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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hatred Sounds Sweeter in Arabic?

See here for my recent media foray over the proposed invitation of eminent Meccan Sheikh Al-Sudais to Melbourne in March 2013.
I was interested to read the response of Mr Razvi from IREA, organizer of the oddly named 2013 Australian Islamic Peace Conference:  ‘But he’s just one speaker, and all he will do is [Koran] recitation.  For us the public speakers have to be in English.’

In other words, one shouldn’t be so concerned that the Imam of Mecca has called for annihilation of the Jews, referring to them as ‘the scum of the human race, rats of the world, violators of pacts and agreements, murderers of the prophets, and grandsons of apes and pigs’ (see here for a contemporary Kuwaiti news report, and here for MEMRI’s translation) because if and when this eminent personage comes to Melbourne to be part of the ‘best-ever’ Islamic event held in Australia, Al-Sudais will only be speaking Arabic and reading the Koran in Arabic. 

The thing is, several of the libels made collectively by Al-Sudais against the Jews can be derived from passages in the Koran. Will these passages be the ones he will be reciting here in Melbourne?  Will the ears of visiting dignitaries from other faiths – whom Mr Razvi reports will be invited – be regaled by Al-Sudais with these very same verses?

If interfaith visitors do visit the Melbourne Showground for the ‘Peace Conference’ they might inquire what Koranic verses they are being asked to listen to, and whether the following passages will be included:
  • Jews are pact breakers  – Sura 5:13 and 2:27
  • Allah turned some Jews into apes (and pigs) (the inference being that some of today’s Jews are descendants of those people who were turned into apes and pigs: hence they referred to as ‘grandsons’ or ‘descendants’ ‘of apes and pigs’) – Sura 2:65, 5:60 and 7:166
  • Jews are murders of the prophets – Sura 3:181, 2:55
What sense are the people of Melbourne meant to make of the proposition that they needn’t worry that the preacher has called for the annihilation of Jews, because he was only speaking Arabic?

If something is offensive in English, it is no less offensive in classical Arabic, however expertly and mellifluously it may be intoned.

Mark Durie is an Anglican vicar in Melbourne, Australia, author of The Third Choice, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum.


  1. Will Muslim clerics ever take responsibility for their harmful and sometimes criminal teachings? Or they will continue to claim that they are only dummies in the hands of an unaccountable supreme power?

  2. Mark, are you suggesting that because he hold views offensive to some he should not be allowed into Australia?

  3. Hello Anonymous. I was not suggesting anything about Government policy. However if you ask me, what I think is that calling for the annihilation of the Jews is not just something which is 'offensive to some' - it is a whole order awfulness worse than that. Yes, I do think that people who use their respected position of authority to specifically call for genocide of a nation should not be allowed into Australia. That would be a rational policy decision for our Government to make.

  4. Can you understand why some might think having Geert Wilders come to Australia is not a good idea?

  5. Dear Anonymous,
    You would appear to be inviting me to entertain a moral equivalence between a cleric who calls for the slaughter of millions without moral scruples, and a politician who calls for immigration controls and the imposition of traditional Dutch values on immigrant communities.

    Is your moral worldview really so perverse?

    And yes, I believe I do understand why some think it would be better if Wilders did not come to Australia. I also understand why the Sheikh of Mecca has called for the annihilation of Jews. Understanding someone's thinking - being able to analyze it and acknowledge its guiding principles - is not the same thing as agreeing.

  6. Great work, Mr Durie. Cannot understand the mindset of the two anonymous posters above, let alone these imams.

    I don't think they'll change their tune until they start losing and all the West does, is give them more easy wins.

  7. Well done yet again Mark. I wish I could expound logic and balance as well as you do.
    As far as I am concerned the Line in the Sand is just about upon us now in Australia. It is reckless and negligent not to hear what is happening across Europe.
    Free speech was the bedrock of Geert Wilders news articles we have seen this week, as was his Melbourne speech.
    1520 - Martin Luther
    Called to account to the Pope for his beliefs, he replied
    "Here I stand I can do no other. God help me. Amen"
    A free society must uphold the right to question any aspect of any religion or belief system, adverse or positive.
    Here I stand I can do no other.



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