By Syed Atiq ul Hassan
Thank God Tony Abbott is no more Australian Prime Minister, otherwise his nonsense statement about Islam could create another issue that could lead to another fire in the divisive world on the name of religion.
In a recent opinion article of the former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott published in a national newspaper, today, Mr. Abbott has said that Islam must change, he called for hearts and minds campaign against the version of Islam that make excuses for terrorists.
Mr. Abbott’s remarks about Islam is an absolute shock for the sensible people of Australia and a bombshell for the peaceful Australian Muslims. Australian people never expect this type of statement from an Australian high profile politician, as this has never been a tradition of Australian politicians to rashly comment on religion, especially from a former Prime Minister on a religion that is a faith of 1.6 billion people on this earth. This is not a politician’s role to suggest what and how to follow a religion, especially if that person does not belong to that faith.
One cannot expect a generalise but very sensitive statement about a global religion from the most responsible politician of a country who has served as a Prime Minister.
Firstly, Tony Abbott has no authority whatsoever to talk about changing Islam, secondly, being in national politics for more than 2 decades and has been the Prime Minister, Mr. Abbott must know that the most immorality and disloyalty to Islam for a Muslim is to talk about changes in the codes of Islam. Thirdly, Mr. Abbott must know that Islam unlike Christianity does not have versions of Islam or Quran. Fourthly, even any highest Mufti or Islamic Scholar cannot suggest to change or form another version of Islam as this is totally forbidden in Islam.
The basic Islam is the codes of conduct which has been defined in Quran and the holy book has never been changed and as a core principle there cannot be any change made to Quran by anyone. It is also the fact everywhere in the world and for any type of sect within Islam has been in its original form and is the same. However, more importantly, as the issues within the Muslims don’t exist due to anything misappropriate in Islam today. The rules of Islam have been the same since Islam came in this world 1400 years ago and in these 14 centuries Islam has ruled the world in different times over centuries as role models of governance, so there is no question about change in Islam in this period of time.
From Mr. Abbott’s opinion it can be derived that he sees and understands Islam not from Quran or Sunnah (saying of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)’ but from the issues and problems Muslims are facing in the world today. This is not a surprise as millions of non-Muslims have the same behaviour and attitude about knowing Islam. However, it is not difficult to understand that any religion should not be judged by its followers (human being) instead of its codes of conducts, principles and rules. Followers can be good followers or bad followers but their rules and codes of conducts are the same.
Mr. Abbot cannot have any excuse being an experienced politician and the former Prime Minister that he does not understand how this world has been a victim of terrorism today and how it has been spread up like a disease, especially in Muslim countries. Suppression, injustices, occupying their lands and controlling resources over decades created repulsions in the Muslims states and today those repulsions have been converted into fanaticism, violence and terrorism. Then there are culprits who are using the name of Islam in the Muslim states for their own vested interest and to serve the interest of their Western masters.
The issue of Palestine, issue of Kashmir, control of oil resources of Arab lands, are these the problems of Islam? These are problems of the people who are happened to be Muslims. Going into the grassroots of these geopolitical and power issues we find that these were and are created by Western Powers. The people of Palestine and Kashmir have been dying for freedom for the last 70 years but the Western powers have no intention to serve justice to them according to the resolutions of United Nations which were passed over half century ago and people like Mr. Abbott are blaming Islam for these half a century old problems.
Tony Abbott writes in his article, ‘can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam, after terrorist attacks in Paris and the Middle East, the deaths of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson in the Martin Place siege last year and Curtis Cheng outside Parramatta police station in October’. Mr. Abbott should have also mentioned that for every single of these unfortunate incidents the members and leaders of Australian Islamic Community openly condemned the culprits and asked law enforcement agencies and justice department to deliver justice to the criminals behind these incidences. These loyal Australian Muslims also advice Tony Abbot to not involve Australia in other conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Mr. Abbott must know who are the main recipients of today’s terrorism. Hundreds and thousands of innocent women, children, young and elders have been killed so far in the Muslim countries (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yamen and so on) not in the Western world. On the other hand, if you count the deaths and incidents of terrorism in the Western World compared to the Muslim World these are nothing and in Australia not a single incident of terror occurred same like what has been happening in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and other Muslim States almost every second day. (The writer is a Sydney-based Journalist and political analyst)