The late, great Sheikh Ahmed Deedat – so beloved to millions of Muslims around the world, including Australia – has effectively been rendered an “extremist” in News Corp’s ongoing witch-hunt of all things Islam and Muslims.
News.com.au: Melbourne university hosts extremist Muslim group in the wake of Sydney shooting
AN EXTREMIST Muslim group held a conference at a Melbourne university over the weekend as the country reels from the shooting of a NSW police worker by a radicalised teenager.
Just a day after Friday’s fatal shooting, a controversial conference organised by fundamentalist Islamic group, the Islamic Research and Educational Academy, was held at Deakin University, The Australian reports.
The IREA’s two-day workshops were based on the teachings of Islamic scholars who have recommended the death penalty for homosexuals and apostates, promoted terrorism and preached hatred of Jews and Christians and violence against women.
Media gathered at Deakin’s Burwood campus on Sunday, but the IREA says on its Facebook page they were not allowed inside the venue as “the event was pre-registered”.
The event, dubbed ‘The Art of Da’wah’, was hosted by the ultraconservative Salafist organisation’s president Waseem Razvi.
The workshops promised to use the teachings of “legendary” scholars Zakir Naik and Ahmed Deedat to help attendees “learn the art and gain the confidence to talk about Islam to anyone, anywhere and at any time”.
Dr Naik, an Indian Muslim preacher who is a medical doctor by education, has been banned from countries including Britain, Canada and parts of India for his rhetorical support for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Sheik Deedat, who died in 2005, was a South African Muslim missionary of Indiadescent whose books have been banned from sale in France since 1994 for being “violently anti-Western, anti-Semitic and inciting to racial hate.”
Deakin corporate communications director Sarah Dolan yesterday told The Australian that there were no clear grounds to cancel the event at the last minute — adding that the university will closely watch on how the group conduct themselves.
FOOTAGE SHOWS TEEN’S FINAL MOMENTS
Footage obtained by Channel Seven captured the shooting as it unfolded.
The footage shows 15-year-old Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammed running up and down in front of the Paramatta police headquarters brandishing a handgun and yelling.
He is then shown exchanging gunfire with one of the special constables, who can be seen emerging from behind the wall to fire on the teenager.
Jabar had arrived outside the building dressed in a black garment or robe, pacing up and down the footpath for several minutes, appearing to be building up to the attack, CCTV footage showed.
He then approached Curtis Cheng, a 58-year-old police accountant from behind, gunning him down without warning. In the moments following, witnesses told police they heard him shouting “Allah, Allah”.
Hearing the sound of the gunfire, three special constables seated inside the building ran outside and one of the officers pinned the teenager down beside a wheelchair access ramp.
KILLER JUST A ‘NORMAL KID’
The 15-year-old boy of Iraqi-Kurdish background and born in Iran has been identified as Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar of North Parramatta.
As a 13-year-old, he posted online about his love of American basketball and his support for Team Ricky Martin on reality TV show The Voice, The Daily Telegraphreports. His social media accounts have been untouched for the past two years.
He was not on police radar leading up to the attack. But it is believed he was on the fringe of a group that had already come to the notice of police.
It’s believed the teenager may have been trying to impress the group that was already under investigation by counterterrorism authorities.
As news of the incident began to hit the news, Jabar’s older brother phoned police, telling them he believed his sibling may have been responsible for the attack. Earlier he had been at Parramatta mosque on Marsden St, a 15-minute walk from the scene of the shooting.
Police are now probing the teen shooter’s older sister who travelled to Turkey just days before the shooting.
“This is a matter that is under active investigation by all our security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the ABC’s Insiders program.
“I can’t go into the details. This is an ongoing investigation but it really does highlight the challenge that we have before us.”
A neighbour of the teen terrorist told The Daily Telegraphthat he was just a “normal kid”. The man who wished not to be named said he never saw Jabar in black robes or traditional Islamic dress.
“Just everyday clothes jeans and t-shirt he was just a normal kid to be honest with you,” he said.
The family of the teenager have viewed the teenager’s body at the Glebe morgue. A man and two women were seen leaving the underground carpark of the North Paramatta unit block and arriving at the morgue on Paramatta Rd around midday today.
AUSTRALIA MUST ‘TAKE STOCK’
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop this morning said the incident was “tragic” and showed the need to work with the Muslim community to prevent radicalisation of its youth.
Ms Bishop said Australia as a whole needed to “take stock” following the incident which was described yesterday by Malcolm Turnbull, Premier Mike Baird and Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione as a terror attack.
“When a 15-year-old boy can be so radicalised that he can carry out a politically motivated killing or an act of terrorism, then it’s a time for the whole nation to take stock,” Ms Bishop said.
Ms Bishop said working with families and the Muslim community was key to stopping the radicalisation of young teens.
“Clearly, this kind of issue must be the subject of a holistic approach not only from governments at all levels but also the community,” she said.
“So we’re certainly reaching out to the leaders of the Muslim community but working with the families at a grassroots local level. It’s the families that will be our front line of defence against radicalised young people. So we will be working very closely with them.
“No one level of government or no one section of community can do it all alone.”
Ms Bishop also weighed in on the nation’s air strikes in Syria, saying they will eventually have to make way for a political solution.
She says Russia’s involvement bolstering the Assad regime has changed the dynamics of the campaign to defeat Islamic State, leaving a complicated path to peace.
“So the focus must be on a political solution now, because a military solution is now so complex and is not going to be the answer to stopping this bloody conflict,” Ms Bishop said.
Commissioner Scipione said Friday’s event would be taken into consideration with regards to security at the NRL grand final in Sydney today.
“There will be a very high police presence regardless [but] you may well expect to see higher visibility,” he told reporters in Sydney.
A coronial inquest will be held into the shooting.
HUSBAND AND FATHER REMEMBERED
Curtis Cheng, 58, was a father of two and 17-year veteran of the police force who worked in finance.
His wife Selina, son Alpha and daughter Zilvia released a statement today describing Cheng as a “most loved husband and father”.
“He was humorous, generous of heart and always put the family first. He has set a tremendous example for us as a family,” Alpha Cheng wrote in the statement.
“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken that he has been taken from us, but we are truly grateful for the fruitful and happy life he has shared with us.
“To the many people who have offered their condolences and kind words about him, we are extremely moved by your thoughts and sympathies.”
The family said they have been touched by the personal visit from Premier Mike Baird and Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.
“This was a comforting reminder of the warm regard that was held for him, especially by the NSW police community.
“He will be missed by all of us. We will cherish our memory of him forever.”
A police source told the ABC that Cheng was a Buddhist and of Hong Kong-Chinese background.
“You won’t find anyone in the cops who has a bad word to say about him,” the source said.
“He just walked out the door, Friday afternoon, on his way going home to his wife and kids. Shot dead. It’s just horrible.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his thoughts and prayers were with the family of Mr Curtis.
TURNBULL REACHES OUT MUSLIM LEADERS
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull held a phone hook-up with Muslim leaders yesterday, which community leader Jamal Rifi described as a “mood shift”.
Dr Rifi, a Sydney-based GP and prominent figure in the local Lebanese Muslim community, was part of the phone call with Mr Turnbull, NSW Premier Mike Baird, and federal and NSW police.
“Before, we felt that as a community we were fighting radicalisation with our hands tied behind our back and with this telephone conversation, where the prime minister listened to every member of that teleconference, we felt that the shackles came off,” Dr Rifi said on Sunday.
“The mood right now has shifted. It’s not about blame it’s about solution.”
— with AAP
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