|Australian Moslems exercising democratic freedoms|
in Sydney, September 2012 [Image Source]
The Australian government has formally listed Hamas as a terrorist organisation... Until last week it was only the military wing of Hamas, Izz alDin al Qassam Brigades, that Australia designated as a terrorist organisation... Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who announced the listing of Hamas as a terrorist organisation has criticised the group for not accepting last week's ceasefire, and has praised Israel for its leadership. "The Australian Government has listed Hamas as a terrorist organisation pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1373, which deals with the prevention and suppression of terrorist acts," Bishop said in a statement. "Hamas claims to represent Gaza, yet it has jeopardised the welfare of its own people by rejecting the proposal for a ceasefire," she added. "The Israeli Government demonstrated leadership by accepting the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal.," the Australian foreign minister added, referring to the ceasefire proposed last week which was accepted by Israel, but rejected by Hamas - although Hamas claimed it had not been notified of the proposed truce. [Source: Big News Network]Australian Moslems have been getting a very different view of Hamas. Australia's Grand Mufti, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed Salem [his Facebook page is here], visiting our neighbourhood a year and a half ago, paid a deeply devotional visit to the top-level terrorist leadership of Hamas in Gaza. According to this report from the Sydney Daily Telegraph, December 31, 2012, the religious functionary -
led an Australian delegation of Muslim scholars to the Gaza Strip, where they met Hamas senior political leader Ismail Haniyeh... Dr Mohamed, who has been styled as a moderate since taking the top Australian Muslim post, last week expressed his happiness at being in Gaza, describing it as the land of pride and martyrdom. "I am pleased to stand on the land of jihad to learn from its sons and I have the honour to be among the people of Gaza where the weakness always becomes strength, the few becomes many and the humiliation turns into pride," he told local news agencies. "We came here in order to learn from Gaza. As I said in my speech, we will make the stones, trees, and people of Gaza talk, in order to learn steadfastness, sacrifice, and the defence of one's rights from them. We feel like we are on cloud nine. We feel like we are on top of the world."Strewth! Given what we know now about arsenals deliberately embedded inside mosques, schools and hospitals, it would be interesting to know what sort of world Salem felt he was on top of in the time he spent in Gaza. And only slightly less interesting to know why he and his acolytes seem to prefer living in Sydney and Melbourne to the paradise they encountered in Hamastan.
Peter Wertheim, speaking as executive director of the organization that represents Australia's Jewish community, delivered a sound response at the time that we think is even more worthwhile hearing now:
There is nothing he can learn from Gaza and its Hamas rulers that can possibly have any legitimate application in Australia. His visit and his comments undermine Australia’s efforts to build a peaceful, inclusive and democratic multicultural society [source]