Ibrahim Abu Mohamed
Ibrahim Abu Mohamed
|Title||Grand Mufti of Australia|
|Period in office||2011–2018|
|Successor||Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi|
Mohamed studied at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he received his doctorate; he taught Islamic studies from 1988 to 1996 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. On 18 September 2011 he was appointed as Australia's Grand Mufti by the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), replacing Fehmi Naji, who retired due to poor health.
After moving to Sydney in 1997, Mohamed founded a radio station soon called Quran Kareem Radio, broadcasting Koranic readings and other religious programs 24 hours a day. The radio station's content is mostly in Arabic; it relies on local donations and advertising for funding. In 2005, Mohamed founded a respite centre for Muslims with special needs, which he still manages.
In 2012 Mohamed visited the Gaza Strip, where he met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and told local news agencies, "I am pleased to stand on the land of jihad to learn from its sons". He is said to support Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who he met in Qatar in April 2013.
Though Mohamed was once described as "a political moderate, [but] religiously orthodox" in a 2011 article in the Sydney Morning Herald, he was found on numerous occasions to promote anti-west and homophobic views sympathetic to radical Islamism while associating with the convicted terrorists.
In 2011 Mohammed said that Sharia laws which call for "freedom, justice and right of speech" correspond with Australian laws.
In response to concerns over the radicalisation of young Muslim men in Australia, Mohamed has stated that he believes that the cause is the spread of "backyard prayer halls," run by self-styled imams preaching extremist ideologies. The solution to radicalisation, according to Mohamed, is for the Muslim community to build more traditional Islamic centres; his long-term vision, along with the ANIC, was to facilitate the building of mosques large enough to accommodate gyms, lecture halls and facilities for women and children. According to Mohamed, the Muslim community's building applications for new mosques are frequently met with rejection from local councils; he argues that existing mosques cannot keep pace with the community's growing needs, leading to increased feelings of isolation, rejection and anger among Muslims.
In his 1993 book An Invitation To Contemplate he said that non-Muslims wanted their women to walk around, “exposed as a piece of sweet pastry ... devoured by the eyes of men" and he met Islamist terrorist Man Monis during a visit to the Villawood detention centre, along with the leader of radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir. In 1995 he wrote, "the West does not bring to us any good, all they bring are their diseases".
Mohamed has defended Islam's "longstanding" anti-gay position here he claimed "no person can ever change", by describing homosexuality and lesbianism as 'sexual perversion' while also blaming low fertility rates in the West on 'loose extramarital sexual conduct'. He said that any attempt to call out these Islamic teachings could lead to radicalisation of Muslims.
In October 2014 Mohamed and the ANIC called for the offence of "advocating terrorism" to be removed from the "Foreign Fighters Bill", currently before the Australian Parliament, saying a cleric could fall foul of the law simply by "advocated the duty of a Muslim to defend his land" or if he referred to stories in the Quran, Bible and Torah in his sermons.
In February 2015 Mohamed said the Australian Government should not ban Hizb ut-Tahrir saying the group is, "actually pro-freedom of speech". Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister at the time, responded by saying the comments were "unhelpful".
After the November 2015 Paris attacks, in a Press Release by the Australian National Imams Council, Mohamed made some controversial remarks that: "These recent incidents highlight the fact that current strategies to deal with the threat of terrorism are not working. It is therefore imperative that all causative factors such as racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitisation, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention must be comprehensively addressed". He was later criticized for not directly condemning the Paris attacks. This led to a further statement: "We wish to emphasise it is incorrect to imply that the reference to causative factors provides justification for these acts of terrorism." and "Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohamed have consistently and unequivocally condemned all forms of terrorist violence."
In December 2015 Mohamed, along with other high-profile imams, issued a new year's message supporting a fatwa condemning Islamic State. In the message they stated that "most Islamic Legal Circles and Fatwa Boards have condemned ISIS", and warned young people to avoid the organisation's propaganda.
In September 2016 the Grand Mufti called for more "collaboration and proper communication" between, communities, families and security agencies.
Mohamed, in a submission to a federal government inquiry, has called for the Racial Discrimination Act to be updated to include protections against religious vilification. Liberal senator James Paterson, a member of the parliamentary joint committee on human rights said, “Effectively that would mean Australia has a national blasphemy law because criticising someone's religious beliefs in a way that offended them could breach the law".
- "The New Grand Mufti of Australia has just been announced …". OnePath Network. 18 March 2018. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
- Zwartz, Barney. "The Man and the Mufti." Archived 31 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 October 2011.
- Kilani, Ahmed (19 September 2011). "Australian Imams appoint a new Mufti". muslimvillage.com. MuslimVillage Incorporated. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
Imams and Sheikhs from around Australia held a meeting last night in which they appointed Dr Ibrahim Abu Muhammad as the new Grand Mufti of Australia.
- Maley, Paul (20 September 2011). "Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed feels duty to 'cure'". The Australian. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- Lion, Patrick (31 December 2012). "Australia's Grand Mufti meets Hamas". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 15 October 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Australian Muslim cleric meets Hamas leader". ABC News (Australia). 31 December 2012. Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "Mufti of Australia and Delegation Meet with Hamas Prime Minister Haniya and Officials in Gaza". Memritv. 26 December 2012. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2015.
- "Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed linked to banned sheik who approved suicide bombing". Daily Telegraph. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- Seymour, Brian (26 April 2016). "Law of the Land? Is Sharia Law operating in our suburbs?". Yahoo7 News. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- Morton, Rick (1 July 2016). "Mufti defies Malcolm Turnbull on anti-gay speech". The Australian. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "You have nothing to fear, says Aussie mufti". Herald Sun. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
- YONI BASHAN. "Grand Mufti Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed believes more mosques are the solution." The Sunday Telegraph. 26 May 2013.
- "The Grand Mufti: Ibrahim Abu Mohammed's book An Invitation to Contemplate describes western women as 'sweet pastry'". Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- Piotrowski, Daniel (21 December 2015). "The West does not bring us any good': How the Grand Mufti railed against the West, gays and women with more than one sex partner before moving to Australia". Daily Mail Australia. Archived from the original on 21 December 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- Aston, Heath (8 October 2014). "Muslims warn anti-terror laws could prevent teaching from Koran". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- Seymour, Brian (13 February 2015). "Australia's Grand Mufti slams government ban". Seven News. Archived from the original on 14 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- "Abbott criticises Aust Muslim leader". Sky News. 15 February 2015. Archived from the original on 17 February 2015. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- Piotrowski, Daniel (9 October 2015). "Australia's Islamic leader REFUSES to call the Parramatta shooting a terrorist attack - speaking in Arabic to 'express himself properly' even though the Grand Mufti has lived here for 18 years". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
- "Australia's grand mufti sparks outrage after comparing Paris attacks to racism". The Independent. 17 November 2015. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
- "Australia's imams council denies grand mufti justified Paris attacks". Archived from the original on 17 January 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- O'Brien, Natalie (3 January 2015). "Muslim leaders including the Grand Mufti of Australia back fatwa against Islamic State". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 4 January 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- Crane, Emily (26 September 2016). "Mufti-ing his lines! Grand Mufti uses an interpreter to tell Australians they are wrong to think Muslims don't integrate". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 27 September 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
- "Grand Mufti warns against watering down hate speech laws". News Ltd. 19 January 2017. Archived from the original on 20 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- Lewis, Rosie (19 January 2017). "Grand Mufti seeks Racial Discrimination Act cover for Muslims". The Australian. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- "Mufti sues News Corp for defamation". SBS. 23 April 2016. Archived from the original on 27 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- Safi, Michael (23 April 2016). "Grand mufti sues News Corp's Daily Telegraph for defamation". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.