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PRAYER AND “TERRORISM” February 3, 2014

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Internet Age, Terrorism Issues, US Politics.
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I found the story of the Ballarat mosque on Facebook. It was put up by the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). In its way it is an illustration of how in the era of developing modern communications, the local and global merge.

Islam for some people has been linked to international terrorism. I imagine this fear has been contrived, particularly since 2001. What I have found in meeting Muslims, is that they are remarkably like everybody else. I then to related with the non-practicing people. As for Sharia Law, I have no idea what it is about other than it seems to pre-date the institutionalization of the nation state, an imposition of nineteenth century Western Colonialism. It is said that while Europeans were living in the Dark Ages, it was possible to draw a cheque on the Indus and have it cashed in Morocco. So there is some prima facie indication of social and economic effectiveness. While Christianity and Islam have different formative they overlap in the Levant. It is also the case that in certain historical situations it was expedient for Christians and Muslims to convert to the other religion.

CAIR picked up the story in The Courier describing how a group called, “Restore Australia”, is mobilizing against Ballarat’s first mosque. My first response is to laugh. The City Council approved the application, although they specified requirements in relation to disability access and lighting, as presumably apply to all similar applications.

So what is the problem?

Restore Australia chief executive officer Mike Holt said supporters of the group in Ballarat were being organised to protest the building of the mosque.

He said Islam was incompatible with the Australian way of life.

“Islam wants to bring in sharia law. It doesn’t matter (which branch of Islam) because they all believe in the same Islam, the same prophet Muhammad and the same God Allah,” Mr Holt said.

“A mosque is the thin end of the wedge to Islamise our society. They build a mosque and then more Muslims move in.

For myself, if the choice was between a motorway and mosque it would be a no-brainer. It turns out that the call to prayer is conducted within the mosque. Church bells, for example, within striking distance of a cathedral can be oppressive, and lacking in musicality, especially to those in their supposed private space otherwise engaged.

Still credit to Federation University for providing access to their Prayer Room to the muslims of Ballarat. The mosque seems to be open to inquiry:

Dr Ibrahim Sultan, who lives in Melbourne but works at Federation University in Ballarat, said the vast majority of Muslims in Ballarat would be classified as moderates and that the mosque would be as much a community centre as it would be a place of worship.

“There is nothing to fear. It is about building bridges and trust,” Dr Sultan said.

“It is merely to establish a place that is partially for worship but also to put together activities and create a situation where there is dialogue and communication.

“People from all communities, not just Muslims, will be welcome.

In the mind of the people opposing the building of the mosque is the relation between Islam and terrorism. Many who oppose terrorism do not oppose violence in the establishment and maintenance of the international political system. The story of Badshah Khan is possibly not well known. It is significant he born into the Pashtun tribal culture “steeped in a tradition of blood revenge”. Dr Michael Nagler and quest, Sharon Beckman, provide more on this life and work.

In terms of terrorism and propaganda, it would be hard to go past the drone program. It literally is a murder program, with its contrived collateral damage that fits the specifications. Somehow, the people who are being subject to its murderous regime are not considered important, or perhaps not human. If that is true, it is the good Christians who have the problem, not the bad Muslims. The larger case, made real by new forms of communication, that will transform global society as much as printing did in Medieval Europe. Strangely, according to representatives of the Australian Government, Edward Snowden is described as “a traitor”, a description that reflects mental confusion in a time of radical change – which simultaneously has to be denied.

This 23 August News Update from CAIR provides examples of “the terrorist supporting front organization” does:

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