|Fanatical Islamists in Australia's Motherland|
[M]uch of the leadership ... seems to believe that to identify the threat from Islamic religious extremism is "Islamophobic"' ; she also pointed to the effective "smearing of those who fight Islamic religious fascism [thereby] leading the surrender to the enemies of the Jews – and thus indirectly encouraging them to double their attacks.'
|And in Holland|
The paper's resident cartoonist depicted the academic as lacking compassion. (Yes, woe betide any Jew who fails to perceive an exact parallel between every so-called "asylum seeker" of today and his co-religionists seeking sanctuary from the Nazis.)
And a small group of incorrigible hard-left members of the Jewish community (none of them, as far as I'm aware, of conspicuous pro-Israel principles) maliciously sent air mail letters to the head of the academic's department and to the vice-chancellor of his university reporting what he had said and suggesting that given his views he was not the type of person with whom their institution would wish to be associated!
Ah, the totalitarian left! What a delightful free speech-muzzling mindset they have! But the university officials contacted, as surprised and bemused as the academic himself, quite correctly consigned the hard leftists' extraordinarily mischievous letters to what is often jocularly termed the "circular file".
His words unleashed an immediate furore within the Australian Jewish community, as well as outside it. The AJN thundered its condemnation of what he had said, Jewish communal organisations roundly denounced his viewpoint and dissociated themselves from it, his scheduled appearances were cancelled, and, though Islam does not constitute a race, the inevitable accusations of racism dogged him.
One of his strident Jewish critics fumed (letter, AJN, 23 Feb. 2007):
"Who needs Pauline Hanson [who led the populist anti-immigration allegedly white supremacist One Nation party] when we have Professor Raphael Israel? It is completely chutzpahdik for someone from Israel to arrive and start telling Australia how to run its immigration policy."
"Yes, some Muslims are fanatics, some are fundamentalists, and a few are terrorists. This is true for all other peoples, including Jews."A supporter, on the other hand, noted (letter, AJN, 23 Feb. 2007):
'The visiting Israeli expert on Islam is very well qualified to give his views....
It is unfortunate that some Jewish spokespeople have now demanded that the Jewish organisations that sponsored the professor distance themselves, even if many of them privately agree with his alleged "politically incorrect" statements. After all, there is no shortage of universities with both local and visiting academics who vilify Israel and Zionism on an almost daily basis and those Jewish spokespeople don't demand that these academics be silenced or that the universities sack them.
It appears that only if the controversial speaker is on the extreme left and Americans or Israelis are the ones being offended or vilified is freedom of speech cited.
From Australia's point of view, there are around 400,000-500.000 Muslims living here, with the majority of refugees and asylum seekers Muslim, and Islam is Australia's fastest-growing religion. So Professor Israeli and many others are only pointing out the problems in UK/Europe and how Australia is already experiencing similar problems. It is a clear case of "shooting the messenger".'
|A racist message in Melbourne|
'As an Israeli, one becomes used to the bias of the world's media and the frustrations of being misrepresented in the face of hysteria. But as a visiting academic to the land of the fair go, I didn't expect to find the same thing here....
I came to Australia to speak about Islam and the Middle East and to share the fruits of my books and research. But I've been dragged into an argument on a sensational issue that was not part of my schedule here. The many audiences who were to attend my lectures throughout the land were deprived of hearing them, except that private organisations, Jewish and non-Jewish, picked up the sponsorship of those lectures and I will end up giving more lectures than previously planned.
I am vastly rewarded by the multitude of supporting voices and the outpouring of calls and emails, from Jews and non-Jews, in Australia and abroad, and by the pressing queues of learners who've signed up for my classes. (There have also been a few hostile callers, some of whom identified themselves as Muslims or Muslim converts who typically use abusive language instead of a civilised voice of reason.)
I have been researching Islam in Europe and have come to some disturbing findings about the new third Islamic invasion of Europe: specifically, the Muslim neighbourhoods that breed violence and trouble and the home-grown European Muslims who have sworn to change Europe to their tune, to Islamise it and to use violence, if necessary, to that end.
There is nothing racist about adopting those policies, much less about describing them in a scholarly fashion. Moreover, it's fair, honest and educative to infer from those data to other parts of the Western world, such as Australia, which face the same issues.
I do not wish to play the victim and I appreciate that Australia is noted for robust debate. But when a scholar who has no axe to grind honestly describes and analyses what policy-makers in Europe have done, and draws a straightforward conclusion about Australia, to be abused and branded as a racist is extraordinary.
Shouts and abuse are not a policy, nor do they encourage public debate. If someone wishes to dismiss data by providing alternative sets of facts and arguments, that is a debate, but by shooting the messenger instead of addressing the issue, no public cause is served. It is a fact that since 2000, Jewish facilities were attacked by Muslims in Europe and Australia, but never the other way around. To state that is racism?
Some, of course, prefer to hide behind hollow slogans of "inter-communal harmony", "inter-faith co-operation" and "multiculturalism" instead of exposing Muslim violence and inflammatory rhetoric and act, together with Muslim moderates, to uproot these phenomena.
Aware of the European parallel, I am neither surprised by the Muslim leaders' attempts to shut off any debate in Australia and intimidate anyone who raises his voice against such actions, nor by the Australian press complicity in that process. Only yesterday I received threats from a Chechen Islamic website. So much for civilised debate....'He added:
'People who lack courage and stamina to stand up for principles, who whisper in my ear that they agree with me but then act in public to protect their positions and the illusions they are trying to cultivate in this society, do not act in a Jewish, Australian or even civilised fashion.'
On 6 July 2007 Wassim Dourehi, the Sydney representative of the Islamic organisation Hizb-ut-Tahrir was interviewed by Virginia Trioli on the ABC's Lateline. Here's part of the transcript:
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: All right, then talking about values, in Denmark a few years ago, the Hizb ut Tahrir leader was found guilty of racist propaganda of distributing leaflets including threats against Jews to "kill them wherever you find them". Is that part of your philosophy in Australia?
WASSIM DOUREHI: What we have innuendo, half-truths and significant degree of misinformation. This is a direct quote from a particular verse in the Koran. Are you going to read the rest of the leaflet are we going to extol the virtues of the rest of the Hizb ut Tahrir literature? It is very easy to be selective about statements. We issue leaflets on a daily basis.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Do you stand by that quote in that leaflet, to kill Jews wherever you find them?
WASSIM DOUREHI: That is a verse in the Koran. Our position towards non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic state has been documented from day one. Non-Muslims lived under the banner of the Islamic caliphate, enjoyed the most prosperous period in history. This is a fact that has been established and identified not just by Muslims but by non-Muslims. We advocate the caliphate which will serve all citizens irrespective of their religion or creed. So I don't see any contradiction whatsoever and we very strongly, in the harshest of words, condemn any charge of anti-Semitism or racism or exclusivity. The caliphate is an Islamic state.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: You reject this line, kill them wherever you find them?
WASSIM DOUREHI: No, I don't reject this line. The inference is you have taken one quote out of a whole leaflet, and a leaflet which we have been issuing for over 50 years so you can draw inferences and cast aspersions against this particular line...
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: I'm after clarification of a simple line here.
WASSIM DOUREHI: It's not a simple line. We do not recognise the legitimacy of the Israeli state.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: So you would like to get rid of the state of Israel.
WASSIM DOUREHI: Our opposition to the state of Israel has been unfortunately identified as anti-Semitism. That is a charge we strongly reject. We are against the Zionist state. We are not in any ways against Jews.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: Let's try and clarify this then. If you're against the state of Israel, is one way of getting rid of the state of Israel to kill Jews where you find them, as this says, in the state of Israel?
WASSIM DOUREHI: Again, this is a verse in the Koran.
VIRGINIA TRIOLI: I'm try to be specific about your intention to get rid of the state of Israel.
WASSIM DOUREHI: We completely reject the employing of any violence or aggression from a party perspective. We completely reject that. That has been our position from day one. But the assertion and inference that we in some way would advocate violence towards any individual irrespective of their creed is a charge we strongly reject.Some mixed messages there, then. But the Jew-vilification and threatening cries of "Khaybar, Khaybar, ya-yahood, jaish Mohamed sama’ud" displayed by Nakba Day marchers in Sydney (see here and here) provide another stark reminder of the extremism that has been imported into Australia by certain elements from overseas.