Uthman Badar, spokesIslamist for pro-sharia Hizb ut-Tahrir, has been stopped from delivering a speech defending honor killings at a cultural festival at The Sydney Opera House. The question should be why was a radical like him invited to speak in the first place?
Daily Telegraph (h/t aussie 106) The event — part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas — was slammed as a cheap stunt that could have put women’s lives at risk. The furore comes days after Opera Australia sacked a soprano from performing at the Opera House after an anti-gay slur appeared on her Facebook page.
Federal and state MPs condemned the Opera House for its decision to host Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar in a speech titled “honor killings are morally justified”. Honor killing involves murdering a woman who is considered to have shamed her family.
The speech, scheduled for August 30, was removed from the festival’s playlist last night following widespread outrage. The state government is understood to have put pressure on the Opera House with NSW Arts Minister Troy Grant asking for an urgent explanation on why the event was scheduled.
“The NSW government is proud to support programs that enrich our society and culture, but I am concerned this program does not meet that criteria and I have sought an urgent explanation,’’ Mr Grant said. “Where these ideas have the potential to spark racial tension, they move from dangerous to stupid.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a banned radical organization in Germany and The Netherlands and, before becoming prime minister, Tony Abbott said he would outlaw it here.
Promotional material for the speech said that historically “parents have reluctantly sacrificed their children — sending them to kill or be killed for the honour of their nation, their flag, their king, their religion. But what about killing for the honour of one’s family?”
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop condemned the event, saying: “It is abhorrent for any person, regardless of faith or ethnicity, to argue in support of murder as a means of protecting the so-called honour of any other individual, family or community.” Federal Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said honour killing was murder, and “any promotion of or justification for it is completely unacceptable”. Women’s Minister Pru Goward said the event had no place in Australia.
Mr Badar hit back last night, tweeting: “Hysteria wins out. Welcome to the free world, where freedom of expression is a cherished value.”