From Bernie – 21st March 2013

Six surprises from the Islamic ‘Peace Conference’

Surprise no 1: Free tickets were not honoured: We arrived at the Conference on the first morning (Friday) to be told that our free tickets would not be accepted. Thousands of free tickets were printed to be given to non-Muslims to attract them to the conference so they would hear the message of Islam and become Muslims – the conference was really all about da’wah or propagation of Islam. Conference reception staff told us that the Victoria Police had advised that everyone must pay the $50 entry fee. We refused, saying that we had not come prepared to pay $50, since we had free tickets. We said that it was false advertising to issue free tickets and then not to honour them. Eventually a young Muslim reception girl had pity on us and spoke to her supervisors on our behalf and we were let in free.

Surprise no 2: Muslim numbers were low: The organisers had hoped for 20,000 attendees, including 4,000 non-Muslims. However they did not achieve anything like this. The biggest day was Friday, when it was planned that 5,000 Muslims would pray behind the Imam of Mecca who was coming from Saudi Arabia. However news of his coming brought condemnation in the Age, Herald Sun, Australian newspapers and Jewish organisations because he had called for the extermination of the Jews, referring to them as ‘monkeys’, ‘rats’ and ‘the scum of the earth’. Although he never applied for an Australian visa (probably due to this negative publicity), it was not until the night before that the conference organiser announced on their website that he was not coming. Consequently, only 1800 people turned up for the prayers. The other main speaker, a sheik from Kuwait, arrived but fell sick and was not able to attend the conference. Muslims were disgruntled at the high price of the conference, expensive food and carnival rides, and the cancellation of some meetings. Eventually cold driving rain sent people home and kept them away the next day. Meetings set up to hold thousands were attended by a couple of hundred people.  If the conference was relying on gate takings for income, it will be in significant financial trouble.

Surprise no 3: Opportunities for Christian witness were high. Over the weekend, a team of 60 Christians turned up to witness to Muslims. The vast majority, by the grace of God, managed to get in free. We had applied for and been given permission to hire stalls and sell or give away Christian literature including Bibles. However this permission was withdrawn by the conference organisers saying they could not guarantee the safety of Christians from radical Muslims inside the Showgrounds. This ban on Christian stalls turned out to our advantage, as it enabled us to spread out, rather than being concentrated in one place. Christians could be seen all over around the conference, making friends with Muslims, asking questions and sharing their faith in Jesus. It soon became obvious, and non-Muslims arriving at the gates were asked by the reception staff: “Are you part of Bernie’s team?” Sometimes conference staff would order Muslims to stop talking to the Christians and send them away. Despite this, we had hundreds of wonderful conversations about Christ throughout the weekend and arranged to meet up with some more open Muslims afterwards.

Surprise no 4: Some Christians got kicked out of the conference. Because of their impact, the Christians came to the attention of the conference organisers. Some high-profile Christians were assigned Muslim ‘taggers’ to follow them around and intervene in their conversations. On the Saturday, one of our Christian team, a former Muslim, rang me (Bernie) in distress. He had been giving out a DVD about Muslims who had come to Christ. Some-one complained and he was surrounded by security guards and the conference organiser who were threatening him. They claimed that this was illegal, as he had no permit to do it. I pointed out that many other people were also giving away brochures and materials. The conference organiser (Abdul Samii) was rude and aggressive. We were marched to the Showgrounds exit by the eight guards, and told we must leave all Christian materials in our car before re-entering. We did so, deciding that a continuing verbal witness was better than no witness at all. Later that day, another of our team had a long conversation with a British man who had converted to Islam, and asked him if he would like a Christian booklet. The man agreed and accepted it, but the man’s Somali wife complained: “My husband became a Muslim and they want to turn him back into a Christian.” Security was called. The Christians asked: “Is Islam is so strong, why are you so scared of a piece of paper?” The conference organiser was hostile and insulting, saying “Get out! Shut your mouth,” to the four Christians. He told the security guards to escort them from the Showgrounds, and they were ejected.

Surprise no 5: The Conference publicly advocated Sharia law including the cutting-off hands for theft, the death penalty, the cruel slaughter of animals, and it did not condemn all terrorism. A woman’s clothing was suggested as contributing to her rape:  In an Exhibition hall, a series of pull-up posters outlined aspects of Islamic teaching. One entitled: “Sharia Law” stated that “Like every thriving country follows a constitution, likewise an Islamic state is bound to follow Sharia law.”  An illustration of this was given on another poster called “Why follow only Islam?” It stated: “All major religions teach that theft is an evil act. Islam teaches the same. The difference lies in the fact that Islam, besides teaching that robbing is evil, shows a practical way of creating a structure in which people will not rob. … Islam prescribes chopping-off the hand of the convicted robber … [the Qur’an chapter 5 verse 38 is quoted] … America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries in the world. Unfortunately it also has one of the highest rates of crime, theft and robbery … Suppose [that] every convicted robber has his or her hand chopped-off as a punishment. Will the rate of theft and robbery in America increase, remain the same or decrease? Naturally it will decrease. Moreover the existence of such a stringent law would discourage many a potential robber. Islamic Shariah is therefore practical and achieves results.”

The “Islam & Capital Punishment” poster proclaims the virtues of the death penalty for certain crimes, following the teaching of the Qur’an. It states that “any country following this rule will see their murder rate go down.”  In fact, US states which do not practice capital punishment have significantly lower rates of murder than those which do execute criminals.

A poster entitled “Slaughtering animals” promoted the Islamic method of Halal killing which is opposed by the RSPCA as cruel to animals.

Another poster about “Fundamentalists and Terrorists” stated: “Every Muslim is a fundamentalist because he follows the fundamentals of Islam which are the best of the fundamentals any person can follow or practice. No Muslim should be a terrorist if he terrorises other innocent human beings. On the other hand, Muslims are ordered to stand against and fight those who terrorise other innocent human beings as well as animals.” The key phrase is “innocent human beings”. Who decides which people are innocent and which are guilty? British Muslim leader Anjem Chowdary has declared all non-Muslims “guilty”, thus making them legitimate targets for Islamic terrorist attacks. But this IREA poster does not give a definition of who is innocent or guilty.

A poster labelled “Hijab – a solution to rape?” implies that it is the way a woman dresses that contributes to her rape.  It promotes Islamic law as the solution to all social problems. “Naturally as soon as Islamic Shariah is implemented positive results will be inevitable. If Islamic Shariah is implemented in any part of the world, whether it is America or Europe, the world will breathe easier.”

Surprise no 6: Protests happened on the last day: On the Sunday morning, a group of about 20 ‘Australian Protection Party’ protestors stood outside one of the Showground gates holding posters saying: “No Sharia Law”, “No Mosques”, and “End Discrimination against Women.” They abused Muslims who were driving into the conference. Eventually they packed up and went home.

We went to the Police and asked if we could display a Christian banner with a positive message “Jesus loves Muslims. So do we” outside the Showgrounds as an alternative. They gave permission for us to do so. We said that we would also give the New Testament (‘Injeel’), which is a holy book in Islam, to anyone who wanted a copy. But the Police advised against it, saying that there might be a violent reaction. So we agreed not to distribute any New Testaments. About eight of us went to the Muslim reception staff at the gate and told them what we were about to do. Some were so happy and excited that they took photos of us with our banner and then agreed to be in the picture with us.

Thank you so much to the many who prayed, gave or came so that this Conference would be a significant witness to Christ. We will continue to pray for Muslims and plan for other Islamic events that will be happening around Melbourne.

 

 


14 Responses to “Islamic Peace Conference in Melbourne a real failure”

  1. 1 Anne

    Dear Jason

    Thanks for this update.

    Love you guys for your big heart for Muslim people to come to know Jesus!! Our collective prayers were certainly being heard on high over the past weekend.

    Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal brothers and sisters in Christ were praying together for this city and nation from the mountains, at Belgrave Heights, SURRENDER Conference. Our tears were mingling with the falling rain.

    Please pray for the PLC Muslim families we are loving for Jesus at our school. May they come to know Jesus through His presence and love in this place.

    May His Kingdom come and His will be done in this land.

    God bless and keep you in His care

    Anne

  2. 2 Mike

    Awesome!

    Mike

  3. 3 Don

    Wonderful news! Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!
    Don
    Cornerstone

  4. 4 Rev. Muhammed Ibrahim

    I am glad to see the true face of Islam coming to Australia. This is what I have prayed that Australians will know as we already know in Nigeria and other parts of the world. I am sure Islam has the same objective and goal. To lie is Islamic and approved by Allah. To tell you that it will befree and turn out to be the opposite is a normal thing Muslims can do everywhere.
    I pray for a clear awareness of all the deception of Islam to all Australians.

  5. 5 Ps Richard

    Well done for your faithful witness!

    Ps Richard

  6. 6 Phil

    There is an obvious conclusion which may be drawn from this Islamic peace conference. God in his mercy can change people and I am not trying to alarm anyone and God is greater than all. But there is an obvious conclusion, which justifies Pastor Nalliah’s approach a thousand times over.

    A significant number of Islamics, knowingly abusing the meaning of the word, ‘peace’, and abusing it with obvious intent to harm the people of their host nation, did what was within their power to import to their host nation a speaker whom the host nation classifies as dangerous, having divisive, even murderous motivation. To the last minute they supported his entry and were obviously welcoming him. They defied the wishes and humanitarian principles of our national government without apology and without excuse. Only physical force stopped the uniting of what in principle amounts to a mad neo-nazi, with his fans. Had that physical force (justified by our Christian-based toleration-enforcing Constitution) not in fact been applied –then we have public incitement to everything this nation does not stand far, right in its midst. In the name of peace and tolerance. War, inside the nation.

    One does not need to be a bush lawyer to see the implications. Australia has just now had war declared on it. But there are miracles, and there is always a way for people of faith and good heart.

    A bush lawyer can see the obvious but what about the trained, paid ones, currently in Parliament? Nothing about Islam other than its ideas of modesty and temperance can be tolerated by a democratic nation. Our Constitution and our nation has just now been spat on. It is time for all citizens, including thinking Islamics, to get up and stop our nation being spat on.

    Phil

  7. 7 TJay

    Thoughts to ponder from the Koran………
    Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. – Sura 2:98
    On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. – Sura 2:161
    Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191
    persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191
    Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme. (different translation: ) Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God’s entirely. – Sura 2:193 and 8:39
    Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – 2:216
    (different translation: ) Prescribed for you is fighting, though it is hateful to you.

  8. 8 TJay

    O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54
    Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme – 8:39
    It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. – 8:67
    Allah will humble the unbelievers. Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. – 9:2-3

    However, the God of the Bible extends His LOVE to all mankind (Muslims included) and the only condition we have to meet is to believe in His Son Jesus Christ and invite Him into our hearts to be our Lord and Saviour…. To believe that Jesus died on the cross and shed is blood for the remission of our sins.

    FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, (JESUS CHRIST) THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE. (John 3:16)

  9. 9 Jeff Jenkins

    Awesome article! Thank you for letting us know what happened!

  10. 10 Kay

    Thank you for this email as it details this conference! Well done, Christian folk!
    Blessings,
    Kay

  11. 11 Jan

    Praise God for the inroads through this very testing time of witnessing. Marvelous. Praise God.

    Jan

  12. 12 kevin

    Do you think Jesus (if he existed) was a ‘Moral’ person?

    Kind words from Jesus Christ:

    “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me” – Jesus Christ, Lk. 19:27
    1. http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Lk19.27
    2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+19%3A27&version=NIV
    3. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+19%3A27&version=KJV

    “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.” – Jesus Christ, Mt. 10:34-37
    1. http://biblia.com/bible/nkjv/Mt10.34-37
    2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+10%3A34-37&version=NIV

    “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” – Jesus Christ, Lk. 14:26
    1. http://bible.cc/luke/14-26.htm
    2. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+14%3A26&version=NIV

    “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!… Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son, and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” – Jesus Christ, Lk. 12:49-53
    1. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A49-53&version=NIV

  13. 13 Progressive

    Those extremists Muslims who do not take their superstition in moderation and advocates their babaric sharia laws should be deported.

  14. 14 jericho

    You forgot to mention the name of the ”Islamic peace conference”, because there are a lot of them. If this article fake (looks like one) article makes everyone excited with short term fake happiness, then you all folks need to wake up to reality. Unfortunately Islam is the largest ”growing” religion in the world.

    Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, according to new figures.
    In its newly-released 2008 yearbook of statistics, the Vatican claims Muslims now make up 19.2 per cent of the world’s population with Catholics at 17.4 per cent. (2012-MUSLIM? 22.7%, CATHOLIC 18.8%)
    In the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, wrote: “For the first time in history we are no longer at the top: the Muslims have overtaken us.”

    Europe’s churches are becoming mosques at a rate of up to 2 churches a week
    “Islam has risen, and is swallowing up Europe at an alarming rate Europe’s churches are being bought up and turned into mosques at the rate of up to 2 churches a week, reports Giulio Meotti, an Italian journalist, who wrote an article: Expose`: Europe Turns Churches into Mosques and appeared on Arutz Sheva’s Tamar Yonah Show. “What we are seeing is the? de-Christianization of Europe, and then the Islamification of it.”

    2500 people leaving UK churches ever week
    The apostasy also affects the Protestant Church whose followers are leaving in droves, with only 8 people in every 1,000 in the UK now bothering to worship, and that number is ‘reducing by 2500 people every week’ (‘Does Christianity have a Future?’, BBC, April 17th, 2011). If these figures continue to depreciate at this rate, then within five years there will be no Christian worshippers in the UK.

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