Australian Muslim leader tells PM to give up day job

'If there’s any advice to be given… I would say: "Work in any field other than politics",' says Grand Mufti Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohammad.

Australian Muslim leader tells PM to give up day job
World Bulletin / News Desk
 
Australia’s Grand Mufti has told embattled Prime Minister Tony Abbott to give up the day job, advising him on an online TV program Friday to “work in any field other than politics.”

Asked if he had any advice for Abbott – who survived a leadership challenge earlier this month, although more than a third of his party's lawmakers voted against him - Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohammad told the show: “I respect the presence of Tony Abbott as a political leader of his party and I respect the Australian community’s choice in electing him.

“I personally elected him in the previous elections. But believe me, I will not repeat this mistake again... If there’s any advice to be given, then with my full respect to the Australian people in choosing him, and my full respect to his presence as prime minister… I would say: ‘Work in any field other than politics.’”

The comments to Spot Light come in the wake of a thaw in relations between members of the country’s Muslim community and the government.

The Grand Mufti has slammed Australia's involvement in Syria and its support for Israel, telling Australia's 7News last Friday that it will lead to more young Muslims joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

He has said that the government should also drop plans to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir.

"We do not find it helpful to blur the lines between groups that advocate cold-blooded murder and those that are non-violent," he told 7News, while speaking through an interpreter.

"No matter how repugnant people may consider the views of the latter, they are entitled to such views, and people are free to debate or to simply ignore them."

On Monday, the government is expected to announce new security legislation – which some Muslim leaders claim demonizes their communities - that will see dual citizens convicted of terror offences stripped of their citizenship.

Abbott has also promised to crackdown on Hizb ut-Tahrir and other organizations he says "nurture extremism in our suburbs.”

On Thursday, a spokesman for the Sydney-based Hizb ut-Tahrir accused Abbott of using it to distract from his domestic problems, Wassim Doureihi calling the "crackdown" a “desperate act by a desperate man that reeks of insecurity.”

He added that the claims “would be laughable if they were not so serious,” said that the organization has rejected the caliphate declared by the ISIL, and said those who leave Australia to fight in Syria do so in opposition to its ideology.

On Sunday, Abbott criticized Mohammad for suggesting it would be a political mistake to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir.

He called Mohammed’s comments “wrong-headed” and unhelpful.

The country's Lebanese Muslim Association weighed in Tuesday, saying in a statement that it is deeply troubled by Abbott's comments in regards to the Grand Mufti.

"These statements by the Prime Minister only serve to strengthen anti-Muslim sentiment," it added. 

"We do not find it helpful to blur the lines between groups that advocate cold-blooded murder and those that are non-violent. No matter how repugnant people may consider the views of the latter, they are entitled to such views, and people are free to debate or to simply ignore them."

A Newspoll survey for The Australian newspaper earlier this month showed Abbott’s personal approval at a record low and gave him the worst ranking for any prime minister since 1994.

The prime minister has alienated many by his apparently autocratic style – making so-called “captain’s calls” on controversial issues.

Last Mod: 20 Şubat 2015, 17:34
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