If Turnbull won’t speak out on Islam, Hanson Will

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THE Grand Mufti of Australia has just proved that Pauline Hanson is right to feel threatened by Islam in this country.

Ibrahim Abu Mohammad has written an astonishing letter warning that to criticise even a gay-hating imam is to risk inciting terrorist attacks against us.

His inflammatory letter perfectly demonstrates why Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was a fool to hold an Iftar dinner for the Mufti and other troubling Muslim leaders during the election campaign.
Sheik Shady Alsuleiman and Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed leave the Kirribilli House Iftar dinner hosted by Malcolm Turnbull.

And Turnbull’s dinner — shown on all TV news bulletins — may explain why Hanson’s vote on Saturday was so high, helping her to win as many as three Senate seats on a strident agenda that includes a call for a royal commission into Islam.

More Australians might now support Hanson’s call when they read the Mufti’s letter, which to me conveys an implied and sinister warning: that to criticise a Muslim cleric is to criticise Islam itself and risk death. Shut up or else.

I ask: is there any leader of any other faith in this country who could suggest something so intimidating to stifle discussion of his ideology and the lethal radicalism it inspires?

The Mufti’s letter did not receive the coverage it badly needs, having been issued in the final frantic days of the election campaign.

In it, Ibrahim, our most senior Muslim cleric, defends a fellow guest at Turnbull’s Iftar dinner, Sheik Shady Alsuleiman, and warns against criticising this bigot.

The Mufti’s defence of Shady is itself significant, because Shady in his online sermons has attacked Jews, called on God to help “destroy the enemies of Islam”, declared the punishment for adulterers “is stoning to death”. damned Christmas parties as mistake to invite Shady. But, as I wrote at the time, Turnbull promptly tried to befuddle you again about Islam.

He pretended the Sheikh was just some lone crazy: “It is also wrong to seek to define the views of all 500,000 Muslims because of the opinions expressed by one person, by one cleric.

” In fact, Shady isn’t some two-bit ranter from some obscure mosque. He is the elected president of the Australian National Imams Council, representing the imams who actually preach the Islamic faith in Australia.

And now Grand Mufti Ibrahim confirms that Shady is indeed the authentic voice of Islam in this country, and those of us who criticise him are inciting — almost inviting — young Muslims into terrorism against us.

You doubt he could write some-thing so reckless and threatening? Something that so clearly suggests his faith threatens the liberties of Australians, and possibly even their lives?

Well, let me quote him. First, note that the Mufti confirms that Shady’s teachings are authentic expressions of Islam — and that the Mufti does not disown them.

The Mufti instead defends Shady as having merely explained a “religious ruling” of Islam, although it’s unclear if he is referring here to Shady’s reference to stoning adulterers or gays being wicked people who spread deadly diseases.

Next, note that the Mufti confirms that far from being just “one person, … one cleric” unrepresentative of Muslims, as Turnbull suggested, Shady is “one of the most active imams”, a “successful mentor to the youth”, a “moderate … widely accepted among people of his generation”.

Note that the Mufti describes Shady as part of the Muslim touch-one-touch-all . touch-all whole, such that criticisms of him are “attempts that seek to divide our society and discriminate against certain individual people … because of their religious beliefs”.

Note,, next, the Mufti’s inflammatory cries that Muslims are being persecuted, even terrorised, when Shady is criticised. “Media outlets in Australia have been engaged in a type of terrorism of ideas against those who disagree with them,” the Mufti writes.

“This has particularly been the case if the person holding a different view is a Muslim.”

Pardon?.To merely criticise Shady is “a type of terrorism of ideas”? To be likened, perhaps, to a shooting of, say, critical writers at a Charlie Hebdo office? And Shady’s rhetoric of hatred is merely “a different view’?

Note that the Mufti then issues a warning f that to me risks legitimising the Islamist terrorism – he otherwise condemns. Referring to criticisms of Shady’s teachings by me and others, the Mufti says he believes this “has strengthened terrorist.