Press release: 22 April 2013
Australian Defence Force disciplines Reserve Intelligence Officer for discussing Islam
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has charged an Army Reserve Intelligence Officer, Bernard Gaynor, for discussing links between Islam and terrorist activity.
The charges were laid today, despite an internal investigation by the ADF’s Investigative Service finding that there was no basis for disciplinary action.
Mr Gaynor says that the charges are proof that political correctness is hampering the ADF's ability to fight against Islamic violence.
"It is outrageous that the Australian Defence Force is charging me for discussing Islam," Mr Gaynor said.
"In the last week, ASIO has confirmed hundreds of Muslim Australians are joining violent Islamic groups in Syria and a radical Australian Islamic cleric has been linked to the Boston bombers."
"Yet the Australian Defence Force is sending a message that intelligence officers cannot discuss Islam in any way, shape or form, unless they pass judgment that it is a nice, peaceful religion."
"How the hell are you supposed to have an objective view of Islam if you are not allowed to examine links between Islamic beliefs and terrorist activity?"
"This kind of stupidity will lead to a misunderstanding of why threat groups targeting the Australian Army conduct violent activity and, at worst, could result in the death of Australian soldiers."
"It also explains the logical inconsistency between fighting a war against people who espouse violent Islamic beliefs while at the same time having an immigration policy that allows people with the same ideology to settle into Australia."
"It begs the question: what, exactly, have Aussie Diggers been shedding their blood in Afghanistan for over the past decade?"
“This question is especially vexing considering that the Afghan government’s constitution is based on Sharia Law and it has laws that allow the execution of people who convert from Islam. The Afghan President has even called for the Taliban to run for parliament.”
“With laws and views like that, Afghanistan will continue to be a hotbed of Islamic terrorism long after Australia’s military commitment ends.”
Mr Gaynor was also charged for bringing the ADF into disrepute for pointing out that it paraded with various groups conducting sexually-explicit activity at the 2013 Mardi Gras in front of children.
“It saddens me that the ADF believes marching with groups that conduct sexually-explicit activity in front of children is ok but that it is somehow disreputable to point this out,” Mr Gaynor said.
“However, the ADF hierarchy have shot themselves in the foot on this one. If, by pointing out the unacceptable nature of ADF participation I have brought the ADF into disrepute, those who approved and marched in this parade are guilty of a far worse offence.”
“I will defend all charges and I am confident that I will be acquitted of them all,” Mr Gaynor said.