Saturday, September 24, 2011

COMMENT: There are frauds and then ...

A colleague who spent many years practising law in a set of Pacific Islands recently told me about a lawyer who arrived from the US to represent Fijian strongman George Speight in his treason trial. The lawyer tried to seek admission in Fiji. He claimed to be admitted in at least one American state, to have university qualifications in law, etc. After some investigations, it turned out the bloke was telling porky pies. Yep, this Navin Naidu chap was a complete fraud.

Which brings me to an upcoming interfaith event in Auckland organised by a group started in honour of a barrister whose qualifications are beyond question, indeed who was held in the highest regard by his profession and his nation.

The event involves 3 people. One is Douglas Pratt from the University of Waikato. You can read about Professor Pratt here. There is more here. This gentleman knows his stuff.

Another person to take part in this symposium is a chap known as Imam Afroz Ali.

This isn't the first time these two gentlemen have spoken on the same platform. In late June 2005, they held a symposium in Auckland. The promotional material described them as ...

Two eminent scholars on religion ...

Afroz Ali? A scholar of religion? But wait. There's more.

The other speaker, attending from Australia, is Mr. Afroz Ali of Sydney, also well versed in inter-religious matters, holding degrees in Islamic Studies and Shari'ah from Islamic University, Madina, Saudi Arabia ...

The man has not one but TWO degrees from the Islamic University of Madina. He holds ONE DEGREE in ISLAMIC STUDIES and ONE DEGREE in SHARIA.

Awesome. Now here's the thing. When Afroz Ali first started calling himself an "imam" and "religious scholar", a smart cookie I know from Melbourne used his contacts with the Islamic University of Madina admissions office. The result?

Yep. There is no record of an alumnus of that identity.

Indeed, I wonder whether Professor Pratt was aware of the fraudulent nature of Mr Ali's claims back in June 2005. Or whether he is aware now.

And I wonder if Afroz Ali has ever tried getting admitted to the Fiji Bar ...

Words © 2011 Irfan Yusuf

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