IT'S all very well being all inclusive, multi-cultural, multi-faith and all that, as long as you’re not hugging a bearded bloke holding a knife behind his back ready to use it when you’re least suspecting it. A lot of kerfuffle’s been made about a mega mosque proposed for the historic Victorian town of Bendigo. The application for the Islamic place of worship has stirred up violent protests from anti-mosque and anti-anti-mosque groups.
Mosque supporters believe they have goodness and wholesomeness on their side, which is a very nice position to hold until you take a closer look who’s behind the mosque.
A report in The Australian links the Bendigo mosque to known terrorists.
Investigative reporter Rebecca Weisser has done some digging. The Greater Bendigo City Council would do well to take note. After all, they have a duty of care to their townsfolk. Ignoring this information is akin to negligence.
What’s been uncovered is that the Bendigo mosque is being funded by Australian Islamic Mission (AIM).
AIM’s 2014 and 2015 conferences have as the main speaker Dr. Anas Al-Tikriti, the founder of the Cordoba Foundation in the UK.
In 2009, the Cordoba Foundation sponsored an event with a senior recruiter for Al-Qaeda, Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in 2011.
Al-Awlaki was known as the preacher of three of the 9/11 hijackers. He also corresponded with Nidal Malik Hasa before the Army psychiatrist went on a shooting rampage in Fort Hood, Texas. He was also linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who tried to blow up a US airliner.
The bank accounts of Dr. Anas Al-Tikri and the Cordoba Foundation were closed last year by HSBC because these accounts were outside the bank’s ‘risk appetite’.
Another AIM conference speaker last year was activist Yvonne Ridley. This terrorist supporter hailed the Chechen Islamist who planned the Beslan school massacre by terrorists in Russia in 2004 “a martyr”.
The siege which started on 1 September 2004, lasted three days and involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages, including 777 children.
It ended with the death of 385 people including 186 children. Many others were injured or went missing.
Yvonne Ridley also said, “drinking Coca Cola is like drinking the blood of Palestinian children.”
In 2010 the guest speaker at an AIM fundraising dinner was Dr. Tareq Al-Suwaidan who said in visit to Australia in 2012 Islam would “conquer the world” and that the Muslim community had only one hope, to love the afterlife and “be ready to die”.
This is taught by the Qur’an and preached in mosques the world over.
Al-Suwaidan has been listed in a US District Court case as a member of the US Muslim Brotherhood and co-conspirator and joint venturer with the Holy Land Foundation (HLF), the founders of which were found guilty in 2008 of channeling $12 million to Hamas in one of the largest terrorism financing cases in US history. Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation by the Australian government.
Al-Suwaidan was banned last year from attending a Muslim Fair in Brussels for saying (in regard to Israel) “we do not demand a ceasefire. Rather we demand that the rockets continue to be launched until they bow before us…all the mothers of the Islamic nation – not only Palestinian mothers – should suckle their babies on the hatred of the sons of Zion. We hate them. They are our enemies. We should instil this in the souls of our children, until a new generation arises and wipes them off the face of the earth…each and every one of us, when leaving this hall, should be contemplating a plan how to wipe out Israel.”
The secretary of AIM Melbourne Dr. Seyed Sheriffdeen said AIM invited Al-Suwaidan to speak because “he is popular”.
AIM Victoria shared a video on its Facebook page which shows a picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu with gunshot firiing and a photo of former Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak in the line of a gunsight (aimed on his face), with the sound of a gun shot.
AIM Victoria’s Facebook page also shared a photo of the book Fiqh al-Zakah by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, with the exhortation “Read to understand ...”
Qaradawi, a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, is banned from entering the US and was refused a visa to visit the UK.
In 2013 Qaradawi, said: “Our wish should be that we carry out Jihad to death.”
Qaradawi says of suicide bombing, “I consider this type of martyrdom operation as an evidence of God’s justice. Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do”.
In 2009, Qaradawi said on Al Jazeera: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption...The last punishment was carried out by Hitler...Allah Willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.”
Also promoted on AIM Victoria’s Facebook page, is a lecture by Dr. Harlina Halizah Siraj, organised by IKRAM, an organisation in Malaysia that says Muslim physicians should perform amputations in accordance with sharia law. Cutting off hands, feet and heads is a punishment under sharia law, for crimes such as being homosexual. This is often performed in public squares.
In 2010, a former president of AIM, Zachariah Matthews called for sharia law to “function as a parallel system”.
In 2001 Matthews wrote that two of the principles to be learnt from studying the life of the Prophet are that “secrets should be hidden…and only disclosed to those with strong ties” and that “deception is necessary”. The article referenced Al-Qaradawi and Dr Jum’ah Amin Abd al-Aziz, a senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
Anyway, I’m sure the Greater Bendigo City Council will have taken all of this into account and decided there’s nothing to worry about in the interest of multiculturalism, when approving the Bendigo mosque.
City councillors may have a greater 'risk appetite' than the HSBC bank.
Anybody can easily research the background behind the people behind the mosque. Google a few of these groups, associations and names and watch the links pop up onto your screen.
Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that, even knowing what we now know, all will bode well for Bendigo in the future.
If you’re religious, keep the people of Bendigo in your prayers.
By Paul Zanetti a Walkley award winning syndicated cartoonist with over 30 years in the media.