Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff calls himself a social activist. His country of origin is Singapore where he was,
according to his own words, persecuted by the authorities for defending the rights of Muslims.
Accused of extremism, he denied the accusations vigorously, claiming that his only ‘crime’ was defending the rights of little Muslim girls, who did not wish to attend school without wearing their tudung headscarves (1
) as well as criticizing all those Muslim stooges, who co-operated with the Singaporean authorities against the interest of the persecuted Muslim minority.(2
"As a social activist, I was made to look like an extremist. It affects my reputation," Zulfikar said in his complaint. (3)
The Singaporean authorities however, thought that Shariff was an Islamist terror sympathizer, who did more than his fair share of Islamist propaganda and who incited too much hatred to be left alone to his own devices.
Apart from his outspoken support for Muslim terrorist activities, Shariff was the CEO of an extremist Muslim website called Fateha.com where he published his thoughts on social change (according to Shar’ia of course).
Here are some examples of Shariff’s love for his role model Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam (4
) copied from Fateha.com before it was taken off the Internet (for the time being you can only access its cached version):
When Sheikh Azzam realised that only by means of an organised force would the Ummah ever be able to gain victory, then Jihad and the Gun became his pre-occupation and recreation. "Jihad and the rifle alone: no negotiations, no conferences and no dialogues," he would say. By practicing what he was preaching, Sheikh Abdullah Azzam was one of the first Arabs to join the Afghan Jihad against the communist USSR.
The Sheikh's life revolved around a single goal, namely the establishment of Allah's Rule on earth, this being the clear responsibility of each and every Muslim. So in order to accomplish his life's noble mission of restoring the Khilafah, the Sheikh focused on Jihad (the armed struggle to establish Islam). He believed Jihad must be carried out until the Khilafah (Islamic Rule) is established so the light of Islam may shine on the whole world. (5)
And here are some views on global terrorism posted on his website:
Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist attack on 9/11 was an opportunity squandered by the Arab and Muslim world to galvanize its masses to the total eradication of internal and external threats, the most important being Israel’s occupation and daily murder of Palestinians. Instead of a proactive forceful approach to unify the world in the eradication of the root causes of “terrorism” against the West which is primarily the American supported terrorism of Israel in total violation of the United Nations and world peace, instead of coming to the grieved American people and educating them as to why terrorism finally hit their shores, the Arab leaders cowered and withdrew even further as doormats to Bush, Israel and company. (6
Fateha.com - Shariff's website (currently taken off line)
Not surprisingly, Zulfikar Mohamad Shariff, decided to part with Singapore and seek a safe haven, as a political refugee, in a true democratic country, which happened to be Australia. He arrived in July 2002. (7
I can't go back now as they have prepared a 'house' for me in a prison cell for some charges, and we are not just talking about a mere two-year imprisonment here. (8)
And here is where the whole affair becomes an inexplicable mystery?
Australia accepted Mr Shariff as a political refugee, who immediately resumed his mission to establish the world Khilafah on our soil.
And why not, we are a democracy after all. As Zulfikar Shariff said himself to the Australian once:
"In Australia you can think independently and speak freely. You don't have that in Singapore." (9)
Just two years after his acceptance into Australia we find our hero rooting for Muslim causes and this time in the area of halal Muslim, interest free finance as he became Marketing Manager of the Muslim Community Co-operative (MCCA). (10)
The interesting fact here is that Mr Shariff, while holding the position of Marketing Manager of MCCA, sent a series of threatening letters to SBS trying to intimidate their investigation into terrorist funding by Commercial IBT.
Peter Martin: In Melbourne, Dr Rahim Ghouse runs one of Australia's two big Islamic home finance organisations: the Muslim Community Co-operative of Australia, or MCCA. And as it happens, it is from a source close to the MCCA that some of the strongest attacks on myself and Ganesh in the wake of the SBS program have come.
Now here's another name: Zulfikar Shariff. He joined the MCCA as its Marketing Manager in September 2004.
In the months leading up to that appointment and beyond, Zulfikar Shariff sent a series of emails to the management of the SBS with copies to Australia's Attorney General, and a number of other Australian government ministers.
They made gripping reading. (11)
Just for the record the Commercial IBT was charged with fraud. (12 ) , but it would be also nice to know on what basis Australian Department of Immigration granted residency to our activist Muslim, Mr Shariff.
The best person to ask such question would be Mr Abul Rizvi
who is the Deputy Secretary (the number one man) responsible for policy development and implementation in the areas of migration and temporary entry, refugees, settlement, citizenship and multicultural affairs. (13
After all, as a fellow Muslim and one of the most important figures deciding about immigration, he might be able to shed some light upon this mystery.
Many thanks to Ganesh Sahathevan for his inavaluable help in providing tips and directions.