Western Sydney businessman Diaa Mohamed launched The Australian Muslim Party on Tuesday and said the aim of the political outfit was to field at least one candidate in each state and territory when the nation heads to polls in 2016.
He is confident of signing up 500 members, the least that’s required to be allowed to register for the Senate ballot paper.
Mohamed, 34, said he was launching the party in response to critics of the religion who claim leaders were not vocal enough.
“Maybe it is because we didn’t know how, or we were a bit too fragmented, so hopefully this will at least give us that opportunity,” he said, according to the ABC. “I don’t think Islam is at war with the West, but Islamic countries have been at war for many, many years.”
“Let’s look at how well [military intervention] has worked in the past. We invaded Afghanistan. That didn’t work out so well. We invaded Iraq and we’re in the mess we’re in there,” he added.
“Would I support something that has never worked in the past? No. It’s just never worked. Not for the Soviets in Afghanistan, not for the United States in Iraq. There’s a solution and it’s not invading someone else’s land.”
He said the killings in Paris were “inexcusable”.
“From these guys’ perspective they have had foreign fighters in their lands, their sons and daughters being killed. It could send a few people to change their views and use religion as a justification,” he added.
An unmarried father of a nine-year-old son, he formerly worshipped at Lakemba Mosque but now attends the Parramatta Mosque.
He said the establishment of the AMP was in part a reaction to the six anti-Islamic parties intending to stand for election, including the Australian Liberty Alliance, launched recently by controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders, Rise Up and Nick Folkes’ Party for Freedom.
“I thought it’d be beneficial for both Australians and Australian Muslims that they have a party… anything to do with Muslim right now people are going to oppose but be that as it may you still need something or someone,” he said, in a video posted by the Brisbane Times.
According to SMH, the party supports Australia accepting 12,000 Syrian refugees as the “most humane thing to do” in response to the crisis in that country.