As hate crime spikes, American employers tasked with combating Muslim discrimination. Last year, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King's College London released a report. It named Musa Cerantonio as a. Alphabet Inc's YouTube said on Thursday it would place ads on videos only if they reach 10,000 views as it tries to weed out channels that make money by stealing.
Muslim convert and radical supporter of Islamic State. Last year, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King's College London released a report. It named Musa Cerantonio as a . He has just sent me a tweet punctuated with an Asian happy face emoji. Photo: Simon Schluter. Musa is a 2. 9- year- old Australian Muslim convert.
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Melbourne's Herald Sun tabloid calls him . He says he's just a former internet security software worker who now teaches Islam. In July last year, after the Australian government cancelled his passport, police raided his then home in the Philippines and deported him back to Australia. My fellow Triple J presenter Nazeem Hussain (also creator of the SBS comedy show Legally Brown) remembers Musa from a camp run by IISNA, the Islamic Information and Services Network of Australasia. But this is a white Australian guy.
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And I'm like, 'Just talk to me like it's a normal conversation.' . Grey clouds hang over the street.
An Asian man is pushing a pram stacked with catalogues where the baby usually is. He slides one in the mailbox outside Musa's mum's house. Musa has been living here since the deportation. Musa has barely a moustache but a substantial beard.
I can't see either at the moment, though. His head is stuck in the fridge. I got a drink yesterday, while I was at the supermarket, and I didn't realise just how relevant it would be to give you.
He actually comes and lives with us 'cause both of his parents passed away. I managed to get to him and he became a Muslim. But, you know, I've got three brothers. They're not Muslim and my parents aren't Muslim. He recently married a woman in the Philippines. She was left behind when he was deported. Musa sees this as no surprise: .
In 2. 01. 1, an Egyptian TV channel invited him over to be a presenter. They'd been impressed by footage of him preaching at a conference in India a few years earlier. Surely there would be no shortage of talented Egyptians. They love blue eyes, you know? So they do love to prop you up. And I hate that - I absolutely hate the racism that's in the Middle East.
Like, you find an African convert, 'You should have him on the show', and they're just, like, 'No. This is what Bram Stoker based his book Dracula on, Musa says. What did he post on social media that was so contentious?
There were people in Syria, they'd message me and they'd say, 'Can you update this on the map?' I thought, 'Wow, these guys are actually on the ground and they're finding it useful.' . Five years ago, he was preparing to fly to the Middle East. He wanted to lobby rich businessmen to fund a Melbourne community centre, as part of their Islamic obligation to give to charity.
There was a knock at the door. The officers, young people in casual clothes, told him it was just a friendly visit. Musa says every Muslim he knows has been visited by the security agency. They said the government supported his efforts to travel and to try to secure funds for the community centre. It was to be run by IISNA, the same organisation that ran the camp where Musa and Nazeem hung out.
After he'd returned from the Middle East - it was a successful trip - the ASIO officers would pop over every so often. A year and a half ago, they went for the up- sell. We've heard that there are people there who might be a bit dodgy.' I said, 'No. I'm not being a spy for you.' 'Oh, no, no, no, no, we're not asking you to be a spy. You know, if you need money to cover your travels, no problem, we can get it.' 'No. I'm not doing it.' And they really did start to push. You're a public speaker.
A lot of the things you say can be taken the wrong way.' . I feel very uncomfortable that I'm being threatened by my own government because I won't help them. His older brother lived in Manila; Musa, however, went to the island of Mindanao, where there is a strong Muslim presence. A Muslim separatist group, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), has been fighting the government for decades. While Musa was on the island, the government bombed the area, including Musa's apartment.
He wasn't home at the time. One day, he found out he only avoided a knock on the door from them because there was another white guy living in his street and some confusion over who was who. To throw the police off, he asked a friend in Syria to log into his Facebook account and type a post saying he was over there. This came back to bite him. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would later call him a fraud; that he was trying to pitch himself as a fearless fighter for Islamic State when he was just holed up on holidays in the Philippines.
She said other foreigners, thinking the television star had taken up arms, might have been emboldened to take up arms themselves. Musa says he's often taken out of context. He once wrote a piece on the origin of the American national anthem, The Star- Spangled Banner, claiming it was an anti- Islamic song based on fighting in Libya between Americans and Muslims in the early 1. Musa is a total nerd for the more obscure elements of Islam. Because you're asking me something that's illegal. It would be stupid to answer this. And all I can say as a Muslim: it is illegal for Muslims to go there and fight.
I can't comment about this. Musa says if it was his house, they wouldn't be allowed. But it's his mum's home, so he abides by her rules. His 2. 5- year- old twin brothers, Nicholas and Steven, live here, too.
He plays drums and wears a black T- shirt featuring a pig. He starts giggling as Musa explains the confusion he causes his Muslim online followers when he links to Monty Python.
Musa points out the window towards a park. And just at the end of the street here, you've got the mosque. So even as a non- Muslim, I always used to see this place and just wonder, you know, 'What the hell goes on here?' . Italian on his dad's side, Anglo- Aussie on his mum's, Musa was christened Robert. Musa became fascinated with religion at his Catholic primary school. His family wasn't observant, so he was out on his own on this spiritual journey. In 2. 00. 0, he visited the Vatican with his school.?
I'm like, 'The Ten Commandments says you shouldn't make images of God.' I realised when we'd pray back in primary school, we'd say, 'Holy Mary, mother of God', and I was sort of like, 'Hold on a moment. God doesn't have a mother.' And I was like, 'Damn .. He moseys down the street with his hand in his pocket, shooting . We chew on Sudanese meat dishes in the restaurant. He's ranting about a woman, a left- wing activist from his uni days. Musa had enrolled at Victoria University in an arts course, majoring in media and history, and on Orientation Day he found she had set up a stall next to his Islamic Society table.
I don't want them here.' . This is a different Musa to the one at the house. I mean, it's for Palestine.' I said, 'Look, you're not a Muslim, you don't agree with Islam.
As for us, that's what we want for Palestine. We want Sharia, we want Islamic law. You don't want that, so let's admit we don't want the same thing.' She started to get a little bit offended.
She's like, 'Oh, but, you know, we have to work together,' and I'm like, 'No, we don't have to work together.' . We do agree with the Christians that it will be Jesus Christ, except when he comes back, he's actually going to be fighting against them and show them that their religion has been corrupted. We believe that when he does return, he would return to Syria.
Personally, I think that's not entirely a bad thing. Musa, like other Islamic State supporters, believes solely in Islam the religion. Anything cultural, like things associated with being Arab, is seen as a distraction or even blasphemous. When he sees the Palestinian flag, he tells me, he wants to spit on it. The Koran demands one Islamic super- state, not nation states, he says.
Like, who decides what's literal? So yes, we know that there are punishments that do involve capital punishment. The vast majority of Muslims are clear on 9. You have to pray five times a day - nobody is saying it's six or four - we all agree. The punishment for adultery for a married person is that they are killed. It's clear; nobody debates this.
But he's not being sarcastic. I don't quite know what to say. I just watched Life of Brian and then got on to Flying Circus. And the films that they do make suck. Again, you've got to respect the Jews in this regard. You know, they might put in all of their propaganda, if you believe all that, but at least their films are actually decent. Steven has his nose in a thick fantasy book.
Nicholas has his in a fat Stephen King paperback. Everyone's a nerd for something under this roof.
I want to hear what the family has to say away from Musa. We go into Paula's bedroom. She says it wasn't that bad for her when Musa - whom she and the family still call Robert - turned up on the news last July. Her surname hasn't been Cerantonio since she and her husband divorced 1.
Her friend Betty knew, though. Betty's calmed down now.
She'll go in the car with him now. As weird as it sounds, I think him becoming a Muslim was a very good thing. He has a loving family.
His parents didn't separate until after he converted. He still sees his dad. He wasn't an outcast at school. Bright, popular, good at sports, handsome. He still catches up with his old Footscray friends. For whatever reason, Islam struck a chord with him.
And he was, like, 'Oh, you know, this one seems apparently foolproof. There's no contradictions every, like, every bloody couple of pages.' So that's a good thing for someone who's a bit more logical.
Today he was angrier at left- wingers than neo- cons. Bush to Barack Obama, and Zionists to hippies. Right- wingers, he says, cut to the chase. The Islamic scriptures say there will be a new epoch, and one of the signs, one of the things that has to happen, is a battle in the region where Islamic State is now fighting. The explanation for Musa is a difficult pill to swallow. When he's talking to an Arabic person, there's sort of a tinge to his accent.