Friday, July 08, 2005

Love always perseveres ...

Terrorists murder, destroy and maim. They claim to do this in my name. They will tell the world that they did it to protect me and defend my rights.

When I was studying law at Macquarie University during the early 90’s, I was taught never to present hearsay evidence in court unless a rule of law allows it. You cannot judge someone by what others attribute to them.

But some people are pointing fingers at me without asking what I actually think. They accept what others claim I am saying.

Out there in the broader community, people are frightened. I am frightened. So are my friends.

On Friday night, I visited a young couple. The husband is a banker, the wife a financial adviser. They are a typical Sydney family – a house in the suburbs, 2 kids, 2 cars and an investment property.

We were watching the TV news. We were terrified by what we saw.

“This morning, I got off the train at Circular Quay. And I asked myself: When will it be my turn?”, the wife said.

“These terrorist bastards are making me edgy”, the husband replied.

Typical Sydney sentiments. But will it surprise you if I reveal who my friends are? Will it surprise you if I tell you that they are Australians? No.

And what if I told you that they are Muslim? Will you be surprised?

What if I told you that over 20% of those killed on September 11 2001 in New York and Washington were of Muslim background? Would you believe me if I tell you that one of the first people President Bush consulted after September 11 was a young Muslim scholar of Greek-American heritage named Hamza Yusuf Hanson?

You are frightened. So am I. So are people of Muslim background who manage Australia’s largest financial institutions, who are partners of major commercial law firms, who are deans of faculties in major universities and who study at university.

We are frightened because if this happened in Sydney, we would be among the dead and wounded. We are frightened for the same reasons you are. We don’t want terrorists in our backyard.

And what are we going to do about it? What steps will we take to stop terrorists? We will do exactly what you do. We will continue paying our state and commonwealth taxes to fund law enforcement and intelligence services. We will be vigilant and will report anything and anyone we find suspicious.

Some say we need to do more. So we will condemn and condemn and condemn terrorists again and again. Just as we have always done.

Some say our mosques need to be closed down and we need to go back to where we came from. No problems. I will go back to East Ryde. My Muslim friends mentioned at the beginning of this article will leave Concord and go back to Marrickville where they belong.

Some people will say anything to show hatred toward the 1.2 billion Muslim people that make up one quarter of the world’s population. And their hate is exactly what the terrorists want.

Terrorists want to drive a wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims. Terrorists want you to victimise and blame me. Why? Because terrorists hope I will fall into their arms.

But guess what. I am not going to let that happen. And neither will the overwhelming majority of my fellow Muslim Australians. Because Sydney is my home town. I will do everything in my power to stop the terrorists. And so should you.

Terrorism is about hate. The opposite of hate is love. And as St Paul said in his first letter to the Corinthians, “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres”.

Those who truly love Australia will love all Australians.

(The author is a Sydney industrial lawyer who learnt about St Paul’s letters after spending 8 years at St Andrews Cathedral School. This is the unedited version of an article submitted to the Sydney taboild, the Daily Telegraph.)

6 comment(s):

  • As usual, Irf, you either miss the point or continue your deliberate obfuscation of the issue. Yes, "people" do want a response from Islamic Australians. But this:
    "And what are we going to do about it? What steps will we take to stop terrorists? We will do exactly what you do. We will continue paying our state and commonwealth taxes to fund law enforcement and intelligence services. We will be vigilant and will report anything and anyone we find suspicious."
    ... comes nowhere near the desire I hear being expressed right across our nation.
    We want:
    1. A Muslim spokesman, of some significance, to repudiate the philosophy that legitimises the terror attacks, at least in the mind of the perpetrators.
    2. We want to see a public demonstration of the groundswell Australian Muslim repudiation of terror that you suggest exists. We do not want mouthings and mutterings that are issued only under direct, often hostile questioning. If, as you suggest, the Muslim community is appalled at being labelled terrorists and they genuinely fear the actions of S11, Bali, Madrid and now London will cause other Australians to ascribe terror to them unjustly, as you seem to suggest, then a pubic demonstration of repugnance and repudiation will serve 2 purposes. It will unify and encourage moderate Muslims and it will reassure non-Muslim Australians.
    Referring back to your article I quoted.
    It is also not sufficient to read your fridge magnets and hide behind curtains.
    The only place extreme Muslims will be found in Australia is in the Muslim community. They and their politics, would be known inside the mosques. It is incumbent on the Muslim community to expel these "non-representative" people, and further, to alert our Authorities of their intentions and whereabouts.
    That would certainly go a long way towards convincing me that you are right.
    I have posted elsewhere on the fatuousness of a Muslim quoting Paul of Tarsus. In your hands, it is as meaningful as a greeting card. Even I know that only Mohammed speaks the very word of God in your view.
    Irf, you know I have attempted to meet you half-way before, so in the interest of building a better relationship, let me say I sincerely hope you are right in what you are suggesting in this article.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2005 03:13:00 AM  

  • salamz.

    for readers who don't know, gravelrash is an anti-semite and a racist who appears on the blog of a melbourne QC named peter faris. i urge readers to see the reality of these people by visiting the following url ...


    By Blogger Irf, at 7/10/2005 05:22:00 AM  

  • and even though he is an anti-semite, i still love Gravelrash for the sake of God. i hope and pray that God changes his/her/its heart so that s/he is able to see that muslims are not all out to kill everyone and blow up the world.

    By Blogger Irf, at 7/10/2005 05:30:00 AM  

  • It would be better for all if you addressed his point and gave a response Irf.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/10/2005 07:43:00 AM  

  • Thank you Elysium.
    I await an addressing of my points eagerly.
    I am not an anti-semite. As Irf knows, 2 members of my family are Muslim, the male being Egyptian.
    I am not a racist. I am married to an Asian. I lived in Asia (Thailand and Laos)for ten years, and spent a lot of time in Malaysia during that period.
    I prefer the company of Asians, actually.
    Lets not engage in personality Irf. Just a response to my "request list" would be sufficient.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/11/2005 01:53:00 AM  

  • yes, yes. gravelrash. of course you are not racist. i eman, your comments on the peter faris blog are no evidence of anything other than an undying love of muslims and their cultures.

    i will address your concerns in good time and at my convenience. i have better things to do than address the paranoid rants of persons who would have loved to pull a few triggers at srebrenica a decade ago.

    By Blogger Irf, at 7/13/2005 02:14:00 AM  

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