In an article in The Australian today, Janet Albrechtsen argued that the ultimate way to defeat the rise of Islam and the caliphate is by attacking the fundamental philosophies of the religion. It’s a battle of ideas according to Albrechtsen and the warriors of the right must gird up their loins.
In many ways she’s right and when she argues that the fundamental beliefs of Islam support the activities of groups like ISIS, she raises an important, though possibly dangerously misinformed, point.
One of the fundamental elements of the debate about the stance that Australia should take in relation to Islamic fundamentalism, certainly one pushed by Albrechtsen, is that Islam is essentially a violent religion and that the moderate Moslems are unprepared to accept or acknowledge this.
When it comes to the fundamental question of whether Islam is, at its heart, a violent religion, I am not in a position to make an informed judgement. And I’m sure most Australians are in a similar position. Despite its importance politically, Islam not well understood In Australia.
As part of mounting a sound philosophical and moral argument against the views of the Moslem radicals and the far right personified by Janet Albrechtsen, it is necessary that moderate Moslems articulate the view of their religion that repudiates the stance taken by the radicals of ISIS.
The people who represent the moderate voices in the Moslem community have no treceived, nor sought to receive, very much media attention.
Perhaps the time has come for that to change. Our national media and our national broadcasters need to be providing space where the case for a view Islam that rejects and repudiates the radicalism of ISIS can be clearly articulated.