Perth man delivers ‘radical’ Islamic lectures

(Transcript from World News Australia Radio)

The brother of a man jailed in Saudi Arabia on terrorism charges has been lecturing at Islamic centres in Australia accused of radicalism.


Junaid Thorne has allegedly told attendees that businessmen should donate to jihadists and Muslims should show their “might” to non-believers.

But the 24-year-old, who was deported from Saudi Arabia back to his home city of Perth last July, says it’s all a misunderstanding.

Ryan Emery reports.

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Junaid Thorne, who spent most of his life in Saudi Arabia, says he just wants to spread the word of Islam.

He says he has memorised nearly all of the Koran and is an avid student of Islam.

During a recent lecture series, he’s been accused of calling for donations for jihadists.

But he says he means Muslims that have been oppressed.

“What we see in Syria now for example, people dying from starvation, people dying from cold. Of course, they need donations, they need money, they need blankets, they need medicine, they need, that’s what I meant. I’m sure there are many humanitarian organisations that give that stuff so there’s nothing illegal about it. And that’s from the love of human.”

However, Junaid Thorne has been lecturing at two Australian Islamic centres in Sydney and Melbourne accused of radicalism, and links to terrorists.

“It doesn’t concern me. I know that anybody that talks about these topics, he gets put under the magnifier, but as long as nothing was actually done. They weren’t caught trying to blow up something or trying to do something it really doesn’t concern me. As long as they are just spreading Islam in their way, or their opinion, it really doesn’t concern me their background or what people say about them.”

Junaid Thorne, whose father is a Noongar Aboriginal man, was deported from Saudi Arabia to WA in July after his older brother Shayden was jailed on terrorism charges.

His brother has maintained his innocence.

Junaid Thorne now lives in Perth and has become a member of the Millatu Ibrahim Perth group, which shares its name with a group that has been banned in Germany.

He says Millatu Ibrahim means to follow the path of Ibrahim or Abraham, a prophet in the Islamic faith.

“First of all they do not have any links with any outside groups. Now just because the name is the same: football clubs in different countries have the same name it doesn’t imply that they’re the same team or that they know each other. It’s the same thing. Actually Millatu Ibrahim is a religion of Ibrahim and as Muslims we consider the religion of Ibrahim to be the base of our Islamic religion. That’s why it’s just something we refer to as the base of our religion.”

But the group’s Facebook page speaks of hatred towards non-believers known as Kuffar (kah-fuh).

One section reads:

“We hate their constitutions, we reject their way of life, we reject their political systems, we reject their parliaments, we reject their Democracy, Capitalism, Liberalism, Socialism, Communism and every other filthy disbelieving ‘ism’ that has come to act as a hindrance from Islam, the pure religion of Allah to rule from the East to the West.”

Junaid Thorne.

“As Muslims, we do reject democracy, we reject other, we look to Sharia, Sharia law, as our main way of governmental system. Not that we are like trying to impose it here or anything. It’s just that what we as Muslims want. Me personally, I want, I would love for Sharia law to be implemented here, but it doesn’t mean that I’m going to impose it on anyone. But if there was an Islamic state where Sharia law was being implemented I would happily move there. Because as a Muslim, all Muslims, we see that Sharia law is our salvation, or our solution to the problems that we see nowadays.”

Junaid Thorne says his lectures are simply about history and the pillars of Islam and believes there is a double standard when reporting on so-called radical ideas in Australia.

“If you had a laptop now and you opened the internet and we checked the ADL page, for example, the Australian Defence League, and you see the comments that are written there. It’s clearly illegal comments. For example, you get: let’s go kill these Muslims, let’s go blow up their mosques, let’s burn their houses down, let’s rape their women. That’s exactly state there for word and we haven’t seen any media attention on them, we haven’t seen any of them chased down or accused any of them. So I am concerned as to why focus is being on us Muslims and what we say rather than being just or being fair and implementing law on everyone.”

Junaid Thorne says he’ll continue to lecture on Islam wherever he’s asked to go.



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