Last night Waleed Aly a leftist and moderate Muslim gave an opinion piece on Australia’s left wing current affairs program The Project which airs nightly on week nights. Waleed has been the main presenter on the show for nearly 12mths now and has previously appeared on the show as co-host regularly for several years. Here is his short but very powerful opinion piece.

This video trended very quickly on social media and rightly so, because he gives a powerful message. A message that has been widely well received. There has been a lot of exclusionary messages on social media, and much suspicion attempting to paint Waleed under the same brush as radical Muslims. As someone who has watched Waleed nightly for quite some time now, I can tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. Many people are stating that he should renounce his religion and if he is as intelligent as people are stating, he would renounce his religion.

Yes, as an Atheist, I would prefer no-one was religious but I would defend his right to remain a Muslim as much as I would defend mine to be an atheist. Making this about his religion is doing the opposite of what we need to do in regards the ISIL terrorists. Yes, I would prefer he wasn’t religious, but that isn’t my right or my decision to make. I am not that unreasonable that I can’t accept his right to practice whatever religion he pleases. What is important here is his message, a very powerful one that makes a lot of sense.

ISIS do want a war, they do want us to hate on moderate Muslims so that they feel the need to become as aggressive as the extremists. Adding racism into the mix will only strengthen their cause. It will have us attacking moderate Muslims so that they feel vilified in getting defensive acting out, whether that be joining ISIS or some other way of defending their right to worship their god. It will only make fighting ISIS that much harder and cause more discord in our own country. We need to support the Muslims that live in our countries so that they do not feel they need to defend themselves. Let the authorities do their job to weed out the extremists. Do not make them waste time on racist or bigoted protests when they can be focusing on protecting our country from terrorists.

Supporting moderate Muslims is the best weapon we have against the hatred of Islamic Terrorists. Reaching out to Muslims in our community in friendship and letting them see we are people just like them, without the hate will only help strengthen our communities and weaken the hold of recruitment into ISIL. Showing our solidarity and working together towards the problem is what we need to do.

Waleed worked as a Solicitor and later was a University Politics Professor before he started working in media. Aly is a staff member at the Global Terrorism Research center at Monash University. You can read more about Waleed Aly on this wikipedia page.  Before casting your doubts about Waleed read that wikipedia page and watch some of his work available on YouTube. I have noticed that those who doubt his motives are mostly people who are not familiar with his work. Before you make unsubstantiated claims you should take a look at who he really is. We do not need to aggravate a tender situation further by accusing or casting doubt on people with genuine intent to do good.

To echo Waleed, we need to stop the bastards!