March 13th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Has Canberra gone bananas? Has Biosecurity Australia dropped its quarantine standards?

EDITORIAL: The law and the status of marriage

QUEENSLAND: Westons biscuits now in Australian hands

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Band-aids won't solve Australia's ageing problem

STRAWS IN THE WIND : Drawing the line / The smile on the face of the tiger / Pecking order

FAMILY: Social engineering in education system

DRUGS: ACT pulls back from legalised heroin injecting room

Taiwan's necessary referendum (letter)

Islamic societies (letter)

Privatisation and WA's power shortages (letter)

The Latham paradox (letter)

Prevention is better than cure (letter)

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: The culture of life and the United Nations

FAILED SCHOOLS: Is there a way out of the crisis in education?

CHINA: Did Beijing assist nuclear proliferation?

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Islamic societies (letter)

by L.R. Flynn

News Weekly, March 13, 2004

Dr Sharif Shuja's article (NW, February 14, 2004) is typical of the pap that is being fed to the non-Islamic world. I quote, "If real change is to occur in the Arab world, it must come from within". Further, "In many Muslim countries political dissent is simply illegal". Question: who is going "to bell the cat" in these Muslim countries to bring about these real changes?

Islam is a complete way of life, it is not merely a religion. Islam embraces the political, legal and social systems of its adherents.

One must take issue with the view expressed by Dr Shuja that poverty, high unemployment, absence of democracies, etc. are the immediate causes of extremism. The hijackers who flew the aircraft into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001,were well-educated Muslims implementing, they believed, the will of Allah. You do not have to be uneducated and unemployed to be an extremist.

Dr Shuja writes that "no religion prescribes violence against innocent people". The term genocide did not exist at the time of Muhammad when he established the model for subsequent relations between the Islamic conquerors and their Jewish or Christian subjects: "Fight those who do not profess the true faith [Islam] till they pay the Jizya [poll tax] with the hand of humility".

The Koranic dictum to fight Jews and Christians until "they pay the Jizya with willing submission" rifled out any possibility of a permanent peaceful coexistence. Muhammad's practice and consistent encouragement of bloodshed is unique in the history of religions.

It is an interesting academic exercise to speculate on President Pervez Musharraf's future as an Islamic leader on the world stage.

Whoever does acquire this mantle requires an understanding, by the non-Islamic world, that Islam regards violence, threats of violence and lies as legitimate means of gaining political ends.

L.R. Flynn,
The Entrance, NSW

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