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Letter to the editor of the Australian Financial Review

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Dear Editor,

Your report ‘Labor MP takes aim at NSW party on Islam’ does not reflect my views on the Labor Party’s interest in maintaining good relations with the Islamic community.

Your reporter correctly quotes me as saying ‘I am sure the NSW Labor Party does not decide who its senators are on the basis of such instructions from Sheik Hilali’s successors’ but the report extrapolates from that that I question NSW Labor’s connections with the Islamic community. I do not.

Former Grand Mufti Sheik Halali and current Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed

Indeed, I encourage engagement as part of Australia’s pluralist ethos, adherence which is worthy and consistent in and of itself. Engagement with the Islamic community means making a strong distinction between an important monotheistic religion – Islam – and Islamism. Islamism can and must be understood at the same time as a political ideology which is misused as a cover for extremism. It is a difference I have always made in every speech, in every statement, and every utterance. Confusing Islam and Islamism is like confusing Germans with Nazis, or Russians with Soviet Communists.

I agree with the thrust of your report but words are bullets in this life and death struggle with Islamism, a new totalitarianism. We cannot avert our eyes from this new evil and false ideology which has recently struck down another innocent Australian, Ross Langdon, his brilliant wife, their unborn child, and some 60 or 70 other innocents in a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya.

Some of your readers may think my distinctions pedantic. Yet I think one can strongly repudiate the unwarranted interference in the internal workings of the Labor Opposition, and at the same time, practice and espouse respect for an important religious group, especially as a member of a party that venerates equal and fair treatment.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Danby MP

Paul Howes joins prominent NSW identities – Sandy Guttman (comedian Austen Tashus), Indigenous leader, Warren Mundine, Paul Howes, National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union, TV host Jana Wendt, the Sydney Institute's Dr. Gerard Henderson and former NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal at the Hot Chocolate sit in at the Glebe branch of Max Brenner


0 #1 Raoul Machal 2013-10-03 22:03
Your distinction between Islam (good) and Islamism (bad) is intriguing. Which Koran are the Islamists following which does not also carry authority for other followers of Islam. Which are these two Korans? Does the rule of abrogation not exist in one Koran version? Where does it say in the Koran one may pick and choose the instructions of Allah and his messenger and only obey those the progressive left deems suitable? Is the truth not a different one; that there are nominal Muslims, afraid to leave leave Islam behind (the good) and observant Muslims who follow the path of their chief ideologues in their jihad against the apes and pigs? We just need to be reminded time and again that jihad is not always violent. There is the jihad of oil and gold, jihad of the womb, jihad by migration, and then there is electoral jihad by creating a controlled critical mass in a number of seats in a 'first past the pole' system.

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