Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

The impossible discussion regarding Islam

The impossible discussion regarding Islam

Andrew Hastie, the federal member for Canning, was on 2GB earlier in the month, discussing his call for Muslim leaders to come out and articulate Islamic State's theology, and wholeheartedly repudiate it. (link) It was well spoken. He made it clear he had no problem with Muslims, but believed they needed to lead the discussion as to why and how they condemn the acts and doctrine of ISIS. 

Hastie touched on his own credentials, having studied ISIS propaganda exhaustively and read the entire Quran. 

Our former PM Tony Abbott was also in the news this week, being attacked over remarks like "It's not culturally insensitive to demand loyalty to Australia and respect for Western civilisation."

I've never been a real fan of Abbott, but I have to say he doesn't deserve the backlash this time. 

Mr Abbott never claimed most Muslim's support terrorism. No sensible voice in the debate has ever said that. 

But every time someone suggests there may be issues with the core beliefs of Islam and it's compatibility with the way we like to live as a society in Australia, Twitter lights up like a Christmas tree with cries of "RACIST! BIGOT!". 

An actual discussion on the matter is almost impossible to have. It's not helped by the ACTUAL racists who like to jump on the bandwagon, quite keen for anyone who has a different shade of skin to be tossed out of the country. But those idiots do not speak for the majority of Australians who just want to have an honest and open discussion about the ramifications of a large number of citizens living among them that don't support women's rights and gay rights.

Having some concern about that is kind of natural in a democracy. The only reason we have the way of life we currently have here, is because the majority of us VOTE for it. Clearly, the unspoken concern many people have is that all it takes is for 51% of a vote to be controlled by a group of people who are hostile to our way of life... and goodbye freedom.

Telling those people that they're not allowed to even let that thought cross their minds or they're racist does nothing to move us forward as a nation. It just solidifies the divide between left and right, with each political side unwilling to even hear the reasoning behind the other side's opinion.

I have spoken with all manner of people on this matter. In private, Australian's speak about this issue quite a lot. And the narrative is VERY different to what the ABC would have you believe. 

People want to know, if Islam is so peace loving, and if Muslims love our way of life so much, why are the personal freedoms in Muslim countries almost non existent? Why are gays and atheists executed? Why are women treated like possessions? These are not the thoughts and beliefs of radical terrorists. These are the beliefs of every-day Muslims and rulers in countries we call friends, like Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. Saudi condemns terrorism, yet executes people for things most of us do every day.

Australians aren't conflicted about terrorists. We know those ISIS idiots are nut jobs that need to be wiped off the map with extreme prejudice. What Australians are concerned by is every-day Islam like in Saudi Arabia, that says it's totally fine to execute someone who doesn't believe in God. 

Surely someone's not a racist just for raising an eyebrow at a religion that has a large percentage of adherents who think executing atheists is ok.

I hear you say: "But not all Muslims think that way. It's not ok for you to categorise them."

You're missing the point. No one is claiming 100% of Muslims agree on any specific issue. But in the aggregate, the stats are fairly telling. A massive percentage DO think that way, and surely that warrants at least talking about it. Perhaps you should read the Pew research on the Islamic faith throughout the planet. It's not a tiny percentage of the religion who want to execute apostates. In Egypt, for example, 86% of Muslims surveyed support killing those who leave Islam. 42% of Indonesian Muslims support stoning people to death who commit adultery. You know Indonesia... that place you and 8 million other Australians like to go on holiday each year.  (link) 

It's not just a handful of extremist Jihadi nut jobs who want to kill apostates and adulterers. It's a very large percentage of the religion. Shouldn't people be permitted to express their concerns with that? 

This is based on transparent data gathered by reputable organisations throughout the world. It's not the rantings of a bogan with a Facebook account. 


Another reason the discussion is so hard to have in Australia, is that at this point the only people brave enough to pipe up about the matter are the hard right Christians. 

But these people and their views do not represent the majority of us either.  

As long as the debate hosted in the media is right wing Christians who are anti Halal but pro Kosher (makes no sense) - vs - angry lefties who label anyone who questions them racist or sexist, the entire situation is just going to fester. 

The truth is that both of these groups only represent a sliver of our society, so it's time we stopped giving them the microphone. The majority of Australians aren't in either of these camps. 

I'm encouraged by Andrew Hastie's call to the Muslim community to start leading us in this discussion. I want to hear the Grand Mufti in Australia explain to me exactly why he condemns ISIS, what is wrong with their interpretation of the Quran, why he condemns the killing of civilians in Paris, and why he's supportive of women being considered equal with men in all respects.  


Again, let me reiterate for those who wilfully chose not to read what's actually written:

I am NOT saying most Muslims in the world support terrorism.

I AM SAYING many Muslims in the world support laws that oppress women, gays, atheists and liberal principals. 

I AM SAYING the religious beliefs of the 1.6billion Muslims around the world needs to be considered and discussed as a potential factor when asking ourselves why on earth tens of thousands of Muslims keep being drawn into terror organisations.

Those on the liberal left who claim to support womens rights and gay rights need to be a little more vocal when those rights are being stomped on by Islamic nations around the world. 


Why this matter needs to be dealt with

We're going to keep hearing about ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, Islamic Revolutionary Guard, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, Abu Sayyaf, Jemaah Islamiyah, Al-Shabaab and the hundred of other radical groups that keep appearing around the world. 

We're going to keep seeing terrorist attacks around the world. We're going to keep reading about people being executed in Saudi Arabia for things we don't even consider crimes. 

And unless the sensible minds of our nation are able to speak on this matter without the conversation descending into allegations of racism, the frustration among the people will keep growing, until they start listening to any nut job who comes along singing their tune. 

We don't want an actual racist to come to power, simply because the public are fed up with idiotic political correctness.

If Turnbull and Shorten can't be grown up and admit that there are in fact issues regarding Islam that need seriously addressing, then a vacuum is being created that may be filled by someone less... desirable. 

Look who's leading the polls in the Republican primaries in the U.S.

Yeah, exactly. Do you want that over here?

The conflation of religion and race

I admire the left for it's efforts to speak out on behalf of the oppressed. It does confuse me when they conflate one's race with one's religion.  

Questioning someone's ability to assimilate in Australia  because of their genetic makeup is flat out wrong. We need to fight people who think like this. They're racist. 

Questioning someone's ability to assimilate in Australia because of their ideology is not racist. It's common sense. What you believe affects how you act. 


This video below is a great example of what happens whenever a sensible person tries to use facts and statistics to raise a concern on this matter. Someone who's not actually listening to what they say yells "racist."

We have been sold this meme of Islamophobia where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people. That is intellectually ridiculous.
— Sam Harris
Images from the 2015 Mandurah Christmas Pageant

Images from the 2015 Mandurah Christmas Pageant

Time Lapses near the Old Mandurah Bridge

Time Lapses near the Old Mandurah Bridge