Islam is not IS

Australian Imams headed by the Grand Mufti of Australia, have made their position very clear­ – there’s nothing Islamic about IS.

“These criminals are committing crimes against humanity and sins against God. Forced eviction, threats of execution and burning of places of worship including churches have no place in any faith,” said the Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammad. “Since the ISIS group was established we have been very clear about denouncing their lies and betrayal of our faith.”

The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) wants the term ‘Islamic’ not to be used when referring to the IS, ISIS or ISIL, saying it gives credence to the group’s inappropriate claims of religious authority for its cause.

ANIC also believes that there is a clear link between fighting foreign wars and radicalism at home and consequently does not support the deployment of Australia’s military forces to Iraq.

With around 60 Australians fighting in Syria and Iraq, and the terror level threat being raised from medium to high for the first time in 11 years, Australians are becoming more worried that an attack on home soil may take place soon. The Australian Muslim community shares this fear and it opposes those who commit such barbarism under the banner of Islam.

Muslim leader, Dr Jamal Rifi, was deeply offended when Wissam Haddad made comments about how Muslim radicals in Australia would “give up their passports” if they could avoid incrimination for fighting IS overseas. “Let them give away their citizenship. These people are saying they want to go and relieve the oppressed Muslims overseas. Why would they care so much about the oppression of the Muslims overseas and through their actions and statements cause so much oppression and trouble to the Muslims in Australia?” Dr Rifi said. “I’ll buy them a one-way ticket out of Australia never to come back.”

“If given the option to fight for the Australian flag or the ISIS flag I, without any hesitation, will choose the Australian flag because I totally believe ISIS and its ideology are the enemy of Islam,” Dr Rifi said. “I am in touch with my community and I am talking in the voice of the majority.”

Read more at the DailyTelegraph.com.au

Read more at SBS.com.au

We are one and many

Now that we are living under threat of a ‘likely’ terror attack, it is important to remember that we share this fear with others ­– Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist – whatever background or belief. We are one, we are many – we are Australian.

It is important as a country that we are more aware that the Muslim community is also vehemently opposed to the atrocious actions of IS. The Muslim community doesn’t approve of bombing citizens, or beheading journalists. Those within it who do are a small minority. It is simply unfair to throw all Muslims into the ‘terrorist’ pile, as is so often the catch-cry nowadays.

Mr Abbott and Attorney General, George Brandis, are still playing down the fact that our involvement militarily would increase the likelihood of an attack in Australia. The threat level has been raised, coinciding with our proposed deployment of troops to Iraq, which makes it difficult to argue against the legitimacy of such statements. Labor has backed the Government’s decision to get involved, but Greens leader, Christine Milne, still believes the threat of terrorism in Australia will be elevated because of our complicity.

It is true that it’s our way of life being attacked, but our military involvement would have to play a part in the increased likelihood of an attack. “There’s no doubt that those who wish us harm will cite things like this as an excuse, but it’s not the reason,” said Mr Abbott who sees our efforts as a humanitarian mission and told the ABC of his bigger picture. “Over time, I would hope to see a world where the golden ethical rule – do to others as you would have them do to you – is better accepted,” he said.

I agree with this sentiment. As human beings, none of us want to die, be blown into bits, be beheaded, abused or tortured. This global situation has come about because we have forgotten this golden rule ­– and no one is without blame. There is no better time than now to practice this mantra – and there is no better place than Australia to do so.

Do you believe Islam is evil? How different is this situation from Christian actions throughout history? Do you treat others as you wish to be treated? What do you think?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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