Australia: Political Complaint Causes Navy’s Twitter Account to Close

Mona Shindy

The official Twitter account for the Australian Navy –formerly handled by the chief strategy adviser on Islamic matters, Captain Mona Shindy– was closed last month after an anti-Islamic political party in the country lodged a complaint. Shindy was earlier active as @navyislamic until the handle had to be terminated on December 22.

Mona Shindy

In September 2015, @navyislamic retweeted Anne Aly, an expert on counter-terrorism, the same night that Australia appointed its new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The retweet questioned why Turnbull had delivered a speech without any mention of death cults, national security or terrorism. The following month, @navyislamic attacked the new political party, Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA); which was founded by controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders, and is headquartered in Queensland. @navyislamic’s tweet condemned ALA for having party members who frequently use threatening rhetoric, calling them ill-informed and accusing them of tearing up the community.

In November 2015, the account once again took a political stance while commenting on the Paris terrorist attacks, popularizing the hashtag #IStandWithTheMufti. This particular tweet described Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed as a brave and righteous man, who reprimands not only terrorism but also the  Islamic State –the orchestrators of the Paris terrorist attacks.

Shindy served 26 years with the Australian Navy, having commanded the Guided Missile Frigate Program as well. She called for the word ‘Islam’ to be left out while reporting on Islamic State during policy talks in June. Reportedly, she also demanded frank and fearless debates concerning the trigger and real cause of most Islamic issues. While addressing the double standards of Australia’s foreign policy, Shindy often spoke out about the way in which Muslims continue to be marginalized across the country.

Captain Mona

Captain Shindy

According to a spokesperson of Australia’s Defense Department, the navy decided to consolidate all of its social media platforms.

“The intention is to create a single source and strengthen its messaging so that it is in sync with its support to traditional media,” he said.

@navyislamic was shut down less than a fortnight after Debbie Robinson, head of ALA, lodged a complaint against Shindy. Reportedly, she asked the Australian Defense Force to ensure that the navy either distances itself from this particular Twitter account or simply deletes it. Earlier, Robinson described Islam as a dangerous ideology.

Photo Credits: Muslimthai Post

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