Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Shariah law - A Current Affair Update

This week saw A Current Affair produce a piece on ‘Shariah law’ in Australia. This is an area that has both confused and alarmed Australians – and in fact most Westerners. ACA managed not only to increase the alarm, but also completely misrepresent what Muslims believe and practice in this area.

There are three things that I think most worry Australians – Shariah represents a way of life that is based on the 7th century, Muslims aim to replace Australian law with Shariah law, Shariah law is an inflexible and harsh system that is totally incompatible with Australian values and the Australian way of life.

All of these are totally and absolutely wrong or inaccurate.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thank you Chilcot

Finally the Chilcot Inquiry has confirmed what many of us have been saying for years. That the global problems that we face today are the result of the decisions of our Western governments to invade, and to destabilise countries, destroying the infrastructure of so many societies.

The history of Western involvement in regime change is legendary. Beginning with the

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Welcoming Internal Criticism

This week saw the arrival of Majeed Nawaz to Sydney. A former Hizb Tahrir member, Majeed has been campaigning against extremism - particularly Islamism and jihadist Islamism - for many years. While his audience and supporters within his home country of the UK and internationally has increased substantially, support within the Muslim community has been considerably lacking.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Solutions not Apologies is Leadership

The Muslim community is once again under scrutiny and the sense of fear within the Australian community at large and the Muslim community in particular is palpable following the tragic and senseless shooting of Curtis Cheng outside his workplace in Parramatta by a vulnerable, disillusioned, ill informed 15 year old boy. While it is convenience politically to call this an act of terror, as an educator, I recognise that

Monday, November 3, 2014

QandA Bankstown with Attorney General Brandis

Last night I was one of the few Muslims in Bankstown who attended the QandA session. It was boycotted by many of the Muslim community, led by a few agitators who had tried to convince the ABC QandA crew from changing the format of the show. I agreed with them, but always believe it is better to engage where engagement is offered, rather than simply boycott, and thereby have no engagement at all.

The format of the show particularly suited the Attorney General and his paternalistic manner.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Schools to Report Students at risk of Radicalisation

The news that the NSW government has approached schools requiring them to report students who are at risk of being radicalised to the police is indeed retrograde news. This comes only weeks after Numan Haider, a teenager in Melbourne who knew he was under surveillance and was already under a radical influence, reacted in such an extreme manner to the involvement of police that he was shot dead.

Law enforcement is not the first authority to turn to when kids are in trouble. Counsellors, advisors, specialists in the area of concern are the right people to involve and provide intervention - whether it be learning difficulties, antisocial behaviour, involvement with crime and so on. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Letter to Liberal Politicians

To the Hon. Tony Abbott, MP

Over the past few days there have been two terrible tragedies occurring on our television screens. The one is a continuation of illegal occupation, rejection of United Nations Resolutions and now outright invasion, all stemming from inhumane treatment of a whole society, some of whose citizens are SUSPECTED of the kidnap and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers. The other tragedy of course is the terrible loss of life from the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Both involved terrible loss of innocent life. Both involved the death of women, children and those who should never be included in warfare.

However, the language of my government in regard to the two of them, is completely different.

On the one hand, puny rockets that killed one person and are easily defended, are provided as justification for the massacre of hundreds. Australian representatives are fully aware of the number of homes illegally seized or demolished, with elderly residents and families forced to relocate, of land and crops being stolen, of harassment, intimidation, and summary arrest, along with the deliberate targeting of essential facilities for civilian life including water and sewerage facilities, and hospitals. We know this, but my government turns a blind eye to it.

While Israel claims that Hamas is using civilians as shields, the overcrowded situation of Gaza means that there is no civilian free place for Hamas (the elected government) to operate. Every claim that Israel makes that they are not targeting civilians cannot be justified in the reality of the civilian toll and the homes that they are bombing.

I have rewritten below the statement from our Prime Minister in regard to the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, and referred instead to what any humane and fair minded person would say - and in fact what the United Nations is saying - in regard to Palestine.

As a citizen of Australia, please consider the welfare of the living over the dead. Please act to stop the ongoing massacres of Palestinian families through both your words and deeds. Please use the same language of Justice, of Humanity – for all.

“Today our thoughts are with the families of the Palestinians in Gaza, as they struggle to come to terms with their grief and their  loss. Yesterday we saw the wreckage of their houses on our screens, today we’ve seen some of the faces of the wounded and dead. I don’t believe that any Australian, any human being, could fail to be moved by what we’ve seen. I have to say that as a nation  we need to prepare ourselves for difficult and painful weeks ahead as we strive to find out what  has happened and who is responsible. Right now, our priority does need to be gaining access to Gaza where Israeli bombs continue to rain down.

Right now for all we know, because this site is controlled by the Israeli military, bodies remain strewn in the destroyed houses of the borderlands of Gaza, and armed units are tramping their streets.

So its absolutely vital that an independent international investigation begin as soon as possible, so that we can identify and recover the wounded and the remains of all the Palestinian women and children affected.

I want to stress that Australia will do whatever we humanly can to ensure that his matter is absolutely thoroughly investigated, to find out what we can, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. Our objective is to ensure, for the dead and for the living, dignity, respect and justice”

Yours sincerely,

Silma Ihram