by Hugh Fitzgerald
Jeremy Heard was the Liberal Party candidate for Isaacs (an electoral division) in Australia until May 1, when some remarks he had made about Islam on the opinion page of the conservative journal Qantara back on February 14, 2018, came to light. For those remarks, he was promptly unendorsed by his party; he withdrew from the race, and apologized, far too much.. For some in the Liberal Party, removing him from the race is not enough; they want him expelled from the Party.
The headlines registered horror at Hearn’s remarks: ‘Victorian Liberal candidate Jeremy Hearn sacked after appalling anti-Muslim rant; Melbourne Liberal candidate who posed a series of horrific anti-Muslim comments has been sacked. Appalling. Horrific. Rant. And many more headlines to the same effect.
What did Jeremy Hearn write to cause him to be consigned to the outer darkness? He wrote that Muslims subscribe to an ideology of “killing or enslaving the citizens of Australia if they do not become Muslim.” This is not wide of the traditional mark. According to the ideology of Islam (though not today’s practice) there are three options available to Unbelievers in lands conquered by Islam: death, conversion to Islam, or the permanent status of dhimmi, which Hearn describes, incorrectly, as “enslavement.” But the dhimmi status, if not slavery, is certainly an agonizing one. Dhimmis were prohibited from riding horses — donkeys were allowed — or carrying weapons, making them easy prey for Muslims who might attack them on some pretext; both Christians and Jews had to wear identifying marks on their clothes and in some places, to exhibit similar identifying marks on their dwellings; they had to step aside for Muslims on footpaths and to dismount from their donkeys when in the presence of Muslims. Dhimmis could not testify in court against Muslims; in cases involving recompense for murder, a dhimmi’s life was worth, depending on the school of Islamic jurisprudence, either 1/4 or 1/8 that of a Muslim.
But the most important requirement for dhimmis was payment of the Jizyah, a poll tax that was frequently crushing, such that some dhimmis converted to Islam in order to avoid the jizyah payment. The dhimmi condition was exceedingly onerous, but it still was not quite the “enslavement” to which Jeremy Hearn refers. He ought to have corrected that.
Hearn also claimed that Muslims were of ‘bad character.” His original post could not be found on-line so I don’t know if he wrote that “all’ or “many” or “some” Muslims or just “Muslims”were of “bad character.” And what did Hearn have in mind? I assume he means that we are entitled to assume, unless expressly assured otherwise, that people who identify as Muslims read the Qur’an as the uncreated and immutable word of God, and believe its commands must be followed. The Qur’an includes 109 verses that command Believers to take part in violent Jihad, to ‘fight’ and to “kill’ and to “smite at the necks of” and to “strike terror in the hearts of” the Unbelievers. There are also verses telling Muslims not to take Christians and Jews as friends, for they are “friends only with each other.” And among the other troubling verses is that in which Unbelievers — you and I, for example –are described as “the most vile of creatures.”
Someone who declares himself a Muslim is thereby indicating submission to the dictates of the Qur’an, with all its violence toward, and inculcated hatred for, non-Muslims. Would it be unreasonable to describe such people as of “bad character” as Jeremy Hearn did, for dutifully following such an ideology?
Or what about the figure of Muhammad, who consummated his marriage — i.e., had sexual intercourse –with Aisha, when she was nine, and he was 54? The same Muhammad ordered the torture and murder of Kinana of Khaybar, wished aloud for someone to “rid him” of three people who had mocked him — Asma bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, Ka’b ibn al-Ashraf — and all three were murdered by his loyal followers. This is the same Muhammad took part in the killing of 600-900 bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza. The same Muhammad who in the hadith is recorded as saying both “war is deceit’ and “I have been made victorious through terror.” Yet despite this record, Muslims regard Muhammad as the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) and the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana). I assume this was in Jeremy Hearn’s mind when he spoke of the “bad character” of Muslims.
And what about Hearn’s remark that Muslims should be prevented from getting Australian citizenship because they were trying to replace Australia’s system of government with sharia law? Is this a ridiculous worry? We do have some information about how many Muslims wish to live under sharia.
According to Pew Research:
“Acceptance of sharia as the revealed word of God is high across South Asia and most of the Middle East and North Africa. For example, roughly eight-in-ten Muslims (81%) in Pakistan and Jordan say sharia is the revealed word of God, as do clear majorities in most other countries surveyed in these two regions. Only in Lebanon is opinion more closely divided: 49% of Muslims say sharia is the divine word of God, while 38% say men have developed sharia from God’s word.
If very large majorities of Muslims regard sharia as the revealed word of God, of course they would wish it to be the law where they live — including Western lands such as Australia.
Very few surveys of attitudes of Muslims in the West toward sharia have been done.
“One was conducted in 2004 in the Netherlands, and it found that 51% of Dutch Muslims interviewed favored a Muslim political party, and 29.5% thought that its political program should be based on Sharia. The other two surveys were conducted in the UK, in 2006 and 2007. According to the 2006 survey, 40% of the 500 British Muslim respondents said that they would support the introduction of Sharia in predominantly Muslim areas of Britain. The 2007 study found that 28% of British Muslims would prefer to live under Sharia law. In 2016 support among U.K. Muslims for sharia had increased: 43% of British Muslims said they supported “the introduction of Sharia Law” and 16% “strongly supported” it — that is, a total of 59% of British Muslims support Sharia law in Great Britain.
Hearn was wrong to claim –if indeed he did — that “Muslims” want to impose sharia in Australia. He ought to have written that “given what we know from surveys elsewhere in the West, and from the statements of Muslim leaders here, it is reasonable to conclude that many Muslims want to impose sharia in Australia.” He might then have noted that in 2010 the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia president Keysar Trad said many Muslims wanted aspects of sharia law to be adopted in Australia (though he thought it would be difficult to have the chopping off of limbs.accepted). Dr Zachariah Matthews, president of the Australian Islamic Mission, made a similar comment. It is not unreasonable for Hearn to have worried about those Muslims who want to see sharia imposed. Where he went wrong, and was vulnerable to criticism, was in his apparent claim that “all Muslims” rather than “a significant number’” of Muslims supported Sharia.
When his previous statements came to light, instead of instantly collapsing and issuing a mea maxima culpa, Hearn could have said something like this:
“When I mentioned the “bad character” of Muslims of course I did not mean all Muslims, but those many Muslims who take to heart the 109 Qur’anic commands to wage violent Jihad against Unbelievers. I don’t find it unfair to describe those who believe they must fight and kill and smite at the necks of, and strike terror in the hearts of, non-Muslims, as of “bad character.”And if they regard as a Perfect Man and a Model of Conduct someone who has sexual intercourse with a nine-year-old girl, who orders the torture of a man to make him reveal where he has hidden valuables, and then has that man killed, who calls for the assassination of three people who had mocked him, and his followers dutifully murder all three, who himself takes part in the killing of 600-900 prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, and proudly claims that ‘war is deceit’ and ‘I have been made victorious through terror,’ then there is something off in their moral compass, and I think it not unfair to describe such people as of ‘bad character.’”
“As for the question of sharia, we do know that in the U.K., the country that, culturally, is closest to Australia, about 60% of Muslims either “strongly support” or “support” the introduction of the sharia.
‘That’s a very large number. And since we have no way to identify, when they apply to enter our country, those Muslims who either are at the time, or are likely later to become, supporters of sharia, I suggested that to ensure our own freedoms, we should deny citizenship to Muslims. Many were outraged by this. But I do not think I was wrong.. Australian citizenship is a very great privilege. It should be available only to those whom we are certain will not work to undermine the state, undo our individual rights, spread misogyny, antisemitism, and homophobia, and little by little, transform this country, by demographic conquest and stealth jihad, into an Islamic polity, repellent examples of which are all about us.
“I regret that I did not, in my original remarks, make reference to specific Qur’anic verses. I do so now, because it is important that they be read and understood. Here are a dozen of the most disturbing: 2:191. 2:192, 3:110, 3:151,4:34, 5:51, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, 98:6.
“After you have grasped the meaning of those verses, look at what has already been wrought, to our own secret dismay, by the Muslim Lebanese in Lakemba, where Unbelievers now fear to tread, and ask yourself why we in Australia should, after that experience, take any further chances?
First published in Jihad Watch.