SHAFAQNA – Recent talks of an open debate over the “link between Islam and terrorism” is exactly what ISIS are waiting for.
A county whose politicians become self-made experts on other religions is an early warning of further division and inequality within society.
It looks as we’re trying to repeat the mistake of some Muslim countries who are now struggling to find the escape key after allowing the state to make religious decisions on behalf of general public.
History has taught us that mixing politics and religions always ends badly.
Former PM Tony Abbot and few other politicians like Mr Hastie have called for Islam to reform and for the religion to “cohere with the Australian way of life”, adding that “massive problem” exists within Islam.
The first question arises, who will debate who? Muslim Imam’s verses Australian politicians? We all know that there is not a single Australian politician whom all the Australians trust to represent them on religious matters.
Likewise there is not a single Muslim Imam who represents all the Australian Muslims.
The simplest question one should as is, “what will we all achieve?” Assume that majority of Australians do believe that there is a link between Islam and terrorism, will 23 million people living in an isolated part of the world decide the faith of 1.7 billion Muslims around the world? Let’s assume worst case, if we do stop all Muslim refugees entering Australia, what will happen to over half a million Muslims living in Australia peacefully?
The peaceful, loyal and law-abiding Australian Muslims deserve a ‘fair go’. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a perfect example as victim of this over generalisation. This community is the fastest growing international revival movement within Islam which is making headlines around the world for their clean track record. Being in existence for over 125 years with followers in tens of millions located in over 200 countries, not a single member has ever participated in any act of violence, nor have any of their youth ever been radicalised.
This community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form. The community is the largest Muslim organisation with a central spiritual leader, famously know as Caliph of Islam (Mirza Masroor Ahmad) located in London, United Kingdom. He states that “the words and deeds of those who are rightly guided speak for themselves. They need no force to spread their faith” Mirza Masroor Ahmad.
The founder of the organisation, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad taught his followers over a century ago that an aggressive “jihad by the sword” has no place in Islam, instead only bloodless, intellectual “jihad of the pen” is allowed in Islam. He cautioned against irrational interpretations of Quranic pronouncements and misapplications of Islamic law. It champions the empowerment and education of women. Its members are among the most law-abiding, educated, and engaged Muslims in the world.
In Australia, they operate Australia’s largest Mosque located in Marsden Park, Sydney with regular inter-faith peace symposiums to build bridges with other religions. Likewise this community is the leading charity organisation in clean up Australia day, blood donation, tree plantation to name few. Last week this community was on Australia’s major news channels as the only Muslim organisation to attend the first year anniversary at Martin Place with the hashtag #MuslimsForPeace.
This organisation is holding one of the oldest and largest Muslim annual convention in Australia from 25-27th December where over 3,000 guests are expected to discuss the most critical issues facing Australian and how lasting peace can be achieved. All those who believe that Islam is a religion of violence should attend this gathering and educate themselves of true teachings of Islam.
It is important that we make the peaceful law-abiding Australian Muslims part of the solusion, rather than problem. We need to promote Muslim communities who are working hard in promoting peace as they are our strongest link within the Muslim community and future youth. If we fail to do this now, then even the head of ASIO Duncan Lewis and his team will not be able to make enough calls to calm down the emerging tention between politicions, Muslims and general public who hold extreme views.
By Aqeel Choudhry – Writer, editor and managing director of UntoldNews.com.au, expert in Muslim youth radicalisation, Human rights activist, UTS graduate and Engineer.
The views expressed here are the author’s own.