In an article in The Australian (28/9/16) headed "Failing To Manage Hanson Has Dire Risks", Paul Kelly highlighted some of the divisions among Australians on their views of Islam and Muslim immigration. Now the focus has shifted to the demonisaton of Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration, because of his comments about problems in the second and third generation of Lebanese Muslims living in Australia.
However, not Peter Dutton nor Pauline Hanson nor Lebanese Muslims are the problem, Islam is, and indeed Lebanese Muslims and Muslims everywhere are the victims of the ideology of Islam. One of the terrorist incidents in Australia was perpetrated by a young man who came to Australia as a child refugee with his parents from Afghanistan.
For those who have a very limited understanding of Islam, and that would include most of the Green voters and about half of the ALP, Islam as a religion was founded in the 7th century, but it is not only a religion but a totalitarian political ideology which encompasses every detail of life including how one washes oneself. After a relatively peaceful stint in Mecca, Mohammed, the "prophet" and founder of Islam, became militarily and politically aggressive and violent in Medina, and the Koran, the holy book of Islam, reflects this in its verses.
Shortly after the death of Mohammed, there was a split in Islam over who was his legitimate successor. This split between the Sunni and Shia factions continues to this day and is being fought out by proxy in the current conflicts in the Middle East.
For those who want to know more about Islam and its implementation through Sharia law, I would refer them to the books and articles by Rev. Mark Durie, vicar of St. Mary's Anglican Church, Caulfield,Victoria. Suffice to say that Mohammed had several wives, including 6-year-old Ayesha, and another woman whom he "married" on the same day he killed her husband, who was a military opponent. Islam is grossly misogynistic - a man can have four wives, temporary "marriages" for purposes of prostitution, and even the taking as sex slaves the females captured from a defeated tribe.
Even in the 21st century, Muslim majority countries like Saudi Arabia impose some ludicrous bans such as on women driving cars, and in Iran on women riding bicycles in public. (Perhaps Iranian women could be allowed to ride bicycles side-saddle?)
The focus on the violence of ISIS and the conflicts in the Middle East is distracting from the problems inherent in Islam itself, whether mainstream or radical, and here I draw a distinction between Islam and Muslims, just as there is a distinction between communism and Russians, and Naziism and Germans.
Muslims are the main victims of Islam which, in the Middle East is impelling them to kill each other at an even greater rate than they kill "infidels". Islam has kept Muslims (especially the women) relatively uneducated and backward, despite much oil wealth in some Muslim countries. It is incompatible with democratic notions of human rights, democracy and freedom of religion. The Koran has verses demanding the death penalty not only for "infidels" but also for apostates, those who leave Islam.
While attention is focused on wars in the Middle East, the plight of Christians in Pakistan is overlooked. Asia Bibi, mother of five young children, is in her sixth year of incarceration on death row on spurious charges of blasphemy, the latest development in this tragedy being the withdrawal of a judge who was to hear her Appeal. If he rejected her Appeal, he and Pakistan would be condemned in world opinion, if he acquitted her, he could be assassinated.
There are many others in Pakistani jails on charges of blasphemy, and too many incidents of murder against Christians to enumerate in this article, including the burning in a kiln of a couple, parents of five children and the wife pregnant with a sixth. None of this is committed by terrorists or sanctioned by the government - it is done by street mobs inflamed by Islam.
Closer to home, the prosecution of a Christian politician in Indonesia on charges of blasphemy and the large crowds baying for his imprisonment is an extremely worrying development not only for Indonesia but for Australia. This may be a sign that Indonesia, and not only its Aceh province, is about to go the way of other Muslim-majority countries which started out with high ideals of democracy and equal treatment for people of all faiths or none, but are being forced into compliance with Sharia law because ultimately Islam is not compatible with a secular democracy.
Current examples are Turkey and Malaysia, with Bangladesh struggling to adhere to a secular ideal, but bedevilled with violence against Hindus, Christians and even liberal Muslims. Muslim democracies are hostage to the fanaticism inherent in Islam and need to acknowledge this and deal with it instead of giving credence to "blasphemy" laws. Instead, the 57-member Muslim countries comprising the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation at the UN is trying to impose blasphemy laws world wide.