My good friend Walter and most of Australia were appalled at events in Martin Place, Sydney, when Man Haron Monis took patrons of a coffee shop hostage, demanded an Islamic State flag, demanded to speak to the prime minister and conducted a siege that ended in the death of two hostages and serious injuries to others.
Walter is a very decent guy and was quick to post the #I’ll ride with you meme on his Facebook page. He posted nothing about the victims or their families. Other Australians made the pilgrimage to the scene of the crime laid flowers, shed tears. The ABC were there with them and gave great prominence to the fact that among the mourners there were some muslims who were interviewed at length.
All sorts of experts and VIP’s were trotted out. Very quickly we were being fed the line that this was nothing to do with Islam and not an act of terrorism. Mr Monis was just a nutter with a criminal past. I don’t think that the experts or VIP’s or the ABC were levelling with us.
Terrorism has a definition in Australian law …
an act or threat, intended to advance a political, ideological or religious cause by coercing or intimidating an Australian or foreign government or the public. This action must cause serious harm to people or property, create a serious risk to the health and safety to the public, or seriously disrupt trade, critical infrastructure or electronic systems.
The sort of acts that terrorists do have been against the law since time immemorial and yet the law and the definition have had a lot of fine tuning in recent years. The reason for this is that cleaning up the mess and prosecuting any surviving miscreants runs a distant second to arresting and imprisoning the miscreants for their intentions.
There is no basis in the definition to rule out terrorism because it was a criminal act and there is no mention of insanity. When searching through the ranks of those volunteering as suicide bombers, or to fly planes into buildings, or to execute school children, or to kill health workers trying to eradicate polio I suspect it would be difficult to find too many sane ones. One might also notice that one particular religion is somewhat over represented.
Mr Monis was born in Iran. He came to Australia in 1996, according to some he left in a hurry with the proceeds gained from fraud, theft and violent misbehaviour. He claimed he was in danger at home because of his liberal views on Islam and was granted asylum. Requests were made for his extradition, sadly they were refused.
He achieved a measure of notoriety during the war in Afghanistan by sending letters to the parents of dead Australian and British soldiers describing their sons as murderers and pigs.
At the time of the siege Mr Monis was on bail charged with being an accessory in the stabbing murder of his wife. He was also waiting trial on indecent assault charges arising out of his spiritual healing business.
In the days before the siege Mr Monis pronounced that he had converted from Shia to Sunni and used his website to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State.
On the day prior to the siege he posted this to his website …
Islam is the religion of peace, that’s why Muslims fight against the oppression and terrorism of USA and its allies including UK and Australia. If we stay silent towards the criminals we cannot have a peaceful society. The more you fight with crime, the more peaceful you are. Islam wants peace on the Earth, that’s why Muslims want to stop terrorism of America and its allies. When you speak out against crime you have taken one step towards peace.
According to the Age newspaper, Mr Monis’s Facebook account had 14,000 “likes” before it was taken down, on 15 December 2014.
During the siege hostages were made to hold up a Black Flag with the shahādah (Islamic statement of faith) written in white Arabic text.
Back in September 2014 even the ABC managed to report the allegation that Islamic State representatives in Australia were calling for random acts of terrorism …
The raids foiled a plot involving a man believed to be Australia’s most senior Islamic State member who called contacts in Australia and asked them to carry out a campaign of random public beheadings in Sydney and Brisbane, the ABC understands.
Mohammad Ali Baryalei, a former Kings Cross bouncer and part-time actor, is understood to have made the instruction to kidnap people in Brisbane and Sydney and have them executed on camera. That video was then to be sent back to IS’s media unit, where it would be publicly released.
The siege in Martin Place was an act of terrorism and it was carried out in the name of Islam, in the cause of Islam and at the request of the Islamic State. That Mr Monis was a nutter and not a card carrying member of IS changes nothing.
If the meek inherit the earth Walter will be there, he is very very nice. Mr Monis and I will be absent.
The experts are playing us for strategic purposes. Lone wolf terrorists are much harder to find in advance, if Facebook likes are any indicator, there will be many more of them. The job of the security forces is a tough one … please forgive us if the occasional nutbag impersonates a terrorist.
The ABC is the largest media outlet in Australia, it is using the taxpayers money to bring about a better social order. It is concerned that ugly Australians will behave in an uncivilised fashion to decent Muslims going about their regular business.
The people bringing flowers and their tears to Martin Place want to see an end to the senseless killing of coffee drinkers, plane travellers, health workers, school children, aid workers, journalists … and they are not about to start lynching muslim women for wearing the hijab.
Muslim leaders could do a lot for their flock if they spoke out against terrorism instead of whingeing on about discrimination against muslims. Having your head cut off strikes me as considerably worse than being insulted.