This morning’s press contains two letters by me, including one even in The Age albeit much reduced from the original. My general message is that “radical ideologies” amongst Muslims are much more widespread than commonly supposed and that this needs to be exposed.
Leaving aside the relatively quiet India (but which has 177mn Muslims), one needs only to refer here to al-Quaeda, Taliban (Pakistan & Afghanistan), Muslim Brotherhood (Eqypt), Jemaah Islamiyah (Indonesia & other countries), the Moro Islamic group in the Phillipines (now being offered an autonomous region), and Al Shabaab (Somalia),not to mention our own Hizb ut Tahrir representative whose web site attacks US and Australian policies as well as legal decisions involving Muslims.
Many Australians have heard or read about aggressive activities by such groups but know very little about their stated objectives. As increasing analyses are being published suggesting that current activities are not inconsistent with long standing Islamic historical objectives, it is surely time for the government to publish a report on the radical groups and to avoid giving the impression that Islamic State is the main problem. It has certainly obtained that image, in part because its leader (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) is reported to have “brilliant” military expertise but also because of its use of social media to publicise its beheadings, of which there will be more (the Koran prescribes beheadings).
Its “success” has led to the emergence of other groups in Australia indicating their opposition to western intervention in Iraq/Syria (see report below by Schliebs). At the same time, other Muslim groups have sought to portray the “peace” message by distancing themselves from IS, although this message sometimes varies from one day to the next (see report below by Maley). Also emerged is a report on Australian Terrorist Financing indicating that IS supporters are using “charities” to provide funds for overseas terrorist groups (see Herald Sun report below).
Concern is emerging that since Obama’s announcement of degrade and destroy last Wednesday, the US has taken little action and only France has joined the “surveillance” flights already conducted by Britain (Cameron is reportedly “reassessing” whether to upgrade Britain’s involvement following the beheading of a Brit!). The focus has been on largely futile talks with others in Paris and perhaps waiting for formal approval from the planned meeting of the Security Council on 24 September. This gives time to the enemy you have promised to destroy.