Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian reckons: “Australian mufti Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali is under investigation over whether his call for the Muslim world to unite behind Iran breached sedition laws by urging assistance to an enemy of the state.”
Since when has Iran been ‘an enemy of the state’?
The Australian goes on to tell us: “Australian Federal Police officers interviewed Sheik Hilali last Tuesday over his call to Muslims to ‘stand in the trenches’ with Iran, described by US President George W. Bush as a member of the ‘axis of evil’.”
Why do we need to be reminded that George W. Bush has called Iran part of the ‘axis of evil’? Just because George W. Bush, President of the United States – not President of Australia – calls Iran part of the ‘axis of evil’ doesn’t make it so.
There is no sedition here; only a very crude attempt by the AFP and the Howard government to demonise al-Hilali specifically and Islam generally. The mufti al-Hilali says some outrageous stuff occasionally but for newspapers like the right-wing Murdoch-owned The Australian to report these things the way it does, blowing the importance of what al-Hilali says out of all proportion is pure and deliberate racist propaganda against the religion and culture of Islam.
One may not agree with what al-Hilali has to say but he has the right in Australia to say it and, while Iran and their leaders might get up John Howard’s nose, (as, no doubt, he gets up theirs) we are not at war with them and we are certainly not at war with their people.
Iran is not an enemy of the state of Australia – regardless of what Bush or his deputy sheriff John Howard might like to think.
Sedition indeed!!! More like Howard’s last fling towards fascism in Australia.