Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir decries ‘forced Muslim assimilation’
Requiring schoolchildren to sing the national anthem, and the citizenship pledge supporting democratic values, are part of an oppressive campaign by Australian authorities of “forced assimilation” of the Muslim community, a conference heard this morning.
Source: News Corp Australia
The conference held by Islamist activist group Hizb ut-Tahrir entitled “Innocent Until Proven Muslim” is taking place at Bankstown in Sydney’s west, attended by about 400 people.
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar told the conference the Australian government “claims to afford freedom, but seeks to impose values and beliefs” on Muslims.
Muslims were expected to not just be gracious about Australian values, but publicly promote them, Mr Badar said.
This imposition of secular western values was reflected in the oath when taking out citizenship, Mr Badar said, with new citizens required to pledge allegiance to Australia “whose democratic beliefs I share”.
Similarly, Mr Badar said, schoolchildren were required to sing the national anthem, which he said, “reflects a disputed view of history”.
“If you don’t share those values, why should they be forced to sing it?” Mr Badar said.
The comments follow a backlash from many politicians and commentators to news last week that the principal of a Victorian primary school had excused Muslim students from singing Advance Australia Fair.
Mr Badar said the campaign by government and agencies against radicalisation was actually a smokescreen to “make Muslims less Islamic”.
“It is nothing less than forced assimilation … sought to be justified by exaggerated fear of a security threat,” he said.
Government efforts to promote what it bills as a moderate form of Islam might on occasion “buy out some Imam”, Mr Badar said, but overall, “the attempt to reform Islam is doomed to failure.”
The conference heard a series of members of the Muslim community, some by prerecorded audiovisual clips and some live from the floor — deliver testimonials of what they claimed was oppressive behaviour by officials against them as Muslims, at airports, in police raids, and in high security prisons.