Herald confused about Al-Azhar

The Herald editorial today buys the peaceful Islam line and that the Egyptian imams coming to take over to “reduce” radicalisation and jihadism are here to help:

It is a measure of this country’s confidence in its Muslim communities that it comes as a surprise to learn clerics are being sent from Egypt to bring a moderating influence to mosques and Islamic centres here as well as in other Western countries. One security observer, Paul Buchanan, called it “perplexing”. Beyond the possibility of “one or two hotheads”, radicalisation was not a problem here, he says. “Australia has a radicalisation problem, we do not.” He can be that categorical because if diatribes against the West and its religion and values were being delivered in mosques and learning centres here, it would be news – just as it has been in Britain, Australia and some other places.

The moderation and maturity of Muslims in New Zealand was evident once again in their response to the Egyptian initiative. Rather than express fearful resentment at the implication they needed a moderating influence, the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand welcomed the imams as emissaries from Egypt’s Al-Azhar university, the oldest and most respected seat of learning in Sunni Islam.

Egypt’s Government is sponsoring this mission to the world and it ought to be welcomed by all concerned.

They clearly haven’t watched the video from Egyptian television above, or done any research at all about Al-Azhar. I blogged about it the other day highlighting the aims and goals of Al-Azhar University and what their leaders and spokespeople have been saying.

They are coming here to proselytise. If a Christian tried that on Egypt they’d be dead in minutes. I’m not sure we should be letting these folk in. As Egyptian author Sayyid Al-Qemany says in the video:

“Al-Azhar represents terrorism of the moderate kind. They tell you, for example, not to kill 100 people, just 10. … Al-Azhar represents reasonable terrorism. They believe that anyone who is not a Muslim, and anybody who does not subscribe to their Sunni-Hanbali-Wahhabi school, is an infidel.”

So when liberal idiots at the Herald make statements like this:

Islam has struggled to express a moderate view to the world to disown the deadly acts done in its name and the distortions of its beliefs and texts that lie behind them. Jihadism appears to be a wholly Sunni affliction with its roots in Saudi Arabia but it is at war not only with Shia Islam and non-Muslims but also the Sunni mainstream.

Unlike the Shia branch with its authoritative religious leaders in Iran and Iraq, Sunni seem to have no hierarchy able to rule on misrepresentations of their religion and correct the worst impressions given to the world. Some of the words and deeds of Shia authorities, unfortunately, have added to these impressions.

The Al-Azhar missionaries may be heard only inside mosques and Islamic gatherings, and may be preaching to the converted, so to speak. But if their message of moderation does not percolate to the world outside it might at least strengthen the resistance to radicalism within. That was the hope of Egypt’s dictatorial President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi when he spoke at Al-Azhar last year. “You, imams, are responsible before Allah,” he told them. They had to deal with a “source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. The entire world,” he said, “is waiting for your next word”.

It is indeed. The imams of Egypt’s global initiative will have opportunities to talk publicly in Western countries. When they do it is to be hoped they realise moderate, reasonable, measured religious views are not interesting to most people unless they address hateful attitudes in equally robust terms. Gentle understanding will not cut the mustard.

People everywhere have been waiting a long time for the reassurance that Islam remains the peaceful religion it is said to be. New Zealanders need to know we are not unusually blessed by the goodwill of Muslims in our midst. May Egypt’s mission help us remain so.

They are missing the point. These imams are Sunni…and the Herald editorial notes that jihadism is almost exclusively Sunni in origin. The video shown above was made just after al-Sisi spoke at Al-Azhar; it is contemporaneous to the speech quoted by the Herald editorial writer. It shows that the Herald is clutching at straws and desperate to appease with their reasonableness and tolerance.

Islam, by its very definition, means submission. It gets that submission by force; it is stated for all to read in the Qu’ran. There is not realistic justification to describe Islam as the religion of peace. Muhammed never preached peace, reconciliation or anything of the sort. He preached violence, destruction, jihad and total domination. There is no free will, only submission.

The media are supposed to be the fourth estate; they are supposed to question and hold the powerful to account. They promote themselves as the guardians of society, yet they write editorials that show a distinct lack of investigation or even basic thinking.

Their lack of understanding about Islam is alarming, especially as they are now trying to say that the arrival of Al-Azhar imams is a good thing. Indeed Al-Azhar, when they conducted a summit on terrorism in 2015, supposedly encompassed all the world’s faiths…except one.

Al-Azhar excluded Jews from this worldwide summit on terrorism. Its failure to invite synagogues and Jewish leaders was not disguised by its otherwise inclusiveness. Joining the Egyptian Mufti, Dr. Shawki Allam, Al-Azhar University chairman and deputy, and six hundred Muslim scholars (including those of minor sects) from 120 countries were heads of the Eastern Orthodox churches, including Egyptian Copts, and Vatican representatives. Protestant denominations from the West were present, and speakers from communities persecuted by terror groups (Pakistan, Syria, and others) attended.

Did this important conference at the heart of Sunni-Muslim religious learning hold the least promise for genuine examination of worldwide terror? Not really.

We’ve seen Al-Azhar fail to denounce Muslim Brotherhood members as terrorists when the pro-democracy presidency of Al Sisi banned the organization from Egypt last year. Also, the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar, who is required by law to confirm or deny death sentences issued by the Egyptian courts, reversed the death penalty of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and others — all convicted murderers.

Al-Azhar speaks out of both sides of their mouth. They have one message they like to push on useful idiots like the Herald editorial writer, and quite another message signalled through their deeds and actions.

If the Media party won’t tell the truth, then who will?


– NZ Herald, Israel Today, MEMRI


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  • rangitoto

    How do these people even get visa’s to come here.?

    • kereru

      Michael Woodhouse, List MP and Minister for Immigration, should be asked to account for his Department’s failing to do their homework before rubber stamping these imams’ visas.

      The Editor of the Herald is obviously unaware of the Islamic practice of ‘taqiyya’ which, for the uninformed such as the Herald, means lying and dissimulating to gain advantage over the unbeliever.

      My guess is that they aren’t coming here to ‘moderate’ the teaching in our mosques, but to radicalise it. This needs to be looked into urgently before the
      rest of the imams arrive.

      The Egyptian Government should be told, ‘thanks but no thanks’.

      Edit: last sentence

      • WeaselKiss

        Yes kereru I tend to think your last para is on the money.
        This could possibly fit in with the story from 2013(?) that a couple of Muslims were basically kidnapped from the streets of CHCH and the deep suspicion was they had been shipped back to Saudi for more ‘education’.
        Now they are sending these imams here to get in on the ground floor to make sure there is no more of this lukewarm malarkey within the ranks.
        They might say they are from ‘Egypt’ to snow-job us all here in NZ but really they might be from somewhere a lot more hard line.
        Just saying. I don’t know for sure but I don’t reckon it hurts to throw a few theories around.

        • kereru

          Despite appearances to the contrary, Egypt is still hard line – at least towards Coptic Christians. When Morsi was overthrown there was a glimmer of hope that things would get better for the Christian minority, but that has proved to be a false hope.

      • Charley jones

        I totally agree. But then the globalist puppets who are scrapping over being president of the top trough do not care about the truth, or what is best for the world. These bought and paid for troughers will (or already have) sold their souls to be in the positions they are already in. They think nothing of destroying anything that is good or proper and decent. While these suspect imams are being given a free pass our idiots in charge are talking about banning The Bible in schools. Obviously the wrong hands are on the tiller for the health of future society. Time to rinse and start again, in my opinion. Are we all going to do nothing while Goff sleep walks into the Auckland Mayor position?

        • kereru

          Good point – I’d temporarily forgotten about the Bible in Schools case which is before the court thanks to two men and their hatred of Christianity. I’d like to see them try it with Islam – which they might yet get an opportunity to find out if they succeed in driving Christianity out of society.

  • Seriously?

    This idea worries me. As far as I can tell New Zealand has no real issue with radicalisation and jihadism. Particularly so when compared to Egypt. What it is they think the Islamic leaders here are doing wrong?

    If anything, those from within Islam here should be doing the teaching over there.

  • waldopepper

    seems they are coming here on the pretext of fixing a problem that doesnt exist. i am very suspicious frankly.

  • “One security observer, Paul Buchanan, called it “perplexing”. Beyond the
    possibility of “one or two hotheads”, radicalisation was not a problem
    here, he says. “Australia has a radicalisation problem, we do not.” He
    can be that categorical because if diatribes against the West and its
    religion and values were being delivered in mosques and learning centres
    here, it would be news – just as it has been in Britain, Australia and
    some other places.”

    Oh right.

    Because our media were told in no uncertain terms that if they continued to report on Avondale, there would be consequences.

    And, because nothing is in the news, it must not exist.

    Buchanan is an embarrassment.

    • R&BAvenger

      He is an incompetent who is just as poorly informed as those who seek to inform the general populace.

    • jedmo

      Have to ask. What is in Avondale, who told the media not to report, and is anyone still reporting on it?

      • R&BAvenger


        More info above. The fire is only a symptom of what is or has been going on there. Better analysis at link below.

        Lefty blogs dismiss the reports as ‘scaremongering’, predictably.

        • spanishbride

          Turns out surprise, surprise that the group of violent Muslims who beat up the Avondale Imam were led by Sheikh Abu Abdullah, a Salafist imam. As I have already explained here and in the post called Islam for dummies, a Salafist is a Sunni who belongs to a group that is fundamentalist, puritanical, literalist and ultra-conservative. That group is called People of Traditions (Ahl al-Hadith) and they are the ones to be really afraid of. They managed in Avondale to scare the Imam so much that he resigned.

        • Isherman

          I’d love to her from the lefty blogs what benefit they think someone like Sheikh Abu Abdullah aka Mohammed Abu Hamam is to this country. This is a guy who refuses to work, and exhorts other Muslims to have nothing to do with our flag because it contains the cross of St George within the Union Jack, along with his sons, whose diatribes are of a similar vein to Anjem Choudary’s.

    • MaryLou

      But of course there was news, and Google cached it. He needs to let his fingers do the walking.

    • lyall

      I cant imagine many NZ journalists being able to get anything said in a mosque accurately translated and I definitely cant imagine a radical cleric dishing out some juicy brimstone in front of an unfamiliar audience! (any investigative reporter, even in disguise would stand out like a sore thumb in a mosque)

      • kereru

        You’re right. Just hope the SIS have their people there.

  • R&BAvenger

    We are very poorly served by our own ‘four estate’, media commentators and so-called experts who are blinded by political correctness. One can only hope that our security services are able to properly brief the PM one what’s truly what.

    • The major problem is that most media are

      – under 35 (many in the 20s)
      – women (and I mean that in the sense that it provides lack of balance)
      – poorly paid
      – naturally inclined towards the left rather than the right
      – comparatively little experience

      They can find their way around Facebook to get the latest on unsolvable puzzles, dress colours and bad restaurant experiences, but you couldn’t send them into a situation where it requires a genuine understanding of the underlying issues, the history and the backgrounds and motivations of the people involved.

  • jaundiced

    I am totally stunned by the naivety of this editorial.
    Perhaps not – it is common. But from a major newspaper, I am (still) mortified by the lack of basic fact finding and research before putting pen to paper.

    ‘If the Media party won’t tell the truth, then who will?’
    Thanks WO – keep doing what you’re doing.

    • JohnO

      It is not only the naivety of this editorial that has me gob-smacked. It is the whole left wing support for the Islamic colonisation that is taking place in the west and the left’s intellectual submission to it. The left have been wittering on for years about the evils of colonialism and yet when it happens in front of their eyes they are too blind to see it and too weak to resist. The extreme example of this is the Lesbian Bisexual Gay support for Islamic colonisation in western democracies. Islam hates these guys. How naive do you have to be to aid and abet Islam’s cause when you are LBG ?

      • kereru

        I think it’s gone beyond mere naiveté. It seems like some kind of retarded development born out of constant brainwashing.

  • Isherman

    When I saw the headline for the editorial this morning I thought to myself
    “Wow, I’m surprised they have decided to approach this topic”
    After reading the the editorial I thought to myself,
    “Wow, why did I bother”
    I don’t really need to elaborate on behalf of anyone else here who has half a clue about these issues, suffice to say that the Herald clearly do not.

  • spanishbride

    I have a simple question for these Egyptian Imams. Sunni Muslims belong to one of two groups. …Ahl al-Ra’i, or “people of reason,” due to their emphasis on scholarly judgment and discourse; and Ahl al-Hadith, or “people of traditions,” due to their emphasis on restricting juristic thought to only what is found in scripture.

    Which group do they belong to? If it is the People of Traditions (Ahl al-Hadith) we have a problem as that group are Islamic conservative traditionalists. Their movement is often described as being synonymous with Salafism

    …The Salafi movement or Salafist movement is an ultra-conservative reform movement within Sunni Islam.The doctrine can be summed up as taking “a fundamentalist approach to Islam, emulating the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers—al-salaf al-salih, the ‘pious forefathers’…They reject religious innovation, or bid’ah, and support the implementation of sharia (Islamic law).”[3] The movement is often divided into three categories: the largest group are the purists (or quietists), who avoid politics; the second largest group are the activists, who get involved in politics; the smallest group are the jihadists

    …Salafism has become associated with literalist, strict and puritanical approaches to Islam and – particularly in the West – with the Salafi jihadists, who espouse offensive jihad as a legitimate expression of Islam against those they deem to be enemies of Islam. They are the fundamentalist, puritanical, literalist and ultra-conservative side of the majority Sunni branch of Islam. When we talk about extremists we’re talking about fundamentalists. It is fair to say that Islamic terrorists are fundamentalists.

  • Doc45

    I have always thought that the best people to stop radicalisation and the evil butchering that goes on were these so called moderates. I reckoned that they might rise up and save their religion because they were the peace loving ones and that embarrassment and a will to protect their faith and history may launch a world wide campaign to rid themselves of the cancer in their own body.
    Then I thought if this was Christianity would the moderates, the nominal rise up and “save” it. I concluded “fat chance”. Why would they bother.
    Any one who is willing to shuffle around in their hot, impractical outrageous gear, pray five times a day, bear the taunts and jabs every time they go out, agree to having 5 to 7 kids to help take over the world, is not going to lift a finger against the rebellious extremists.

    • Tiger

      Maybe that is why the imams are being sent to “re-educate” the moderates, just in case they get the idea that their religion should pursue a peaceful path in NZ.

    • kereru

      There really is no such thing as a nominal Christian – by Biblical standards you either are or you aren’t a regenerated believer. So-called ‘cultural’ Christians would probably tut-tut and grumble, but wouldn’t bat an eyelid unless they were personally inconvenienced. They have no real knowledge about what the Bible teaches and are totally secular to all intents and purposes. They may attend church to be matched and dispatched, but it’s just a nice venue in which to hold a service.

      Another aspect is that Christians aren’t to take matters into their own hands. Attacks on them, their homes, businesses and churches, are not an excuse to attack the attackers. That is why, despite the 150 million currently being actively persecuted right now, you never hear of any retaliation. That is God’s prerogative and His alone.

      As for Muslims, they cannot trust each other sufficiently to voice opposition to anything that’s done in the name of Allah. The brave ones who do speak out in public have to spend the rest of their lives guarding their backs, writing under pseudonyms, and never knowing if tomorrow will be their last day. The Religion of Peace is the sick joke of an impostor.

      Edit: grammar

  • One security observer, Paul Buchanan, called it “perplexing”. Beyond
    the possibility of “one or two hotheads”, radicalisation was not a
    problem here, he says.

    What they don’t say is when they categorize Buchanan as a “security observer” what they actually mean is he’s a liberal tin foil hat wearing wet.

    The man loathes security and wants his lefty mates to have as much freedom to sack the nation and turn it into a collective as soon as possible.

    Security keeps trying to stop them!

  • rexabus

    Probably not related to the article but today was the first time I’ve seen a muslim woman wearing the head scarf and pushing a lawnmower around (with her husband on the weed eater) doing commercial lawnmowing in mt albert today.

  • sandalwood789

    “If the Media party won’t tell the truth, then who will?”

    This blog will (and people like me will). However, it won’t matter in the end.
    Leftism is too entrenched and those in power (Key et al) have all drunk the leftist PC Kool-Aid.

    The West is inviting the enemy in to take over. How do you fight that?