magnificent speech he made, to rapturous applause, at the Grand Synagogue in Paris.
This past weekend, in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba, a speech of a rather different complexion took place at a "public event" held by the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Here's part of its flyer advertising the event:
It seems, from his account of the "public event", that reporter Bryan Seymour, who attended on behalf of Channel Seven, was left under no illusion that the organisers welcomed his presence.
"Around 200 men and another 50 women and children, behind a curtain at the back [my emphasis, for this was a secular event], attended," he tells us inter alia.
Main speaker Bilal Merhi, known for inflammatory rhetoric, declared that
'Australia's democratic government has to go in favour of an Islamic Caliphate ruled by Sharia Law.
"....[You] have no state, no authority, you have no representation ...! But be brave when we have authority! Come forward when we have a representation with an army! Ready to defend the honour of Allah and his Messenger.... And that's what we have to understand,” ....
His message was met by cries of “Takbir... Allahu Akbar!” ....'
In most of the Middle East, Hizb ut-Tahrir is a proscribed organisation, but not in Australia or the dear old Motherland. Its major conferences (like the one at right) in Australia attract delegates and speakers from abroad.
As the Sydney Morning Herald explained at the time of one of its conferences
'The group is proscribed in Germany for anti-Semitism, and Russia declared it a criminal organisation in 1999.
There have been unsuccessful calls to ban the group in Britain and Australia.
Wassim Kabbara, 33, said he had come to the conference as a ''litmus test for me … to see what these guys are doing versus what the West is trying to do''. He agreed with themes at the conference that ''Islam and democracy do not come together''.
The keynote speaker, Dr Mohammad Jeelani, said the West had decided to ''plant a cancer in the Muslim world'', and that cancer was the state of Israel.
The group openly rejects democratic government and tells Muslims in Australia to boycott elections.'Still, it seems from the rest of Bryan Seymour's report that, albeit in fits and starts like the dozy dormouse at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, the Aussie authorities might be waking up.
Read and see more of Channel Seven's report (including a video report) here.
Hat tip to Jean Vercors (to whom I owe the "Je Suis Israel" in my sidebar) for this not inapt cartoon: