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Dr Muriel Newman

An Attack on Freedom

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18 August 2007

An Attack on Freedom

Islam Awareness Week, a government sponsored initiative that is designed to “promote greater unity among the diverse peoples who call New Zealand home”, has just passed. Orchestrated through the Office of Ethnic Affairs and the Human Rights Commission, one of the key activities has been school visits by secondary school students to mosques so that they can learn about Islam.

Dr Daniel Shayesteh, this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator asks why it is that western countries like New Zealand welcome into their midst a religion that seeks to destroy their fundamental values of freedom and democracy:

Why are some leftist groups and individuals standing alongside radical Islamic leaders in order to fight democratic values in the West? Why are many western leaders, politicians, media and various groups silent towards the threat of Islam against their societies? What is keeping these people quiet in such a significant time when a religious group challenges not just their democratic values but additionally forces them to surrender to their bondage? Why are free people prepared to surrender to those who would place them in bondage?

I first became aware of Daniel, a former radical Muslim revolutionary, when he was interviewed on Radio NZ. His warning about the danger of Islam was so powerful that I contacted him and invited him to share his story and his concerns with us. In his article the Islamization of the West – including New Zealand, Daniel describes how Muslim children are indoctrinated from a young age, being taught that Christians and Jews are unclean and that Islam must take over the world. He explains how at 19 years of age he joined a radical Muslim students’ movement aimed at overthrowing the pro-Western King of Iran:

Under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, we overthrew the most powerful government in the Middle-East; the king escaped and we captured and ruled the country according to Islamic Shari’a. I was initially called on, by several influential Muslim leaders, to develop a revolutionary army whose aim was to capture Israel and destroy America and their presence in the world. Those who were involved with this military preparation were called “Hezbollah”, which is a Qur’anic word meaning “the party of Allah”.

Subsequent disillusionment with Sharia law saw Daniel becoming a threat to Khomeini’s political group who wanted to govern at any cost, and he was kidnapped by their Revolutionary Military and placed in a death cell to await a death sentence. Daniel was able to escape and now, many years and many changes later, he is appalled at the West’s folly in welcoming in a movement that seeks to destroy it:

Why are mosques, Islamic schools and colleges springing up in every corner of non-Islamic countries to indoctrinate thousands of young people, when it is illegal for non-Muslims to practice or spread their religions and beliefs in Islamic countries? What is allowing Muslim leaders to teach Qur’an’s hate and killing verses in the mosques in non-Islamic countries? Why do Muslim leaders in the West have freedom to speak against democracy, the social fabric of western societies? What has brought the West to this shocking stage when it is producing its own Muslim terrorists, who carry out their terror operations in the West (their own countries) and abroad in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel, Morocco and Russia? (To read Daniel’s article, click here )

British journalist and author Melanie Phillips sheds some light on why Islam is seeking to destroy the West in an article entitled Liberalism v Islamism:

The founding ideologue of modern Islamism, Syed Qutb, made clear in his writings that … his governing impulse was the fear that the instinct for liberty was so powerful it would spread to and infiltrate the Muslim mind unless it was checked by the most repressive possible form of Islam. The Islamist goal is to destroy the virus of freedom and modernity before it infects the Islamic world, and to replace it with Islam. That is the core of the profound threat it poses to the west, a threat mounted through the pincer movement of both terrorism and cultural takeover.

As Melanie explains in her article, this cultural takeover of the West was planned almost 30 years ago. The strategy involves establishing Muslim communities in western countries and then lobbying the host country to grant Muslims recognition as separate religious communities. This is seen as “a step towards eventual political domination”.

It is important to state that many Muslims around the world are deeply opposed to the motives of radical Islamic fundamentalists. The problem is however, that the radicals are making huge inroads into western societies as the violent protests that followed the publication of the Mahommed cartoons in 2005 clearly showed. What also became clear during those turbulent times was the fact that rather denouncing the actions of the radicals, many so-called moderate Muslim leaders marched in their support.

The problems faced by western countries like New Zealand is that our governments have imposed the ideology of ‘multiculturalism’ onto society: “In response to New Zealand’s growing ethnic diversity, the Office of Ethnic Affairs was established in 2001 by the Department of Internal Affairs to promote strength in diversity and capture the benefits multiculturalism offers to our country”.

While multiculturalism sounds reasonable enough in terms of being tolerant to all cultures and religions, it actually demands that all cultures are regarded as equal. That means that the home-country culture cannot be allowed to dominate. This creates a significant problem by sending out the message to minority groups, that there is no need to integrate into the home culture. It then becomes only a small step for minority cultures to demand segregation and self-government.

Muslim groups around the world are pressuring governments to introduce Sharia law under a dual system. Sharia which strictly decrees that women are the property of husbands, that polygamy is accepted, that adultery and gay relationships are punishable by death or stoning, that aposty – converting to another religion – is forbidden, and that free speech is outlawed, is an anathema to western values.

According to Melanie Phillips, some Muslim communities in Britain have however been successful in paving the way for the introduction of Sharia law: There are now areas of the country under the informal parallel jurisdiction of sharia law. A blind eye has been turned to honour killings, forced marriage and polygamy – now polygamous men settling in Britain are even receiving welfare benefits for their multiple wives. We have sharia-compliant mortgages; our tax authorities are considering recognising polygamy for inheritance tax purposes; and the government is encouraging London to become the global hub of Islamic banking, despite the fact that such arrangements will force those who make use of them to conform to sharia law. (To read the article click here )

Already in New Zealand the Ministry of Economic Development have been involved in a project to investigate the introduction of Islamic banking in accordance with the principles of Sharia law, and there will undoubtedly be other moves in other areas underway. (To read the article click here )

In 2005 Muslim leaders pressured the Australian government to introduce Sharia law, but as Treasurer Peter Costello explained: “This is a country, which is founded on a democracy. According to our Constitution, we have a secular state. Our laws are made by the Australian Parliament. If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you”.

Daniel Shayesteh finishes his article with a warning, which I believe deserves some serious thought: Many middle-eastern background men and women, who live in the West, clearly understand the subtle lies of Muslim leaders who claim to be moderates. Unfortunately, many of them keep quiet and do not speak out for religious, cultural, political and social reasons. They know it is these so-called moderate Muslim leaders who pave the way for the law of Islam and radicals. If these so-called moderate leaders did not teach the Qur’an in the West, the jihadist groups would not exist in the West and would not be able to succeed and advance.

Our hope is that people in the West would wake up to the subtle threats of Islam for the safety of their own nations’ future. It is painful and alarming that many people do not believe or take seriously what we, as those who were once radical Muslims, have to say. At times, some western people stand against us or charge us with vilifying Islam and Islamists anytime we speak out. This is because Islam’s approach is so subtle, masking its insincerity.

It may be worth reflecting that no Islamic country has displayed the democratic values which have become synonymous with Western society. Therefore, we should approach the issue of Islam with caution and well-informed knowledge in order to appreciate and effectively uphold our own values within our society.

The poll this week asks: Do you believe that Islam poses a threat to Western culture? Go to Poll

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