SO TIRED OF CONDEMNING – Australian Muslim leaders “unapologetic”:
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which was this year marred by terror attacks at home and abroad.
Prominent Australian Muslims say they have been under pressure following attacks, including those targeting Muslims, and those carried out by people who claim to represent them.
The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, sat down for a candid interview with SBS World News, in which he responded to claims he has personally failed to condemn terrorism.
“There is no terrorism act that we have not condemned,” he said.
“Some people in our community expect us to act as recording machines (on repeat). We have condemned terrorist attacks. What more can I say? We are not obliged to apologise for each terrorist attack, which we have not committed, and are not responsible for. We condemn terrorism as it is against the principles of our religion.”
Lebanese Muslim Association President Samier Dandan addressed crowds who gathered for Eid prayers at Lakemba Mosque on Sunday, saying they should not have to apologise for the actions of others.
“I am not here to answer calls by racists and bigots to condemn something that is not ours to condemn. We do not own these actions nor these individuals, to have to speak out against them,” he said.
Well, you don’t have to “own” people or their actions to speak out against them and condemn them. Condemning is not the same as apologising for, which no one is actually asking you to do.
Be that as it may, dear Dr Mohammed and Mr Dandan, Eid Mubarak to you.
I don’t care if you’re tired of condemning; I’m tired of people getting blown up, run over, shot and stabbed. I don’t particularly mind whether you put out an official statement condemning a terrorist act; I want you to do something about the conditions that lead to terrorism. It’s easy to wash your hands by saying that terrorists are not Muslims and terrorism has nothing to do with Islam – that’s a historical and theological discussion for another time – but without your help and active assistance, terrorism will continue. You are in an ideal position to help the authorities stop it; the authorities cannot do it without you. Terrorists and people who give them aid and succor come from your community; they are somebody’s sons, husbands, brothers, friends, neighbours; they are radicalised within your community and in turn work to further radicalise others within it; it happens in part in some of your mosques and your community spaces. You need to fight radical preachers and other voices which set your young men on a path of violent jihad against their fellow countrymen and women and others overseas. You need to fight for the hearts and minds – and souls – of your religious and ethnic kin who are being led astray into radicalism and terrorism. You need to help the law enforcement and counter-terrorism authorities to weed out the evil that hides within your community and thus prevent future outrages. It might not be fair and it might not be easy, and I’m sorry that you find yourself in this position, but without your support, help and strong action the scourge of terrorism will continue to impact on your community and our society and it will continue to cast a shadow over the ethnic and religious harmony in our common Australian home.