Ex-Muslim turned atheist, Armin Navabi, took to the streets of Lakemba, Sydney to ask local Muslims if it is OK to criticise Islam in a short documentary video on the Pangburn Philosophy Youtube Channel.
The video begins with Armin, ex-Muslim Youtuber, describing his intention to complete what Lauren Southern was unable to do during her tour in Australia which was to visit the all-Muslim community of Lakemba and find out what local Muslims thought about criticising Islam.
For the most part, local Muslims were not in favour banning criticism of Islam and in fact were willing to welcome. As one local Muslim man said, “It means we can engage in conversation, we can engage with the rest of the community”.
However, there was one Muslim man who unabashedly expressed his hard line view on non Muslims.
Armin asks, “If there is Sharia Law on Earth, then someone like me [atheist] should be killed?” The man replies, “Under Sharia Law, that is what I follow”.
During an insightful, yet civil debate, the man then goes on to state that the plan is for Sharia Law to take over the Earth, and that the only safe haven for an atheist like Armin is to join Islam.
“But that would be by force then, wouldn’t it?” asks Armin. “If my only safe haven is by Islam, and if I don’t go back to Islam, punishment is death?”
The man replies, “Then you have two choices, Islam or Death”.
In an apparent nice gesture by the man, he invites Armin to eat at his friends restaurant where he is then contacted by his brother, who is a local Sheikh, to speak with him about Islam. The spoke about mocking Mohamed, mocking any religion and whether this should be allowed.
What is enlightening about this video is what seems to be the overall kind nature that most of the local residents showed to towards someone asking sensitive questions about the faith that Muslims seem to hold more dearer to the hearts than most other religions. On the other hand, what is most disturbing is the fact that the Muslim with the most radically charged interpretation of Islam, shared those views with his brother who was local Sheikh which is a “leader” of the Islamic community.
What we cannot whole-heartedly conclude, but can definitely learn from this video is that hard line Muslims like the man in this video are not representative of the overall Muslim community but seem to be the most prominent in positions of leadership. These people are the loudest, the most influential and in most cases are the preachers of the Islamic faith. Young Sheikhs and Imams are those who have the most radical interpretation of Islam and represent the standard of interpretation of Islam in the community.
The big question is, how are the opinions of young children growing up in these areas being shaped and influenced by this loud minority of Islamic preachers and teachers?
Article by Brendan Preston @brendanpreston9
Editor in Chief