'Halal' Sam - I Don't Believe In Allah
(Pic above: Sam Dastyari promotes the Halal Snack Pack)
On Q&A this week Pauline Hanson was surprised to hear from Labor Senator Sam Dastyari that he has the word ‘Muslim’ next to his name on his Iranian birth certificate.
When she asked if he was a practicing Muslim, Slippery Sam looked stunned then evaded, then played the well-worn victim card accusing Hanson of making a joke of a ‘serious’ situation.
Hanson replied she wasn’t, that she was just surprised he was a Muslim, which prompted Greens Senator Larissa Waters to pipe in, asking if Hanson was surprised because Dastyari “…doesn’t have three heads?”
The obvious smart-arse answer to a flippant smart-arse question is clearly, “No - but he does have two faces.”
‘Halal' Sam has since clarified he’s a secular Iranian, that his parents, Nasser and Ella, were activists who fled Iran after the Islamic revolution of 1979.
At first they fled to the northern Iranian town of Sari, to keep a low profile, but by 1987 they decided to seek refuge in Australia for the reason millions of refugees flee Muslim countries - they were in fear of their lives.
In Islam, death is the swiftest and least troublesome means to deal with freedom of thought, speech and ideas. Barbaric sharia is founded on repression, pain, violence and killings, to benefit those at the top, with a leaning towards keeping the men in control. (Any feminists like to say something here? Tanya? Julia? Penny? Sarah? Clementine, Anne…anyone?)
Senator Sam explains, “My parents were student radicals, or student activists, during the 1979 Islamic revolution. They were pro-democracy student organisers. When the revolution happened, Islamists seized control.
“Quite a few of my parents’ friends were executed for being political dissidents.
“They moved in ’79, after the revolution, to the town of Sari ... to keep a low profile. Then the Iran/Iraq war breaks out in around 1980.
“By about 1987 it became clear the war was coming to an end and my parents were concerned about what a post-war Iran was going to look like for them and began the process of migrating to Australia. We came out in January 1988.”
Consequently, based on his parent's experience Sam has chosen to not be terribly religious, a freedom he enjoys in Australia - but frowned on in Islamic countries.
“I’m not a devout Muslim. I’m a non-practising Muslim ... It’s all a bit complex,” he says.
Complex in the context that a Muslim cannot be known to have turned his or her back on Islam or Allah - that’s called apostasy, punishable by death.
Apostasy in Islam is the abandonment of Islam by a Muslim.
Apostasy encompasses ‘irreligion’ including ‘atheism’, ‘agnosticism’ and ‘secular humanism’ but it also includes denying, or merely questioning any fundamental tenet or creed of Islam, such as the divinity of Allah.
Apostasy can also be by omission, such as not adhering to the rituals of Islam, or turning away from following Islam altogether.
Sam says he’s no different to many Australians who’ve wrestled with questions of God and religion but remain unconvinced of a higher power.
He makes a similar comparison to Catholics who have allowed their faith to lapse or waver identifying more closely with ‘atheism'.
I’m atheist too. Raised a strict Catholic, but by 18 I became weary and sceptical of the control, the system, and the obvious fairy tales of religion. Perhaps I’m too rational to be religious.
My kids, though, go to a Catholic school. They do so, because I attribute my values to Christianity, and I want my kids to have the positive, selfless, community beliefs and the all embracing nature of inclusion that forms a sound foundation for their lives, as it has for me.
It’s the God bit I’m not convinced on.
The difference between me and Halal Sam is there’s no risk of my head being chopped off by a crazed Christian for not being a devout follower.
For Sam though, now he’s out - and proudly pronouncing he’s not an Allah-follower, there’s a more-than-even bet some crazed devout Muslim will follow the strict commands of Islam.
Apostasy in Islam is a crime as well as a sin - an act of treason, a matter of life and death.
There is some hope for Sam though, some scholars believe the apostate should be allowed a waiting period to allow the sinner time to repent and return to Islam.
Death to apostates is one of the key business model incentives devised by Islam to prevent ‘churn’, or fleeing the faith.
During Mohammad’s lifetime, and the following lifetimes of the next four “Rightly Guided Caliphs”, tens of thousands of Muslims left the faith and thousands were rounded up and killed.
Qur’an (4:89) ”They wish that you should reject faith as they reject faith, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper."
According to the most trusted Hadith (accounts of Mohammed and his companions) of Islamic teachings:
Sahih al-Bukhari (52:260): "...The Prophet said, 'If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him.' "
Sahih Bukhari (83:37): ”Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate."
al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, (22:180): "Thus it will be clear to you that execution of the apostate is something that is commanded by Allah, when he commanded us to obey the Messenger."
Reliance of the Traveller (Islamic Law) o8.1: "When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatises from Islam, he deserves to be killed."
The look on Sam was priceless when Pauline Hanson asked twice if he is a practicing Muslim, and he avoided a straight answer. (Click here to view)
Sam's been walking both sides of the street - the face of halal certified food (the Muslim vote can’t be ignored), yet troubled enough by the whole experience and idea of Islam that he's chosen to be an apostate.
Does it matter?
This is Australia where anybody is free to believe or not believe what they like, as long as that doesn't include killing others who don't believe what you believe.
It only matters if you've pretended to be what you're not.
If that's been the case, Sam makes an extraordinary secular politician.