Hundreds gathered at a convention yesterday in Sydney organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir about government intervention in the Muslim community. The conference saw prominent speakers address the said topic from various angles.
Uthman Badar described the nature of government intervention and its objectives, showing that the fundamental objective of government policy was to change and ‘moderate’ Islam such that western domination of the Muslim world is maintained and Muslims locally are made submissive and docile citizens, integrated into the mainstream culture by leaving those aspects of Islam that push them to challenge the status-quo and those that contradict secular liberal values.
Soadad Doureihi gave examples of various tools used by government in their intervention, such as draconian anti-terror laws, AFP community liaison teams, underhanded intelligence tactics and spying by ASIO, tertiary institutes like the NCEIS, purposeful funding through ‘counter violent extremism’ grants from the Attorney-General’s Department and direct targeting and use of Imams through initiatives like the National Imams Consultative Forum.
Sheikh Rian Wiramihardja explored the use of language as a hegemonic tool, highlighting that government was appropriating supposedly benign and positive language – ‘moderate’, ‘multiculturism’, ‘social cohesion’, ‘tolerance’, ‘integration’ – to push ideas and concepts that contravene Islamic positions and seek to socially engineer in ways that are unacceptable. He spoke of the need for Muslims to be aware of the intended meanings of political language.
Wassim Doureihi spoke about the way forward for the community, emphasising the need to reject the government narrative and agenda, counter and critique it openly, and to adopt an independent agenda based on community priorities.
Testimonials were also heard from members of the community harassed by ASIO and the AFP.
A detailed report outlining government intervention in the Muslim community was also released.
The report is now available online and can be read and downloaded at the following link.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia
18 November 2013
Contact: Uthman Badar, Media Representative, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0438 000 465.