Muslim RAN Captain Mona Shindy broadsided after terror tweet row
The Daily Telegraph
January 5, 2016 11:31am
Navy’s trailblazing Muslim captain
A SENIOR female Muslim navy officer has had her twitter account shut down after it posted tweets on Islamic terrorism that appear at odds with government policy.
Captain Mona Shindy, the Chief of Navy’s strategic adviser on Islamic affairs, was believed to run the account @navyislamic which retweeted a counter-terrorism expert mocking Tony Abbott after the leadership coup.
The social media account had also backed Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed’s controversial response to the Paris terrorist attacks, tweeting the hashtag #IStandWithTheMufti.
Captain Shindy, who won the Telstra NSW Businesswoman of the Year last year, had also called for the word “Islam” to be removed from reporting on Islamic state in a policy talk.
Her twitter account, which described itself as the “Official Royal Australian Navy Islamic Advisor Twitter account”, vanished shortly before Christmas following complaints.
Captain Shindy had retweeted counter-terrorism expert Anne Aly, who had tweeted on the night of the leadership change: “Wait. Did our new PM just give a speech and not mention boats, death cult, security, death cult, terrorism, national security and death cult?”
Captain Shindy has stated it was her aim to encourage more Muslims to join the defence force, as about 100 of the 45000 defence force personnel identify as Muslim, 27 of them in the Navy.
But a row erupted when she used the account to enter the political fray, and attacked a new Queensland-based political party called the Australian Liberty Alliance, launched by Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
“Real shame to see these extreme ill informed fringe groups threatening #community #cohesion. #auspol #teamhumanrace” the tweet from October 22 stated.
A Defence Department spokesman told The Australian newspaper: “Navy has consolidated its social media platforms to achieve a ‘single source’ so as to strengthen its messaging in synch with its support to traditional media.”
Captain Shindy has worked for the navy for 26 years and is the head of its Guided Missile Frigate Program.
Defence policy usually bans political statements from defence personnel in their official capacity.
In a talk to the Royal United Services Institute of NSW in March last year, Captain Shindy accused the media of “fearmongering”, stating there was no connection between the terror group and religion.
She also raised the issue of a “double standard” over the issue of the occupied territories of Israel, comparing with the world’s “willingness to take prompt and decisive action against other nations such as Iraq”.
“The extremist behaviour of groups purporting to be Muslims has been overplayed by the media for years constantly linking terrorist behaviours to Islam, e.g. use of the description ‘Islamist’, rather than separatist or militant,” she said.
“It is also important that, in the public rhetoric, terrorism and Islam are de-linked. “Constant negative media reporting on apparent Muslim behaviour provides ammunition for terrorist recruiters enabling them to convince impressionable Muslims that there is an agenda against them and their religion — again, supporting a call for armed jihad.
“Indeed, the word ‘Islam’ needs to be removed from reporting on ISIS/ISIL or Daesh. “The barbaric nature and ideology of these groups has nothing to do with Islam and we should work to limit their appeal to vulnerable Muslims, preventing the use and advertising of ‘Islam’ in their name.”