I notice that a bloke called Hussain Nadim keeps popping up on the opinion pages of the Sydney Morning Herald. Nadim is of Pakistani origin and is billed as "a doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney and co-ordinator of South Asia Study Group." He is elsewhere touted as an anti-radicalisation expert.
In an opinion piece in yesterday's Herald, Nadim had this to say:
"A few months ago, I had the opportunity to attend a fundraiser hosted by an Islamic organisation in Australia. To my surprise, in a matter of four hours, the organisation raised more than $2 million to build yet another mosque. The organisation's head said at the event he was committed to building a mosque every two miles in Australia. This is just one of the hundreds of Muslim organisations in Australia... For too long, the discourse has been focused on building mosques, instead of universities... Unless the Muslim world and the Muslim communities living in the West re-prioritise and start investing in people and scientific knowledge with their oil wealth or charity, the field will remain wide open for militant-minded individuals to carry the flag of Islam." (Islam needs to invest in people, not mosques, 14/3/16)
If that is indeed what is going on at these fundraisers, I couldn't agree more. Any group prepared to cough up a cool $2m for a mosque, church, synagogue, temple, whatever, every X mile or so, are people who have a priority problem.
But I'm not sure what he's on about with regard to universities. These, like our schools, should all be secular, free and publicly funded, not the recipients of funding by religious or corporate interests. If the organisation Nadim is writing about is Arab, that $2m should go to the victims of Israeli apartheid and genocide. No ifs, buts, or maybes. Moreover, the only mosque which should be at the forefront of any Muslim's mind now and in the foreseeable future is Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is in imminent danger of demolition by Zionist fanatics.
Not that Nadim would know anything about that. After all, he reckons its time for Pakistan to talk to Israel. Seriously. In Time to talk to Israel (The Express Tribune, 22/8/15), he unveils the extent of his 'understanding' of the apartheid state:
"There are better ways to show solidarity with Palestine than refusing to have any diplomatic relations with a country that is as old as ours and has the same rationale for independence."
That sentence alone shows that Nadim knows SFA about Palestinian history, and by implication Pakistani history.
"When even a country like Saudi Arabia, which has historically maintained close backdoor channels with Israel, is pondering over [sic] taking Saudi-Israeli relations to the next level, what then is holding Pakistan back?"
I would have thought that maybe Wahhabi Saudi Arabia exercised enough of a malign influence over Pakistan already, wouldn't you?
"Even if the rationale to boycott Israel has been to offer solidarity to Palestine, the best way to do that would be to recognise Israel, and mount pressure on it to play a part in resolving the crisis."
So Pakistan is going to succeed, where no one before has succeeded, in extricating the Palestinian rabbit from the gut of the Israeli python? Best of luck with that, Hussain.