Join Muslim Asia or perish: Taliban

AN official Taliban publication warns Australia that it will have to assimilate into a dominant Asia or face the prospect of being overpowered and forced to take population overspill from Asia.

The choice is spelled out in the latest issue of the online Taliban monthly magazine, Al Sumud (Steadfastness), whose lead article offers a sweeping view of a post-war order in which a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan becomes a moral pivot for a pan-Asian renaissance that will coincide with the decline of Western power.

"The end of European leadership in the world will place the white settler diaspora in Australia before two choices," writes the author, Mustafa Hamid, a former senior al-Qa'ida member who in 2001 married Australian Rabiah Hutchinson, a Sydney mother with links to Islamic extremists.

"It can either return to its motherland in Europe or reconcile with its Asian surroundings and assimilate into it as a wealthy and active member."

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Otherwise, he warns, a lengthy conflict will ensue in which Australia will be overpowered "by Asian waves that are better armed and more numerous".

"There is no doubt that the huge growth in the population of Asia, together with its economic and military development, will make Australia into lebensraum -- to use the European term," writes Mr Hamid. Lebensraum, meaning living space, was a term used by Nazi Germany as a motivation for territorial conquest.

Asia, Mr Hamid writes, is facing a population explosion "while Australia is nearly empty of people, apart from scattered groups of white residents".

Residents of "the Israeli outpost" at the other end of Asia are likewise warned to return to their countries of origin or face an "unequal conflict".

These warnings, however, are marginal to the central vision offered in the article -- the emergence of a vibrant pan-Asian identity in which Islam, and the Taliban in particular, constitutes a powerful moral and cultural force but not an exclusive one. Its emphasis on pan-Asian political identity rather than pan-Islamic sets it apart from al-Qa'ida ideology. The Taliban article does not call for jihad, although it hints at the possibility of "peaceful Islamic expansion" and the linchpin role in the "Asian Age", as the author terms it, is ceded to non-Islamic China.

Western power is fading fast, he writes, "to the benefit of Asian giants, and first and foremost among them the colossal economic and human power of China".

Even Russia, whose invasion of Afghanistan 30 years ago would prove a milestone in the emergence of militant Islam, is depicted as an ally arraigned with Asia against the "arrogance" of the West.

"Today, Russia is taking a defensive position against the Western advance which aims to break (Russia) up into statelets and to cross it on the way to China to break it up as well. Russia desires a coalition with China, with India, with Iran if possible, and even more so with Afghanistan, and even more so with the Taliban movement (which) is a serious, realistic and victorious leadership in that vital country (Afghanistan)."

In the article, "The Return of the Islamic Emirate: A vision of Afghanistan's role in the coming international order", Mr Hamid depicts a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan having a fundamental leadership role in the new Asian order -- "not in the field of finance, industry and interest-bearing banks" but as a moral force.

"This was demonstrated by the ability of Islam to inspire a small, poor people to resist and defeat five military campaigns of the largest armies on earth."