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Friday, August 12, 2016

What to tell would-be jihadis

Malcolm Turnbull has warned Australians fighting with the Islamic State that they face 'almost certain death'.  He needn't encourage them.  The Australian Prime Minister has apparently not yet learned that jihadis seek death and despise those who don't (Sura 2:94-96). 

Instead of inciting jihadis in their mission to attain paradise through martyrdom, Malcolm Turnbull might try discouraging them.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Guess who's coming to Iftar?

A widely-publicised Iftar dinner, intended to show that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gets what it means to be inclusive, ended badly after he was advised that one of his guests, Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, had taught that Islam prescribes death for adulterers, and homosexuals spread diseases. No rogue maverick, Australian-born Sheikh Shady is the elected national president of the Australian National Imams Council.

Although insisting that ‘mutual respect is absolutely critical’, Turnbull subjected this prominent Muslim leader to public humiliation. He regretted inviting him to dinner and counselled the sheikh ‘to reflect on what he has said and recant’. In the middle of an election, wanting to limit fallout from the dinner-gone-wrong, held only days after the Orlando massacre, Turnbull stated that his no-longer-welcome guest’s views are ‘wrong, unacceptable and I condemn them’.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Obama doesn’t understand Jihadist doctrine

In his June 14 address to the nation, President Obama attributed Omar Mateen's attack on patrons of Orlando, Fla.'s, Pulse nightclub to "homegrown extremism," saying "we currently do not have any information to indicate that a foreign terrorist group directed the attack."

It is a terrible thing to misunderstand one's enemy so deeply.
While Obama acknowledged that the Islamic State has called for attacks around the world against "innocent civilians," he suggested these calls were incidental, emphasizing that Mateen was a "lone actor" and "an angry, disturbed, unstable young man" susceptible to being radicalized "over the Internet."

It is a terrible thing to misunderstand one's enemy so deeply. The doctrine of jihad invoked by terrorist groups is an institution with a long history, grounded in legal precedent going back to the time of Muhammad.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Do we worship the same God? Wheaton College, Larycia Hawkins and Miroslav Volf

The recent suspension of Larycia Hawkins by Wheaton College is a symptom of a fault line among evangelicals about Islam.  The question of whether the God of the Qur'an is the same as the God of the Bible is an important and complex one, but it is unhelpful to politicize inquiry into it by insisting that anyone who disagrees with one position or another is a bigot.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Minister for Islamic Apologetics

Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
This article was first published on Quadrant Online.

Other than the need to discredit her party’s former leader and push what might be termed the Turnbull Doctrine of warm-and-cuddly relativism, what could have possessed the Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs to present Islamic dogma as incontrovertible fact?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Open Letter to President Obama about Christmas Bells Falling Silent in the Middle East

Dear President Obama,

in your recent  statement on persecuted Christians at Christmas you stated:
In some areas of the Middle East where church bells have rung for centuries on Christmas Day, this year they will be silent; this silence bears tragic witness to the brutal atrocities committed against these communities by ISIL.
When you say that ‘church bells have rung for centuries’ you are not speaking the truth.  Bells have rung in Syria and Iraq for not much more than a hundred years, at most.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

 This article first appeared with Independent Journal. Originally published under the title “Anyone Using The Phrase ‘Islam Is A Religion Of Peace’ Needs To Read This”

Days after the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in San Bernardino, President Obama’s address to the nation concerning the threat of ISIS missed the mark. In fact, President Obama seemed at times to be more concerned with Americans ostracizing Muslim communities through “suspicion and hate,” than he was with protecting innocent American civilians from murder in the name of radical Islam.

It is high time for western political leaders to stop responding to terrorism by naming Islam as ‘the religion of peace’. It is time to have a hard conversation about Islam.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Turnbull’s Islamic Howlers

Agility and innovation? Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s version of history is all that and more. Leaping facts in a single bound, he ducks and weaves though a thicket of politically correct cliches to land effortlessly upon the desired conclusion: the West owes everything to Mohammad.

Friday, November 27, 2015

John Eibner on the Future of Syria

John Eibner, director of Christian Solidarity International and anti-slavery activist, shares his wisdom on the future of Syria on The Tablet blogs, including reflections on the collective desire of the West, Turkey and Gulf States to establish a Sunni Salafist state in Syria as a bulwark against Iranian power. 

This failed policy let the Sunni jihadi genie out of its bottle in Syria to create the ‘opposition’, which led to the creation of the Islamic State and disintegration of Syria and Iraq. The only rational solution, Eibner argues, is a return to a policy of supporting a secular state.

However the more likely outcome is a long and cruel proxy war which only finishes when the fighting-age manpower of Syria is exhausted – i.e. when a generation of young men has been killed or fled the region.

Along the way there are serious risks that tensions will escalate between the external powers whose proxy war this is. e.g. Iran vs the Gulf States, or Russian vs. Turkey (as we have seen this past week with the downing of a Russian Jet by Turkey).

This is what the post-American Middle East looks like.


Paris attacks: Islamic State sees its attacks as sacred strategy

This was published in the Australian Inquirer. It is a more general version of a longer article posted a few days previously on Lapido Media ‘Paris attacks were not nihilism’.

As the expressions of shock and solidarity subside after the Paris killings, the challenge to understand will remain. Much commentary of the past week has situated these atrocities in opposition to values familiar to western people. Seen in this light the attacks appear senseless and even insane. US Secretary of State John Kerry called the killers ‘psychopathic monsters’. However the first step in understanding a cultural system alien to one’s own is to describe it in its own terms.

We can and must love our neighbour, as Walid Aly urged this week on The Project, but this need not prevent us from understanding our enemy, and to do this we need to grasp that this latest slaughter was shaped by religious beliefs.