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Muslim Australian Navy Captain Has Twitter Account Closed In Terrorism Policy Row

muslim australian navy
Australian Department of Defence

A senior female Muslim Australian navy officer has had her twitter account closed after it posted tweets on Islamic terrorism that mocked former prime minister Tony Abbott and contradicted government policy.

Egyptain-born Captain Mona Shindy, the Chief of the Royal Australian Navy’s (RAN) strategic adviser on Islamic affairs, was believed to run the account @navyislamic which retweeted a counter-terrorism expert belittling Mr Abbott after he was deposed last September while calling into question his abilities by tweeting:

Looking forward to a #PM that unites #auspol & #OZ.

The social media account also backed Australia’s controversial Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed’s response to the Paris terrorist attacks after he cited “causative factors” for the bloody killings and said Islamic State has “nothing to do with Islam”.

Capt. Shindy, a 26-year RAN veteran, wrote from @navyislamic account that Abu Mohamed was a “righteous and courageous man” who had denounced Islamic State, adding the hashtag #IStandWithTheMufti.

The public censure of Capt. Shindy follows a complaint lodged by the president of the new Australian Liberty Alliance, Debbie Robinson, who wrote to the Chief of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin AC last December, over statements criticising the party from the official ADF Twitter account.

The Twitter account, @navyislamic, describes itself as the “Official Royal Australian Navy Islamic Advisor Twitter account” and after the launch of the Australian Liberty Alliance tweeted:

Real shame to see these extreme ill informed fringe groups threatening #community #cohesion. #auspol #teamhumanrace

This tweet also retweeted a statement from an Australian journalist linking to a news story about Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, who launched the Australian Liberty Alliance despite protests from fringe groups who wanted him banned. It stated:

FFS.@What sort of political party gets a Dutch bully and bigot to launch it in secret ?

ADF policy prohibits political statements from serving personnel in their official capacity.

The @navyIslamic account has previously criticised other politicians and questioned Australia’s immigration policies and ADF operations against Islamic State.

On 31 March, 2105, Capt. Shindy gave a speech calling for the Australian government to fund mosques and imams. The Australian Liberty Alliance has since requested that the Chief of Defence Force confirm that this view is not official ADF policy.

According to her official profile, Capt. Shindy’s role as chief adviser of Islamic affairs is intended to give the branch “a better understanding and appreciation of serving Muslims, their needs and how they view the world”.

“Another key function of the role is to increase the appeal of the navy as an employer of choice among the Australian Muslim community,” the profile says.

Capt. Shindy was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2015 Australia Day honours. She was named NSW businesswoman of the year in November.

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