An article in The Australian yesterday (Sheik’s vision of ocker sharia ‘from day one’, 10/01/13) by Paul Maley maligned Hizb ut-Tahrir based on lies fabricated by the author. Referring to a public lecture given by Ismail al-Wahwah in Melbourne about two weeks ago, the article claimed that, “Sheik Ismail al-Wahwah offered a particularly stark vision of life in Australia were the group to succeed in its objective of establishing an Islamic state, or caliphate, governed by Islamic law.” It then went on to describe what an “Islamic regime in Australia” would do before raising the issue of why Hizb ut-Tahrir is not banned in Australia given such ‘extreme’ views.
This is a classic example of the type of irresponsible ‘journalism’ in the mainstream media that creates the social tension surrounding Islam and Muslims by stoking fears based on concocted narratives. Ismail al-Wahwah did not mention Australia at all in his lecture, a fact evident to anyone who watches the excerpts of the lecture on the basis of which the claim was made. The lecture – the complete recording of which will be up on our website soon – was about the establishment of the Caliphate in the Muslim World. At no point was any vision for Australia presented.
It is well-known that Hizb ut-Tahrir works for the establishment of the Caliphate in the Muslim World. It does not work to change the political landscape in Australia. Mr. Maley knows the position of Hizb ut-Tahrir on this matter quite well, having spoken to our media representative on multiple occasions in the past. In this instance he did not bother contacting before writing this piece, apparently to avoid facts getting in the way of a sensational story. Others, such as journalists from SBS, acted with more journalistic integrity by contacting our media office to ascertain the reality.
The Australian would be happy to know that its work has achieved its intended objectives, manifest in the abusive hate messages already received by our media office because of the article. Other mainstream media outlets and politicians have also taken the queue to start attacking, contributing their part to perpetuate the cycle of hate.
The Daily Telegraph, fresh from creating false suspicions around Muslims as they merely attempt to practice their Islam, ran the same story this morning, repeating the lie that Ismail al-Wahwah spoke about enforcing Sharia in Australia, again without bothering to contact Hizb ut-Tahrir to verify the claims made.
On the part of politicians, equally lacking responsibility and integrity in their work, Queensland MP Steve Ciobo weighed in by lecturing Muslims about Australian values of tolerance and a fair go and railing against “people who deliberately incite hatred and people who want to overturn the foundation principles of this country.” We ask Mr. Ciobo which Australian values he speaks of. The Australian values by which the natives of this country where systemically destroyed as the foundation principles of their country were overturned? Or the Australian values whereby media and politicians attack Muslims for trying to live by their Islamic values? Or the Australian values on display in Afghanistan in the killing and maiming of innocent men, women and children?
Ismail al-Wahwah’s lecture finds its proper context within Hizb ut-Tahrir’s work of outlining Islam’s vision for a post-colonial Muslim world, a vision antithetical to the exploitative realities of the modern capitalist world. It is for this reason that the media and politicians, hand in hand, continually aim to delegitimise this goal by creating fear of Islam and Muslims at home to justify political and military intervention abroad.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia
11 January 2013