The Daily Telegraph
October 15 2015
MALCOLM Turnbull is very right to reach out to Australian Muslims. He is wrong, though, to tell untruths to non-Muslims.
And the Prime Minister, a Catholic, is particularly wrong to suggest a key moral teaching of Christianity – a “golden rule” – is that of Islam, too.
Last week Turnbull urged “mutual respect” between Muslim and non-Muslim Australians, even though most of the disrespect so far – as measured by bomb plots, sieges and attacks on police – seem to come from the extremist Muslim side.
Still, mutual respect is indeed critical if we’re not going to kill each other, so give Turnbull credit for at least winning the trust of many Muslim leaders.
But to back his appeal he added this: “Every religion, every faith, every moral doctrine, understands the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
THEIR ABC Still pondering just how children could be induced into Islamic Terrorism... after all Islam means Peace doesn't it?
Too many of us have forgotten how Christianity shaped our society and are blind to how the Koran created radically different societies.
If we don’t understand those things, we’re clueless in dealing with the cultural clash we’ve so recklessly imported into our own suburbs.
What Turnbull claims is the “Golden Rule” of all faiths, is in fact a direct quotation from only one – from the Christians’ New Testament.
Luke’s Gospel quotes the alleged words of Jesus Christ himself: “Love your enemies ... If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also ... Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
These are powerful words of immense resonance in Christian countries.
It’s this ideal that gives such moral weight to Turnbull’s offer of “mutual respect” to a community which has produced 21 jihadists jailed for terrorism offences, and three more shot dead during attacks.
But contrast Christ’s “golden rule” and turning of the cheek with the Koran’s commands to strike hard at the enemy: “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger ... will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.”
True, the sacred Hadith do quote the Muslims’ prophet Muhammad, founder of their faith, stating: “None of you have faith until you love for your neighbour what you love for yourself.”
But that version of the “golden rule” seems limited to fellow Muslims, and has been interpreted that way by many scholars for many centuries.
No wonder, given that the Koran and Hadith give repeated examples of Muhammad and his followers killing his critics, including even women and poets who mocked him. No turning of the cheek there.
In vivid contrast, Christ would not let his disciples fight even to save him from capture and crucifixion.
There is another critical difference between the two religions that has helped set up this clash here of Christian and Muslim cultures.
The Jesus of the Gospels drew a line between church and state, which is why the Christian West has secular governments, not religious ones such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, which even bans the public practice of Christianity.
As John’s Gospel notes: “Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews’.”
In the Koran, the message is very different. Muslims should live under Muslim law where possible: “Allah hath sent down no authority: the command is for none but Allah ...”
This is why extremists refuse to stand in court for our judges or call our democracy “haram” – sinful. Moreover, the sacred Sahih Muslim urges Muslims to make nonbelievers submit to Muslim rule.
“Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them,” it says. “If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya (a tax on unbelievers) ... If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.”
True, many Muslims do not live up to these ideals and don’t want to, either.
But it is foolish to pretend these Koranic teachings don’t exist or aren’t influential.
For instance, ISIS quoted holy scripture at least 25 times in its infamous statement last year ordering Muslims around the world to kill unbelievers – to “smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car”.
Those quotations included this, from the Koran: “Kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush.”
Last week gave another example of Muslim preachers citing the Koran to urge the killing of unbelievers.
Israel’s Jews have suffered a wave of stabbings by young Muslims over the past fortnight.
On Tuesday alone there were four attacks. In the worst, two men boarded a public bus, locked the doors and shot and stabbed passengers, killing two.
In another, a driver rammed his car into people at a bus stop and jumped out to hack at his victims with a knife, killing an elderly rabbi.
What motivates such savagery?
Here’s a clue. Giving the Friday sermon last week at the Al-Abrar Mosque in the Gaza strip, Sheikh Muhammad Sallah waved around a knife and shouted for Muslims to stab Israeli Jews.
“Attack in threes and fours,” he bellowed, and “cut them into body parts”.
“Some should restrain the victim, while others attack him with axes and butcher knives.”
And to justify this slaughter he quoted the example of Muhammad himself – “recall what He did to them in Khaybar” – in attacking and subjugating a Jewish tribe in a battle in 629.
Yes, moderate Muslims insist other parts of the Koran invalidate the passages quoted by extremists.
Good luck to them. Let’s back their attempts to reform Islam and make it safe for our multi-religious secular democracy.
But to reform Islam we must first admit there is something to reform. We cannot pretend, as Turnbull does, that Islam is as cheek-turning as Christianity.
Leave Islam out of the discussion and we’re just left with all this useless yammer about terrorism just being about “marginalised” youths facing “discrimination” and needing only a job or sympathetic ear to become as peaceful as, well, Buddhists or Presbyterians.
And we then we get the list of demands from people from whom more should be demanded – demands to ban criticism of Islam, to issue more grants and to scrap foreign policies that help Israel or hurt Islamist groups abroad.
No, Islam needs reform.
Without that, we’re left only with only two dark choices: submission or even more policing of our streets and our tongues.