The Muslim “Peace Conference” is looking more and more to be anything but. It not only may not go ahead this weekend, but if it does, plenty of decidedly non-peaceful situations will have transpired. Indeed, a lot has happened since I wrote about this conference two weeks ago:
Back then I warned about all the jihadist and extremist hate speakers who had been invited to this event. I asked why the government and our MSM elites made such a stink about Geert Wilders who simply came to warn us about these matters, but seem to be doing nothing about allowing extremists into the country preaching jihad, anti-Semitism, and misogynist rants.
As an editorial in today’s Australian says, “Organisers of the so-called peace conference displayed a bizarre sense of irony, however, in promoting the event as ‘the LARGEST, the BIGGEST and the BEST EVER Islamic Event in the History of Australia’ with an advertised speakers’ list headed by the Imam of Mecca, Abdul Rahman al-Sudais. A bigoted proponent of jihad, the imam has called for the annihilation of Jews as ‘infidels, falsifiers of words, calf worshippers, prophet murderers, deniers of prophecies … the scum of the human race, accursed by Allah, who turned them into apes and pigs’.
“Unlike Geert Wilders’s recent visit to Australia, which attracted extensive, critical coverage from the ABC and other media, with widespread condemnation of the controversial Dutch politician for ‘extremism’ and ‘hate’ speech, the Islamic Peace Conference has received little scrutiny outside this newspaper and the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt. The imbalance highlights peculiar news values across some sections of the media. While many disagree with Mr Wilders’s opposition to large-scale Islamic immigration in Europe, he is more moderate and speaks in milder terms than the aggressive rhetoric brandished by some of those mooted as possible speakers at the Melbourne conference.”
And now, just days before the conference is supposed to open, things are a bit up in the air, to say the least. It seems that the organisers are having all sorts of problems – which is fine by me. Their 1,000 organisers did not materialise, most of the featured overseas speakers seem not to be coming, registrations are way down, and barely a quarter of their booths have been rented out.
It seems to be a bit of a flop in other words – hopefully a huge money-losing flop at that. A number of us have been monitoring all this and active in various strategies, but several individuals deserve special recognition here. However given the touchy nature of the religion of peace, I can’t share their names. But much of what follows comes from these few individuals who have been deeply involved in all this from day one.
A notice placed on the web last week confirms the non-attendance of Sheikh Al-Sudais from Saudi Arabia. In fact, it brands organiser Waseem Razvi “a liar” and “money looter” who is interested in “cheap personal publicity” and “playing with the innocent hearts of Islamic population”. He has taken “hundreds and thousands of dollars” from Australian Muslims in al-Sudais’ name through false advertising and may be under investigation by ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission).
A second blog calls on the ICV (Islamic Council of Victoria) to make a statement about the “shame” that Razvi has brought on the whole Muslim community by exposing Al-Sudais to negative public scrutiny. The Muslim community is rapidly deserting Razvi, the Islamic Research and Educational Academy (IREA) and the Peace Conference. So apparently are its sponsors.
IREA advertising no longer lists any corporate sponsors for this event. Those that were listed earlier on are no longer found on IREA advertising. One can only assume that they have pulled their sponsorship. And some of the overseas speakers may not have been granted visas. A similar Peace Conference in December 2012 organised by IREA’s mother organisation in India was cancelled just a week before its scheduled start when all the overseas speakers were denied visas by the Indian government.
Not only are the sponsors pulling out, but to make matters worse, of the 1,000 volunteer missionaries asked to come and help out, only 300 attended the last training meeting on Saturday. After Mr Ravzi allegedly descended into cursing and screaming at them, a number of the remaining volunteers are said to have left the training event in bewilderment and disgust.
As to the ICV, one has to wonder how it can claim to be moderate, when it is promoting this event. A news report yesterday said this: “Victoria’s peak Islamic body has defended a controversial Muslim conference to be held in Melbourne this weekend. The Islamic Council of Victoria is disappointed with the reaction of politicians and other commentators to the Australian Islamic Peace Conference to be staged at Melbourne Showgrounds. Last week, state Multicultural Affairs Minister Nick Kotsiras warned organisers they could face prosecution if racial and religious vilification laws were broken.”
Moreover, this is billed as a “peace” conference which is open to those of other faiths. Indeed, it bills itself as an interfaith event. So why is it not allowing Christian groups to rent a stall? Some of us have actually rented several booths, but were later told we could not have them.
Some Christians who had approval to hire a stall giving away Bibles at the conference have had this approval withdrawn. The Christians, from various churches around Melbourne, had been offered a 6 x 3 metre stall for $600. IREA contacted them recently and said that the Bible stall could not go ahead because it would be “unsafe”.
Unsafe? But this is the religion of peace! How can it be unsafe for Christians when they are surrounded by all these peaceful Muslims? The Christians were told that, due to expected anti-Islamic protests outside the Showgrounds, IREA ‘could not guarantee their safety.’ An IREA spokesman said he was concerned about radical elements among the Muslim attendees “taking it out” on the Christians.
He also said that IREA security personnel “could not protect the Christians”. IREA claimed they had consulted Victoria Police about security and had come to this decision. Another Christian group was told last night that all the stalls had been allocated and there was no room left. But according to the IREA website, there are over 200 stalls available, but their stall map shows that only 44 stalls have been hired so far.
The Conference is being advertised as an interfaith event which “welcomes people of all faiths.” Although “Interfaith dialog” is listed as a Conference activity, no names of non-Muslims have been given or program details released. At an earlier taped planning meeting, IREA President Waseem Razvi designated interfaith as a means of dawah or Islamic propagation. He said: “We need to have interfaith, multifaith and debates with the non-Muslim community to engage them, and to bring them over to Islam.”
Imam Riad Galil, the president of the Jewish Muslim Christian Association, an interfaith advocacy group, has expressed deep concern about this event. And the Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia has also raised its worries about the weekend conference.
All in all, this thing seems to be going from bad to worse – which is terrific news indeed. We have been urging people far and wide to pray like mad about this conference, and the waves of intercessory prayer seem to be having a real effect.
While it looks like we will not be able to share the message of Jesus Christ inside the venue, there are expected to be outside protests from various groups – mostly non-Christian groups I understand. As the media loves controversy, that could prove to be an explosive situation.
Keep praying folks. Between a lot of movements behind the scenes, and all your prayers, it seems like things are really getting out of hand for these organisers. And that’s fine by me.