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by Babette Francis March 19, 2011


It is easy for those who have not lived in Muslim-majority provinces, as I have, to disagree with South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi’s recent description of Islam, as an ideology, as “dangerous”.

This is not an issue of racism because there are Muslims of all races. Nor is it one of animosity towards Muslims, most of whom are kind and very hospitable people. But Muslims are bedevilled with the pernicious ideology of Islam, and there needs to be a public debate on this, to enlighten Muslims as much as others.

In late 2007, Michael Savage, one of the most popular radio talk-show hosts in America, was targeted for an advertiser boycott by the Council on American-Islamic Relations for referring to the Quran (or Koran) as “a book of hate”. Predictably, Savage was accused of promoting “hate” by making this observation. However, Joseph Farah, writing in WorldNetDaily (December 5, 2007), defended Savage against this charge by publishing direct quotes from the Quran and the Hadith (collections of sayings and acts of Muhammad and the early Muslims). He then invited his readers to judge who was more responsible for promoting hate:

Quran 4:89: “They (infidels) desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.”
Quran 8:12: “Instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers;”
Quran 2:191: “… kill the disbelievers wherever we find them …”
Quran 22:19-22: “… for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods.”
Quran 8:7: “Allah wished to confirm the truth by His words: ‘Wipe the infidels out to the last.’”
Quran 8:59: “The infidels should not think that they can get away from us.

How can permission for a man to have four wives be consistent with “equal rights” and democracy?

Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you may terrorise them. They are your enemy and Allah’s enemy.”
Quran 9:29: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.”
Quran 47:4: “Strike off the heads of the disbelievers” and, after making a “wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives”.
Hadith Sahih Muslim (41:6985): “Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: ‘The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.’”
Quran 9:5: “When the sacred forbidden months for fighting are past, fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, torture them, and lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”
Sura 3:151: “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers for that they joined companions with Allah for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the fire; and evil is the home of the wrong-doers!”
Sura 8:60: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power including steeds of war to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies and others besides whom ye may not know but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid unto you and ye shall not be treated unjustly.”
Tabari IX:113: “Allah permits you to shut them (women) in separate rooms and to beat them, but not severely. If they abstain, they have the right to food and clothing. Treat women well for they are like domestic animals and they possess nothing themselves. Allah has made the enjoyment of their bodies lawful in his Quran.”
Tabari I:280: “Allah said, ‘It is My obligation to make Eve bleed once every month as she made this tree bleed. I must also make Eve stupid, although I created her intelligent.’ Because Allah afflicted Eve, all of the women of this world menstruate and are stupid.”
Ishaq:327: “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

These quotations are not out of context. They are representative of dozens of other messages in the Quranic texts. I know there are many peaceful Muslims who view them allegorically rather than literally. Yet, is it outside the bounds of civil public discourse to challenge such statements? How can Islam be described as a “religion of peace” when it overtly and unmistakably preaches that its followers should convert the unbeliever or kill him? The burden of proof is on Muslims to show that those saying that Islam is not a “religion of peace” are inaccurate, because, while most Muslims are not terrorists, virtually every recent terrorist attack has been committed by Muslims.

Islam’s treatment of women is particularly repugnant. How can permission for a man to have four wives be consistent with “equal rights” and democracy? How can encasing women from head to toe in a face-covering tent-like enclosure, the burka, be regarded as humane?
The Taliban is at the extreme edge of extremist Islam, but not even the most barbaric of primitive tribes burned little girls’ schools and threw acid in their faces to stop them getting an education as the Taliban does.

Even in moderate, secular Indonesia, hardline Islamists are seeking the overthrow of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono unless he disbands Ahmadiyah, a small breakaway sect regarded as heretical by mainstream Muslims. And the current Afghan government, on whose behalf we have expended the lives of men and millions of dollars, has shown its “enlightenment” by closing TV stations because they show Bollywood films from India in which men and women associate socially, sing songs and talk to each other!

Let’s have a debate about these issues and the plight of individuals concondemned to death in Afghanistan and Pakistan on spurious charges of “blasphemy” or for converting to Christianity, before we rush to judgement on Senator Bernardi.

I don’t know what Australia’s immigration laws were at the height of the Cold War in regard to admitting to this country those who were card-carrying members of the totalitarian Communist Party.

The problem with Muslim immigrants does not occur in the first generation, who work hard in humble jobs and are glad to escape the troubles in their countries of origin. The problems arise with their sons who, because of the stultifying effects of Islam, fail to move up the ladder of opportunity and also lack a normal social life with women. They risk becoming radicalised, especially when exposed to the preaching of extremist clerics from overseas.

In my view, before Australia accepts Muslim immigrants, they should be required to sign an affirmation that:
• They accept Australia’s laws and judicial system and will not lobby for sharia law.
• They accept freedom of religion, and that it includes the right to change from one religion to another.
• They accept that it is barbaric to impose the death penalty for those who leave Islam.
• They accept that polygamy is degrading to women.
• They will allow their adult daughters and sons to mix socially with whomever they choose and to choose whom they wish to date and marry.
• They accept that criticism of Islam or its Prophet is part of political and religious debate in Australia and does not warrant violent reprisals.

If Muslim immigrants sign such affirmations, these can be used in Islamic schools to educate their children on the values their parents accepted as citizens of Australia.

(Babette Francis was born in India and lived in some Muslim-majority provinces before the sub-continent was partitioned into India and Pakistan.)

Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons), is national coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc


Member Organisation, World Council for Life and Family

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN