Monday, November 23, 2015

Australian Muslim Party: a dangerous step to silence moderate Muslims

Suddenly and without any warnings or consultations, sections of the Muslim community have officially announced they will establish a political party to represent Muslims in this country.

This group made up of both conservative and extreme elements have set out to silence any moderate progressive voice within the community by hijacking the name “Muslim”.

In the last decade, these extremist elements have been deceiving the Australian public, the politicians and the media thanks to continuous flowing of funds from Saudi Arabia.
What all this funding has achieved is a growing number of radicalised Muslims never seen before in this country.

Saudi money has enabled them to build major religious centres, radio station, newspapers and YouTube base TV stations. All these information sources have served and continue to serve as major vehicles to brainwash and radicalise.

This group has gained a lot of influence in the media and in politics. Surprisingly since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, all the major political parties and the Greens sided with them and supported terrorism in Syria.
The support from the two major political parties didn’t come as a surprise since we know too well that both the Labor and Liberal parties take directives from the US. What we didn’t expect was the support given both by Greens and sections of the socialists.
Sadly this would not have been possible without the impact made by Saudi funding.

Unfortunately the voices of other sections in the Muslim community (secular Muslims, moderate Sunni, Shia, Alawis, Sufis...) have been so far ignored and their voices remain silent.

Now, conservative and extreme sections of the Muslim community aim to totally hijack the Muslim representation in this country by declaring that the newly established political party will represent Muslims. By doing so, these extreme sections aim to maximise their influence in politics and media.

We will not allow this!

Our goal will be to expose the real agenda of this party. We will expose the conservative nature of their “leadership” and we will campaign to de-legitimise any claim that it represents Muslims of this country.

These so called “devout” Muslims who want to establish this party forgot to inform us about the important issues.
What we need to know is the following:

• Which Islam do they follow and seek to promote. Wahhabi, Secular, Ashaari, Sufi, Shia, Alawi....?
• Which organisations, individuals and groups did they consult before making this big announcement?
• How will they deal with religious divisions and tensions between different groups and sects?
• What is their stance on issues important to Muslim communities: on Syria, Yemen, Egypt..?
• Depending on which Islam they follow: what is their official stance on issues like Jihad, Caliphate, Sharia Law and relations with non-Muslims.
• Why the secrecy on consultations and intention to establish party?
• How do they finance themselves?

For a political party to claim representation of a certain group (Muslims), the officials must be honest and transparent in order to gain support from all the parties interested. So far we know nothing about this party.

So far, the officials are very secretive with their plans. They are trying to keep their agendas totally hidden. They have lacked consultation with important organisations and individuals. Yet they seek to convince you and me that they will be representing all Muslims.

Their disdain towards other Muslim minorities was made very clear in June 2013 when they invited Mr George Galloway to Australia to hold a speech.
This group had a formal contract which they broke off as soon as they found out that Mr Galloway was invited to speak at another venue organised by Shia Muslims.
Thankfully the second group was able to take over the organising of the tour and was able to turn it into a great success.

In conclusion, this group of conservative and extremist elements want to register a political party to silence all moderate and non-Sunnis Muslims in this country.

For this reason they will fail and we will make them fail!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Paris mass-shootings: Did Australian authorities get the message..?!!!

The mass shootings in Paris, including several suicide bombings, are the last wake-up call for our politicians, authorities and media. If they wish to avoid similar mass shootings on Australian soil, they should start changing their policies, attitude and planning.

So far, our authorities have no plan on how to prevent similar attacks. We believe that it is just a matter of luck and geographical isolation that saved Australia from similar devastating and carnage. The authorities so far have demonstrated a lack of sensitivity and understanding and have not yet come up with a workable plan to de-radicalise our youth.

After returning from the Middle East recently, I felt the difference between Australia and the countries I visited.

Australian authorities, politicians and media are still in the mind frame that de-radicalisation will happen just by using rhetoric. The government thinks that talks about radicalisation and the need for harmony in the society is enough to prevent radicals from committing horrendous crimes. They think that de-radicalisation could be achieved by convincing “extremist leaders” to abandon their radical plans and brainwashing.
Well after the Paris mass shooting they should come to terms that this was just a mere dream and that a different approach is needed.

The government should learn from Paris mass shootings: consulting extremist “leaders” will lead us nowhere. Our politicians and media should come to terms with the facts that giving extremist “leaders” awards such as “Father of the Year”, “Sister of the year” or “Stupid of the year” will not help convince the thousands of already brainwashed youths to abandon their extremist ideology. This ideology has already been imprinted in their minds.

It is time for the government to start listening and cooperating with the organisations, leaders and groups who have been warning of the dangers in supporting the Syrian “revolution”. It was exactly the support of this fake revolution that has brought about the current situation of radicalisation and global terrorism.

The government went about it the wrong way from the beginning, starting in early 2012 when the Syrian embassy in Canberra was attacked. Still getting it wrong and sending the wrong message by deporting Warren Marriner a peace activist who has been all along a strong voice against extremism.
Such actions have been the catalyst all along for the high radicalisation in our society.

The government’s complete silence during the sectarian tensions and at the same time their fully support to extremist “leaders” has basically let these “hate preachers” roam free to radicalise , recruit and brainwash thousands into going overseas to fight for terrorist groups. It is thanks to these policies (or lack of) we have over 400 people who have fought or are still fighting in Syria, Iraq and maybe even in Libya and Yemen.

French authorities also tackled the problem in the same way, taking rather the “soft” approach of consulting and open dialogue with the extremist “leaders”, thinking that this would be enough. They thought that their policies were enough to positively de-radicalise these hardened terrorist coming back home after fighting with some of the most vicious terror groups in the world
Both French and Australian authorities were somewhat naive to believe that these radicals would, once back home, give up their dream of establishing a Caliphate.

The Paris mass shooting should now convince the Australian government that their plan is not working and is bound to fail just like in France.

We need to convince our government that our approach should be as follows

• Shutting down their financial network by cutting off funds coming from Saudi Arabia. These millions of dollars are poured into Mosques and Islamic schools and serve to radicalise Australian Muslims.
• Government should be consulting only with community leaders who have helped and who are still helping integration. A true leadership is to advance the mutual interests of a peaceful, secular and democratic society.
• The government needs to make tough decisions shutting down centres of hate even if this creates discontent among a small group of people. The majority of our society will appreciate these decisions and even if politically this would cost some votes, the rewards and the outcome would outweigh these small losses.
• Preachers who spread hate should be either silenced or deported. It is unacceptable that known extremist organisations are still able to operate in our suburbs. It is even more unacceptable that these organisations are still allowed to organise conferences and invite from overseas (mostly Saudi Arabia) preachers who are famous for radicalising and spreading hatred.

In conclusion, our government needs to stop targeting peace activists like Warren Marriner and should start targeting the people who are the cause of extremism. The individuals who are spreading hatred and extremism in Australian are well known to authorities, despite the fact that our media still likes to portray them as “messiahs of anti-extremism”

It’s all rather simple. What we need to do in order to prevent a Paris-like carnage is for our government to accept that their support for the Syrian “revolution” was the biggest mistake and has been the cause of all radicalisation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Australian authorities target opponents for political reasons

As the president and founder of Social Justice Network, the official organizer of the International Tours of Peace to Syria, I would like to express my deep disappointment in the way the authorities mistreated participants of the tour.

All of us at Social Justice Network cannot find any logical explanation for the interception and intense investigation I was subjected on my way to Syria and back.

I am a well known anti-extremism activist and community leader. I have received countless (and still do) death threats. I have been physically attacked and verbally abused by extremists. Despite this I was held by Australian Border Force for hours at Melbourne and Sydney airports.

Until now I don’t know why I was investigated. I am a well known anti-extremist activist. I have already visited Syria twice before. I had declared months in advance about my intention to visit Syria in October. I even went to the extent to communicate to the antiterrorism agencies about my movements. The ABF investigation was baseless and had no aim but to send the wrong message in all directions.

The ABF provided no legal basis for the interception and investigation. There is nothing in the anti-terrorism legislation that gives security agencies the authority to intercept and try to humiliate citizens for no reason. I was given no reason as to way I was held so many hours at the airport.

Australia Border Force claim they did not recognize me and had no knowledge about the tour which sounds more like a bid to cover up their farce. So I ask, if the ABF had no knowledge of our tour, what is the reason they intercepted again all the participants on the way back again. And why and for what reason the ABF investigated the participants in the first place?

It is also strange that the ABF illegal and unnecessary actions towards SJN, did not attract any attention from the Australian media despite getting huge NZ media coverage after the harsh treatment of Mr Warren Marriner.

It is obvious these actions were politically motivated.

When we combine the intense investigation of the participants with the arrest and deportation of NZ peace activist Warren Marriner, we can comfortably reach the conclusion that our authorities were actually targeting our anti-extremists initiative.

Australian authorities should be condemned by all means for targeting peace-activists. Such move only sends the wrong message that in fact Australia supports extremists in Australia and in Syria.

In a delicate time when Australia faces the most serious challenge from terrorists, such message could have a devastated effect.

I want to reassure the public that the illegal regressive actions carried out by the authorities will not deter us. SJN will continue its commitment to speak out and fight against extremism and terrorism.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Only in Australia: when authorities suspected I am ISIS member

For more than one year, we were announcing that we intend to start sending “Tours of peace” to Syria. We did not hide any fact. We were very open about our plans. And we published all available and needed information, except the dates of the first tour, for security reasons.

And despite the fact that I am well-known anti-extremist activist, who appeared on many media outlets for the last 4 years criticizing the so-called Syrian revolution and its supporters.

All this did not save me from being intercepted by Australian Border Force at Melbourne airport on 26 October.

An agent of ABF looked at me, asked me (among hundreds of travelers) for my passport. And checked the departure declaration. I fit the criteria for “ISIS supporter”: Middle Eastern appearance, Arabic name and travelling to Beirut.

The agent was very serious and bit angry. Then asked me to follow him to interrogation room.

“Where are you travelling to?”
“Lebanon”
“and then?
“To Syria”.

That was enough to shock him. How dare I was to declare that I am going to Syria.

He asked me to get everything from my pocket. He also asked me how much money I have. He did not believe that I have only about $2000.

He had no clue about our “tours”. He did not have any clue about my background. He did not have any clue about my political commitments.

I started to be annoyed.

“It seems that you do not watch TV. It seems that you have no clue what is happening in the communities. It is very clear that you have no coordination with ASIO, Anti-terrorism squad and AFP”.

He was angry that I did not declare in the departure declaration that I am bounding to Syria. Despite the fact that the question on the declaration is “country where you will get off this flight”, which is Lebanon in my case.

At that time I thought that the reason behind this farce could be one of two possibilities.

It is either that our authorities are trying to stop terrorism by “prejudice”: if you look like off Middle Eastern appearance, your name is not Western and you are bound to one of the Middle Eastern countries” you are suspect. No intelligence gathering and no data needed or available.

So if I changed my name to John Howard, bought a ticket to Malaysia or even Germany and changed the colour of my hair to blonde, I would escape the radar.

The other possibility is that our authorities are siding with extremists and trying to sabotage our initiative. After the arrest of the tour’s hero and peace activist Warren Marrienr, I am now convinced that the second possibility is the logical reason.

Our authorities who facilitated travel of Australian terrorists to fight in Syria for years (including convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf who left the country despite the fact that his passport was cancelled for years), are very angry that we organised tour of peace to Syria. Instead of thanking us for organising initiative that promotes peace and reconciliation, our participants were targeted, detained and deported (in the case of Warren Marriner).

I am on my way home to Australia. I am alert that authorities will act silly and maybe irresponsible. Hence I am taking all precautions.

I am declaring how much money I have. I am also declaring the products of animals. And I am expecting intense interrogation. But the vital question still remains in my mind: Why authorities are targeting the wrong people.
Even if we support president Assad and his government, we never heard that Syrian government or Syrian army constitute any threat on our national security. We have no information that we are breaking any Australian law. And we are not promoting any violence. On the contrary. I want to see violence in Syria and around the world ends yesterday.

It is very clear that our authorities had lost any logic or common sense. It is very clear that our authorities have no plan on how to protect our national security from the real threats. And it seems that our authorities are determined to crack down on freedom of speech and turn our country into police state.

We will resist this by all peaceful means available. This includes fighting against the regressive troika (Labor, Liberals and Greens) in the next election.

One fact stands: we are coming back Syria: to help and to promote peace and reconciliation.