There is nothing more precious than one’s children; for a parent to lose a child must cause pain beyond imagining. It must therefore have been extremely distressing for the parents of Private Luke Worsely to receive a letter purporting to be from an Islamic leader, “Sheikh Haron”, taunting them on the day they buried their son. A copy of the same letter was sent to News Limited, extracts of which they published online.
It remains to be asked: who is “Sheikh Haron”? To begin with, the sheikh would be more convincing (as a Muslim) if he could spell his own name correctly. “Haron” is how I would imagine an imbecile not conversant with Muslim names would spell “Harun’ or Haroon”, the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew “Aaron“. It resembles the comical fraud perpetrated by Liberal Party goon squad in the seat of Lindsay. How could one forget the “ALA AKBA” which resembled Alo Alo, more than Allah Hu Akbar.
The mystery of the fake sheikh is further clarified by a visit to his webpage. For a religious Muslim, it is clear that Sheikh Haron is fraudulent.
1. He does not begin with “In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful….” It would be impossible for a religious scholar to fail to do so.
2. The fatwa section is the real giveaway. Firstly, the questions that are posed: they’re strange questions to ask a scholar. Muslims never ask scholars about who to vote for (that’s what anti-Muslim bigots imagine we do).
3. But his responses are the most bizarre. A religious scholar gives a fatwa, or religious opinion, the same way a QC gives a legal opinion: in a highly ordered and codified manner, quoting verses from the Qur’an and Hadith, and offering religious consensus before finally coming to the scholar’s own opinion. The author, however, is not conversant with Islam and therefore cannot do so, and so merely has written a short response from an opinion that he believes reflects Islamic doctrine.
4. Sheikh “Haron” has no surname, no telephone number, no address, and nobody in the Muslim community knows him. The author has designed this to be an opaque identity.
5. The media release section contain the letters the author has sent to various officials. However, the responses that the author has allegedly received from public figures are not on letterheads, nor have they been signed, nor indeed is there room in the letter template for a signature. They are clearly forgeries generated by the author of the site.
6. His “fatwas” are all, without exception, completely wrong — and wrong in the most infantile manner. For example:
“The people who say that Jesus (peace be upon him) is “God” or “son of God” or they call God “Father” are Mushriks, not Christians. We are not allowed to call them “Christian”.”
This is incorrect. The Qur’an defines Christians as those people of the Book who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
7. He appears to believe he is being followed and monitored where ever he goes. He also seems to subscribe to a weird crackpot theory that the Australian government are hacking Google to give Muslims a bad name. Neither instill much confidence.
8. Religious scholars don’t normally spam government departments with strange requests and allegations.
The author of the Sheikh Haron site is obviously not a religious scholar, and has designed it to perpetrate a fraud and cast a cloud over the Muslim community. He has intruded, in a most obscene manner, into the private grief of parents who have lost their son, and he has embarrassed the gullible editors of the New Limited website.