Perhaps the most telling disclosure from the principal of Victoria's largest Islamic school is that when he warns his students not to join Islamic State because it is a plot by Western countries, he's careful to hold back. Omar Hallak, principal of the nearly 2000-strong Al-Taqwa College, told The Age he demurs from identifying the specific countries he believes are training and equipping IS as part of a plan to control oil in the Middle East.
All he says is, "some" Western countries are behind the scheme. Presumably Hallak sees the omission as a measure of his caution and restraint: why smother one bonfire only to pour fuel on another? But what of his students? Aren't they bewildered, poring over maps in the hope of landing on a nation capable of such evil genius – Italy, maybe? Lichtenstein?
Hallak can leave the idea half-formed because he knows his students can fill in the blanks:
Of course not. Hallak can leave the idea half-formed because he knows his students can fill in the blanks: Israel and America. In this genre, even as the storyline changes, the villains are always the same. Hallak cites evidence of the plot in IS's "shiny new equipment". As killing innocent people is not "the Islamic way", Hallak says, "we don't believe Muslims are creating IS". His students are told this truth "many times", and shown "evidence" that IS has no link to Islam...The villains are always the same. They're the jihadis.