PRIME Minister John Howard says the Government remains concerned about some radical Islamic preaching in Australia. But Mr Howard did not confirm claims that clerics in Sydney and Melbourne are preaching martyrdom and jihad to young followers.What a surprise. We see the usual response from the moderate Muslim ‘street’:
Singapore-based terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna says religious leaders in the two capitals are preaching violence to impressionable followers, but delivering their messages outside mosques.
The chairman of the Government's Muslim advisory committee, Dr Amir Ali, has rubbished the claims, saying if Dr Gunaratna has such information he should hand it to authorities.Fine, Dr Amir, and I certainly agree with that last bit. But you call bollocks to the covert preaching of violence here (or are we playing cute little semantic shell-games)? As just one small wisp of curling smoke, let’s start with the Lakemba Mosque’s bookshop, shall we?
Mr Howard did not reject Dr Gunaratna's claims, but would not give details of the government's specific concerns.That’s okay, John, we're already pretty sure we know what’s going on. It’s just a question of when some of them finally get their act together and manage to do some harm.
"I never talk about any information I have, but suffice to say that we continue to worry that there is a section of the Islamic community, a very small section, that is not serving the interests of anybody with some of the things that they've had to say," he told Macquarie radio.Is it so small? Sorry, but one has to wonder – especially when the so-called moderate voices appear to be in such denial. Is their ‘silence’ due to the fact that they want to quietly get on with cleaning their own house (which I very much hope is the case), or is it down to wanting us all to look the other way (while Ahkmed and Muhammad get on with the job)?
"...I think we have to be realistic enough to recognise that if people are going to incite others to do evil things they will find a way of doing it to try and escape attention.Too true. Just take a browse around the Lakemba Mosque’s bookshop (or the Brunswick Mosque in Melbourne, or the. . .). Oh – silly me. We already know all about those. . .
. . .and decided we could do nothing at all.