Thomas Wictor

If a Shi’ite cleric ruled the world

If a Shi’ite cleric ruled the world

In about 2008, I saw an interview on YouTube with an Iraqi Shi’ite cleric who was asked if he wanted alcohol and nightclubs banned.

“No,” he said. “If all your temptations are removed, then you can’t call yourself a moral person. You must have the opportunity to sin but refuse those opportunities. That’s the definition of morality: refusing to commit sins.”

You can agree or disagree that drinking and going to nightclubs are sinful. Personally, I’m deeply opposed to the consumption of alcohol. However, I don’t want it banned, and I don’t think that drinking is wrong. Drinking by itself lacks a moral component. People who drink are not morally compromised. To me they aren’t sinful.

However, my own view is that drinking causes tremendous damage, up to and including on a societal level. Still, people—adults—must be have the free will to choose. As much destruction as I think alcohol causes, restricting the options of adults is worse.

Pornography is problematic because the women who perform are being exploited. All of them have been abused in one form or another. It also warps the perceptions of men. But I don’t want it banned.

On the other hand, I also hate the mainstreaming of all vices. People like to claim that the Victorians were hypocritical because their public and private behaviors were often diametrically opposed.

To me they were simply more adult. They recognized that people have appetites, so there were known sections of town where you could go to experience things that you didn’t want to rub in the faces of your friends or neighbors.

Today on Twitter I got into a discussion with several Jewish people about their view on converts. All are Orthodox, and all said the same thing, that conversion to Judaism is a very serious thing. It’s almost discouraged because it’s a huge commitment.

I couldn’t help comparing that view to the notion that you must convert or die.

ISLAMIC preacher Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon points heavenwards to emphasise his message for the governments of Australia — there is no God but Allah and only his laws should be obeyed.

“My attack is on the Prime Minister of Australia,” he said yesterday. “I hate the parliament in Canberra. I want to go straight for the jugular vein and advise the parliament that they have no right to legislate. They should immediately step down and let the Muslims take over.”

An Australian-born convert to Islam, Siddiq-Conlon is the self-anointed leader of a group called Sharia4Australia, which is pushing for the introduction of sharia courts as a first step towards achieving Islamic law.

“One day Australia will live under sharia; it’s inevitable,” he said. “If they (Australians) don’t accept it, that’s not our problem. We hope, and our objective is to have a peaceful transition, but when you look at history that has never been the case. There’s always been a fight. It is inevitable that one day there will be a struggle for Islam in Australia.”

Photos of Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon show a face that reeks of corruption.


Sure enough, despite his screeching about what he considers morality, it turns out that he’s an objectively immoral person.

Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon, a 36-year-old father of four, made a hoax terror threat on the Facebook page of Today FM’s Kyle and Jackie O show, Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court was told.

He wrote a “homophobic diatribe including threats of violence”, Judge Penny Hock said on Friday, adding that she saw the hoax threat as the more serious of the two offences.

“It was clearly a threat that had to be acted upon,” Judge Hock said.

Siddiq-Conlon referred to his organisation Sharia4Australia on the page and also warned Muslims they should avoid the area on the day of the annual parade.

The Sydney architect warned: “Attention, high possible risk of a terrorist attack. Spread the word. Imminent danger.” He had made the message from his own Facebook page, which is in his name.

When police arrested him and searched his car, they found child pornography material on a laptop, including images, videos and stories.

Siddiq-Conlon said he was sorry, so he was released after time served. Still, my advice is to keep him away from your kids. He reminds me of Vinz Klortho, Keymaster of Gozer from Ghostbusters.



Not only does Siddiq-Conlon look like Vinz Klortho, he sounds like him too.

I am Vinz, Vinz Klortho, Keymaster of Gozer, Volguus Zildrohoar, Lord of the Seboullia. Are you the Gatekeeper? Wait for the sign, and all prisoners will be released! You will perish in flames! As soon as I find the Gatekeeper!

Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldranai, the Traveler came as a large and moving torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrix Supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant sloar! Many shubs and zuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the sloar that day, I can tell you!

One of my heroes is the late, doomed David Viscott, MD.


A brilliant psychiatrist, he couldn’t help his family or himself. Still, his observations are completely salient.

“Whatever we repress, we become compulsive about.”

I’m always suspicious of people who tout their morality. TV reality stars and conservative activists the Duggars hid the fact that their son molested at least four of his sisters, while the Phelps family—of the Westboro Baptist Church—denied that drug-addicted patriarch Fred regularly beat his wife and children with a pickaxe handle. You can bet that there’s much, much more trouble in the Duggar and Phelps households.

Banning everything isn’t the answer, but neither is turning the world into a saloon-bordello. Both approaches are two sides of the same coin. They’re the yin and yang of major psychological issues.

People should be encouraged to discover why they’re driven to behave the way they do. There’s always a reason.

In the meantime they don’t need you to either threaten them or give them the key to the booze cabinet. There’s a vast continuum between murder and providing someone the means for their own self-destruction.

My own approach to life is nonmaleficence. It’s best expressed in the Hippocratic maxim Primum non nocere: “First, do no harm.”

This is my favorite sculpture of Hippocrates. I hope I look like him someday.


We’ve pledged to first do no harm, but there’s nothing wrong with thinking about it.