July 21, 2007

Radical Islam (ii)


Western Liberal societies face several challenges in order to deal with menacing elements of Islam. Consider the following using Australia as an example.

... Recently an influential leader of Shia Islam in Australia told the media that his community overwhelmingly supported Hezbollah, though he was opposed to violence in Australia.

... Another important Sunni Muslim figure, Mustapha Kara-Ali, a former member of our Governments “Islamic advisory board” (who incidentally received $200,000 from the Immigration Department to research the subject) believes 2000 to 3000 young Muslims in Sydney and Melbourne (our biggest cities with a combined population of 8.1 million) stand on the brink of radicalisation.

... In 2005-06 Australia absorbed some 6500 immigrants from the Middle East, 5000 from North Africa, 2000 from Pakistan and Bangladesh, 2700 from Central Asia and 10,000 from sub-Saharan Africa, that is roughly half from Muslim nations which can equate to nearly 20,000 Muslims. Now what if one tenth of them have an attraction to Wahhabi-style Islam (Wahhabism is the literalist, fundamentalist style of Sunni Islam) or some other version of extremism (Iranian clericalism)?

What we have is a significantly large group which, under the right conditions may have a propensity to embrace and support, radical elements of the faith.

Such challenges are not just confined to Australia but wholly relevant to Britain and the U.S. and raise pertinent questions about how liberal societies should best merge contradictions between its liberalism and national security.

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