Khalid Yasin: The new voice of Islam?
October 9, 2005
Reporter : Sarah Ferguson
Producer : Nick Rushworth
Muslim preacher Sheik Khalid Yasin grabbed the headlines recently with a speech saying Muslims couldn’t have non-Muslim friends. Sunday investigates the United States-born convert to Islam who’s testing Australian tolerance to its limits. He is setting up a new radio and television network here to spread his extremist message. Launched last weekend, the Islamic Broadcasting Corporation aims to attract a quarter-of-a-million subscribers. Its driving force is this charismatic preacher who’s capturing the hearts and minds of young Australian Muslims with a radical mix of pleas for the understanding of terrorism, anti-Western conspiracy theories and radical homophobia.
For Yasin, terrorist bombings in Bali are justified by hundreds of years of Western oppression of Muslims. Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda did not carry out the September 11 attacks on the United States they were a “rogue operation” by Western governments. The AIDS virus was designed in the United States and injected into black Africans to meet the West’s desire to reduce the world’s population. Homosexuality should be punishable by death but, in the meantime, Australia has made homosexuals a “protected species” needing “toleration” by Muslims.
“The Koran gives a clear position regarding homosexuality lesbianism and bestiality,” says Yasin. “They are aberrations punishable by death … We can’t walk around society slandering them because there is legislation against doing that but we don’t have to like them we don’t have to promote them and we have the right to say that that’s a moral aberration.”
Yasin has “not seen any irrefutable documentation to link Osama Bin Laden or the so-called Al Qaeda" with being responsible for that action. Instead, he says, “we now know the way those buildings fell, they fell from internal explosive charges the same way it’s done on a building site.”
It was “missionaries from the World Health Organisation and Christian groups”, according to Yasin who “went into Africa and inoculated people for diphtheria, malaria, yellow fever and they put in the medicine the AIDS virus”.
Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson is appalled. “Firstly I have a personal view about this. My own brother died of AIDS, I am quite repulsed by what he said. The second is that we respect freedom of speech until it demeans, diminishes or vilifies any individual or any section of Australian society.”
For all his claims of having been mistreated by the Australian media, reporter Sarah Ferguson discovers that Yasin has been given an easy ride. He’s also in Australia raising money for his broadcast company based in England. And local Muslims eager for their own voice have given big money. But Sundayhas looked into the company and found Yasin’s statements about it are bogus. And while he presents himself as a “moral-minded” teacher of Islam, someone who corrects “distortions and misconceptions” about his religion, the academic qualifications he claims are also a fiction.
Click here to read a transcript of this story.