SYDNEY ISLAMISTS CALL FOR A TOTAL ISLAMIC SOCIETY
More than 200 people packed the headquarters of hard-line Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir in Sydney’s west last week to cheer as the group’s local head called for the overhaul of Australian society into an Islamic totalitarian state ‘ while relying on the nation’s democratic traditions to achieve that goal. Despite the rallying by such groups, the Australian Imams Council and the nation’s top Islamic figure, the Grand Mufti, called for the rejection of anti-terror security legislation that would extend laws banning the advocacy of terrorism. ‘We are especially concerned that the new laws will broaden the definition of ‘advocating’ terrorism to include ‘promote’ and ‘encourage’, as well as ‘counsel’ and ‘urge’,’ the council said.
(Bob says, "I call this #OneWayReligiousTolerance, where we have to allow their ideas, but they don't allow ours.")
Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is estimated to have as many as one million members worldwide, states as its aim to replace the ‘corrupt society’ of Western countries ‘so that it is transformed into an Islamic society’. The group made headlines recently when spokesman Wassim Doureihi appeared on ABC’s Lateline and continually refused to condemn terrorist group Islamic State, despite repeated questioning from host Emma Alberici. Mr Doureihi dodged the question when asked whether he was ‘outraged’ by images of a seven-year-old Australian boy ‘holding up severed heads like trophies’ in Iraq or Syria.
At the public lecture, ‘The War to End a Blessed Revolution’ ‘ in reference to the foreign campaign against Islamic State in Syria ‘ Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Australia head Ismail Alwahwah called for a ‘new world order’ and said he was willing to ‘sacrifice everything’ for the group’s goals. Underlying the hard-line nature of the group, the audience chanted in unison in response to regular screams of ‘Takfir’ from an audience member throughout the presentation. Takfir is a highly evocative term used by Muslims accusing other Muslims of apostasy, or being unbelievers, because they hold less radical interpretations of Islam. It is also used against non-Muslims.
Other Muslim groups have been eager to point out Hizb ut-Tahrir is at the radical fringe of the religion and does not represent them. While last week's lecture raised a number of reasonable concerns, such as the deaths of Muslims in the Middle East as the result of foreign actions, Mr Alwahwah’s lecture often wandered into rambling territory and much of the logic was counterintuitive. Despite seeking the abolition of democracy and the imposition of a totalitarianism Islamic state in Australia, the group relies on Western democratic concepts and railed against its perceived wind-back of freedoms under the new anti-terror laws.
The group claimed the new laws would ‘restrict rights’, and allow computers to be ‘hacked without a warrant’ and for people to be stopped ‘randomly in the street’. Mr Alwahwah said he was open to changing his mind if presented with a convincing argument. However when presented with simple questions, Mr Alwahwah refused to respond. When Non-Muslim audience member Alison Bevege repeatedly asked what the penalty for her as a non-Muslim would be for apostasy under Hizb ut-Tahrir Mr Alwahwah refused to answer directly. Instead he spoke about Muslims killed in the Middle East by foreigners. Many Islamic scholars consider apostasy a crime, with several stating it was punishable with the death penalty.
Source: Compiled by APN from media reports
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