Islamic Lifelines Can Prevent Islamic State Dead Lines…writes David Singer

October 14, 2015 by David Singer
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Australia was introduced to a high school chaplain and Muslim community leader Sheikh Wesam Charkawi on one of Australia’s most widely viewed TV shows – Q and A – last Monday evening.

Australians were still trying to come to terms with the shooting murder of a 58 years old police department accountant by a 15-year-old Muslim youth dressed in black robes shouting “Allahu Akbar” outside NSW Police Headquarters in Parramatta some 10 days earlier.

Indeed the Parramatta murder was the third such instance involving Muslims in Australia in the last year – culminating in the loss of three innocent lives and the deaths of the three perpetrators.

Yet Sheikh Charkawi told his audience:

Our faith teaches to withhold our hands from the breaking the branch of a tree, let alone taking the life of a human being, which equates to taking the life of humanity and saving the life of one amounts to saving the life of all. These are bedrock principles.

The Sheikh’s viewpoint was a revelation – considering the widely held belief that Islam with its Koranic concepts of jihad, martyrdom and forced conversion of non-Muslims was anything but the sanctity-of-life faith portrayed by him.

Sheikh Charkawi in seeking to explain the circumstances of the Parramatta murderer opined:

I’m seeing a lot of identity issues with the young men and women and I keep hearing from many on the streets and in the schools that I visit that they tell us that we don’t belong. They say that we’re not part of the Australian society, we’re not part of the Australian community, that we’re terrorists, that we’re extremists, that our religion is one that is of destruction and loss of life and so on and so forth. Now, you’ve got to remember that these people were born into the age of terror and they’re being told that they don’t belong. What that leads to is to marginalisation and isolation, and if you add that to the mix of the propaganda that is being put forward by the groups like ISIS, it’s a very dangerous mix and so you see that it requires a whole of society effort and that’s the reality of it.

Left unanswered by the Sheikh was why such marginalisation, isolation and propaganda could lead a 15-year-old Muslim boy to take the life of another human being had he been properly instructed in the bedrock principles of Islam as enunciated by the Sheikh.

Instead the Sheikh tried to pass the buck – stating:

If we take this issue and we restrict it to the Muslim narrative and we say that this is a Muslim problem, what happens is you can’t then step back and look for other empirical evidence as to any underpinning or driving forces that may be at hand here. 

With the greatest respect to the Sheikh it is indeed a Muslim problem resulting from failing to properly educate its adherents from an early age that:

  1. the taking of life is contrary to the principles of Islam
  2. negative attitudes or grievances held by a Muslim cannot be resolved by taking the lives of other Muslims or non-Muslims

If the religious instruction afforded Muslims is faith-based on the bedrock principles espoused by the Sheikh – then attempts by Islamic State or other groups to recruit Muslims to their murderous ranks will surely fail.

Let the Australian Muslim community condemn those who seek to violate the sanctity of life in mosques and madrassas as this video recently taken in a mosque in Gaza so chillingly demonstrates.

The silence so far has been deafening.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network


10 Responses to “Islamic Lifelines Can Prevent Islamic State Dead Lines…writes David Singer”
  1. Yaakov ben Yehuda says:

    In one of Australia’s most widely viewed TV shows they are going to tell the Australian public the opposite it’s an alliance between LIEberal Regressives taking the side of the so called “Palestinians” it’s progressive TV show in the juvenile liberal mindset, if history is obliterated, then it never existed.
    History doesn’t matter. Now that THEY are here. Moral relativism. Subjective truth. Situation ethics. Social justice. With the left the facts are optional. The truth is whatever you need it be on any given day depending on the politics of the moment. Nothing is objective. Whenever reality and their desired narrative collide, it is reality that needs to yield and their fantasy worldview that triumphs. This is the mind of the progressive. Emotion over substance. Always followed immediately with petty, childish projection about how this is all what WE do.. Not them.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      Yaakov, many on “the left” see jihadism as an ally in their drive to destroy capitalism and democracy. They see similarities between their values and those which they mistakenly attribute to the jihadists.
      (Meantime, many on “the right” feel intimidated and are passive and fearful and paralysed.)
      There is a kind of historic parallel with the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact, though this is not one of non-aggression, but one of active collaboration.

  2. david singer says:


    The sheikh made his “bedrock principles” claim on national TV in front of a highly intelligent moderator Tony Jones, four other intelligent panellists (three of them politicians) and a studio audience of about 300 people.

    None of them questioned the sheik’s interpretation of Islam.

    Perhaps they were all struck dumb at the sheikh’s remarks -which as I noted were in express opposition to the Koranic concepts of Jihad, martyrdom and forced conversions – whilst unmentioned by me were the horrendous beheadings displayed on social media for all to see.

    Clearly Muslims joining Islamic State and groups like Islamic Jihad and Al Nusra Front disagree with the sheikh that ” taking the life of a human being, which equates to taking the life of humanity and saving the life of one amounts to saving the life of all. These are bedrock principles.”

    If they are bedrock principles – how come so many muslims world-wide are totally ignoring them at this very moment – murdering both muslims and non-muslims wherever one looks?

    The mosques and madrassas need a big shake up since they do not appear to be getting the sheikh’s message through to their co-religionists.

    I reiterate – this is a muslim problem for the muslims alone to resolve by properly educating all muslims in the tenets of their religion as espoused by the sheikh.

    • Leon Poddebsky says:

      David, with respect to the supposedly “highly intelligent” ABC moderator, and our astonishment at his behaviour, let’s recall that other highly intelligent, genius physicist, Stephen Hawking, who boycotted a scientific conference in Israel, giving as his reason that “I received an email from my ‘Palestinian’ friends…”

      Hawking, trained in rigorous, evidence-based science, suddenly abandoned all reason and behaved like a witchdoctor.
      Many of the nazi top echelon possessed PhD degrees.

      My point? Intelligence is not the supreme virtue. It does not render geniuses immune from idiocy or immoral behaviour.

      • david singer says:


        Intelligence may not be the supreme virtue but intelligent people need to be continually challenged as to their opinions and viewpoints and made to justify them – because of their undoubted capacity to influence others.

        Regrettably – as in the Q&A show – the collective silence of the other panellists and Tony Jones at the Sheik’s remarks would lead the viewing audience throughout Australia to reasonably conclude that the Sheikh’s interpretation of Islam was correct.

        That being the case the following question must be asked of and answered by each of them:
        “If the bedrock principles of Islam teach that taking the life of a human being equates to taking the life of humanity – why are so many muslims doing exactly the opposite in killing muslims and non-muslims world-wide?”

        Tony Jones should have asked that question.

        Islam has clearly failed to effectively inculcate countless numbers of its professed followers on this stated Islamic bedrock principle of the sanctity of life. That is a problem the Sheikh, the Imams, muftis, mosques, Islamic schools and madrassas must face and deal with if there is to be any hope of ending the wanton and senseless murder and maiming of both muslims and non-muslims at the hands of muslims.

        If the sheikh however is on his own in his interpretation of Islam then the Q&A panellists would have to rethink their positions or appear to be very unintelligent if they failed to do so.

        • Leon Poddebsky says:

          David, I absolutely agree with you that the obvious question needed to be asked, and that the public are influenced by people whom they consider to be “highly intelligent,” but the crux is this: since the moderator and the panel are intelligent, and since the question is obvious, why then did they not ask it? Because it would be perceived as a “right-wing” question, one that contained an implication of supposed “intolerance and prejudice,” the type of question and answer which the ABC and Fairfax love to reserve for defenders of the truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict.
          It is extremely unlikely that an ABC employee or a Fairfax employee would ever ask that question because it would conflict with their agenda.
          Commentators like Andrew Bolt and his guest commentators do ask that very question, but then, in the minds of the “highly intelligent” ABC and Fairfax people, the “right” does not deserve to be heard.

          • david singer says:


            An interesting observation that would be difficult to substantiate – but I would like Tony Jones and his co-panellists to answer why:

            1. they personally did not raise objections to the Sheik’s comments if they felt he was giving Australians a bum steer – as Paul Winter and Eleonora Mostert observe – or

            2. they failed ask the Sheikh why Muslims are murdering Muslims and non-Muslims if they believed the Sheikh was giving the viewers the correct interpretation of Islam.

            Viewers of Q&A are entitled to be told.

    • Eleonora Mostert says:

      First they would have to re-write the Koran as it clearly states to kill the Jew and the Infidel.

  3. Paul Winter says:

    David, you are wrong again. Islam does teach that killing and dying for Allah is one of Islam’s highest virtues. Read the Koran.

  4. SamT says:

    Thank you Mr. Singer for doing your little bit towards better race relations by making this video available to folk who might otherwise not have seen it. Appreciated. Whatever they teach in Parramatta, has not the Royal Commission given an insight into what taught in Melbourne? Peace.

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