Friday, October 06, 2006

Piercing through Piers on imams of hate

Daily Telegraph columnist Piers Akerman is blogging away on the subject of multiculturalism. His blog is one of a series of blogs on the subject, with other bloggers involved including Keysar Trad, 2 Christian clergy and myself.

Akerman has been upto his old games again, holding all Muslims responsible for the attitudes and actions of a minority of dangerous and violent nutcases. In this respect, he is repeating his allegations that imams in Sydney are preaching hatred …

Irfan, you are a lawyer, aren't you. It is sufficient to say to that (1) I have spoken to a number of imams. (2) A number make what can only be described as hate-filled addresses. Your clumsy attempts to put up straw men to distract attention from the central points do you no good at all. Any respect that may have attached to you has dissipated.

I’ve asked him for specifics of his allegations. Sadly, he tries to evade my probing questions. In one post, I’ve asked him …

Piers, I’m sorry if my simple requests for basic information are causing you discomfort.

However, since you have alleged that certain imams in Australia have made hate-filled addresses, why not provide your readers with the following details:

a. The names of these imams and the mosques where they preached;
b. The languages in which the sermons were delivered;
c. The approximate dates on which the sermons were delivered;
d. The words that were used during the sermons;
e. Whether or not you had discussions with these imams following their sermon.
f. What was said during those discussions.

After all, Piers, you are a journalist. Presumably you carry a notebook to take notes or voice recorder. All you have to do is pull your notes and/or recordings out and reveal all ...

... that is, if you have anything to reveal!

Piers’ response was to advise that he had told the relevant authorities. I’ve again asked him for the details, reminding him of his frequent suggestion that ‘moderate’ Muslims aren’t doing enough to silence radicals.

Let’s see if Piers continues to evade my questions. It’s all good and fine for columnists to make claims about Muslims. However, columnists need to be held accountable and required to provide evidence for their claims.

© Irfan Yusuf 2006

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