Archive for the ‘ISLAM Islamists Islamismo الإسلامية al-ʾislāmiyyah إسلام سياسي ʾIslām siyāsī’ Category

Muslims paying Aborigines to convert to Islam, Rise Up candidate claims

Monday, January 1st, 2018

A growing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are identifying with Islam. In the 2001 national census fewer than 600 Indigenous men and women nominated Islam as their religion.

August 30 2013

A federal election candidate in western Queensland has accused Muslims of paying Aborigines to convert to Islam.

Speaking to ABC Western Queensland, Rise Up Australia candidate Pam Hecht said the biggest issue facing people in the electorate of Kennedy, which Bob Katter holds by 18.3 per cent, was the conversion of Indigenous people to Islam.

”I don’t know whether people are aware, but many of the Aboriginal people in northern Australia are being targeted by Muslims and in some cases are being paid to convert to Islam,” she said, describing herself and the electorate as ”farmers . . . just ordinary everyday people”, who ”want to be free to go about our business”.

”Our concern with that is, the Muslim belief, that converting the first peoples of the land to Islam means that the land belongs to Allah, and Islam should be the only religion.

”There is an Aboriginal lady who works with the people up in northern Australia and she has spoken directly with the leader of our party, Daniel Nalliah [and told him about the practice].”

Of the 340,393 Australians who identified as Muslims in the 2006 Census, just 1011 were Indigenous.

Indonesia’s Orang Rimba: Forced to renounce their faith

Monday, January 1st, 2018
, 17 November 2017

In a wooden hut on stilts, a group of children dressed in white sit on the floor. They sing “I will protect Islam till I die” and shout “There is no god but Allah”, in unison.

Three months ago, the 58 families that make up the Celitai tribe of Orang Rimba converted to Islam. They were picked up and bussed into Jambi, the nearest city, and given clothes and prayer mats.

The Islamic Defenders Front – a vigilante group whose leader is facing charges of inciting religious violence – helped facilitate the conversion.

Ustad Reyhan, from the Islamic missionary group Hidayatullah, has stayed to make sure the new faith is practised.

“For now we are focusing on the children. It’s easier to convert them – their mind isn’t filled with other things. With the older ones it’s harder,” he says.

“Before Islam they just believed in spirits, gods and goddesses, not the supreme god Allah.

“When someone died, they didn’t even bury the dead, they just would leave the body in the forest. Now their life has meaning and direction.

“[Before] they lived in the forest. They just lived for each day, each moment. When they died, they died. But now they have a religion, they know there is an afterlife.”

‘No choice’

But village leader Muhammad Yusuf – Yuguk, to use his Orang Rimba name – was thinking about surviving in this life when he converted.

“It was a very heavy and difficult decision, but we feel like we have no choice, if we want to move forward,” he says quietly.

“So that our children can have the same opportunities as the outsiders, the people of the light, we had no other choice. We had to all convert to Islam.”

Outsiders are the “people of the light”, because they live in open areas and are often in the sun, unlike the people of the jungle.

The surrounding majority Muslim population calls the Orang Rimba “Kubu”.

“It means that they are very dirty, they are garbage, you can’t even look because it is so disgusting,” explains anthropologist Butet Manurung, who has lived with the Orang Rimba for many years.

“It also means primitive, stupid, bad smelling – basically pre-human. People say their evolution is not complete.”

It’s thought there are about 3,000 Orang Rimba living in central Sumatra. “If you came before, you would have seen our forest. It was pristine, with huge trees,” says Yusuf.

Now there are seemly endless ghostly white burnt-out sticks in one direction, and palm oil trees in neat rows in the other.

The absence of any natural sounds is eerie.

“It’s all gone. It happened just in the last few years. The palm plantations came in, and then the forest started to burn,” adds Yusuf, referring to 2015’s devastating fires, which burnt more than 21,000 sq km of forest and peat land.

Every year, landowners start fires to clear land with devastating effects, but those fires were catastrophic because of a longer dry season.

Half a million people were affected by the toxic haze from the fires and dozens died from breathing problems.

“I was terrified. We were so scared of the flames and smoke all around us,” Yusuf tells me.

His tribe ran to the nearest village to escape and this was where the conversion process started.

Endangered population

“After a while, we wanted to send our children to school, but the teacher wanted to see their birth certificates, and for that you have to have a state religion that the government recognises.

“So we had a tribal meeting, and discussed what religion we would choose, and decided to choose Islam,” says Yusuf.

Indonesia – the world’s largest Muslim country – officially recognises six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.

Indigenous rights bodies are fighting to get recognition for the hundreds of other faiths practised across Indonesia.

The country’s constitutional court recently ruled in their favour, finding that it was against the constitution to force people to state a religion.

Rukka Sombolinggi, head of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago, has been a key figure in this fight.

“We have been around before the new religions arrived, but now it’s like they rule us, and want to clean us from this country. We have to fight back,” she says.

She says the Orang Rimba are one of the most endangered indigenous tribes in Indonesia.

“They reached the point of complete hopelessness and saw that embracing one of the official religions would probably help them come out of this very bad situation. It is a matter of survival.”

‘No space to live’

I experienced a sense of the discrimination towards Orang Rimba, when I met a remote tribe still practising this nomadic, polytheistic way of life.

We were eating with them in the jungle when a police officer and local government officials arrived and asked what we were doing and if we had permits.

Our Orang Rimba guide Miyak was visibly upset, and asked why such documents would be necessary on his own land.

“We have no space to live. We are always told we are nomadic people with no religion, no culture,” he told me.

“Our religion is not respected. The government is always insisting that we convert and live in houses in one place. We can’t do that. Our way of life is not like that.”

“Why you are making our lives so difficult?” he asked the officials.

The officer, Budi Jayapura, took me aside to check my documents and said: “We need to watch over them.

“They don’t understand the concept of stealing. They say the fruit grew by itself on the tree so it can be taken, but it was planted by someone. Maybe in their belief system it is OK, but not in our society.”

The pig problem

The fact that they hunt and eat wild pigs also creates social tensions, he added.

“This is a Muslim community. If they see the pig’s blood and the leftover bits, they are disturbed,” the officer explained.

What is taboo, or haram, for the Orang Rimba directly contrasts with what Muslims eat, explains Mr Manurung.

“Orang Rimba will not eat domesticated animals such as chickens, cows or sheep. They think it’s a form of betrayal. You feed the animal, and when it gets fat you eat it. The fair thing to do is to fight. Whoever wins can eat the loser.”

This clash of cultures began in the 1980s, when then-President Suharto gave land and incentives to migrants from overcrowded Java to move and open up the jungles of Sumatra.

Since then, vast areas of forests, traditionally home to the Orang Rimba, have been handed out to palm oil, rubber and pulp and paper companies without compensation to the indigenous tribes.

Zulkarnai, a Ministry of Forestry official, who helped facilitate the mass conversion of the Celitai tribe, admits that as a child, he thought the Orang Rimba weren’t human.

“One day a ‘Kubu’ child stole fruit from one of my neighbours, and he shot him. We went over to the body, and I realised it wasn’t a kind of animal, it was a human, just like us.

“I realised that we have to help them. I feel sorry for them. They will starve if they don’t change.”

In the last decades, millions of hectares of rainforest have been cleared in Indonesia, in what some studies call the world’s fastest rate of deforestation.

Polluted land

New palm oil plantations have been increasing at a rate of between 300,000 and 500,000 hectares per year for the past 10 years.

In the last 30-odd years, more than half of Sumatra’s forests have disappeared, replaced by monoculture palm oil plantations.

Sigungang’s family lives on a palm oil plantation. He tries to hunt wild pigs when they come.

“But if we can’t find anything, we are forced to eat palm oil fruit. It makes your head spin,” he says.The streams in the plantation are polluted with pesticide and his family is getting stomach problems drinking from it.

“There is no forest for them to hunt in, the water they fished in and drank from is polluted, and so is the air,” says social affairs minister Khofifah Parawansa, matter-of-factly. “So we are giving them houses, villages to live in.”

The government – working with plantation companies – has built a number of housing estates for the Orang Rimba.

Last year, President Joko Widodo announced more new housing and some land for them, following a meeting with tribal leaders – the first organised by an Indonesian head of state.

Minister Khofifah says faith is part of this process.

“On the identity card, they have to state what religion they have. There are those that have become Muslims, some who have become Christians. So now they are getting to know God.”

But many of the housing estates have failed and are effectively ghost towns.

Without work or a way to feed their family, many Orang Rimba who lived in them briefly went back to the traces of jungle that are left.

“What we want is for them to stop taking away our forest. We don’t want houses like the outsiders,” says Ngantap, one of the elders of an Orang Rimba tribe.

“I am at peace and happy in the forest, I am a person of the jungle.”

Ngantap wears the traditional loincloth of the Rimba people, with a bag of cigarettes hanging from the side.

Unmarried women traditionally wear simple sarongs covering the breasts. Once married, the sarong is tied around the waist leaving breasts open for feeding babies. Many now wear clothes from the outside.

But Ngantap insists they are holding on to their faith.

“It’s wrong to say we don’t have a faith. Religion is a personal right of every person. It’s very wrong to discredit someone’s faith.

“If our belief system is lost, and the gods and goddess have no forest home, disaster will reign.”

Ngantap’s wife Ngerung tell me they are connected to the trees from birth.

“After a baby is born, three trees must be planted, one for the placenta, one for the baby, one for the name. They can never be cut down or hurt. When we walk through our forest we remind people of this.”Mr Manurung explains: “Orang Rimba worship many gods, the tiger [being] one of the most powerful.

“They have a god of bees, a god of hornbill birds, gods and goddesses of many trees. They also worship a god of water springs. They will never go to the toilet or put soap in the river, so you can drink it directly.”


Miyak, my guide, converted to Islam so he can travel and fight to try and protect his family’s forest.

They are trying to register the forest as their ancestral land, following a landmark 2013 court ruling which said indigenous people have rights over forests they have lived in for centuries.

He can take part in meetings but not in religious ceremonies or rituals. As he now uses soap to wash himself and eats chicken and cows, he can’t enter his family home.

“When I got educated in the outsiders’ ways, there were many things that I had to sacrifice.

“But I accept that, because I am a messenger and bridge for many people here with the outside world and the government, about our forest and rights.”

He still fears the gods and goddesses of the old religion.

“It’s the sacred people – our women shamans – [that] I fear. They can communicate and see the gods and goddesses.

“The shaman can become a tiger, can become an elephant if the gods are very angry, and attack people. I am scared of that. I worry about breaking the rules.”

But Miyak’s greatest fear is that is his people’s way of life will disappear forever.



Chiapas: Indigenous Peoples converting to Islam

Friday, November 10th, 2017

In Chiapas, 400 Mexicans are building a new identity by merging their indigenous practices with Islam.

In a corn field in the Mexican state of Chiapas, Salma Palamo Diaz wears a traditional tzotzil skirt. Muslims in Mexico blend their indigenous ways of life with the customs required by Islam.

By Nina Strochlic
Photograph by Giulia Iacolutti

In photographer Giulia Iacolutti’s native Italy, the conversation about Islam revolved around fear and terrorism, but when she arrived in Mexico, she found none of that.

In 2014, a professor introduced Iacolutti to the imam of one of the mosques popping up around Mexico City to host a growing Muslim community. For a year, she embedded herself in their homes, rituals and feasts for a project called Jannah, an Arabic word that represents paradise in Islam.

A group of Sufi Muslims from Spain began building this mosque in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas to house the growing community in Chiapas.

Islam came to Mexico in spurts over the past decades, with immigrants from Lebanan and Syria, and even a group of Spanish Sufi Muslims who came to convert members of the Zapatista revolutionaries in the ‘90s. It caught on quickly. The country now has around 5,270 Muslims—triple what it had 15 years ago, Iacolutti says. An Arabic teacher helps them read the Quran and a scholarship offers a chance to study at a medina in Yemen.

In Mexico, which is largely Catholic, Iacolutti found that having a belief system is more important than following a particular religion. She spoke to Catholic mothers who didn’t want their daughters to convert to Islam, but were pleased when the change inspired a more pious way of life. “In Mexico it’s better to convert to Islam than in Europe,” she says. “They don’t think of terrorists.”

“They want to build identity,” Iacolutti says of the new Mexican Muslims. “What is pleasing about Islam is that it brings practical actions in daily life: You have to pray five times each day. You can’t eat pork and you can’t drink alcohol.” (Read more about progressive Muslim women)

Converts are fueling the growth in Mexico City, while high birthrates and large families spur it on in rural regions.

After a year of living with the community, Iacolutti asked for an introduction to the imams who tended to a rural community of Muslims in the southern state of Chiapas. By merging their indigenous practices with Islam, these 400 converts lived much differently than their Mexico City counterparts.

For one, they tend to blend in easily, since many indigenous women wrap their heads in scarves. “I want to speak my language, I want to put on the indigenous dress, but I also want to believe in allah,” they told Iacolutti.

Eid al-Adha, the “Sacrifice Feast,” is the second of the two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide every year. Tradition dictates they must sacrifice an animal, usually a goat or a cow, in the direction of Mecca.Right:

Long ago, ancient Mayans sacrified humans and extracted their hearts as an offering to the gods.
Photograph by Giulia Iacolutti

But the remoteness makes it difficult to maintain important tenets of their religion. Chiapas is a poor state, and meat that has been butchered in accordance to Islam, called halal, is rare. During one holiday feast, Iacolutti watched as the community sacrificed two cows and immediately brought meat to their Christian neighbors. “One ideal of Islam is you have to help a person that is poorer than you,” she says. “It’s not important if you believe in another god—you are my neighbor and you can eat the same food.”

Iacolutti is an atheist, but she was never once asked to convert. In such a devout country, her subjects seemed unbothered by a nonbeliever in their midst. Once, in a conversation with a Muslim woman in Mexico City she felt a longing for the other’s faith. “I think you have a very rich life because you believe,” Iacolutti told her. “I don’t believe. I see you and think you have a better life.”

The woman scolded her. “You take pictures,” she replied. “Your god is photography and beauty and information. You believe in this. I believe in allah.”

Indonesian tribe converts to Islam

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Nomadic ‘Jungle people’ become Muslim so they can receive government financial support after their homes were destroyed

Around 200 members of the Orang Rimba tribe in the Batang Hari district of Jambi have converted to Islam. One convert from the tribe, Yusuf Muhammad, said: ‘Thank God, the government now pays attention to us’. But indigenous rights group said they have no choice but to convert as rainforest hunting lands are developed

Pictured: Members of the tribe dressed in loincloths. Not all of the members of the tribe have taken to the new faith, with some clinging on and searching desperately for food in the land once dominated by Sumatran rainforest.

Hundreds of members of a nomadic Indonesian tribe have converted to Islam as their rainforest hunting grounds are devastated by palm oil plantations and coal mines.

The new Muslims changed their religion to capture the attention of the government, which they say ignores their needs.

The Orang Rimba – ‘jungle people – are also hoping to be handed ID cards by officials, which will then entitle them to benefits such as healthcare and education.

Some tribesfolk, however, have remained faithful to old ways and continue to desperately hunt for prey in an area that was once lush Sumatran rainforest.


‘Thank God, the government now pays attention to us; before our conversion they didn’t care,’ says Yusuf Muhammad, a convert.

Pictured left: A young girl from the tribe who has not converted to Islam. Right: Another girl of a similar age wearing a hijab after becoming a Muslim. An elder in the tribe said the government might now begin listening to their problems after their conversion

Yusuf’s group converted to Islam, the predominant faith in Indonesia, and gave up their nomadic ways in January in a bid to improve livelihoods that have been devastated by the expansion of palm oil plantations and coal mines into their forest homelands.


Authorities insist the move is positive but critics say it amounts to a last throw of the dice for indigenous groups driven to desperation by the government’s failure to properly defend their rights against rapid commercial expansion.

Indonesia is home to an estimated 70 million tribespeople, more than a quarter of the total 255-million population, from the heavily tattooed Dayaks of Borneo island to the Mentawai who are famed for sharpening their teeth as they believe it makes them more beautiful.

But as a nomadic group, the Orang Rimba are a rarity.

The 200 who recently converted in the Batang Hari district of Jambi province – a handful of the approximately 3,500 Orang Rimba – decided to turn to the Muslim faith after being approached by an Islamic NGO, and the social welfare ministry has helped with the process.

Community leader Yusuf conceded the reason they were converting was because food was increasingly hard to find and they were constantly locked in disputes with companies on whose lands they hunt, rather than due to any deeply held beliefs.

The tribesman also said that he and his family – he has 10 children – wanted to get national identity cards, which would allow them access to public services including education and healthcare. Converting to Islam and settling in one location means they can get the cards.

But the decision has meant big changes.

The converts now live in basic wooden huts on stilts and no longer move to a new location every few weeks. They are fully-clothed in items donated by the government and NGOs, having abandoned the simple loincloths and sarongs they wore in the past.

‘It’s nicer living in a village like this, our lives are better,’ said Yusuf, whose old Orang Rimba name was Nguyup.

They have not completely abandoned their animistic traditions however – the tribe believes spirits inhabit the trees and their wavy-bladed daggers – and view Islam as a religion that overlays their own ancient beliefs.

Not all of the Orang Rimba are keen to convert however.

Just a couple of hours drive away, a group of about 300 Orang Rimba live under blue, plastic tarpaulins propped up on sticks and subsist by hunting the few animals they can find amid the palm oil trees.

They move on average three times a month in the hunt for new prey, and every time a member of the group passes away, as required under tribal customs.

Their existence is tough, and they appear skinny and malnourished – but remain steadfastly against conversion.

‘According to our tradition, conversion is not allowed,’ leader of the group Mail, who goes by one name, told AFP.

It is also in part due to superstitious beliefs. ‘We’re afraid if we break our oath, we will be captured by tigers,’ Mail added.

Conversion of tribespeople to Islam is not uncommon in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, and the government insisted the change would be positive for the Orang Rimba.

Hasbullah Al Banjary, director of indigenous communities at the social affairs ministry, said it was now easier for authorities to provide for the tribespeople as they were not moving around. He said their traditions would not be eroded.

‘It´s a creative culture which has local wisdom we need to preserve,’ he said.

But indigenous rights defenders insist some tribespeople feel they have no option but to convert.

‘I view this as a result of the state failing to protect them,’ Rukka Sombolinggi, secretary general of leading Indonesia indigenous rights group AMAN, told AFP.

‘They turn to clerics or the church in some areas, because they offer protection.’

In recent decades, Indonesia has lost huge areas of rainforest – the habitat for many indigenous groups – to make way for plantations for palm oil, pulpwood and rubber, as well as coal mines.

Critics say local governments have prioritised making bumper profits by issuing permits for companies to set up operations rather than protecting tribes, who typically have no formal title to areas where they live.

Yusuf said he feels a sense of ‘tranquility’ after converting – but admitted it had not been a quick fix and his group were yet to receive the coveted identity documents.

‘It’s now up to the government – if they care about us they will work on our ID cards,’ he said

Original Article at Afp, click : HERE

Video: Mexico’s indigenous minority converting to Islam

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Religious Change and Indigenous Peoples – The Making of Religious Identities (Book)

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

About the book by Helena Onnudottir, Adam Posssamai and Bryan Turner:

Exploring religious and spiritual changes which have been taking place among Indigenous populations in Australia and New Zealand, this book focuses on important changes in religious affiliation in census data over the last 15 years. Drawing on both local social and political debates, while contextualising the discussion in wider global debates about changing religious identities, especially the growth of Islam, the authors present a critical analysis of the persistent images and discourses on Aboriginal religions and spirituality. This book takes a comparative approach to other Indigenous and minority groups to explore contemporary changes in religious affiliation which have raised questions about resistance to modernity, challenges to the nation state and/or rejection of Christianity or Islam. Helena Onnudottir, Adam Posssamai and Bryan Turner offer a critical analysis to on-going public, political and sociological debates about religious conversion (especially to Islam) and changing religious affiliations (including an increase in the number of people who claim ‘no religion’) among Indigenous populations. This book also offers a major contribution to the growing debate about conversion to Islam among Australian Aborigines, Maoris and Pacific peoples.

Report: Growing Islamic Extremism In Latin America Poses ‘Major Security Threat’ To US

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Daily Caller, by Peter Hassan, March 30, 2017:

Growing Islamic extremism in Latin America constitutes a “major security threat” to the United States, according to an analysis published this month by the National Center for Policy Analysis.

“The threat from Islamic extremists in Latin America remains an overlooked aspect of U.S. national security strategy,” NCPA senior fellow David Grantham argued.

Grantham noted that “Saudi Arabia has invested millions to construct mosques and cultural centers in South America and Central America that expand the reach of its rigid version of Islam, known as Wahhabism.”

“The international spread of Saudi dogma, which the State Department’s first special representative to Muslim communities worldwide, Farah Pandith, called ‘insidious,’ has laid the foundation for likeminded radicals to thrive in other areas of Latin America,” he explained.

Later in the brief, Grantham noted that the “threats to U.S. security in the Greater Caribbean region are even more alarming in Trinidad and Tobago. The small island nation off the coast of Venezuela, once the target of an overthrow by Islamic militants, has also become a breeding ground for ISIS — 70 of the 100 Latin Americans known to have joined ISIS originated from the small country.”

The ease of mobility Islamic extremists have in Latin America is also cause for concern.

“Islamic extremism thrives where there is illicit finance and relative ease of movement across national and international borders. The mobility of terrorists throughout Latin America poses a serious problem,” Grantham stated.

Perhaps the greatest Islamic extremist threat in Latin America, though, is the Islamic Republic of Iran, which Grantham said could potentially strike the US from Latin America as a retaliatory act.

“The Islamic Republic has the capability and infrastructure to strike the United States from Latin America, but experts disagree over whether it would take that risk,” Grantham writes. “Experts consistently discuss the likelihood of a preemptive or first strike attack on the United States, though, which creates too high a standard. Instead, the argument should focus on the prospect of retaliatory attack.”

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton also warned of Iranian sponsored terrorism through Latin American “proxies” during a 2013 off-the-record speech to Goldman Sachs employees that was made public by WikiLeaks.

“If we had a map up behind us you would be able to see Iranian sponsored terrorism directly delivered by Iranians themselves, mostly through the Revolutionary Guard Corps, the operatives, or through Islah or other proxies from to Latin American to Southeast Asia,” Clinton said.

“The growth of extremist activity in Latin America is a major security threat. The prospects of retaliation from Iran, in particular, should not discourage action against Iran where necessary but should heighten awareness regarding the high probability of revenge attacks,” Grantham concluded. “Iran’s influence in Latin America and extremists, in general, demand new national security strategies in the region. Such an approach could begin with U.S. support to allied governments that improves their intelligence capabilities, and with targeted financial interdiction strategies.”

The brief can be read in its entirety here

Q&A: Indigenous and Muslim ‘a growing trend’ in Australia

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Article here

Dr Peta Stephenson is an honorary fellow at the Asia Institute. She has interviewed dozens of Indigenous Muslims as research for her book ‘Islam Dreaming’, and says numbers of those converting are on the rise.


If we look at the 2006 census and the two before that, we do see that the numbers are rising. In 1996 and 2001 there were just over 600 Indigenous Muslims in Australia in each of those censuses.

In the subsequent one, in 2006, the number had risen 60 per cent to more than 1,000. So, not huge numbers if we look at the population of Australia, but it’s still a significant climb.


I conducted interviews with Indigenous Muslims for my book ‘Islam Dreaming’. Some of those were descended from Muslim fathers or forefathers, but wouldn’t classify themselves as practicing Muslims.

Perhaps they had an Afghan cameleer father or grandfather or a so-called ‘Malay Man’ who came to work in the pearl shelling industry. Then there were others who didn’t have that family history but had decided to embrace Islam.

And I found that the men and women who converted to Islam shared many commonalities with converts globally. Their experiences were that they enjoyed feeling part of a community, that they found Muslims to be extremely welcoming and hospitable.

In many ways, they felt that by becoming Muslim they were going back to their traditional pre-colonial indigenous identity, because they could see that there were many similarities in traditional Indigenous societies and Islamic ones.

For instance, men can have more than one wife, arranged marriages were common to both societies, men were usually much older than their wives, they had gendered spheres of influence, so, sort of ‘men’s business’ and ‘women’s business’.

The indigenous people I spoke to felt re-affirmed in their Aboriginality by becoming Muslim, and that wasn’t something I expected to find at all. That’s something that’s quite distinct from non-Indigenous people who embrace Islam.

Another difference was that Aboriginal people are coming to Islam against a backdrop of Christian ‘missionisation’, so some of them were attracted to Islam because it’s a non-Christian faith, and something they embraced by choice, not something that was imposed upon them.


I think that Aboriginal people haven’t really found that to be a difficulty, I mean, some people say they have foregone or given up their Aboriginality by becoming Muslim, but as I’ve just mentioned, the Indigenous Muslim people I’ve spoken to say, on the contrary, they feel more Aboriginal by becoming Muslim, particularly because in Islam, language differences and colour and cultural differences are recognised in Islam. It’s seen as a sign of God or Allah’s will to make people different.

So Aboriginal people maintain that, unlike Christianity, or their experience with Christian Missionisation at least, wherein people were expected to forego their languages and stop practicing their culture, Islam accepts that.

The difficulty they might find is in the reception, perhaps by friends or families but also the wider population who doesn’t perhaps understand, and might just think aboriginal people are embracing Islam as a, sort of oppositional anti-white type identity.

What about traditional aspects of Aboriginal Spiritualism? Have any of the Indigenous converts or their families expressed any regret at that being overlooked?

Most of the Aboriginal Muslim people I spoke to, and according to census figures as well, are younger people under 30 years old, and they live in metropolitan centres, the majority in Sydney.

These are people who have felt that they haven’t had access to their traditional spiritual beliefs, and perhaps, access to their languages and their traditional ways of life. I guess Islam to them helps provide an alternative route back to those roots.

Some people explained to me they felt they didn’t have a full identity, they could claim Aboriginality but they didn’t really have the full exposure to what that meant, to their traditional culture. So Islam helps fill that gap a bit, I suppose.

Of course some people I spoke to lament the fact that they don’t have access to that traditional way of life and traditional spirituality, but once the language is lost, and people die, that access is simply not possible. Islam has provided them with another way back, if you like.


A lot of the men I spoke to, particularly those who had been though the prison system, were first inspired by Malcolm X.

They had read his autobiography, and some of them openly described themselves as having been angry men who got into trouble with the law partly because of their attitude, they resented feeling like outcasts in their own country and were perhaps attracted to Malcolm X and the Black Panthers and those sorts of movements thinking that they were anti-white.

But once they started to learn more about Islam, they soon started changing their way of thinking very much, because they found a faith that accepted them, that accepted they were different from mainstream white Australia and that they weren’t judged for that, because Islam says all people are created equal.

So once the indigenous men sort of restored their sense of self, then that anger sort of dissipated. A number of them talked about how it is ironic some people accuse them of perhaps having terrorist tendencies because they have become Muslim.

They’ve said, before they embraced Muslim, they were angry, and afterwards they’ve actually become very peace-loving people, and their attitudes have been noticed in the prison system and by their families as well.


For all of them, yes, on so many levels. Islam, you can’t drink, you shouldn’t gamble so just on that very basic level some people have found it very helpful to align themselves to a faith that forgoes some of the things that have had adverse effects in indigenous communities.

Men and women have embraced Islam for some of the same reasons but also some distinct ones. So men, for instance find Islam attractive because men are deemed to be the head of the household and they’re expected to protect and maintain their family, it says in the Qur’an.

A lot of the men have said Islam has helped them to step up and take responsibility for providing financially for their wives and children, to be hard-working men.

The women find that attractive because there are a lot of single-headed households in indigenous communities, particularly headed by women.

So the women are attracted to aboriginal men who are very family-oriented and who believe that having paid employment is important.

Also, against the backdrop of the taking away of children and the forcible breaking up of families, aboriginal women are attracted to faith that really places a lot of emphasis on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of the family and women’s role within that.

Indigenous Peoples Under the Rule of Islam (Book)

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Frederick P. Isaac book (2003) gives an insider’s look at Iraqi human rights violations and first-hand account of persecution in the Middle East

Jihad. Many recognize this term, meaning “holy war” in Arabic, especially after deadly events during the last few years. Whether openly or secretly promoted by Islamic religious organizations, and with or without the approval of their governments, jihad forwards the cause of Islam through open threats and violence. While the whole world now knows the deadly effects of jihad, non-Islamic peoples living in Islamic countries have suffered its violence for decades. Now their story is told. Indigenous Peoples Under the Rule of Islam, a new book by Frederick P. Isaac, details the systematic mistreatment of non-Muslim natives, their denial of basic human rights, and their daily discrimination and persecution. This treatment, asserts Mr. Isaac, amounts to a clear-cut policy of genocide for aboriginal groups who refuse to convert to Islam.

Mr. Isaac, whose family lived in and fled from Iraq during the 1930s, details the use of terrorism, expansion, coercion, suicide bombing, and attacks on civilian targets as some of jihad’s aggressive methods, particularly in Israel and Iraq. He explains how mujahideen, or holy warriors, apply Islamic law and impose it on non-Muslims living in Islamic territory. Consequently, Mr. Isaac explains, the non-Muslim inhabitants become subjects of the Islamic policy of “conversion by the sword,” which seeks to eliminate the cultural identity, race, and faith of anything not Islamic.

He provides many examples, involving such diverse peoples as Jews, Assyrians, Arab Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian Christians, Egyptian Copts, and North African Berber Christians. The book also seeks to help people appreciate other aspects of Islam not thoroughly analyzed by the world media, aiming to raise the issue of human rights abuses of many indigenous people living under Islamic rule. Mr. Isaac hopes to encourage bodies such as the United Nations to take more active measures against inhumane and undemocratic practices, which he believes constitute a serious threat to world peace.

لماذا تركت الاسلام

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

علي سينا : Read here the article