Crazy John's Comments on Leaders in Oz.

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by bigbrowndog, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. bigbrowndog


    Likes Received:
    Apr 30, 2005
    N.Q. australia,20867,20233237-5001561,00.html
    Leaders taking us nowhere: Muslim
    Richard Kerbaj
    August 24, 2006
    THE founder of Australian mobile phone giant Crazy John's has attacked "self-appointed" Muslim leaders, accusing them of destroying his community's progress, and questioning their allegiance to this country.

    John Ilhan, one of the nation's most successful Muslims, yesterday blamed many first-generation community members for being opposed to Western ideals and cultural diversity, and accused them of "conditioning" their children to follow in their footsteps.

    "There's a massive disconnection between what the young and the old think," he told The Australian yesterday.

    "They (first-generation Muslims) haven't experienced life like we have in this society, yetthey want to be our mouthpiece."

    The 41-year-old entrepreneur, who at the age of five migrated to Australia from Turkey with his parents, said he often distanced himself from community politics because he found the "older folk" difficult to deal with.

    "I've always known that what we've lacked in Australia is leadership in our community and that's why I don't get involved much with them, because (their) egos tend to get in the way," Mr Ilhan said.

    "Australia is a very diverse country and the problem with Muslims in this country, most of them, especially the old folk, is they don't believe in diversity. They say (they do) but they actually don't get involved (in wider community activities)."

    Mr Ilhan's comments come after The Australian revealed yesterday that the federal Government was believed to be interested in approaching high-profile Muslims from sport, academia and business, including the Crazy John's boss, to join John Howard's Islamic advisory board, set up last year in the wake of the London bombings.

    And with the one-year term of the Prime Minister's Muslim Community Reference Group ending next month, it is understood that mainstream Muslims such as Mr Ilhan, rugby league star Hazem El Masri and the Australian chief executive of the National Australia Bank, Ahmed Fahour, would be among the fresh faces likely to be approached to join.

    The group has been working closely with Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Robb to set up programs for the community to tackle problems ranging from racism and the treatment of women to radical preaching. It includes a several prominent, and at times controversial, clerics.

    It also features a number of leaders who figure prominently in Muslim politics. The Muslim community's key lobby group - the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils - has been hamstrung in recent months by infighting and factional rivalry.

    Mr Ilhan said he would consider joining the reference group if asked, "but only if I feel we can move forward".

    He said he would want "young people who are educated here, people that are part of mainstream Australia" and people from diverse backgrounds to join the group.

    Mr Ilhan said the nation's 300,000-strong Muslim community was in desperate need of "young role models" to improve the image of Islam, which had been sullied by contentious clerics and religious factions.

    "I can't believe there's (some) people out there speaking on behalf of every other Muslim, when really most of the Muslims don't recognise them - they're all self-appointed," he said.

  2. re_guderian

    re_guderian SILVER Star

    Likes Received:
    Jun 17, 2005
    There's a big sugar-coat right there. If only it was just contentious clerics and religious factions, every religion has those. What about all the frickin' bombs????
  3. Cruisin'Carolina


    Likes Received:
    Dec 11, 2004
    The Rock
    I think he was referring just to the Muslim community in Aussie
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