The Bendigo Mosque may finally ignite serious discussion on Muslim customs and Australia. Perhaps even show what Australia’s future will be like.
Muslims usually frame the issue of mosque construction within the context of granting religious freedom to minorities, but critics think that many are motivated by politics at least as much as by religion.
It is not hard to come to that thought when the basics are examined.
Islam is as much political as it is religious. It is a self-contained system involving civil and criminal law; and the jihads are every bit as much to establish Sharia as the ability to worship Allah.
The attempt by US Muslims to build a high profile mosque almost adjacent to the 9/11 atrocity was seized on by many Americans as evidence of celebration of a triumph more than a need to have a place for common prayer.
Since that happened, more evidence has come their way.
The Muslim Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bragged: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” Erdogan has also told Turkish immigrants in Germany that “assimilation is a crime against humanity.”
And it is the Turkish government that is paying up to $40 million for a super mosque in Germany. The smallish congregation could never raise that money. Which raises the question where is the money for the Bendigo Mosque coming from? They only have about 250 ‘parishioners’.
The west’s political elites are not Muslims or Christians or Jews – they worship a god called Multiculturalism.
And the worship of that god has not proven to be good for Europe.
However, growing numbers of ordinary Europeans are saying that multiculturalism has gone too far. Voters in countries ranging from Austria to Spain, and many places in between, have been pushing back against the unfettered expansion of Islam in Europe. Many Europeans are especially angry at the refusal of younger Muslims to integrate into their host countries.
So it is not a religious freedom thing, it is a political and customs thing.
Overall, there are an estimated 1,600 mosques in Britain but the plans to build the biggest and grandest – not just in England, but in all Europe – were scrapped after a quarter of a million Brits spat the dummy.
In France there are as many mosques as there are in Turkey, so one might think there are plenty of places to worship. In fact, Muslims take over streets when they worship. Nevertheless in Marseille they are now clear to build a triumphal Grand Mosque at a cost of about $30 million.
In Sweden the Stockholm Grande Mosque Foundation is now proposing the construction of an 11,000-square-meter mega mosque in northern Stockholm. The $55 million project will be paid for by Saudi Prince Abdulazizi ben Fahd, son of former Saudi king Fahd.
In Poland, plans for another Grand Mosque are in limbo after protests. Protests that make the point that Christians would not be allowed to build in Turkey or Saudi Arabia.
In Spain, Muslims have demanded they be given the right to worship in the Christian cathedral of Córdoba. This was built as a mosque when the Muslims conquered Spain in the 8th century and deliberately built on the site of a Christian Church. In the 12th century the Spanish regained control and returned the favour. They build a cathedral inside the Mosque. So far the answer is no, you can’t.
In Switzerland they have not only banned minarets, they have jerried the immigration laws to restrict Muslim immigration.
In Italy further construction of mosques is not permitted. In 1970 when there were only a handful of Somali Muslims they planned and built the biggest mosque in Europe, financed mainly by Saudi Arabia. Times have changed there.
And on the story goes. First Muslims are welcomed in Europe and there is great chat about multiculturalism and the Religion of Peace, then slowly opposition begins to come. The government stands firm in their belief in multiculturalism as more and more citizenry get angrier and angrier.
London becomes derided as Londonstan, no-go areas appear, Marseille is almost unrecognisable as French.
Now those feelings are lapping Australia; though citizens are becoming more and more concerned about the halal scam. Qantas caves in and bans bacon and pork on flights.
And the Bendigo Bank actually wants to cancel the bank account of a legitimate organisation opposed to the building of mosques.
The result of the arm wrestle in Bendigo may settle the question of Australia or Australiastan.