By Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Sydney Australia, 6 Nov. 2023
Senator Mehreen Faruqi’s statement condemning the ongoing brutal attacks by Israeli forces in Gaza deserves praise for its unwavering stance on the issue. On the other hand,
Pauline Hanson’s speech in parliament today is consistent with her past speeches, which often contain sentiments that appear harsh and misinformed about Palestinians, Muslims, and Islam. She makes assertions that wrongly associate terrorism with Islam, using the term “Islamic terrorism,” which can be both misguided and inflammatory.
I recently listened to a parliamentary proceeding on the radio, during which One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and a few others referred to terrorism as “Islamic Terrorism.” This terminology has raised concerns and sparked discussions. It is essential to clarify that terrorism knows no religion, and the actions of terrorists should not be attributed to any faith.
It is possible that individuals who use the term “Islamic Terrorism” either do so out of ignorance or with the intention to unfairly stigmatize Islam and its followers. However, it is crucial to understand that Islam, like any major religion, has a diverse range of interpretations and adherents. Muslims worldwide and in Australia have consistently and openly condemned acts of terror, such as the 9/11 attacks in the United States, the Bali terrorist attack in 2002, the London bombings in 2005, and various other acts of violence around the world.
Australia is a peaceful, multicultural country, and the Muslim community in Australia has consistently spoken out against terrorism. They have never supported terrorism in any form or on any soil. It is a collective effort to promote peace and understanding by our multicultural society.
The recent conflict involving the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Israeli forces has been met with condemnation from peace-loving people worldwide, transcending faith, race, or nationality. It is heartening to see leaders like Green party parliamentarian Mehreen Farooqui boldly denouncing attacks on hospitals, schools, and residential areas in Gaza, where thousands of children, women, young adults, and elders have tragically lost their lives.
In contrast, some individuals, like Pauline Hanson in her speech in the parliament, today, condemned Hamas attacks on Israelis without demonstrating any sympathy with the dire and devastating situation in Gaza. It is essential to remember that the objective should be to condemn the killing of innocent people, regardless of their nationality, and not take sides based on political or religious affiliations.
Every life, whether Palestinian or Israeli, deserves condemnation when lost in violence. However, it is important to examine the power dynamics and military might at play when considering the tragic situation in Gaza. Understanding who is responsible for the disproportionate use of force is crucial in addressing the ongoing crisis.
Terrorism should never be linked to any religion, and peace-loving individuals must come together to condemn acts of violence. Let us strive for empathy, understanding, and a commitment to peace, free from the shackles of religious bias or political motivations. Al Quran (5:32) says killing an innocent is like killing humanity.
(The writer is an editor, Tribune International, Australia, his email address is email@example.com ).