06 January 2016

This is how religious freedom works

From The Australian, January 2, 2016, by Mark Durie*:

It is entirely appropriate for Australians to hold Muslims accountable for the statements and actions of their religious leaders.

...it is up to the Muslims of Australia who they choose to listen to and appoint as their religious leaders.

If ...most Australian Muslims want a moderate form of Islam preached in their mosques, then let them take steps to ensure this happens.

If they are unhappy with their imams, let them replace them, or else vacate those mosques to frequent other mosques they like better, with imams whose teachings they find more congenial.

This is how religious freedom works. It is precisely because Australian Muslims do have religious freedom that it is reasonable for Australians to hold the Muslim community to account for the utterances of their leaders.

*Mark Durie is a theologian, a Shillman-Ginsburg writing fellow at the Middle East Forum and founder of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. This piece was originally published in Quadrant, www.quadrant.org.au.