Lateline host Emma Alberici, right, interviews Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesperson Wassim Doureihi.
Lateline host Emma Alberici, right, interviews Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesperson Wassim Doureihi.

Radical Islamic group's failure to condemn ISIS telling

ABC Lateline host Emma Alberici was like a dog with a bone in her fiery TV exchange with a spokeman for the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

And so she should be.

Wassim Doureihi appeared on Wedneday night's program after Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the group "campaigns against Australian values and interests".

During the program, Mr Doureihi repeatedly dodged questions about whether Hizb ut-Tahrir supported the "murderous campaign' waged by Islamic State extremists.

Mr Doureihi repeatedly refused to condemn Islamic State's actions, despite dogged questioning by Alberici.

They are questions that should be put - and should be answered.

Those supporting the Islamic way of life must universally condemn the actions of ISIS.

If they don't their claims of supporting a 'peaceful' religion are nonsense.

But Mr Doureihi refused to do that despite being given every opportunity.

When Alberici asked the question: "Are you outraged by the image of an Australian-born child of seven-years-old holding up severed heads like trophies in Iraq or Syria?" he was quick to move the subject on, like politicians do every night.

Mr Doureihi replied: "Let me tell you what I am outraged by," before Alberici admonished him for avoiding the question.

Alberici later continued: "...will you do me a favour and answer one question?"

Mr Doureihi replied: "I'm doing the public a great favour by refocusing this discussion where it needs to be."

It's a view unlikely to be shared by many viewers.

Not surprisingly, Mr Abbott said he was impressed with the ABC host's tenacity.

"(Hizb ut-Tahrir) is an organisation which is very careful to avoid advocating terrorism but which is always making excuses for terrorist organisations," he said, as reported by Fairfax.

The Prime Minister has flagged a new "red-card" system to try to block "preachers of hate" from entering Australia to address events organised  by Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Recent opinion polls show the majority of Australians support our government's stance against the Islamic State and believe there is a real threat in Australia from Islamic extremists.

The simple reality is this: we don't need any preachers of hate in this country, regardless of their 'religion'.

And those that promote hatred, under the banner of Islam, need to be dealt with, appropriately.

Mark Furler is APN Australian Regional Media's group digital editor.



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