It’s election day in Australia, and to ‘celebrate’ what is predicted to be a win for Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal coalition I draw your attention to an article in the Spectator by Anglican Minister and human rights activist Mark Durie. Mark is one of the few men in Australia publically challenging the failure of politicians to honestly address the challenge that Islam presents to liberal western democracies.
I reproduce part of his article below which for the most part is a commentary on Turnbull’s recent ill-fated dinner with Muslim leaders that included Sheikh Shadey. It is found both in the Spectator and if you have difficulty reading it on that site, it is also reproduced on his own blog.
"Turnbull appears to subscribe to the really bad idea that the same basic values are channeled by all religions. In 2011 on Q&A he praised Islam’s moderation in embodying ‘universal values’. This vacuous universalism has blinded him to the possibility that a religion might actually teach things which he would be duty-bound to disparage. No doubt the PM is also influenced by advice from ASIO not to alienate Muslims by criticising their religion. This policy is ultimately driven by fear of offending adherents of the one religion from which most terrorists are drawn; and why millions of dollars are directed to Muslim organisations, and not to Sikhs or Copts. Turnbull attempted to use a ‘shoot the messenger’ strategy to minimise the cognitive dissonance of his conflicted statements, directing attention away from the religion onto an individual.
The fact remains that, whatever the sheikh’s personal attitudes to gays, his teachings on adultery and homosexuality are not personal. Given his extensive training in sharia law, Sheikh Shady’s views could only be called personal if they had diverged from the mainstream Islamic positions. But they did not."
It is deeply disturbing that our political leaders remain so obviously ignorant concerning the teaching of Islam and its incompatibility with liberal western democracies. Instead they view Muslims as just another religious group to be wooed into their political camp.
Regardless of who wins the Australian election today we will be waiting a very long time before the much needed public conversation about Islam takes place.