... So says Australian Muslim leader
This Australian Channel 7 discussion involves on the one hand, Sheikh Mohammad Tawhidi a Shi'a scholar & Imam who, naturally enough being a Shi'a, has long condemned ISIS which hates the Shi'a, regarding them as Apostates. Yet he goes further than this in that he admits that Islam was spread by the sword throughout history - "for the past 1400 years we have had a religion of war" - and that Islam's source texts are the real drivers for "radicalisation". This is a real live genuine Moderate Muslim leader. The kind we are assured the majority of Muslim leaders are like, yet in reality we rarely actually see.
He clashes with a leader of the Lebanese Muslim community is Sydney who conversely refuses to even acknowledge that there could be a single thing wrong with the perfect religion of the prophet. The man repeats the old saw "there is nothing in our religion that condones the killing of innocent people". While I suspect that he knows full well that the religion teaches that no non-Muslim can be considered innocent. Certainly Imam Tawhidi seems to suspect this.
Imam Tawhidi boldly accuses his interlocutor of lying to the Australian public when he refuses to admit Islam's bloody expansionist history and the role of the core texts in violence past and present. He openly states that such attacks as Manchester occur because of Islamic scriptures and that Australian Islamic society is infested by a large number of extremist Muslims. He even holds up a large bumper sticker of al-Qaeda's flag that he bought recently from a Melbourne shop. That the government may have a good relationship with Australia's Muslim community does not mean it controls them - or even that that community shares much of what is going on, apparently.
Watch the 7 minute clip all the way to the end where we see the two TV presenters describe how Imam Tawhidi is regularly abusing and spat upon when he enters Muslim communities "for speaking what a lot of us would say is quite sensible stuff" (remember he is most outspoken concerning the IS). If a lot of the news media acknowledge that what he says is sensible stuff then why do we continue to get the impression from the news media that there is nothing at all worrying about the core texts of Islam or the bulk of the Australian Muslim community?
Could it be a lack of courage? If this Imam can be brave enough to risk the obvious death threats that will inevitably come his way then why can't we show the same resolve? The honesty and courage demanded of such men in examining their own beloved Faith (in contrast to someone like Maajid Nawaz who has yet to admit that there is much of a problem at all within Islam's core texts) and the violent reaction they get from Mainstream Muslims should highlight to us why there are so few like him.
I hope you & I can remember him in our prayers.