Historically Australian Muslims had always been Labor voters. Right up until 2000, more than 90% voted Labor without any second thought. Whatever the Labor policies, the majority of Muslims would vote for them.
In 2001 we started campaigning in Labor held areas. We wanted to expose how the Labor party had veered away from many social commitments so important to Muslims and new migrants in general. We asked voters not to vote for Labor in that election.
The Labor party under Kim Beazley found common ground with John Howard’s Liberal government on the issue of boat people. Both parties shared repressive measures and attacks against refugees, boat people and migrants in general.
Our campaign was very successful and saw a large section of Muslims voting for The Greens instead.
At that time the major sell point for The Greens party was the support for refugees. The Greens also seemed to support Palestine against the Israeli aggression and were against racism and Islamophobia.
It was very easy to get Muslims to give their vote to The Greens instead of Labor.
The Liberal party understood very well that it did not benefit from Labor’s loss of votes.
At the end of the day, the Liberal party had worse policies on issues important to Muslims, Arabs and new migrants. The Liberal Muslim members were isolated in the community and were never respected. In the seats with a high Muslim population and migrant voters, the Liberal party had a very low presence.
Political strategists from the Liberal party came up with a Machiavellian idea: the need to divide Muslim and migrant communities by making them turn against each other. By achieving this “divide and conquer” strategy, they started getting votes from Muslims.
Liberal members, in these already divided communities, will use the approach “Labor is as bad as the Liberals so why not vote Liberal for a change”.
The right logic should be instead “If Labor and Liberals are equally bad why not vote for independents or other minor parties?”.
The majority of Labor Muslim members are progressive. They are well-educated and secular. Among them also are socialist or nationalists. These Muslims resisted the Liberals’ bid to infiltrate and recruit them.
It is at this stage that the Liberals resorted to recruit extreme elements among Muslim communities.
The recruitment of extremists will achieve many goals:
- Extremists who are rejected by their own communities because of their extreme ideology will welcome anyone who is willing to give them a voice and a space to breath in the public life.
- The supporters of these extremists don’t follow any logic or facts and will blindly follow their “imams” even if this means voting for anti-Muslim politicians.
- Extreme elements are usually recruited from jail systems. These individuals will serve as “muscle” and will be used to intimidate and silence opponents who dare question the benefits of voting an anti-Muslim party.
The Liberals started this evil agenda by infiltrating the Lebanese Moslem Association. This association survived financially on community donations. The Liberal government of John Howard promised millions of dollars in funding in return for abandoning the alliance with Labor.
The deal was sealed between the LMA and Liberal government in 2005.
The first demand from the Howard government was to sack the entire board of directors and appoint a new one headed by a Liberal member.
As soon as the money started to flow in, the new management abandoned all past commitments and practices.
For the first time in a decade, the LMA invited to speak at their Eid celebration, Phillip Ruddock the most anti Muslim politicians around.
Mr Ruddock gave a fiery speech accusing the Muslim communities of “extremism” and demanded the communities to accept Western values.
The LMA board went even further by appointing a Liberal member of Auburn council as president, (Tom Zreika). The new president acted as a member of the Liberal party and not as a director of a Muslim organisation.
He was part of many Liberal conspiracies against moderate leaders who opposed the Liberal party’s extreme policies.
The first task was to oust the spiritual leader of the community and organisation: sheikh Taj AL Din Al Hilaly. At some stage Mr Zreika went as far as contacting ASIO to complain against Sheikh Taj’s support for the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance.
Meanwhile the money continued to flow to LMA.
To silence all the clever, educated and moderate voices in the area who opposed the alliance with the extreme racist Liberal party, the LMA adopted an extreme version of Islam.
Before the alliance with the Liberal party, the LMA was an organisation known for its corruption and tribal nepotism. After the alliance with the Liberals it became notorious for extremism and radical views.
In the 2011 NSW election, the LMA shocked many with their vocal and public support for Liberal candidates. The LMA premises became the headquarters for the Liberal party election campaign. The same Liberal Party that continued attacking Muslims. The then Minister for Immigration Chris Morrison made many comments during the election campaign stating that Muslim migrants are unable to integrate in the society and should be banned from migrating to Australia.
The LMA created also many fake organisations in the Inner-Western suburbs in a bid to see Labor lose all seats. Despite all this Labor held on to all their seats even if the LMA was declaring the opposite.
During the Syrian crisis the role of the LMA become more vital and devastating. 80% of Australian terrorist who went to Syria were of Lebanese background. Most of these terrorist at some stage were linked to the LMA.
The LMA mosque became a platform for brainwashing and recruiting radicals. At the Imam Ali mosque, managed by the LMA, every Friday prayer was a call to fight. This mosque saw some fiery speeches full of hatred and every time calling to support the “mujahidden”. Many moderate Muslims stopped attending the mosque in disgust. These hate speeches only ceased in 2015.
Millions of dollars continued to pour in under Labor and Liberal consecutive governments. This money was coming in at the very same time the LMA was exposed in the media for issuing extreme fatwas asking Muslims not to wish Christians a Merry Christmas and for holding and broadcasting lectures by terrorist Anwar Al Awlaki.
So far we know why Liberals strongly support the LMA, but what about Labor?
Labor lost its way long time ago and over the years it has got closer to the Liberal party policies and for this reason it lost many votes.
The Labor party for fear of losing more votes has resorted to endorse candidates from the LMA claiming they represented all Muslims.
I am very sure that regardless of where the LMA will stand, any change of Labor policies towards the left, will see a surge of Labor popularity.
Liberals have succeeded in dividing Muslims by supporting extremists and using them as tools for blackmail, intimidation and threats. This has resulted in some Muslims voting for the Liberal party, despite the fact that the party stands vocally against Muslims interests: against refugees’ rights, against Palestinian rights, support of racism and Islamophobia.
But what was the cost of this dirty game?
3 terrorist attacks, 6 foiled terrorist attacks, high tension in the community and the highest radicalisation level in Australian contemporary history.
To think that some red-necks still vote for Liberals... in addition to some sections in the Muslims community.