Wednesday, August 24, 2005

AIJAC Disappointed by NSWJBD's Cavalier Attitude

From a 19 August 2005 MEDIA RELEASE by the Australia Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) ...

MELBOURNE - AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler and Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein declared their profound disappointment at the cavalier attitude exhibited by NSW Jewish Board of Deputies President David Knoll towards a pro-terrorist Islamic radical movement with a history of promoting anti-Jewish violence.

In a radio interview on 17 August 2005, Knoll applauded the Australian government's inability under current legislation to proscribe "yet another Islamic group as a terrorist organization." But the "Islamic group" in question is Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an unabashedly jihadist organization that preaches murder against Jews. Hizb-ut-Tahrir was recently outlawed by the British government.

In 2002, Hizb-ut-Tahrir's British website quoted an Islamic hadith that commands Muslims "kill them [Jews] wherever you find them." The website went on to justify its genocidal stance with a further statement from the hadith that contends: "the Jews are people of slander, a treacherous people." And this vile antisemitism was endorsed just last month by Hizb-ut-Tahrir's Australian spokesman, Wasim Doureihi. Speaking on ABC Radio National's 'PM' program, Doureihi called for the Muslim reconquest of Spain and "most definitely agreed" with his movement's anti-Jewish sentiments. Members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir have also called for attacks against Coalition troops in Iraq, a policy that includes support for assaults against Australian soldiers.

AIJAC finds David Knoll's blase attitude towards an explicitly jihadist organization to be perplexing and disappointing.

The 60th anniversary event of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies featured former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser as keynote speaker. In his speech, Fraser harshly criticised the Howard government, claiming that the ASIO bill was "the sort of law you would find in tyrannical countries." Knoll was quoted by the ABC as expressing his support for Mr. Fraser's interpretation of the Commonwealth's anti-terrorism legislation.

But Federal Attorney General Phillip Ruddock responded by saying that both Fraser and Knoll suffer from a "serious misunderstanding" of the ASIO bill. On the floor of Parliament, Mr. Ruddock stated: "Hizb-ut-Tahrir espouses a very extreme and radical agenda. I can confirm that my department is reviewing the proscription provisions contained in the Criminal Code and is looking for possible ways to strengthen those provisions."

...AIJAC applauds the government for its recognition of the serious threat posed by Islamic radical pro-terrorist groups. Leibler and Rubenstein communicated AIJAC's support for the government's counter-terrorism policy directly to the Attorney General....

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