Australia might have elected a new Prime Minister but its challenges with Islam are just beginning.
Australian former Treasurer, Peter Costello, who is the heir to the defeated Prime Minister, John Howard, recently warned on National Television that Muslims who do not want to accept that Australia is a secular state but instead want to live under the Sharia law should leave Australia . I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia : one the Australian law and another Islamic law that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option," he said.
At the same time, the former Education Minister, Brendan Nelson, told reporters that Muslims who do not want to accept local values should leave Australia . "Basically people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off," he said.
Australia has been on the edge with its Muslim population since the terrorist attack on Bali . It has fueled nationalist feelings that even led to a strong questioning of the multi-cultural perception of Australia . There is now a serious effort by those on the right to protect what they called Australian sovereignty and national identity.
Paul Green, an Australian Christian pastor and a
In making his argument, he likened migration of Muslims to Australia with bird flu. "If there was bird flu coming from a people's groups across the nation, would we not stop to assess the risk management of what it means to Australia and then assess the factors, and say, 'Is it safe to continue that or withhold it until it is dealt with?'" he said.
Paul Green got only 6.3 % of the vote cast but the issues he raised still remains. And if you think Paul Green was extreme, meet Danny Nalliah.
Danny Nalliah is the leader of Catch the Fire, a Christian ministry that advocates the destruction of mosques and once described Muslims in a newsletter as demons training to make Australia an Islamic state.
In this environment, you will think the other side will keep the tempo low. But no. In a recent speech at a conference in Sydney, Ashraf Doureihi, one of the leaders of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical Muslim group banned in several countries told his audience that Islamic state must be created in Australia either by war or by revolution.
"It is importantÔÇŽ [to move] collectively in the Muslim world to demand this change from such influential people in our lands, even if it means spilling onto the streets to create a revolution or staging a military coup," he said.
Adding his voice to this call was Wasim Durie, spokesman of Hizb ut-Tahrir. He told the audience that establishing an Islamic super-state is of supreme importance. "As we were here today, what is at stake is not just the destiny of the Muslim world but indeed the whole of mankind," he said.
As if the Australians were not heating up their system by themselves, an American-based Syrian-born psychiatrist who is also an influential Muslim thinker, Dr. Wafa Sultan, recently visited Australia and warned them that they were underestimating the evil of Islam. He stated that the West has been duped into believing that there is a difference between the so called moderate and radical elements of Islamic religion.
Dr. Sultan, who has two fatwas on her head warned that Muslims in the West must be monitored because they were indoctrinated at early age to believe that Western values were evil and that the whole world would one day come under Sharia law. She said that Muslims in the West would exploit the freedom of speech to spread hate and destroy the values that made the West what it is.
"You're fighting someone who is willing to die," Dr Sultan told The Australian in an Arabic and English interview. "So you have to understand this mentality and find ways to face it. (As a Muslim) your mission on this earth is to fight for Islam and to kill or to be killed. You're here for only a short life and once you kill a kafir, or a non-believer, soon you're going to be united with your God."
As if Dr. Sultan's visit was not enough, Somali writer and former Dutch lawmaker, Ayaan Hirsi, also visited Sydney . Hirsi once called the prophet Mohammed a pedophile and said Islam was inferior to Western culture. In Australia she repeated her charges and spoke on the backwardness of Islam and its persecution of Muslim women.
Australia currently has 300,000 Muslims. For a country that was founded by banished British rouges, who until 1967 have Aborigines legally listed as native wildlife, relationship with a fast growing Muslim population has been turbulent.
... to be continued.