Sheikh Molanas legacy continues to divide the community as
Family fights over the right to cremate
Sheikh Molana, former General of the Australian Defence Force, one time Minister of Parliament, convicted war criminal, convicted inside trader and revert was found dead this morning in his cell at 98. A hugely polarizing figure, the Sheikh is suspected of suffering from a massive heart attack with a post-mortem expected to be conducted by the coroner today.
Born in 1950, Sheikh Molana spent the first 58 years of his life deeply invested in the Australian Defence Force. Though his military career was successful, reaching the rank of Major General, he was most famous for his role as one of the leading architects of the Australian involvement in the disastrous Iraq War. Though staunchly apolitical during his military career, he quickly turned to politics after retiring from the Army and became a Minister within the conservative government in 2017. His new career as a political mastermind was short lived however, when allegations surfaced in 2018 that he was a duel citizen and held Zimbabwean citizenship.
After a brief stint in politics Sheikh Molana turned to business and financial analysis, becoming a consultant for a major Australian venture capitalist firm that invested specifically in custom colonial antiques. His career was interrupted again in 2021 though when he was accused and eventually found guilty of war crimes by the ICC for his involvement in the Iraq War. Significantly, the Australian Government refused an extradition request but in a cruel twist of fate he was unable to avoid prison time. Six months later he was found guilty of insider trading and sentenced to 6 years in custody.
It was during these initial 6 years that many Muslims began to learn about Sheikh Molana, when he famously reverted to Islam after coming to terms with his involvement in Iraq and historical racist attitudes towards immigrants. While prison may have acted as a catalyst for his reformation, many suspect he was already deeply self-reflective when confronted with his Zimbabwean ancestry, as his former confidante Gunter Nash reveals:
For his whole life, Jim thought that he was a ‘True Blue Aussie’ and molded his persona around what he believed were traditional Australian values. He loved his colonial ancestry and was proud of his European heritage, which was often confused for racism. I don’t think Jim was a racist, but I do know he wen’t through a period of deep depression and soul searching when he found out he was actually Zimbabwean. I remember hearing him crying when he found out his grandmother was Ndebele. It was a tough time.
It was during the last year of his sentence in 2027 when he was photographed with his iconic grey beard and clutching his Tasbih. Unfortunately, due to anti-terror legislation, Sheikh Molana was accused of harboring extremist views and his sentence extended indefinitely. In 2036, Sheikh Molana was questioned about his life behind bars:
Honestly, ever since moving into this prison my life has become better. Alhamdulillah. If it wasn’t for this prison sentence I would never have come to terms with my misdeeds and I probably would have never found Islam. Insha’Allah I’ll never leave this prison alive. While I’m here I have everything. My Qu’ran, my prayer mat and my bed. It’s simple but I’m a simple man and with the amount of sins I need to atone for, I don’t need any distractions.
Though he dropped off the public radar shortly after that interview, his popularity continued to grow within the Muslim community as he published letters and essays about his involvement in Iraq, his regrets and his thoughts on Islam in general. Though he made his desire for a full Islamic Janazah clear in his will and testament, sources close to Sheikh Molana have suggested that his family may file an extraordinary appeal to have him cremated. Sheikh Molanas faith has always been a source of tension and animosity within his immediate family though they refused to comment when asked. Information about Sheikh Molanas Janazah will be published here when further details arises.