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.