Friday, August 19, 2005

Islamic body defends its incitement to hatred

From a press release issued by the Islamic Development Centre of Australia (IDCA) in repsonse to artcles in the Australian and elsewhere (Sydney, Monday 18 July 2005 )...

It has come to our attention on the 18 July 2005 that particular newspaper(s) have made false and delusive comments about the materials propagated in the IDCA Bookshop...that promotes terrorism and spreads hatred. ... We refuse to accept such claims ....

....IDCA is a proud Australian Muslim Organization. It promotes social harmony and righteous values. We condemn all evil acts and will never accept Terrorism in our country, Australia, or in any part of the world....

In an open letter to the IDCA, the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation Commission (19 August 2005) responds ...

I am writing to convey my shock upon reading your media release in response to the discovery and accusations of hateful books sold in your shop.

You write regarding one of the books discovered, The Ideological Attack: “It educates Muslims on how they can protect their minds from radical threatening ideologies (i.e. communism etc)” ...You neglect to mention the book’s listing of the other ideologies which you consider “radical and threatening” namely the ideologies of: the Christians, Jews, secularists, and atheists. In fact, the ideologies of everyone outside of Islam. To describe non-Muslim religions as radical and threatening is a form of religious intolerance that has no place in Australia.

I quote the ... the book...:

  • “The Muslims today face a barbaric onslaught from their enemies - the jews, christians, atheists, secularists and others…Supported by a demonic global plan as well as unlimited financial backing, this attack aims at domination and hegemony over the Islamic world.”
  • “O you who believe! Do not take as intimate friends and advisors those outside of your Religion, for they will not spare any efforts to corrupt you! They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has appeared from their mouths, but what their hearts conceal is far worse.”
  • “Likewise, when we have the ability, it is obligatory to fight the jews until they enter into Islam, or until they give the jizyah” (special tax)

It is unacceptable to promote and sell such bigoted books in the first place. However, rather than recognise and take action against the distribution of such hateful material, your organisation actually seeks to justify The Ideological Attack by white-washing and lying about its contents. This makes your actions even worse, for you did not merely err in carrying these books, but in fact carried them intentionally and seek to defend their contents.

You say that your organisation “promotes social harmony and righteous values” - The Ideological Attack does none of that. Rather than demanding an apology from the newspapers, you should act to eliminate the religious intolerance that this book promotes. Australia has developed into a peaceful nation where members of various faith communities live in harmony with one another. Organisations such as yours that distribute and justify hate material operate in direct conflict with the values that Australia espouses.

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