Australian Islamist Monitor

Islam Under Scrutiny

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Learning From One Another Virus Spreads

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Tim Bush, the religion teacher of Ivanhoe Grammar, to which school Eeqbaal Hassim was given a scholarship when he came to Australia, has taken up the "Learning From One Another" agenda and is running with it.

The Heidelberg Leader last week reported - no doubt at Mr Bush's request - that he had organised a "Teaching Islam Today" conference which thirty-five teachers attended. The article claimed that, "There is growing interest among educators looking for new ways to engage [sic] religion in the classroom." 

Whether or not this is true, and it is doubtful, Mr Bush has apparently opted for Islamic da'wa as a "new way", although he described what the school was doing slightly differently, as a "concerted push" to "promote interfaith understanding between different religions, in particular Islam." His assertions and language deployed mirror those of the LFOA book and initial workshop held by Eegbal Hassim and Jennet Cole-Adams in June this year.

Thus: "Not unlike much of Australia, I think there is a real ignorance towards [sic] Islam. Particularly through different portrayals and stereotypes, students can jump to very rigid and mistaken ideas of what Islam presents."

While the "portrayals and stereotypes" are not necessarily incorrect, it defies credibility that the very people who hold such "rigid and mistaken" ideas are, as he asserted, "interested" in the topic of religion. But as a captive audience, the Ivanhoe Grammar students have no choice.

Mr Bush had another excuse to foist Islam on his students: "The national curriculum is taking a very strong focus on the incorporation of an Asian perspective in studies of Asia. And part of that is looking at (Australia's relationship with) Indonesia. Being our nearest neighbour and the most populous Muslim nation in the world, it's almost incumbent upon us that we broaden and deepen our understanding of it."

The reporter then tells us that "In global perspectives, a subject offered to all year 10s, students contrast the pattern of their day with that of a Muslim, for example." ("Offered to all" presumably means forced on all...)

What could be more constructive, if this exercise were to be done in a true spirit of enquiry and not with the aim of glorifying Islam and preparing students for dhimmi status or conversion? I have a story which might liven up the class:

On the radio, several years ago, my father heard a story told by an Australian visitor to Indonesia. He was in a taxi in Jakarta, and the car stopped at a red light. Thereupon, two children came to the window with a tin they rattled, and they asked him for a contribution for their charity. Charmed, the man put some coins into their tin, then asked them what they were collecting for.

Islamic idea of Interfaith in Indonesia

"To kill the Christians in Aceh!" the kids replied gaily. This was how those young Muslims were spending their day!

But will the Ivanhoe students be given even a glimmer of the hardships of non-Muslims living in Muslim-majority or Muslim-invaded lands?

The LFOA book contains a photo of a group of students, one who appeared West Papuan. A teaching colleague confirmed that some West Papuans, who had fled West Papua from the oppression of Indonesian Muslim invaders and had some harrowing stories to tell, were now students at Ivanhoe Grammar. Will those students be allowed to give their "perspectives" in these classroom sessions to counter the Muslim "perspectives" so generously offerred to Mr Bush's students? Did the student in the photo give his permission for his photo to be used in Islamic propaganda?

Another school activity idea: Explain to West Papuans the benefits of Islamic rule.

William Kilpatrick, in Frontpage Magazine, ("Lambs to the Slaughter", 9/8/10) explains the danger of "interfaith" which has been so vigorously taken up by the Christian church (and, as we see, by its associated schools such as Ivanhoe Grammar.) Any negative perception of Islam is to be regarded as uneducated, mean-spirited and intolerant, and should be corrected by a positive view of Islam as unthreatening and compatible with a multicultural society. (Although interfaith sessions tend to be steered towards a view of Islam as superior, as demonstrated by the "piety" of its practioners.) The current Christian approach of acceptance, inclusiveness and non-judgementalism not only fails to recognise and deal with the threat of Islam but makes false assumptions about the "tolerance" of the very foundations of Christianity: was Jesus really as passive as many Christians believe He was?

This viewpoint leads us to suspect that people such as Tim Bush, who may be doing something pleasing to one of his school's illustrious former students by glamorising Islam, is helping to deliver the Christians (and others) of Australia into the rather grasping hands of Islam, to do with as it sees fit - without even having to raise a sword. Tim Bush needs to hear that his efforts are seen by many as anything but saintly, but could be seen from another "perspective" as traitorous, cowardly and dangerous. If he is interested in "new ways" of teaching and learning about Islam, he might want to try giving Eeqbal Hassim the flick and talking to some victims of Islam. They are not far away from him.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 September 2010 03:55  

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