Open letter to executives of Mission of Hope

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
"وقل اعملوا فسيری الله عملكم ورسوله والمؤمنون" صدق الله العظيم
Dear brothers and sisters in Mission of Hope
We read with deep shock, disbelieve and disappointment the names of people, organisations, projects and events that received your “Australian Muslim Achievement Awards”. Before going on with the reasons of these depressed feelings, let me note in this regard that we, as Muslims and Australians, do not know:
1- What is the extent of your organisation’s representativeness of Muslim community, to organise ceremony to award such seemingly high-profile awards (as their names suggest)?
2- The terms of reference of the professional conduct of the jury?
3- Who were the jury members? How were they appointed/elected? What are their qualifications to do such job?
4- The objectives of organising this ceremony?

After reading the names of the entities that have received these awards, we can note that it is either
1- There is no terms of reference for the jury’s professional conduct, Or
2- The terms of reference are very flawed and have much political interference affected by funding bodies’ political agendas.

I will give now brief examples why we believed so. We note that the award winner of:
A- The Muslim professional of the year was “Dr Jamal Rifi”:
In the explanatory notes of the reasons behind this decision, we note no reasons depending on professional conduct of Mr Rifi as medical practioner. In these notes we note that he did not, for example, travel to work in Indonesia to help the victims of devastating tsunami. He also did not travel to his country of birth to help injured Lebanese civilians after the barbaric Israeli invasion, 2006. Nor did he travel to Gaza to help the victims of the Israeli barbaric invasion 2008. We also note that he did not act in Australia in his professional capacity to set up clinics in remote areas to help highly disadvantaged indigenous population. He also, according to these explanatory notes, did not volunteer to treat free-of-charge the refugees and asylum seekers who are not eligible for Medicare benefits. We also not aware by these explanatory notes that he invented any new vaccines or treatment for any serious illnesses. What we understand from these notes that he was granted this award because of his voluntary work with Lakemba sport club. Even in this instance, we cannot see enough grounds to grant him any award. On the contrary. All his activities were directed against the interest of Muslim community and its rights for full respect and equal treatment. He, on many occasions acted against the interest of the community, by acting as “Trumpet” for the racist politicians. He acted swiftly to support previous PM Howard in his islamophobic propaganda on many occasions. This includes his support of the Anti-Muslim “Anti-Terrorism” laws. All this because this propaganda came hand in hand with the interest of his Labor previous state premiere’s agenda to win the 2007 election on islamophobia and racism.

The only reason mentioned in these notes relating to his professional conduct was his participation of forming Muslim Doctors Against Violence. For any political analyst and activist, this organisation was indeed formed to help the Federal and state governments’ attacks on the community by blaming the “infectiveness of Local Muslim leadership” in curbing “extreme” ideas. At the time when their Australian doctors counterparts were protesting outside the Howard’s house against the war on Iraq and Afghanistan and against the campaigns of Islamophobia, these Muslim doctors were actively participating in media attacks on the community and the national resistance forces in Arabic and Muslim countries.

There were no reasons mentioning professional conduct that helped Muslim communities. To help deceiving us of such decision, there was mentioning of the many awards that were given to Mr Rifi. One of them from Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. The same commission that awarded at the same event Jeremy Jones (the most regressive racist Zionist in Australia) the medal of Human Rights.

B- The other example is the “Muslim event of the year”, which was awarded to the Iftar organised by AFP:
We understand that the Muslim event of the year should be an event that was organised by Muslim organisation/s or individuals or combined. We all understand very clearly that Australian Federal Police is not a Muslim organisation. So one can safely question the reason for this award. As I said, we do not know the terms of reference of the jury’s work. This is why we assumed that the event should be organised by Muslim organisation or individual.

In this instance we would like to highly question your organisation’s decision in these two instances, as examples only. Not only this. We regard your decision to be an attack on our intelligence and feeling. We cannot believe that a diverse community of more than 350,000 people have no better qualities than the ones who won your awards. We cannot believe that the Muslim community is so dry of any intelligent, committed and progressive person/s that enforced your organisation to give 2 awards to the same person. And this person has so much controversy in his conduct that would make it highly questionable even to award him one award by normally functioning jury with transparent neutral terms of reference and process.

After following carefully your organisation’s annual ceremonies for second year, we have no choice but to put our hat very high for Mr Irfan Yousef in respect of his deep criticism to these ceremonies. He raised serious questions about your organisation’s credibility to organise these ceremonies, by raising very serious concerns about the process and terms of reference.

While we understand that these awards are not recognised locally or internationally, we would still raise serious concerns and very low faith in the process that resulted in this farce. While we are very sure that your organisation is very much smaller than the Noble Price institution (if any comparison could be allowed at all). We are watching very carefully how such institution (Noble price’s) never gained the faith of millions around the world, as it is very clear for everyone the political agendas influencing its decision. Otherwise how could war criminals like Shimon Perez and Barrack Obama get Noble prize for “peace”? How can anyone bother to take awards on your’s scale seriously?

In this letter we would like to urge you to take serious steps to correct such farces, on a hope to restore a hope in your organisation’s credibility. At the moment we will take all necessary steps to expose these farces to our communities. The faces you are trying to promote as local heroes include some well-exposed faces that have no respect or credibility in the society in general.


Yours sincerely

Jamal Daoud


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