Support the Mosque in Bendigo.


Sacred Heart Cathedral. One of many Christian temples in Bendigo.  Source: Wikimedia Commons.  Author: Xxplosiv.

Sacred Heart Cathedral. One of many Christian temples in Bendigo.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Author: Xxplosiv.

Secularism is a concept that some tend to struggle with, especially if it appears to conflict with their own prejudices or fears. There is often a consistency issue. Secularism is of course a system that has no equal yet conceived, in the guarantee of fundamental rights. It ensures that no belief has a place of privilege above any others, nor violates the liberty of others. It is a line of equality, separating the framework of state from the individual’s right to believe, worship, and express unharmed. It is my right to congregate, express and to worship (if I suddenly decided to convert) according to my conscience, as it is yours. It is my right to build a private place of worship, as it is yours.

The city of Bendigo in Australia – a city I spent some time in a couple of years back – is about to begin building its first Mosque. Until now, Muslims in Bendigo have worshipped in small rooms at La Trobe University, that are becoming too crowded. The planned Mosque is privately funded by the Australian Islamic Mission, and will have prayer rooms, a sports hall, will include community relations meetings, and conduct weddings and funerals. I see no reason why anyone would oppose this. But predictably, a lot do.

The council and planners approved planning, because there is absolutely no reasonable grounds not to. It was approved along with a new Church built and funded by “Catch the Fire Ministries” a ministry run by young earth creationist Daniel Nalliah. Nalliah is an interesting chap. He insisted he felt “sick to the stomach” watching former Prime Minister Julia Gillard shake hands with former Greens Leader Bob Brown, because Gillard was “living in sin” for not being married and yet living with her partner, and because Brown was a “practising homosexual”. Those two shaking hands, made Nalliah “sick to the stomach”. In similar bouts of crazy, Nalliah once claimed that the Black Saturday bushfires were God’s wrath for Australia decriminalising abortion. Nalliah also once called on his followers to pull down Mosques, Temples, Brothels and Gambling spots because they were “Satan’s stronghold”. He has also stated that children should be protected from gay people, and he opposes gay marriage (another right that he wishes for himself, yet not for others). There seems to be very little opposition to a mad, offensive, creationist cult leader building a religious centre in Bendigo.

A ‘Stop the Mosque in Bendigo’ page sprung up on Facebook recently, with over 3,500 supporters. I was expecting a reasoned argument, perhaps evidence that Muslims in Bendigo were hoping to use the mosque for radicalisation purposes. That would have been rational grounds to oppose it. Indeed, I would have opposed it. But as it turns out, much of the opposition to the mosque is based solely people’s objections to Islam itself. They don’t like the faith, and so they believe the Mosque should be stopped. This strikes me as wholly anti-secular in itself. By this logic, Australians who happen to be Muslims may dislike Atheists meeting up, and so seek to stop it by appealing to the council. They have as much right to do that, as those hoping to stop the Mosque from being built. I can imagine the outcry would be tremendous if that were to occur.

Those against it, seem rather ironically to be offended by the idea of a mosque in Bendigo. Ironic, because using ‘offense’ as a weapon to oppress, is very much out of the religious – and very recently, the Islamic – playbook itself. Instead of engaging critically, and working to ensure transparency within religious buildings – with education, and content, for example – they instead choose to aim their opposition at the right to worship freely in a private setting itself.

For what it’s worth, I take issue with most faiths – including Islam, as regular readers of my blog will perhaps note – but I recognise the incredibly important right for all private citizens to believe whatever they choose to believe, and their secular right to choose where to worship, as long as they abide by the rule of law and do not harm the freedom of others. The state should not prevent that right. Secularism guarantees freedoms and protection for all under the law. Like every other organisation, if they do not abide by the rule of law, they may be shut down. It their members do not abide by the rule of law, they may be imprisoned. And rightfully so. But we must – if we are to call ourselves secular, and if we are to abhor supremacy – recognise that religious folk have the right to set up a private place of worship. I recognise those rights, because I hold sacred those very same rights for myself. If I were to begin an Atheist Group, or a Secularist Group, and if I wished to privately fund and build a Hall where we met up, I cannot imagine too many religious folk would object nor try to prevent my Atheist or Secularist Hall from being built. The ones that did, would rightfully be condemned for attempting to infringe upon my liberty. The same is true when applied the opposite way.

Muslims already live in Bendigo, they already worship in Bendigo. They are as much a part of Bendigo as Christians. A Mosque is simply a more comfortable place for them to worship, than a cramped university space. There is no faith-based reason reason for a council to not accommodate this. It shouldn’t even need to be said, but it’s also true that muslims work in Bendigo, they contribute, they save lives in hospitals, and educate children in schools, they are citizens with the same rights as every other person. Those rights are not negated by their choice of God. This is equally true for Christians in Bendigo. Whilst Muslims currently have no temple of worship in Bendigo, Christians have twenty Christian temples and centres in and around Bendigo, as far as I can tell. Anglican churches, Greek orthodox churches, Assembly of God, Catholic churches, and the massive Sacred Heart Cathedral, the beautifully constructed building in the photo above. And now with one more on its way run by a creationist dedicated to restricting the rights of anyone he doesn’t particularly like. Close to Bendigo, is the Atisha Centre, a Buddhist centre. If you support the right for Christians and Buddhists to build places of worship, but you would happily restrict the building of places of worship for other faiths simply because you don’t like what it is they believe, you are severely anti-secular. You advocate oppression.

The Facebook group dedicated to opposing the Mosque (but not the Catch the Fire Ministry) says:

“We live in a democracy and we are exercising OUR right to say NO to what happens in OUR country.”

– They’re quite right, they live in a democracy and they have the right to oppose. That’s absolutely correct. But I take issue with the phrase “OUR country”. This subtly hints that their right to oppose should be considered more important – as non-Muslim citizens of Australia – than the secular right of Muslim citizens of Australia – whose country it also is – to worship where they choose. This group therefore, are attempting to place themselves above the line of secular equality mentioned earlier, without anyone’s approval. Perhaps all planning permissions should be sent to this group, before any private building is erected in Bendigo. Pushing for the council – the state – to prevent Mosques being built, is forcefully restricting a particular belief. Again, this is oppression.

According to the Bendigo Islamic Association, one of the aims of the Mosque in Bendigo is to:

“Play a central role in encouraging dialogue and harmony amongst the multicultural and multi-faith
society of Bendigo.”

– This must be welcomed, and it certainly isn’t on offer from anything Daniel Nalliah has ever produced.

To deny others the right to worship freely where they choose, and to develop property that they are as entitled as you to develop, denying them purely on the basis of what they choose to believe is an act of supremacy. If we apply it to other fundamental rights, we see the sinister nature of it. Indeed, if you were to wish the right to speak freely and to criticise a faith, whilst at the same time petitioning to prevent those with faith from speaking freely about their faith or from criticising your beliefs, you would be condemned, and rightly so. If, as a white person, you were to permit yourself the right to go to certain colleges and universities that you would not permit non-white people the right to attend – as in pre-civil rights America – you are a supremacist. This is no different. Denying a right for others, that you yourself have always had, and to couple this with believing you have the inherent privileged right to block the right of others to worship in their own privately run and funded temple, according to their own conscience, despite the absolute fact that you are equal to those people according to the law and citizenship, is the very essence of anti-secularism. However, If you wish to preserve rights that you enjoy, you must defend those rights for others, whether you like their beliefs or not.

If you wish your particular gender, or sexuality, or race, or religion to deviate from that line of equality, or to push others below it, you are going to have to work particularly hard to convince the rest of us to bow down in unquestioning subordination to your new found desire for supremacy. You must provide a reasonable argument as to why you think your dislike of a certain faith puts you in a unique and privileged position in which you’re willing to permit Christians – including creationists with incredibly offensive views – the right to build 20+ temples and centres, but not others. If your argument stands up to scrutiny, it will be accepted, otherwise, it fails.

As someone who values secularism, and respect for fundamental rights, I fully support the establishment of a Mosque in Bendigo.

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35 Responses to Support the Mosque in Bendigo.

  1. James Lovelace says:

    Good luck being a secularist/atheist in a majority muslim country.

    Buddhism in India was wiped out by islam. Before Mohammed took over Medina with his army, it was a jewish city. Before he took over Mecca with his army, it was a pagan city.

    The stupid jews of Medina tolerated islam, it islam wiped them out. The stupid pagans of Mecca tolerated islam, it islam wiped them out.

    Some secluarists are just too stupid to understand that islam is incompatible with anything but islam.

  2. tamimisledus says:

    So much garbage in so few words.
    Just to take one point.
    I don’t expect any rights which I deny to another.
    In particular, I don’t claim for myself the right to proclaim an ideology which is supremacist, racist, misogynist, intolerant, regressive, destructive, anti-humanist, anti-rational and worse, based on a lie, relying on the worst aspects of human nature of fear, superstition and ignorance for its continued existence. Such an ideology could only appeal to those lacking bare minimum of intellectual capacity, severely deficient in moral values or (as is often the case) both. Just to make it absolutely clear to all, the proclamation of this ideology is just the prelude to its stated aim of imposing those vile doctrines on the whole of humanity.
    So, I see it as my absolute moral obligation to ensure that any such ideology, in this case islam, but there are others, is not spread any further to the gullible and the inadequate who will use its alleged absolute divine authority in order to crush anyone who will not submit to them or its doctrines.

  3. LABCR-TV says:

    I expect that the people of Bendigo who are against this mosque being built feel this way because they are well informed on the murderous nature of the Qur’an.
    When they see the violence and murder on an unprecedented non war world wide stage mostly stemming from islam, when they read of the 100+ references to violence, death, slavery, extortion, subjugation, directed at non islamists, is it any wonder they are offended by islam and its practices?

    I am extremely offended, even outraged, at the contents of the Qur’an, because this terrorist handbook is taught to very young children. Therefore, I too would oppose a mosque in Bendigo, and anywhere else for that matter.
    I am extremely offended, even outraged, at the contents of the Qur’an, because this terrorist handbook is part curruption of the christian bible, part corruption of the jewish books, and part made up by an illiterate highway bandit.

    Please tell me, what are the inspirational aspects of mohammed, that are not related to violence or threats? His world views are the antithesis of Jesus Christ’s views. Therefore, is he the anti-christ?

    As for Daniel Nalliah and his group, it is obvious they are well aware of the dangers of creeping sharia law. And I am sure that with his beliefs, he and his followers will not be planning to go out on a suicide mission any time soon. And who knows, but his religion may turn into the mother of all religions, lets give him a go. It is clear that islam is nothing but a big failure and an ongoing disaster.

  4. don says:

    I suggest you get off your arse, go to Saudi Arabia, and start preaching about the need for churches in Mecca. The idea of freedom is not a suicide pact.

  5. David Stanley says:

    I’m not convinced the people who’ve commented above read all of the blog post, so allow me to respond to each in turn using quotes from said blog post.

    James Lovelace, tamimisledus & don

    “Muslims already live in Bendigo, they already worship in Bendigo. They are as much a part of Bendigo as Christians. A Mosque is simply a more comfortable place for them to worship, than a cramped university space.”

    LABCR-TV

    “There seems to be very little opposition to a mad, offensive, creationist cult leader building a religious centre in Bendigo.”

    “Those against it, seem rather ironically to be offended by the idea of a mosque in Bendigo. Ironic, because using ‘offense’ as a weapon to oppress, is very much out of the religious – and very recently, the Islamic – playbook itself. Instead of engaging critically, and working to ensure transparency within religious buildings – with education, and content, for example – they instead choose to aim their opposition at the right to worship freely in a private setting itself.”

    Personally, I dislike most religions and hate many of their beliefs, but the degree to which a do so per religion shouldn’t mean me discriminating against a select few. The second paragraph I’ve quoted to LABCR-TV is, in my view, the most important thing to take away from this blog post.

  6. j. haliburn says:

    Islam is not a religion of peace.

    TRUE Islam forbids assimilation with other religions and other cultures.

    It is not compatible with our culture and it is not welcome here.

    Anywhere that Sharia law is allowed to take control there are massive problems with oppression, corruption, violence and misery and as you would very well know, control is the ultimate aim of Sharia law.

    If you want that kind of life, go to one of your Islamic countries and enjoy the quality of life they provide.

    There is NO REASON for anyone to want it here and that is not racist or any other stupid name you want to put to it.

    It is common sense to reject Sharia law and this proposed mosque.

  7. John says:

    read this please it show you that Muslims are asked to be kind to Christens and Jew am not an expert but i come cross this in quran recently that’s why i have include it here. Scripture in islam refer to Christens and Jew
    Surat Al-`Ankabut [verse 46] http://quran.com/29/46

    “And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.”

    i also advice to read this
    https://www.alislam.org/egazette/updates/is-it-true-that-the-quran-says-to-not-take-the-jews-and-christians-for-friends/

  8. […] supremacy seriously, but not the individual wishing to restrict Islam? (Similarly, I have defended the right of Muslims to build a Mosque in Bendigo, when other supremacists demanded it […]

  9. Weishaupt says:

    The problem with modern day leftists is that they have abandoned reason.

    You obviously know and recognise that Islam is wholly false, backward, insidious and will likely be the cause (due to ‘multiculturalism’ a.k.a state sponsored tribalism) of civil unrest and potential war in various European countries within the next few decades.

    Knowing this as you do I find it hard to fathom why you would support efforts to open more mosques in Western post-enlightenment secular countries because all it does is simply pour even more petrol elsewhere before the match get lit.

    You are like a turkey voting for Christmas and sadly there are many like you (depressingly many are politicians).

  10. As a secularist, equally I find you people and your tendency toward oppression to be insidious also. I find oppression to be a source of civil unrest. And that’s what you advocate. I therefore find your ideas to be just as vicious. Perhaps we should start restricting your civil rights also?

  11. Weishaupt says:

    FT-” as a secularist i find your tendency towards oppression to be insidious also”

    So by not wishing to see an oppressive ideology gain any more ground within a secular democratic civilisation that it seeks to destroy and replace with a Bronze Age theocracy I am being oppressive…

    Can you not see the problem with this line of thought?

    FT – “I find oppression to be a source of civil unrest. And that’s what you advocate.”

    I advocate that no civilised society should have to put up or pay lip service to any ideology which proclaims billions of human beings are going to be tortured and tormented for eternity after they have died.

    If that is considered oppressive then it would seem that humanity is still in its infancy and is perhaps doomed.

    Out of curiosity do you personally believe that people should be allowed to promote such views through public institutions via mosques and universities?

    FT-“I therefore find your ideas just as vicious”

    See above.

    FT-“Perhaps we should restrict your civil rights also?”

    On the basis of?

  12. “So by not wishing to see an oppressive ideology gain any more ground within a secular democratic civilisation that it seeks to destroy and replace with a Bronze Age theocracy I am being oppressive…”
    – What a very leading question. This suggests that if I believe in secular equality, I am actually “wishing to see an oppressive ideology” replace secularism, with a Theocracy. As if the only possible way to ensure no Theocratic take over, is to withhold rights for those whose beliefs you personally don’t like.

    If you wish to suggest that a new Mosque – in this case, the one in Bendigo – is going to preach the overthrow of Western civilisation, the destruction of the state of Australia, and the resurrection of a Caliphate…. feel free to provide anything close to evidence. Don’t just guess. I’m almost certain most Mosques aren’t following Anjem Choudary’s brand of Islam.

    Every ideology – by definition of it being an ideology – seeks to impose its supremacist values upon the rest of us. Christianity has been excellent at imposing Theocratic principles upon states over the past 20 centuries. Christianity was tamed by secularism. Bendigo has upwards of 20+ churches and christian centres, and not one mosque. Going by the history of christianity, will you be advocating for the removal of all churches also? Communism seeks that same oppressive end too. Should we ban those who identify as communists from meeting up? They seek to destroy secular democracy. As does fascism. As do you, by wishing to oppress the right of others to worship freely according to their conscience, in a private place of their choosing, just because you don’t like what it is they choose to believe. You therefore, are incredibly anti-secular. I find that oppressive. And by your logic, I am therefore entitled to ban you from congregating in a place I think your anti-secular ideas might “gain any more ground”. What makes you the authority here? Why can’t we all seek to ban ideologies we don’t like? How on earth are you claiming that to be secular? You seek to destroy and replace secular democracy, with a very authoritarian state, ruled by people who think like you. Your own little Theocracy. And How are you policing this? What if a few Muslims choose to pray at their home, invite their friends over to pray, much like a Mosque? Will you be sending your police force in to break it up? How many Muslims are you allowing together at one time? Will you be setting limits on that? Will Muslims be imprisoned if they congregate and pray together? Or is it just the word “Mosque” you don’t like? Which ideologies are you permitting?

    “Can you not see the problem with this line of thought?”
    – You appear to be confusing “secularism” with “a desire to see secularism overthrown and replaced by a global caliphate”. It’s as if you think secularism will only lead to Muslims getting together and taking over, unless we start withdrawing their basic rights, quickly. But apparently you don’t believe you have to be consistent with how to treat all oppressive ideologies. Including your own. I could just as equally claim a fear that your brand of oppression might grow, and eventually overthrow secular democracy (it is anti-secular and anti-democratic by its very nature), and that my basic rights might be eroded if I subscribe to beliefs contrary to yours.

    I simply advocate a line of secular equality, whereby no single ideology is permitted to rise above any other, and whereby everyone has the exact same civil rights under secular law. Your freedom to believe and to worship whatever it is you choose – whether a God, or a political ideology – is not to be oppressed by those of us who think differently. I believe you should have the right to believe that Muslims should have certain rights withdrawn by you (this is your supremacy), I don’t believe I should be advocating punishing you for having views that I find so utterly at odds with my own. You are the inconsistent one, not me.

    Of course, if a Mosque, or a political meeting of Fascists, or a meeting of Atheists breaks the law, they should face the consequences like the rest of us. Until they cross that line, I will not be advocating your particular brand of oppression. I find it very similar to that which you claim to hate.

    “I advocate that no civilised society should have to put up or pay lip service to any ideology which proclaims billions of human beings are going to be tortured and tormented for eternity after they have died.”
    – So, you also wish to ban churches? This gets more oppressive by the second. You are advocating the privilege of power for those of us who proclaim non-belief, over everyone else. Why stop there? Equally, I might believe that no civilised society should have to put up with an ideology that seeks to oppress others and punish them for what they choose to believe, or when and how they choose to pray. I could advocate a position of privilege for those who think like me. Instead, I say that you should be as entitled to your oppressive beliefs, as religious folk should be to theirs, as I should be entitled to my own views, and none should be afforded a place of privilege. If you choose to meet with others who share your beliefs, I have no right to send the police in to round you up, for having different beliefs to me.

    “If that is considered oppressive then it would seem that humanity is still in its infancy and is perhaps doomed.”
    – Secularism is the absolute only guarantee of equal rights and protections against vicious ideologies. It gives the Muslim no more supremacy over my life, as it gives me over a Muslim. You however seem to be under the impression that you get to decide which ideologies should be forbidden, on threat of punishment …. that obviously doesn’t include your own. You have decided that other people shouldn’t be allowed to worship in their own place of worship. It is as if you think the country is yours, with Muslims being tolerated as long as you personally see fit. It is this notion of supremacy that causes wars, whether it be from the religious, or the non-religious. A sense of supremacy is the common factor. If that’s where humanity is, we truly haven’t learnt from the horrors of the ideological past.

    “Out of curiosity do you personally believe that people should be allowed to promote such views through public institutions via mosques and universities?”
    – What do you mean by “promote”? I wouldn’t ban Islamic societies at universities, no. In the same way that I wouldn’t ban the Communist societies at universities. Universities should not be in the business of deciding what views are “acceptable” and punishing those who don’t adhere to, well, your opinions. What if Muslims get together at university, and call it a “society”? Would you be punishing them for that? Again, will you only be allowing a certain number of Muslims to meet up at any one time? Will they only be allowed to talk about certain things? Do you see how this is horribly oppressive?

    At the university I attended, we had a Nationalist group, who were quite fond of Oswald Moseley. Now, I personally find that political ideology to be incredibly dangerous. But I wouldn’t wish to ban them from meeting, nor from holding those views, nor from the freedom to express those views. To do so, would make me as oppressive and authoritarian as those I am condemning. This isn’t a “left wing” thing either. Indeed, most left wing groups at university were dangerously anti-secular also. Their attempts to prevent Nick Griffin appearing on Question Time were just disgusting. They seem to have decided that they should be policing what I have the right to hear. As if they knew better than me. I find this abhorrent also. Both the left and the right become more and more authoritarian when faced with ideologies they don’t like. I find the far right to be very similar in rhetoric and inherent desire to oppress, very similar to the religious ideologies they claim to be so against.

    It’s quite simple, if you do not advocate the same rights for others, as you do for yourself, you are anti-secular, anti-democratic, and hold very oppressive, supremacist views.

  13. Mr M says:

    Nice one 🙂

  14. Weishaupt says:

    FD-“If you wish to suggest that a new Mosque – in this case, the one in Bendigo – is going to preach the overthrow of Western civilisation, the destruction of the state of Australia, and the resurrection of a Caliphate…. feel free to provide anything close to evidence. Don’t just guess.”

    Taken from an Islamic website which has gathered the Hadiths/ sayings of Muhammad regarding the prophecies of the conquests of Constantinople, Rome and Europe.

    LINK:

    http://www.discoveringislam.org/roman_invasions.htm

    ***

    A quick example;

    Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-Aas reports: “Whilst we were around the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم writing down, he was asked, “Which of the two cities is to be opened (conquered) first, Constantinople or Rome ?” He (the Prophet) answered, “The City of Heracles (Constantinople) will be opened (conquered) first!” (Darimi, Ahmad, Al-Albany)

    ***

    Now we all know what happened to Constantinople, we know what happened to Persia, we know what happened across the Middle East, we know what happened to Spain and we know about the ‘gates of Vienna’ and what the (in)famous Vlad the impaler had to put up with.

    It’s a recurring theme, some would say a type of pattern?

    FD”I’m almost certain most Mosques aren’t following Anjem Choudary’s brand of Islam”

    What is Choudarys brand?

    FD “Every ideology – by definition of it being an ideology – seeks to impose its supremacist values upon the rest of us.”

    Not every ideology is supremacist ergo your statement is false. Certainly fairie worshippers are not trying to enforce anything onto anyone.

    FD”You however seem to be under the impression that you get to decide which ideologies should be forbidden, on threat of punishment …. that obviously doesn’t include your own.You have decided that other people shouldn’t be allowed to worship in their own place of worship”

    No, I have no power to ban any ideologies nor do I have some bizarre delusion that I can. What I do have though is an opinion, and it is an opinion formulated on the grounds of reason. What reason should a civilised society have to put up with any ideology which makes a distinction between ‘believer’ and ‘non-believer’ (who are to be either converted, taxed or killed) whilst condemning billions of human beings to eternal torture?

    ***
    FT “It’s quite simple, if you do not advocate the same rights for others, as you do for yourself, you are anti-secular, anti-democratic, and hold very oppressive, supremacist views.”

    This is the irony, all of those things above describe Islam yet you are defending it and then bizarrely calling me a supremacist for highlighting how dangerous it is.

    Zues wept.

  15. Mr M says:

    Is islam more dangerous than christianity ? Are you opposed to the christian sites in bendigo ?

  16. Weishaupt says:

    Mr.M to be quite honest with you I truly wish that Julian did not die young in battle and went on with his quest to marginalise Christianity throughout the Empire by promoting philosophy, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism and general free thinking. Make no bones about it I consider monotheism to be the most dangerous thing to have ever happened to the human psyche, we have literally lost thousands of years of progress as a species because of the horrors it has brung.

    As far as comparing Christianity to Islam this is quite the norm when someone criticises Islam, the way I see it is this; it literally took centuries of internal struggle, reformation, examination and reinterpretation to get to the stage we are at now in the West where Christianity if we are honest is really nothing more than an irrelevance. One of the ways this happened is because The Bible both Old and New do not claim to literally be the word of God, the consensus is that it is “inspired” that small difference gave enough wiggle room for how we got to this stage (and many people died for us to get where we are now).

    The Quran however is different, although it is basically a synthesis of the Judeo-Christian myths with various sprinklings of Arab paganism and tribal flavourings of its time what sets it apart is that it is the “direct” word of god, ergo unchangeable, timeless and any deviation is blasphemy.

    Thus this is the reason why Islam as a religion is so hostile to criticism and there has never been any renaissance or enlightenment in the Islamic world (before anyone chirps up the so called “golden era” they had was when they got their hands on Greek pagan manuscripts-later declared to be unislamic and satanic- the “golden era” promptly ended.)

    . Islam is also very militaristic and expansionist, it literally does set itself up as being a world ideology with “the house of peace” being islamic countries and “the house of war” being those countries yet to be islamisised. I think Henrich Himmler summed it up when he said “Islam is a warrior religion which promises sex in the afterlife” , it’s also worth noting that Himmler considered making Islam the de-facto religion of his SS.

    What’s actually ironic about it is that if Islam was to make any real unshakeable political ground in the West the first people who would have their much cherished ideas of secularism and freedom eroded would be the same people who would have enabled these people to get into the positions to take it from them.

  17. There should be as many mosques in Bendigo as there are Christian Churches in Saudi Arabia. We should show equal “tolerance”. Being a generous people we should also add the number in Afganistan. Nil and nil. We should also remove an Australian mosque for every Christian Church burnt in Egypt, Indonesia and Syria. They should all be gone in a month or two. I will not suggest we do to Muslims here what they are doing to Christians, Buddists, gays, athiests in Islamic countries right now. I would not be that cruel.
    Read an abridged version of the Qu’ran, the Hadith and Sharia for non muslims. Find out about the greatest persecution of Christians in history happening right now. The media will not tell you but Mr Google will.

  18. John says:

    I dont normally swear, but you Sir, are a f*****g idiot, who has clearly no knowledge of the tenets of Islam. I will not waste any further time.

  19. Thank you for that touching and well considered analysis. Reading between the lines….. are you flirting with me?

  20. Rough Passage says:

    I note the liberal use of the word creationist which is used to denigrate anyone who believes in that. So before going any further this anonymous author is guilty of the very thing he condemns in others. Atheists are so grand and so vulnerable as they say there is no God…….how on earth do they know that. They simply cant. Anyway from my view point this Islamic religion is based on a prophet who had a 6 year old wife Aisha and that makes him a person I could not possibly follow because in today’s parlance he would be a pedophile and if that were the case with Christ Jesus I wouldn’t have a bar of it but thankfully its not. It seems to me where ever there are Muslims in the world there are problems including the subjugation of women and the Bendigo Bank has now made a moral judgement of those who don’t want the mosque. They have closed their account. Thats discrimination by any measure and yet the author says nothing about that. The issue here is not about the constitution and secularism as such because our own constitution doesn’t even mention freedom of speech and that’s a massive flaw in the great tome. You cant have a secular society without having a guarantee of freedom of speech because there is no counter balance and this article is proof of that. This is a fundamental right now denied to the account holders of the Bendigo Bank and I along with many others have cancelled my account.

  21. I note the liberal use of the word creationist which is used to denigrate anyone who believes in that. So before going any further this anonymous author is guilty of the very thing he condemns in others.

    – Nope. You’re entitled to be a creationist. I don’t wish to ban you from that. If you wished to start a creationist church, I’d fully support your right to do so. The view itself, I find ridiculous, and will always argue against it. But the right to hold the view, and the right to worship according to that view, you’re fully entitled to.

    “Atheists are so grand and so vulnerable as they say there is no God…….how on earth do they know that.”

    – Nope. I simply say no one has ever presented evidence for me to believe in a God.

    “Anyway from my view point this Islamic religion is based on a prophet who had a 6 year old wife Aisha and that makes him a person I could not possibly follow because in today’s parlance he would be a pedophile.”

    – Your view on Islam and why you wouldn’t follow it is irrelevant. Don’t be Muslim if you don’t want. Problem solved. The issue is the freedom to worship and believe according to one’s own conscience, without state oppression. Not whether or not you like a faith.

    “It seems to me where ever there are Muslims in the world there are problems including the subjugation of women”

    – Tends to be where ever religion is joined to the state. Christian states have been equally as oppressive. Catholics and Protestants have been burning each other for centuries. The Christian west in Medieval Europe was far more destructive to individual liberties, than the Muslim east. Critics of Islam – like al-Ma’arri – could be found throughout the Arab empire. In Christian Europe, even being the “wrong” denomination of Christian, would likely end in execution.
    Let’s also not forget that conservative Christians in Uganda are currently oppressing the most fundamental rights for gay people. Much like conservative Christians in the US would just love to do if they had half a chance. But again, I digress. The issue isn’t whether or not your like a religion. It’s the fundamental right of all to believe and to worship without the state threatening to punish them for it.

    “They have closed their account. Thats discrimination by any measure.”
    – Agreed.

    “You cant have a secular society without having a guarantee of freedom of speech”

    – Absolutely. You have every right to protest the building of a mosque if you wish. I have no wish to stop that. To prevent you from doing so, would be incredibly oppressive of me.

    You have a right to your expression. Equally, Muslims have a right to pray. You seem to be having a tantrum that your rights are being abused, whilst you wish to abuse the rights of others. You’re inconsistent.

  22. It’s a recurring theme, some would say a type of pattern?

    – It’s almost as if you’ve decided not ignore the imperial history of the other Abrahamic traditions. The conquests of Central America, and forced conversions. The Middle Ages of Christian supremacy at a time when being the ‘wrong’ sect of Christianity, would have you burnt at the sake. It’s almost as if you’ve decided to ignore the fact that the reason Constantinople was Christian in the first place, was because it was enforced. Or the imperial history of a plethora of ideologies. Fascism, Communism, some would argue Capitalism, Socialism. So spare me the very Islamist-like victim mentality and complete rewrite of history to justify your own massively oppressive narrative.

    Also, posting a few Hadith or Qur’anic verses is irrelevant. They believe it to be true, you don’t. They have no right to impose their belief, neither do you. It’s quite simple.

    “What is Choudarys brand?”

    – Al-Muhajiroun’s brand of Islamism. Political, Sayyid Qutb style Islam. The type that you think is in control of every Mosque on the planet. If you read Ed Hussain’s book – The Islamist – you will find that the more radical muslims – actively pursuing the goal of a resurrected caliphate – tend to be younger, economically disadvantaged kids looking mainly for a sense of brotherhood looking for a cause. The cause was a very 20th century blend of Islamic concepts of old, mixed with fascism. From this, formed Jamaat-e-Islami and other brands of similar groups influenced by the works of people like Qutb and Mawdudi. That’s what won over Maajid Nawaz (who now fights extremism) and Ed Hussain (also now fighting extremism). Their parents generation were not radicalised, and most consider Islam their spiritual guide. As do most Muslims in most Mosques on the planet. You know, the billions that aren’t currently plotting the overthrow of Bendigo council. Your entire argument appears to rest on the bizarre notion that most Muslims, including those at the new Mosque in Bendigo, are very Al-Muhajiroun in their beliefs, have really much knowledge at all of the works of those who influenced the extremists, and that Mosques openly call for and try to radicalise in the hope of the overthrow of western democracy (not secularism, since you’re not a big fan of that yourself) by invoking extremist thinkers of the past. They aren’t. Most go to Mosque, pray, meet each other, eat, laugh, come home. That’s basically it. It doesn’t threaten you in the slightest. If you have any evidence that the Mosque in Bendigo is actively and covertly working to radicalise young Muslims in the form of an Australian version of Al-Muhajiroun….. then provide evidence. Otherwise, you’re just another oppressive anti-secularist, who has more in common with the Islamists you claim to hate, than either of you would care to admit. As it stands, I’m unaware of any ties between the Mosque in Bendigo, and groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir.

    Not every ideology is supremacist ergo your statement is false. Certainly fairie worshippers are not trying to enforce anything onto anyone.

    – That’d be a belief. Not an ideology. What a very basic distinction to not understand. Belief is simply trust that something is true. An ideology incorporates belief into a system of ideas that form political and economic theories. Islam is used as both, from different groups. Most it is a belief that influences their life as a guide. For Islamists, it is a political system that must be implemented. What is the system of ideas of fairy worshipers? Enlighten me.
    So, Ergo, my statement was right, and you don’t seem to understand the difference between belief and ideology. Secularism tames both. It ensures your hideously oppressive desire to control ideas suitable only to you, is not given a place of privilege or supremacy by the state. Equally, it ensures Islam or Christianity or Hinduism, or any other system of belief or ideology is not granted any privilege to interfere with the liberty of others. All are open to worship and belief, all are open to criticism and satire and inquiry without fear of state punishment.

    “No, I have no power to ban any ideologies nor do I have some bizarre delusion that I can. What I do have though is an opinion, and it is an opinion formulated on the grounds of reason. What reason should a civilised society have to put up with any ideology which makes a distinction between ‘believer’ and ‘non-believer’ (who are to be either converted, taxed or killed) whilst condemning billions of human beings to eternal torture?”

    – What a completely incoherent ramble. I’m not entirely sure what it is you’re advocating. At first, you note you have no desire to ban any ideologies. Then you subtly suggest that society should probably ban an ideology that you don’t like. Or am I reading that wrong? You say society shouldn’t have to “put up with” any ideology. I simply say that any ridiculous beliefs, should be free to exist without state punishment. Secularism ensures they have no state power. The reason smaller Christian sects in the US in the 18th Century sided vehemently with Jefferson and Madison’s plan to ensure a secular constitution, was that it protected them from the oppressive nature of the more Puritan sects who wished to control them. Secularism allows for protection of all beliefs, and the supremacy of none of them. Christians constitute society, Atheists constitute society, and to your constant incapability of understanding; Muslims also constitute society. You have no more right to ban their place of worship, as they have to ban yours. Now perhaps you could clear up your blatant inconsistencies; Do you wish the state to ban the building of Mosques? If so, do you believe the state should then imprison muslims for collectively worshiping? Or do you respect their right to worship? What if you decide to ban the building of mosques and they congregate for prayer elsewhere? How will you be policing that? Are you going to fill prisons up with muslims who pray? Your position has no coherence, it is horrendously oppressive, and as pathetically anti-secular as the Islamists you condemn.

    This is the irony, all of those things above describe Islam yet you are defending it and then bizarrely calling me a supremacist for highlighting how dangerous it is.

    – Nope. Like other commenters on here, you seem to be confused between not liking a faith, and accepting that people have a right to believe things that I don’t like, without the state punishing them. Your opinion of a belief is irrelevant. You’re entitled to express it. You’re not entitled to oppress the rights of others to believe it, or to worship according to it. I will defend your right to believe things I find to be hideous, as much as anyone else’s too. I don’t like Christianity, or Fascism, or Communism…. but I’ll defend everyone’s right to believe all of those ideologies, and to express support for them. Equally, I believe everyone should have the right to criticise, and to satirise all ideas and concepts – including Islam – without state punishment. I defend the fundamental right to believe, and to worship according to one’s conscience, without oppression. Muslims are equal as citizens as you or anyone else. You do not have an inherent right to control their lives. You just don’t. You appear to believe in the right for people who think like you, to be free to do so, whilst oppressing the rights of those you don’t like. Therefore, yes, you are a supremacist.

    I believe you have a right to believe and express your disapproval at Islam. Mock it, insult it, critique it, that’s absolutely your right, and no one should claim otherwise. I believe you have a right to get together with others, and voice your disapproval of Islam and mock it and insult it. Secular democracy is the absolute only guarantee of the fundamental right to criticise, to inquiry, and to mock without fear of oppression. All ideas must be open to that. I believe you have every right to express your anti-secular supremacist ideals without the state punishing you. I disapprove of your anti-secular ideals, much like you disapprove of Islam. But I don’t believe I have, or should have, any supreme privilege to punish you simply because I disagree with you. You seem to believe the opposite. That your anti-secular supremacy is acceptable, whilst others are not. This inconsistency baffles me.

    Reason wept.

  23. Dana deWest says:

    You asked for proof.

    This is the ISLAMIC DRAFT CONSTITUTION for Australia by the first Islamic Political Party of Australia HIZB UT-TAHRIR.

    You might find this Interesting considering your current position. (I would just go to the General Rules and note the following)

    Australia is to become an Islamic state. (In the online version—there will be two complete systems) However the original PDF version I have it is only one under Sharia Law:

    “Article 1: The Islamic creed (’aqeedah) constitutes the foundation of the State. Nothing is permitted to exist in the government’s structure, accountability, or any other aspect connected with the government, that does not take the creed as its source. – ”

    …Where All citizens of the Islamic State are entitled to enjoy the divine rights and duties (Sharia Law) – Where Arabic will be the sole language of the State There is plenty more. It was released recently and the time period for this takeover is 25 years.

    (Now might be a good time to wake up.)

    See more at: http://archive.hizb-australia.org/hizbut-tahrir/draft-constitution#sthash.ZpT9chYT.KQMvl1kg.dpuf

    (With no other religion or group I have I seen such brazen declarations. Tee political party was formed in Palestine in conjunction with the Muslim Brotherhood.)

    HIZB UT-TAHRIR. was established in Jordanian-occupied East Jerusalem in or around 1953 by Taqiuddin an-Nabhani al-Filastyni (1909-1977), an Islamic scholar of Palestinian origin, who previously, as a student in Egypt’s prestigious al-Azhar University, had interacted with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, although it is not clear if he ever became a member.

    HIZB read more:
    http://almanac.afpc.org/hizb-ut-tahrir

    —Muslim Brotherhood would be behind this party…

    DRAFT read more
    See more at: http://archive.hizb-australia.org/hizbut-tahrir/draft-constitution#sthash.ZpT9chYT.dpuf

  24. Are you under the impression that the mosque in Bendigo is going to be run by Hizb? Do you know anything about Hizb? It’s like claiming a church will inevitably be run by the KKK.

  25. […] few of my articles have attracted such frenzied responses as my article in support of the proposed Mosque in Bendigo. The responses tend to be confused rather than […]

  26. valexand1980 says:

    Very well written article. Practices of one religion should not be placed above another. As for some comments to the article being of the sort: ” Well, try preaching this advice in Muslim countries!” only show that those countries where that is the case are by definition NOT secular. Exactly the point the author was making.

  27. Shannon Dore says:

    “You should take yourself to Saudi Arabia” except its not Saudi Arabia… Its friggin Bendigo. If you think a moderate mosque will make a small rural city become like saudi arabia, you are deluded.

  28. Shannon Dore says:

    Meanwhile at the creationist hate church, *crickets*. Oh yeah sorry those guys are christians, no problem.

  29. Jamie Anderson says:

    An observation: The opposition corner spouts confused, paranoid drivel. Perfectly understandable behaviour of an under-educated rabble. Those in favour of democracy simply believe in a fair go for all Australians.

  30. Rob Stevens says:

    I actually live in a suburb where the majority of people are muslim. There are good, bad and ugly in every group in every society and I have seen it locally. The vast majority of the muslim people locally are in the good category and we have fantastic neighbours. The ignorance shown by the bad and ugly in Bendigo in opposing the mosque is breathtaking!

  31. […] occasions pertaining to the specifics – the veil, or sexuality, free expression, or the building of mosques – I thought I’d use this article to explain my fundamental reasoning behind why I […]

  32. Tony Parry says:

    bendigo ,a traditional australian city from the time of the goldrush will become a islamic terrorist recruiting centre , an islamic kristal nacht will happen within a generation, then all the greens supporters will slap their foreheads and say ” gee , where did we go wrong?” while we can ,supress all islam and get rid of these vermin!

  33. John Smith says:

    Hasn’t Australia had a few Muslim riots in the last ten years? During the last one in 2012 a child held up a sign saying “Behead all those who insult the prophet”. And what would happen if an Australian newspaper published a cartoon of Mohammed? They wouldn’t even dare and we all know why. Are there Muslim areas in Australian cities that are “no-go” areas for non-Muslims and even the police like there are in western European cities? If not, it’s probably just a matter of time.

    Below is some information from the Wikipedia “Islam in Germany” about how Muslims in Germany view things – I bet the views of Muslims in Australia are similar. If you don’t trust Wikipedia as a source, then click on the links to go directly to the sources cited.

    “According to a 2012 poll, 72% of the Turks in Germany believe that Islam is the only true religion and 46% wish that one day more Muslims live in Germany than Christians.[15][16][17] According to a 10-year survey by the University of Bielefeld, which dealt with different aspects of attitudes to Islam, mistrust of Islam is widespread in Germany with only 19 percent of Germans believing that Islam is compatible with German culture.[18]

    “According to 2013 study by Social Science Research Center Berlin, two thirds of the Muslims interviewed say that religious rules are more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live, almost 60 percent of the Muslim respondents reject homosexuals as friends; 45 percent think that Jews cannot be trusted; and an equally large group believes that the West is out to destroy Islam (Christian respondents’ answers for comparison: As many as 9 percent are openly anti-Semitic; 13 percent do not want to have homosexuals as friends; and 23 percent think that Muslims aim to destroy Western culture).[19]”

  34. […] to restrict liberty for those they don’t particularly like – this is clear from the Bendigo Mosque case, and the anti-secular opposition to it – and they both insist that a state controlled by the […]

  35. The Syed Atheist says:

    Reblogged this on The Syed Atheist.

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