LMA calls for imams to become surf lifesavers

The Australian is reporting today a series of odd proposals for Australian imams from the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA).

It seems, the LMA have proposed that imams and religious leaders should become surf lifesavers and firemen.

MUSLIM clerics will be encouraged to become surf lifesavers and volunteer firefighters as part of a push by one of the nation’s most influential Islamic leaders for greater integration of his community into the mainstream.

“It would be great to see a turbaned imam fighting fires alongside other bushfire service volunteers,” Mr Zreika says in the submission to the Australian National Imams Council, which will meet for its first official conference in Sydney on Sunday.

“Organisations like the Surf Life Saving Association … should be joined as a matter of course by the imam and his followers.”

Yes, this is exactly what the Muslim community needs: our religious leaders swanning around the nation’s beaches in swimsuits (perhaps a male version of the burqini?) looking for drowning kids to save. And, when bushfire season returns each year, our imams can put on their firefighter costumes and go and fight fires — although, of course, they must keep their turbans otherwise how will anyone know it’s imams doing the firefighting? There’s no point to a transparent PR exercise if nobody knows about it.

UPDATE: It seems not everyone likes Zreika’s suggestions.  The Age is reporting today that he has requested police protection.


#1 Mohammed on 03.21.07 at 10:03 am

I’m surprised brother Tom didn’t also suggest that the imams join the Bondi Rescue show. That would be an excellent PR move, heroic Muslim lifesavers on national TV! Imam Power!

In any case, perhaps brother Tom should lead by example.

#2 Anonymous Muslim on 03.21.07 at 10:58 am

I for one, welcome our new skin-showing, life-saving, turban-wearing, fire-fighting, smoke-inhaling imam overlords.

#3 Islamic Insider on 03.21.07 at 4:26 pm

I am reminded of Baldric when I think of this cunning plan.

The Turbaned firefighting Mufti action figure (light-saber sold separately) could really catch on (or alight).

Also appropriate is the Mufti lifesaver action figure. Someone has to keep an eye on women tanning themselves on the beach. Its a tough job, this integration stuff, but someone has to shoulder the burden.

There are of course some vocations not mentioned by LMA

1. The Mufti as mining canary, to be sent down coal mines searching for dangerous gases

2. The imam bartender, he could mix your drinks AND deliver a spiritual message of moderation at the same time.

3. The Imam as crash test dummy.

#4 Tory on 03.21.07 at 4:47 pm

Shaykh Taj was arrested in Egypt for smuggling antiquities. So all the LMA is saying is to go from a statue smuggler to a budgie smuggler. At least, he can leave his hat on (cue Joe Cocker).

#5 Fatima on 03.21.07 at 7:10 pm

Has Tom seen the age of most Imams? Forget everything else that’s wrong with his statement but I look at every single Imam I know and imagine that they would probably need the saving in the water rather the other way around.

Is this guy the new Ameer Ali? I know LMA put a gag on the Imams but I think they need to put a gag on this guy instead.

#6 JDsg on 03.21.07 at 10:11 pm

I am reminded of Baldric when I think of this cunning plan.


#7 Sara Tancredi on 03.22.07 at 1:23 am

The Chaser hasn’t started its 2007 season yet, so thank you for the comedy, LMA.

#8 Anonymous Muslim on 03.22.07 at 1:26 am

Ground control to Brother Tom…

All jokes aside, why not combine the two? Imams fighting fires in speedos. Maybe if the infidels had to see 70 and 80 year old men in turbans prancing around the forest clad in special fire retardant spandex underwear, trying to put out fires every time they questioned our loyalty, they’d quit questioning our loyalty pretty quickly. It’s like shock therapy.

#9 Umm Yasmin on 03.23.07 at 12:17 am

Oh God help us (groan)

#10 We’re Happy Little Vegemites : Islamosphere.com on 03.23.07 at 12:21 am

[...] Austrolabe posts about the LMA president’s call for imams to become surf-lifesavers and firemen. I have to confess, I’m all for integration (unless it’s pseudo-speak for assimilation) but I do not think this is a good idea. [...]

#11 Lifesaving Imam at Congregation of Muslim Bloggers on 03.23.07 at 10:06 pm

[...] How often do you see bearded lifesavers? Australabe reports The Australian is reporting today a series of odd proposals for Australian imams from the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA). [...]

#12 Austrolabe » Blog Archive » Sporting Group calls on Muslim women to join the Army Reserve on 05.02.07 at 10:39 am

[...] Following on from the imams as lifesavers and imams as firefighters call, comes a new call from south west Sydney for Muslim women — specifically “hijab-wearing women between the ages of 17 and 26″ — to enlist in the army in order to “prove” they are part of the national security solution. The suggestion comes, this time, from the president of some sporting club in Lakemba. The Australian reports: YOUNG Australian Muslim women will be targeted to join the Army Reserve and prove they are part of the national security “solution”. [...]

#13 Heya on 02.17.08 at 12:58 pm

I’m neither an Aussie, nor a Muslim, but the idea seems great to me. Much more than just a pr exercise. Bushfires need to be put out, and people need to be saved from the sea. (And if these people are not Muslims then this is merely an indication that more muslims need to surf).
And what’s going to happen when these influential people in the Muslim community work side by side with whatever Aussies that already do these things? Cameraderie. The Imams will return home and to their community with good tales and impressions of their Aussie neighbours and vice versa.
All that’s really needed is to get some influential figures in the Aussie community to be part of it. Sadly, if Oz is anything like the UK, that’d be some American filmstar or rapper.

Also, I’ve just discovered the Chaser, and it’s brilliant! But I have one question: I assume you don’t mind the Osama bits, but there’s another bit they’ve done with some other Muslim guy, (locked up for some terror related thing?) and I’ve no idea who he is, so I don’t know – is this justified ribbing of some dick or even regular guy, or is this Muslim phobic victimisation of a good guy? In your eyes, anywho.

#14 What? on 02.24.08 at 4:48 pm

I got m0derated? I spent all this time waiting to get out of the queue, quite looking forward to an answer to my q regarding the chaser and I get baleeted? I know I didn’t bother checking for any posting guidlines, but what could possibly have been out of line in what I said?

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