Tuesday, September 06, 2005

POLITICS/COMMENT: Not the Best Party?

Kurt Kennedy is an Australian from Canberra who has recently made headlines as founder of the first proposed Islam-based political party. He is seeking registration with the Australian Electoral Commission of the clumsily-named “Best Party of Allah”.

He claims to be secretary and president of this party, and was a candidate in the 2004 elections for the ACT Legislative Assembly. Kennedy is reportedly an Australian of Vietnamese origin. He is initially having the party registered in the ACT only, but will be seeking national registration.

So who is Mr Kennedy? Where is he from? What standing does he have in the ACT Muslim community?

Mr Kennedy’s website for his 1994 campaign in the Mononglo electorate states that he is a lawyer and composer. On 11 September 2004, he issued a press release which gives more details about his background. It describes Kennedy as arriving in Australia from Vietnam in 1979 at age 7. He is currently 33 years old, and is completing a postgraduate degree in law. He is married with 2 children.

Mr Kennedy claims that his party represents “believers in Allah”. Yet many Muslim leaders have neve head of him. Former Islamic Council of Victoria chairman Yasser Soliman sent out an e-mail to various groups seeking information about Mr Kennedy.

The party apparently has around 100 members. There are 400,000 Muslims in Australia. There are over 400 mosques across the country, with most mosques having their own governing body. Mr Kennedy is not known to have been a member of any mosque society, nor does he list membership of a mosque society in his promotional materials.

In the ACT, the Canberra Islamic Centre has an excellent relationship with members of the ACT Legislative Assembly across the political spectrum. ALP and Liberal MLA’s regularly attend CIC functions and events.

Mr Kennedy seems to be outside the mainstream Canberra Muslim square. Having lived in Canberra for some 6 months, and being a life member of the CIC myself, I cannot say I have ever met Kurt.

Further, I spoke with Mr Kennedy on 6 September 2005 in my capacity as a columnist for the Adelaide-based Australian Islamic Review. From my discussions with him (which lasted around 10 minutes over the phone), it seems that Kurt does not have much idea about the relationship between Islam and government or Islam and politics.

Worse still, Mr Kennedy has not had any formal exposure to Qur’anic and other theological sciences. He acknowledges that he does not have any substantial knowledge of classical Arabic, nor does he have any formal exposure to classical works of Qur’anic exegesis. At best, his understanding of Qur’anic concepts is shallow and rudimentary.

Mr Kennedy believes (and in my view, correctly) that much of the Qur’anic law is already contained in the statute books and the common law of Australia. His view is confirmed by scholars such as Professor John Makdisi, Dean and Professor of Law at the Loyola University in New Orleans. In a 1999 article published in the North Carolina Law Review, Professor Makdisi writes about what he calls “The Islamic Origins of the Common Law”.

Some years back, a NSW Supreme Court Judge also wrote about the influence of Islamic law on the development of alternative dispute resolution procedures in modern commercial law.

In 2003, a representative of the Indonesian Muslim organisation Nahdhlatul Ulama told an audience at a lecture organised by the Centre for Independent Studies that Indonesian Muslims tend to associate sharia law with non-interest banking. Sharia-based financial products now represent a major activity of institutions such as HSBC.

Prominent industrial barristers such as Peter Costello would be well-advised to read the works of these scholars before speaking on matters pertaining to sharia law and its role in Australia.

Muslims have been at the heart of mainstream Australian life for over 150 years. Today, major financial institutions, university faculties and commercial law firms are being headed by Australians of Muslim background. Within the Liberal Party, Muslims play an active role. Liberal Party members of Muslim background are currently sitting local government councillors in Auburn and Canterbury City Council.

Yet recent examples of irresponsible political rhetoric have made many Muslim Australians feel unnecessarily marginalised. In particular, comments made by my former colleagues in the conservative wing of the NSW Liberal Party have been most unhelpful.

Perhaps Mr Kennedy is one of these marginalised Muslims. His party website does refer to recent comments by Parliamentarians in relation to hijab and other issues. Comments made recently by Ms Sophie Panopoulos in response to the formation of Mr Kennedy’s party do little to reverse that process of marginalisation.

However, formation of a party specifically targeting Muslims will simply provide more fuel to the fires of Islamophobia which Messrs Panopoulos, Bishop & Co are seeking to light and burn. In this respect, Mr Kennedy could not have found a worse time to form his Best Party of Allah.

Words © 2005 Irfan Yusuf

6 comments:

GoateeCat said...

I knew you'd set it straight.

Anonymous said...

hey
whats mr kennedy's website address?

thnx mate!

Anonymous said...

Irfan saw your 4 corners crap. You look and talk like a pompous Jabba the Hutt.You even smell bad on television. I guess your 'wife' didn't want to hang around to listen to your mad harangue against the entire world. I will order you 6 filthy kebabs. 3 for you to cram into your mouth for a quick snack. And the other 3 for you to shove up your other shithole. Dinner and Sex Irfan style. Congratulations on being the fattest slug on the Mossad payroll

Anonymous said...

Liberal Party dickheads, get off Irfy's back...

Anonymous said...

Failed liberal party member.
Your contacts are so poor that you do not know who is the current Secretary of the Islamic Society of the A.C.T.? Get a life as a Disbeliever.

Anonymous said...

When only the Best Party of Allah in Australia will do.

Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is an Australian living in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is the leader of the Best Party of Allah in Australia (“Best Party”). Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy sought registration of the Best Party with the ACT Electoral Commission and Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy also sought the withdrawal of the Best Party's application for registration.

Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is the President and Secretary of the Best Party and was an independent candidate in the 2004 elections for the ACT Legislative Assembly. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is an Australian of Chinese-Vietnamese origin. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is initially having the party registered in the ACT only, but will be seeking national registration.

So who is Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy? Where is Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy from? What standing does Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy have in the community? Does it matter now?

Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy’s website for his 2004 campaign in the Molonglo electorate of the ACT gives some information. On 11 September 2004, Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy issued a press release which gives more details about his background. It describes Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy as arriving in Australia from Vietnam in 1979 at age 7. His parents are of Chinese origin, his father fled the Cultural Revolution of China with 5 older brothers to Vietnam. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is currently 34 years old, and completed a Master in Laws in June 2005. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is married and had his third child since early 2005.

The Best Party has over 100 members. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy says the Best Party represents people who believes in Allah. There over 500,000 Muslims and descendants of Muslims in Australia, with many more Australian disbelievers becoming believers everyday. Allah willing, they are all supporters and members of the Best Party of Allah in Australia. There are over 400 mosques across the country, with most mosques having their own governing body. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is now probably known to each and everyone of them. Not anyone of them has any negative thing to say about Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy or the Best Party, Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is a person of good fame and character, a pre-requisite to being a Barrister of the High Court of Australia. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is also the Secretary of the Islamic Society of the Australian Capital Territory since November 2004, see http://isact.org.au

Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is squarely within the mainstream Australian Muslim scene. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy was also the Vice-President of the Canberra Islamic Centre in 1999. Australia is such a large place you can never claim to meet Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy unless you meet him.

Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy has confronted the mainstream media and all world leaders by stating to the effect: Osama Bin Laden has not been tried in any Court, so Osama Bin Laden is still innocent of the charge that he commited the events of 11 September 2001 in New York, even if Osama Bin Laden admitted it, because that admission needs to be assessed by a Court. Since then the Australian media have not pestered any Muslim by asking any Muslim what they think about Osama Bin Laden. They have accepted the presumption of “innocent until proven guilty” has to apply to Osama Bin Laden as well as Mr George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Winston Howard.

On 6 September 2005, Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy spoke with Y Irfan a columnist for the Adelaide-based Australian Islamic Review. From that discussion (which lasted around 10 minutes over the phone), it seems to Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy that Y Irfan was probably a disbeliever. Y Irfan made the call to Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy and yet Y Ifan did not give the best greeting “Salamun ‘Alaykum” (Peace be with you) to Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy had to ask Y Irfan if Y Irfan was a muslim and then Y Irfan said yes whereupon Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy gave his greeting to Y Irfan “Salamun ‘Alaykum” for the first time in that conversation about 1 minute after the conversation started. The fact that Y Irfan still relied on an old media release after speaking with Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy about Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy’s current situation means that Y Irfan was not very professional in that interview. It seems to Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy that Y Irfan likes a drunk poet called “Rumi”, works of whom, the Canberra Islamic Centre sells in its book stall. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy does not like Rumi, as Rumi is a drunkard whose works expresses Rumi’s own doubt about Rumi’s religion. For that reason, Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy intends to clean out the Canberra Islamic Centre of this drunk influence.

Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy has had exposure to Qur’anic and other theological sciences. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy does have substantial knowledge of classical Arabic, and exposure to classical works of Qur’anic exegesis and legal interpretation. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is married to a woman of Lebanese (Arabic) origin and his children speak Arabic as their first language. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy enjoys studying languages. Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy’s comprehension of other languages to various degrees include Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, German, Arabic, French, Urdu, Turkish, Spanish.

Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy believes that much of Allah’s laws are in principle contained in the statute books and the common law of Australia, but more needs to be done to make Australia the best country in the world. For example, Muslims have the right to take up to 4 wives, but the current Australia law has unconstitutionally restricted that free exercise of religion by limiting it to 1 wife.

Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy is not a marginalised Muslim. Since the party’s establishment the media and politicians have now stopped being unduly critical of Muslims in general. They are now expected to have understanding and respect muslims. The initial negative blog and chat sites (like this blog comment by Y Irfan above) have been self-silenced by the comprehensiveness of the Best Party’s policies and information about Islam in the Best Party’s website: http://freedom.homemail.com.au

The Best Party has recently assisted with the moral drive to clean up the leadership of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (www.afic.com.au), with a new set of committee members elected on 3 June 2006 to replace the stillborn committee elected on 30 April 2006. The Best Party has the short-term goal that each and every leader of any Muslim organisation will be a member or supporter of the Best Party of Allah in Australia. The Best Party has the medium-term goal to register and compete for all elections in Australia. The Best Party has the present-term goal to lead all Australian parliaments through the democratic process, directly or indirectly. The Best Party has the ultimate goal to expose all bad deeds and all bad people.

Who started the Best Party? Not Mr Kurt Alim Kennedy - but Allah, when He created the Universe and ordered people to believe in Him:

Qur’an, Chapter 3 - AL-IMR├éN. Verse 110.
YOU [TRUE BELIEVERS IN ISLAMIC MONOTHEISM, AND REAL FOLLOWERS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD SAW AND HIS SUNNAH (LEGAL WAYS, ETC.)] ARE THE BEST OF PEOPLES EVER RAISED UP FOR MANKIND; YOU ENJOIN AL-MA'RUF (I.E. ISLAMIC MONOTHEISM AND ALL THAT ISLAM HAS ORDAINED) AND FORBID AL-MUNKAR (POLYTHEISM, DISBELIEF AND ALL THAT ISLAM HAS FORBIDDEN), AND YOU BELIEVE IN ALLAH. AND HAD THE PEOPLE OF THE SCRIPTURE (JEWS AND CHRISTIANS) BELIEVED, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER FOR THEM; AMONG THEM ARE SOME WHO HAVE FAITH, BUT MOST OF THEM ARE AL-FASIQUN (DISOBEDIENT TO ALLAH - AND REBELLIOUS AGAINST ALLAH'S COMMAND).

by
Kurt Alim Kennedy LLM LLB B.Mus
9:50pm 5 June 2006