An Imam’s Rise Down Under - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
An Imam’s Rise Down Under

A new page in Christian civilization’s prolonged moral suicide note to the world is under consideration in Australia. It is a small symbolic matter, with much weightier matters behind it.

The Australian Army is removing the 102-year-old motto “In this sign conquer” from the hat badges of army chaplains, apparently because it is offensive to Muslims.

The move comes after an imam approved by the Grand Mufti was appointed to join the… Religious Advisory Committee to the Australian armed forces in June.

Oddly enough, none of the other ethnic groups such as Vietnamese (many of whom are Buddhist) serving in the forces have ever complained. Perhaps they are of the opinion that what Christians want to do is their own business. After all, they are not obliged to attend Christian services or seek out Christian Chaplains.

While the motto was adopted by the Australian Army in 1913, it is associated with a vision of the cross said to have come before a battle in 312 A.D. to the Roman Emperor Constantine, the first Emperor to legalize Christianity and to receive baptism himself. It thus predates Islam by several centuries.

A Defence Department spokesman claimed: “The motto of the Australian Army Chaplains is being changed to better reflect the diversity of religion throughout the Australian Army. The new wording on the Australian Army Chaplaincy badge is under consideration and no decision has been made at this time.”

Jewish chaplains already have a separate badge with a Star of David, but having a different badge is a rather different thing to having no badge for Christians at all.

Further, there is an admittedly very politically incorrect argument that Jews are actually on our side, producing soldiers like Sir John Monash, Australia’s greatest general, or, if you wish to take it further back, Australia’s founder and first Governor, Arthur Phillip. 

In any case, the number of Muslims in the Australian armed forces is minuscule, perhaps fewer than the number fighting with ISIS.

The move seems far more about getting rid of the historic Christian symbol than it is about protecting the tender sensibilities of the hundred-odd Muslims in the forces.

Former army major Bernard Gaynor, a Catholic and a much-decorated soldier whose commission was terminated last year due to his objection to homosexuals marching in uniform at gay pride events, said: “This is political correctness destroying our military heritage.”

Mr. Gaynor said this was highlighted by the appointment of an imam, Sheikh Mohamadu Nawas Saleem, to the Army.

The Army imam has previously called for sharia law to be introduced into Australia. He signed a petition supporting radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has argued in favor of honor killings and said Muslim students should not be forced to honor Anzac Day (Australia’s principal remembrance day, commemorating the landings on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915), claiming:

Further, from the Muslim perspective, the Gallipoli campaign represents an aggression by allied troops against the legitimate Islamic authority of the time, the Uthmani Khilafah. If we were to commemorate anything, it would be the successful defence of Muslim territories by the Muslim soldiers of the Khilafah.

Saleem is the Treasurer of the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC). This organization opposed laws prohibiting the advocation of terrorism, with a written submission to the Senate stating:

It is our understanding that the new laws will broaden the definition of “advocating” terrorism to include “promote” and “encourage”, as well as “counsel” and “urge”; and if an organization is deemed to have advocated terrorism, they could be proscribed.… We are therefore concerned that the proposal has serious implications on free speech and will have a chilling effect on legitimate religious and political debate. This provision is of particular concern to preachers who spend a large proportion of their time teaching and advocating on social justice issues.

We recommend that the provision for [sic] advocating terrorism be removed.

The same organization has also condemned the government for providing support to Kurdish forces fighting for their lives against ISIS.

A press release published shortly before Saleem was appointed to a key role in the military stated: “ANIC opposes the government’s current decision to transport and provide weapons to the Kurdish forces in Iraq.”

The imam works about 40 days a year for the Army and is paid $717 a day plus travel allowances.

He was supported for the role by Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, who has lately sparked controversy by failing to condemn the Paris terror attacks. The Grand Mufti initially blamed them on racism and Islamophobia. When he paid a visit to the former Palestinian Prime Minister and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, he is reported to have told the local media, “I am pleased to stand on the land of Jihad to learn from its sons.”

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