When I read a news item heading in The Australian (3 March 2017) that "Islam will be world's largest religion by 2070" a chill ran through me.
Although I won't be around in 2070, my youngest child might make it given the increasing life expectancy of younger generations, and I shudder to think of the kind of world she might inherit. I write this because Islam is not only a religion but also a totalitarian political ideology which dictates all aspects of life, including how one washes oneself. Islam and its Sharia law does not accept compromises with democratic principles.
It is important to draw a distinction between "Islam" and "Muslims", just as there was a distinction between Germans and Nazis. In all my writings on Islam I have constantly reiterated that Muslims are the major victims of Islam, which has kept the masses, especially the women, relatively uneducated, relatively impoverished (despite great oil wealth) and fighting and killing each other at an even greater rate than they are killing non-Muslims. Look at the killing sprees in the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan - who are they killing? They are killing mostly Muslims, men, women and children, whether under the banner of ISIS, Al-Quada, the Taliban or repressive government regime such as Iran which executes more people than any country other than China. And nearly all those executed are Muslims. The Ahmadiyya and Hazara sects of Islam are regarded as heretics and are particularly vulnerable to persecution and killing.
"Islam" does not mean peace despite the constant mouthing of the false platitude that "Islam is a religion of peace". "Islam" means submission - submission to the will of Allah as interpreted by his prophet Mohammed. When Archbishop Coleridge of Brisbane uttered the platitude of 'Islam being a religion of peace', I wrote to him to point out that Islam was anything but peaceful, and that apart from an initial period when Mohammed was relatively weak in military terms, Islam has nearly always been imposed by force. Furthermore there has been an internal civil war between the Sunni and Shia factions of Islam that has been on-going for the past 14 centuries since shortly after the death of the prophet Mohammed. It is in a particularly hot phase right now being fought by proxies for Saudi Arabia and Iran, the strongholds of the Sunni and Shia factions of Islam.
Archbishop Coleridge did not reply to my letter, but I have noticed that he appears to have stopped claiming that Islam is a religion of peace, so I am hoping he - and other well-intentioned clerics of all Christian denominations - study this issue in depth.
The Koran, the holy book of Islam, mandates the killing of infidels, apostates, and homosexuals, and that Christians and Jews be given the option of converting, paying a special tax or being executed. The Koran also recommends death for adultery (and it is adultery if a woman is raped and cannot find four pious male witnesses to confirm that it was rape and not consensual), it allows for polygamy, i.e. four wives, slave-taking from defeated tribes, and child marriage following the example of the prophet Mohammed who consummated his marriage to Ayesha when she was nine. To this day his example influences policy in Iran where the marriage age for girls has been reduced from ten to nine (against the wishes of Iranian women's organisations) and in Malaysia where it proved impossible to raise the marriage age for girls to 18 because of the example of Mohammed.
The politicians of our major parties, probably because of political correctness, have failed to enunciate that Sharia law is grossly discriminatory towards women and is incompatible with the principles of democracy. It has been left to the relatively unsophisticated Jacquie Lambie and Pauline Hanson to reflect the genuine - and reality based - fears Australians have about Islam.
Leading politicians from the major parties in Australia mouth further platitudes that the majority of Muslims are "moderate" and do not support the violent tenets in the Koran. Yes, the majority are moderate, some of them, particularly the women, are relatively uneducated and may not be aware of the verses in the Koran recommending violence. However, these "moderates" are powerless, their children risk becoming radicalised because of the brand of Saudi Whahhabism being preached in many of our mosques which are funded by oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
Our best hope to counter the unsavoury aspects of Islam lies not in the "moderates" but in activist Muslims calling for the reform of Islam. There are quite a few of them in Australia, they need our support. And from the international arena, there is the splendid example of the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who although described as a "devout Muslim", has strenuously deplored the fact that Islam is mired in a 800-year-old theocracy and needs updating. He has been supportive of the plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt although his efforts are often marred by street mobs still inspired by the ideology of former Presdent Morsi of the radical Muslim Brotherhood regime, who ruled Egypt prior to being overthrown by el-Sisi who was then chief of the army.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should invite President el-Sisi on a state visit to Australia and to speak to our local Muslim communities throughout the country. That would certainly throw a cat among the pigeons, so to speak, of the local Whahhabists as well as the Shia devotees of the repressive regime in Iran. If Turnbull shows he is doing something about Islamist problems, it would counter the Coalition voters drift to minor parties such as One Nation, the Christian Democratic Party, Australian Liberty Alliance, Australian Christians, Rise Up Australia and Australian Conservatives who have all had the courage to be vocal on their concerns about Islam.