A Sydney-based Muslim speaker has blamed the cancelation of his Opera House talk on honour killings on “Islamophobia”.
Uthman Badar, a spokesperson for the pro-Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, was due to give a speech called Honour killings are morally justified at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in August. At a press conference yesterday he said the public outcry and subsequent cancellation was unjustified.
“The hysteria shows a lot, says a lot, about Islamophobia,” Mr Badar said.
“I would hope they had more courage, more backbone.”
Mr Badar said he first suggested a different topic to discuss.
“I, in fact, suggested a more direct topic about Islam and the secular liberalism, something like, ‘The West needs saving by Islam’. How’s that dangerous?” he asked.
“Iraq was a nation laid to waste. But after all that the United States or its allies are still not terrorists?
“But they can do that, and lay to waste an entire nation and not be a terrorist, but if you respond, if you resist oppression, if you resist that invasion in Iraq or Afghanistan… you are a terrorist. You are an extremist.”
Mr Badar said The St James Ethics Centre, which runs the festival, chose the title of the speech and he consented. He refused to answer journalists’ questions at the press conference on the justification of honour killings, saying we would have to wait until his speech was published. However he insisted Islam condemned honour killings, which involves the murder, usually of women, who have brought shame on their family for matters such as adultery or going against an arranged marriage. Mr Badar also said he might still give a speech at the festival on a different topic.
Hizb ut-Tahrir advocates the establishment of a global Islamic state, including an independent judiciary. The group came into focus last year when it criticised the Australian Government for forcing Islamic schools in Australia to commemorate Anzac Day.
For more see The Newsroom’s Honour killing speech cancelled. – Jade Meiach-Sherlock
Photo By Rebecca Hopper.