A group of Muslims started a campaign of “#NotInMyName” to not only condemn the horrendous crimes conducted by ISIS and other Takfiri terrorists, but also to apologise for these crimes. That was the right move to do.
Surprisingly, few Muslim “leaders” came out and refused to participate in this noble campaign. Not only they refused to participate in it, but they also tried to delegitimize and dishonour it. The justifications used were both morally corrupt and superficial.
One of the justifications used by these Muslim “leaders” was “we did not participate in conducting these crimes and so we should not apologise for the actions of others”.
Does this ring a bell? We all remember how former Australian PM used the same justification to refuse apologising for our indigenous people for the crimes they were subjected to in the last 2 centuries. Surprisingly, John Howard was harshly condemned by the majority of Australians, especially by the “lefties”. The same lefties that highly praised this argument by some high profile Muslims including Mahreen Faruqi, the Greens NSW MLC.
The other reason mentioned in Ms Faruqi’s article in the Guardian (I know the actions of Isis are #NotInMyName, and I won't be pressured to apologise for them, 25 September 2014) was that we should not condemn the crimes, we should instead condemn the reasons that lead some Muslims to commit these crimes. And she mentioned misleading examples to prove her argument.
Mahreen thinks that ISIS and other Takfiri terrorists were born as a result of US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. Does this ring bell again. Did you notice that ISIS and other terrorists are justifying their crimes as a result of Israeli occupation of Palestine and US invasion of Iraq?
I strongly support this campaign for many reasons that I will mention here. But let us first ask the following question to understand why it is vital to support this campaign: Did ISIS and other takfiri terrorists have any justification for their horrendous crimes?
ISIS declared, with a lot of historical evidences, that their campaign of terrorism is both religiously and morally justified. And this is precisely why Muslims, especially leaders, should come forward and condemn these actions.
ISIS based its campaign on historical incidents where Muslims cut heads of rivals, both Muslims and non-Muslims. The failure of Muslim leaders and scholars to condemn and apologise for these crimes gave ISIS and other Takfiri terrorist groups moral grounds to carry on these crimes.
For 1500 years, Muslim leaders and scholars failed to condemn the first mass beheadings conducted by Muslim leaders against other Muslim leaders. The current and previous Muslim leaders and scholars failure to condemn the mass beheadings then, constitutes the religious grounds to continue the beheadings until today.
Those Muslim leaders who refuse to participate in the campaign and their use of US invasion of Iraq to justify ISIS crimes are directly or indirectly deceiving people about the reality of the situation.
Mahreen and her supporters should try to convince us what is the relation between US invasion of Iraq (2003) and the beheadings of Algerians during the civil war there (1991-2001). And we also do not know how beheading of Iraqis and Syrians, slavery of Iraqi women and raping children there will revenge for US invasion of Iraq.
Many arguments used by terrorist-apologists like Mahreen were simply not applicable on the situation in Iraq and Syria. The quote from George Megalogenis about child abuse and Catholic Church is out of context and not related to current debate. There is no single Australian citizen (Catholic or non-Catholic) supports child abuse. But there are Millions of Muslims support beheadings of rivals (including the beheading of the grandson of Muslim prophet) for the last 15 centuries.
It is the time for Muslims to speak loud and clear: Not in Our Name. Any silence, refusal to apologise or quiet condemnation will be used by terrorists to continue their terrorism. It will also help them in recruiting our youth.
While I know that Australian government loves to use the situation to increase division in our society, but silence on these terrorist actions will not help in counteracting these efforts. The high radicalisation in our community and all possible consequences is a reality.
The injustices in the society (mentioned by Mahreen in her article) did not lead to this high radicalisation. And addressing injustices alone (eradicate poverty, strengthening public services and working for environmental sustainability) will not reduce this radicalisation. The 400 Australians, who decided to go and fight in Syria and Iraq, did not do this because of their feeling of marginalisation in Australia. Khaled Sharoouf’s support for stronger Medicare was not the reason for taking up arms and cut heads of Syrians in Raqqah.
We believe that radicalisation will not be fought by ASIO only. Raids and arrests of extremists and terrorists will not solve the problem of radicalisation. But finding excuses and encouraging extremism by blaming others do not help too.
Muslim leaders apologising for ISIS crimes does not mean that they support US invasion of Iraq. It does not mean that they support Tony Abbott’s harsh liberal agenda against poor and marginalised. It will help defusing radicalisation and fighting against Islamophobia, by isolating extremists and deny them any platform to continue their radical agenda.