" around women (while I thought that the school had probably learned its lesson about choosing a Muslim as school captain.) Dr Hassim said that at the time of Mohammed, slave girls dressed like boys. So I asked him if Muslim men in Mohammed's time had "lowered their gaze" when slave girls were around. Yes, he said, it applied to slave girls too. Goodness knows then how Mohammed judged their beauty before he had his way with them. So many questions arise...


Islam: It's all good! We just follow Muhammad's example to the letter.

Economics: Riba (interest) was a problem, as it is prohibited, said Dr Hassim, capitalism being incompatible with Islam. (No wonder the Left loves Islam!) But he made no mention of any prohibition of state welfare for Muslims, despite its source being the interest made by government investment of funds derived from taxes extracted in a capitalist system. We can assume here that the aforementioned "tool of necessity" is at work again in this matter.

Cross-cultural perspectives was next, and the role of media in propagating ignorance and stereotypes. Sometimes, conceded Dr Hassim graciously, it was not always the media's fault; "It's all about the source". But while some newspapers are "bad", others want to "breed understanding". And Muslims can also be prejudiced, he said: he himself thought that Australians were "lazy" when he first came here. He was not entirely wrong, from an Asian perspective, just as some of the "prejudices" which developed in Australia about Muslims are based on reality; but he did not go into that.

It was time for lunch, and so the teachers tucked into the array of well-stuffed falafel wraps and other delicacies on offer. A teacher said to me that she could easily be converted to halal food. Puzzled, I asked her if she knew what "halal" food was, and she replied that it was the "Muslim way of cooking", meaning ingredients and methods. She got quite a shock when I told her about halal slaughter. From what she and the other teachers had said, they seemed to know zilch about Islam, and were absolutely open to Dr Hassim's da'wa.

Next we got stuck into the question of how to incorporate Islam into the classroom. Jennet Cole-Adams informed us that our reasons for doing so are not just to benefit our "valued" Muslim students but because it is important in terms of "Asia-literacy": Islam is part of it. The glossy book we were given contained the relevant sections on how to wriggle Islam into every subject, from English - the Rumi poem about searching for a religion, rejecting Christianity and Hinduism and settling at last on " the Allah in his own heart", the maths myths of Islam, the Crusades where the "enquiry" method skirted around the facts, architecture and art, what Islamic banking "offers", an Islam-can-be-fun segment for primary schools, and for high schools an anti-discrimination exercise designed to raise sympathy for Muslims as a "marginalised" group. Teachers were advised, in all seriousness, to ask their local Muslim organizations for input in order to "reduce fear of the unknown". We were taken through a list of other resources, all to do with "buiding bridges", "talking faiths", "intercultural understanding", "civics and citizenship", and all - it seemed to be - detracting from the task of teaching children literacy and numeracy, geography, history and other vital, practical subjects now being invaded from all sides by interest groups with varying ideas about establishing multicultural utopias in my country. As Ms Cole-Adams conceded, this agenda "takes time and commitment".

It will not take MY time or commitment.

Eeqbal Hassim then gave us a little talk about himself. His attendence at an Anglican school here was a big shock after his experience with memorising texts in Singapore schools. He said that he has become more open-minded about Islam since coming here. He has "learned all interpretations" and "learned to respect differences and not be so judgemental". Muslims, he said, need to acknowlegde diversity amongst themselves. We got the message: he was cool.

Muslim parents, he said, complain about the freedom here, but this complaint is not unique to Muslims. In Muslim countries, schools have a role in proxy parenting. Parents want to maintain their home cultures. Some want to impart "cultural" Islam which can be different from (real) Islam, and so the children want to learn more about Islam and what the Koran actually says. We must help young people "find themselves". That must have struck a chord with the hippie-influenced teachers; helping students "find themselves" is a noble cause, and too bad if they find a totalitarian death cult when they are looking, and stick with it.

A teacher complained that some Muslim girls can't go out with Aussie boys, which exacerbates the "us/them" scenario. Dr Hassim sighed; it is history reeating itself, he said, just as with earlier migrant groups. For some Muslims, he added, not elaborating on his source, this ban is religious as well as cultural. But it is a family issue, not a school issue. Men can marry non-Muslim women, he agreed with a teacher's query; males are the dominant figure and the children will follow his religion. He made a reference to "mediaeval logic" which he did "not want to judge" but "Islamically speaking, many hold onto that logic, and this creates problems". Too right it does. But, he added on an optimistic note, things are changing! "Very few" Muslims would not take non-Muslims as friends. "This view can be taken from the hadiths". And he made an unsubstantiated claim that "the problem goes away when they get older".

As for meeting Muslim students' needs, we teachers should "appreciate different perspectives, manage diversity, negotiate"...and "don't try too hard" to please and pander to Muslims. Unsurprisingly, in a climate wherein it is so easy to inadvertently insult Muslims, this is a problem: treading on eggshells to avoid offence. But I suspect Dr Hassim found it rather delicious to bring up this "problem".

The repetition of the "diversity" and "non-jugdemental" message had got too much for this teacher. I raised my hand, stood up, and showed the class a photo. I said to Dr Hassim that I noted he had talked a lot about diversity and tolerance and that he said he did not judge any of the different types of Muslim. I then explained the photo, which was of the little girl in hijab at a Melbourne pro-Palestinian demonstration holding up a big poster on which was written "Jews haven't learn..[sic].They need [Swastika] more than before", and said to Dr Hassim, "I hope that you would draw the line, make a judgement and consider this type of thing beyond the pale." A teacher asked me to explain the picture again, which I did. A brief silence followed.

Then a teacher who was a Muslim started to talk very angrily about a group in India who say they will not cut their hair until they have killed a Muslim. Was he talking about Shiv Sena, the fanatical Hindu group headed by Bal Thackeray? I am not sure, but if such a group does exist and it is not Shiv Sena, it is a very small group without publicity outside India, and all too probably formed in retaliation to past and present Muslim terrorism and other crimes. His outburst was followed by support from other teachers, who said things such as "There are exteme views in all groups" and " This photo has nothing to do with Islam" (although I had clearly explained the adults in the photo accompanying the child as wearing unmistakably Muslim clothing) and, with great hostility from one woman, "You are saying all Muslims think like that!" which I most certainly had not. Dr Hassim seemed perplexed, but pulled himself together enough to say that "The lines are drawn by Muslims themselves" and "Everyone would say the picture is unapplicable [sic]."

He was wrong. It was not Muslims present, or even police, who "drew the line" at the sight of that poster, but non-Muslims, incensed that such odious sentiments were being expressed without obstruction on Melbourne streets. And news reports from around the world show that when it comes to "diversity", Muslims are more likely to be in trouble from their brethren for expressing tolerant divergence from core Islamic belief than from expressing words of hatred and intolerance. But I let the matter drop. Even the teachers at my table were showing signs of not wanting to look as if they might know me.

Back to the agenda of Muslim students and their needs. The identity question, especially since 9/11 (interestingly, 9/11 is nearly always mentioned in public discourse as if it were unique; even Bali seems to be almost forgotten): of course, "some see themselves as Muslim first." As the word "some" is nicely elastic, this statement was neatly meaningless. I was not surprised that Dr Hassim expressed no shame about what his co-religionists did on 9/11; what tend to be spoken of as the "events" of that day are so often only brought up in the context of Muslim "identity" or victimhood.

Prayer is an issue. Devout children need separate rooms for boys and girls, but prayer should not be allowed to last all lunchtime, said Dr Hassim; the school needs to function. (This is where teachers can get tough, I thought hopefully: "Stop praying - NOW! Or I'll give you something to pray about!") Pre-prayer washing need not be elaborate, and a garden tap can suffice. I interrupted to say that even in strict Muslim countries I have been to, people are often very casual and don't wash at all, but say a quick prayer in passing. This was not pleasing to Dr Hassim, who assured me that those people would have done their "wudu" beforehand, at home. It seemed that his stress on tolerance and diversity was a cover for his true belief in strict observance; he had quite clearly shown that his sympathies lay with the "devout" more than with the "casual" Muslim, and he wanted the teachers to absorb his respect for piety; I had the feeling that he hoped Muslim children would develop their Muslim piety "by choice" as he had. What he referred to as "pedantic requirements" in matters of "halal" food preparation he called "playing it safe": if in doubt, a Muslim should "play it safe" by adhering to pedantic rules. If in doubt, follow Islam to the letter, and if you don't know what the letter is, find out, seemed to be his message.

But the texts, and finding out the texts, tend to lead Muslims towards fundamentalism and away from "diversity", and this appears to have been Dr Hassim's journey, from the "cultural " Islam of his early childhood, through the unsatisfactory years at a top Anglican school, to Islamic school, a degre in Islamic studies and PhD in Muslim education. He can hardly be accused of being unprepared for his job, and his "twin passions", Islam and education, dovetail so nicely in a multicultural western country such as Australia where da'wa is a career choice with a fabulous salary unthinkable in the country of his birth, thanks to ignorance and foolishness in Australian institutions - and the gullibility of the Sidney Myer Foundation.

The day was over, and the teachers rushed out, especially the ones at my table who were probably keen to ecape being associated with my scepticism. (The woman next to me took notes, but always referred to Muslims as "people of the Muslim faith". It must have seemed more "respectful" to refer to them in such a way.) I stopped by Jennet Cole-Adams, and asked her if she knew anything about Islam. She assured me that she did. Why, then, did she say Mohammed was a feminist because his wife was a businesswoman? Did she know his wife was a businesswoman before she met him, and that he discouraged women from working? Yes, she knew, she said. So I asked her why she said it, and asked if she knew what a "dhimmi" was. Yes, she knew, and laughingly acknowledged that she was being a dhimmi by speaking as she did.

As for the Myer Foundation, when I rang they were reluctant to tell me why they are giving money to people who want to misrepresent their religion and push it onto our children in a distorted, insidious and often outright lying manner. I could only gather that gullibility was the problem. Presumably Dr Eeeqbal Hassim is aware, with all his education, that he is accepting money from the legacy of a Jewish philanthropist even as he tolerates the entire spectrum, as he kept assuring us, of Muslim opinion. He knows what the Koran says about Jews and that many Muslims nurture virulent hatred for Jews - and for Christians and other non-Muslims as well. He cannot possibly not know. Yet he is touted as being someone who is "passionate about reducing misunderstandings between Muslims and the rest of Australia".

Why so "passionate"? What "misunderstandings"? Did he hasten to tell the teacher who said the photo I showed "had nothing to do with Islam" that actually, it did indeed have a lot to do with Islam? Did he respond to my quotations about women's position in Islam that many Muslims take Mohammed's word to be perfect, and that they indeed accordingly treat their women as inferior? On these and many other occasions during the day, he missed the chance to tackle the hard issues about Islam in any but the most oblique or dismissive way. But he did smile a lot.

This is not just a "job" for Eeeqbal Hussein. He is obviously a man on a mission, and his mission, if not his method, is shared by some very unpleasant people who are eager to subjugate or kill those of who who refuse to adapt to the Islamisation of Australia. I do not believe his professed appreciation for "diversity" except insofar as it applies to Muslims, and even then I am not convinced. Anyone who declines to make moral judgements about ANY expression of Islam is morally reprehensible. Either this man does not know what he is talking about, or he is ethically deficient or cowardly. That he can gather so many non-Muslims to support him in his efforts should be of great concern to people who care about the future of Australian education. If we must have religious nutters designing programmes for our schools, there are plenty of large groups of people with beliefs in common whose range of diversity doesn't extend to wanting to cut our heads off. And if we believe that "numbers" give ideas validity, then we might as well not have progressed beyond teaching our students the earth was flat. Or maybe we could teach that Jesus was the Son of God, a very popular idea in some circles even now.

Oh, wait: that would be bringing Christianity into our secular education, and we don't do that, do we? We wouldn't want to offend anybody, would we? And it would be in defiance of government policy, would it not?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 21:00  

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History - Infidels' Resistance

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born, lived, fought and won battles against religious and social oppression in the 17th century Bharat or India. He was a shining star in the Indian firmament and is renowned as a champion of the downtrodden and depressed masses. He was and continues to be an icon for the classes and masses alike and is seen as a rallying point for peasants oppressed by foreign rulers, Pathans and Moghuls alike. Sexually exploited women found in Shivaji Raje a protector, a benefactor and flocked to his Hindavi Swaraj to find solace and feel liberated under his saffron flag. 

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Ransomer of Captives from the Muslims

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History - Tolerance Myths

Perhaps some readers might be interested to know that January 28 is considered a feast day among Catholics – actually 2 feast days are celebrated on the same day – one is of ST Thomas Aquinas, the great medieval theologian and philosopher who adapted Aristotle to the western Judeo-Christian worldview. . It is also the feast day of a lesser known person – St Peter Nolasco, the great ransomer of captives from the Muslims.

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Islamic Pirates

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History - Violent Jihad

Barbary Corsair
Somalian Islamic Pirates & Lessons from History
The dramatic rescue of the American cargo-ship captain Richard Phillips from the hands of Somalian Islamic pirates by the U.S. Navy—killing three pirates, holding him hostage at gun-point, through precision-targeting—warrants a review of the U.S. struggle with piracy and hostage-taking in North Africa, which ended two centuries ago.

Raiding trade-caravans and hostage-taking for extracting ransom in Islam was started by Prophet Muhammad. Having become powerful and secure after his relocation to Medina from Mecca in 622, Muhammad initiated Jihad or holy war in the form of raids of trade-caravans for earning livelihood for his community. In the first successful raid of a Meccan caravan at Nakhla in December 623, his brigands killed one of the attendants, took two of them captive, and acquired the caravan as “sacred” booty. The captives were ransomed to generate further revenue. Muhammad, later on, expanded this mode of Jihad to raiding non-Muslim communities around Arabia—for capturing their homes, properties and livestock, capturing their women and children as slaves often for ransoming and selling, and imposing extortional taxes—which sometimes involved mass-slaughter of the attacked victims.

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The Battle of Broken Hill

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Battle of Broken Hill Logo
The First Islamic Terrorist Attack on Australian Soil
On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, armed themselves with rifles, an homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill.

The train carried about 1200 Broken Hill residents to Silverton where a picnic to celebrate the new year was to take place.

The two Muslim men, Gool Mohamed originally a Pashtun tribesman from Afghanistan and Mullah Abdullah from what is known today as Pakistan, decided to wage jihad against Australian infidels after Australia and the Ottoman Empire officially joined the opposite sides in the WWI.

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Jihad Galore

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History - Tolerance Myths

Jihad Galore and the Toledo Whore

Battle of Higueruela

Alhambra - GazelleHow often in conversation with a Muslim, do they quote Spain as the crowning achievement of Islam, where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in harmony for about 800 years?

And when you mention the killings and massacres, you are told that the Spanish Inquisition was much worse.
This is a misconception, since the Inquisition in Spain was responsible for only between 4,000 and 5,000 lives. [1]

Yet in 1066AD, in a single day, muslims murdered over 4,000 Jews because Vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela had risen to a position greater than them, and of course, this upset the Muslim sensitivities. [2]

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Arabs Hated The Quran

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History - Stolen Heritage

How the Arabs Hated The Quran
Old Quran

Wh y are you a Muslim?
Musli ms in general love to hear the above question because it has a simple and readymade answer in their minds besides it gives them the opp or t u nity to propagate their religion and talk proudly about Islam.


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Lepanto Anniversary

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History - Imperialism

Decisive Victory for the West

At this time of year, it is timely to remember one of the greatest victories of the west against the Islamic world. On the 7th October in 1571, Don Juan and the Holy League, led by Admiral Doria, defeated the larger Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto, saving Europe from the Turks and militant Islam. The Holy League was a coalition of different armies - of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and some others.

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Muslim Jerusalem

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History - Stolen Heritage

Jerusalem - Coat of ArmsWhy do Muslims insist that Jerusalem is their Holy City?
When Mohamed and his faithful followers moved from Mecca to Medina, they found themselves among three Jewish tribes/clans (BANU-L-NADIR, BANU KAINUKA and BANU KURAIZA)  which settled there some time after their expulsion from their homeland and also living there were  two Arab, pagan tribes.

Mohammed, who at this stage needed more followers, decided to win those tribes over and convert them to his newly invented religion.

Islam was yet not as fully developed as we know it today, and Mohammed was still having his sessions with Allah (the Medina period revelations).

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Killing of Banu Quraiza

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History - Imperialism

Did Prophet Muhammad order Killing Surrendered Jews of Banu Quraiza and Khaybar?  A historical Analysis

In the post 9/11 era of this modern-world, Islamists around the globe are busy with ‘damage control utopia’ in order to correct the image of religion Islam. We all know that the nucleus of Islam are: Quran, Hadiths (Sunnah) supported by Islamic histories and biographies recorded by various famous Islamic scholars and historians.

What Mecca?

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History - Early History

A great tragedy of the Islamic control of our universities and political correctness plus the fear of extreme violence if anyone dares question the roots and claims of Islam is ...that nobody dares question the roots and claims of Islam!!!  I want to stimulate interest and offer this summary of information on Mecca from (LINK) which discusses some problems with Muslim claims in a comparison of evidence supporting Islam/Christianity. 

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Yahweh or Hubal

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FlagThere is a very strongly entrenched view among majority of Westerners today that the three main monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam share one common God and therefore despite the obvious differences, the core foundation of these three religions is the same. 

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