The Old Art …

Mr Speaker, yesterday an act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy. But today we meet as normal – as generations have done before us, and as future generations will continue to do – to deliver a simple message: we are not afraid. And our resolve will never waiver in the face of terrorism. And we meet here, in the oldest of all Parliaments, because we know that democracy, and the values it entails, will always prevail. Those values – free speech, liberty, human rights and the rule of law – are embodied here in this place, but they are shared by free people around the world. A terrorist came to the place where people of all nationalities and cultures gather to celebrate what it means to be free. And he took out his rage indiscriminately against innocent men, women and children. Mr Speaker, this was an attack on free people everywhere – and on behalf of the British people, I would like to thank our friends and allies around the world who have made it clear that they stand with us at this time.

                   Prime Minister Theresa May, House of Commons, 23 March 2017

And the world went crazy …

I only turned around for a few days and look.

Mr Abbott gives Prince Phillip a knighthood. Mr Giles, the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister thinks it must have been April Fools’ Day.

Then that particular day came early to the Northern Territory. The CLP party room dumped Mr Giles and installed Mr Willem Westra Van Holthe as leader. The press were invited to the swearing in of the new Chief Minister. Mr Giles, however, failed to resign. Confusion reigns.

The problem for Mr W W Van H is that he needs to command a majority in the parliament, it is possible that the Giles supporters, now a minority in the CLP, might be joined by the opposition to defeat the flying Dutchman (born in New Zealand) on the floor of the house.

In an effort to avoid that Mr Van H has welcomed back a couple of loose cannons, Alison Anderson and Larisa Lee, who left the party last year and joined the Palmer United Party. When they discovered that everything within reach of that party’s leader was likely to end up as another globule of fat around His Corpulence’s waist they discovered the joys of independence. You can imagine how disciplined Mr Van H’s team will be if he gets as far as the swearing in.

The far more sophisticated Julia Gillard also found the knighthood a subject for mirth. The Sydney Morning Herald reports …

“I had this clearly eccentric idea that Australian honours should be for Australians,” Gillard replied with a cheeky grin, as the crowd – which included federal deputy opposition leader, MC Tanya Plibersek and social commentator Jane Caro – roared with laughter.

The SMH did not remind us that Ms Gillard awarded an Order of Australia to Sachin Tendulkar.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State has beheaded Kenji Goto and burnt Muath el-Kaseasbeh alive in a metal cage. Nothing to do with Islam.

Back in Saudi Arabia, an Islamic State governed under sharia law …

Saudi Arabia had on Sunday beheaded a convicted murderer, bringing to five the number of people executed since new King Salman took office, continuing the kingdom’s use of the harshest punishment.

Although there might seem to be some superficial similarities “the difference is clear” …

When we do it in Saudi Arabia we do it as a decision made by a court. The killing is a decision, I mean it is not based on arbitrary choices, to kill this and not to kill this. Interior Ministry spokesperson Major General Mansour alTurki.

Peace be upon you …

Close to one quarter of the world’s population are Muslim.

Those countries in which the majority of the population is Muslim are shown in colour. For a better look at the map just click on it – you will need to use the back arrow in your browser to return to this page.

Islam_attitudes

That’s approximately 50 countries.

Six make Islam the corner-stone of their constitution …

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Mauritania
  • Pakistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen

A further 14 have endorsed Islam as their state religion. Five, including Indonesia, haven’t made a declaration regarding the official place of Islam. Twenty-three states have gone to the trouble of officially separating state and religion.

Thus if Islam is the religion of peace the 20 countries shown in green should be veritable hotbeds of peace and harmony with the bright green countries leading the way.

Tolerance, democracy and gender equality are not components of the Islamic peace. There are ten countries in the world in which the death penalty is available for homosexuality, all are to be found in the coloured portion of the map and most are coloured green. None of the countries will be found in the list of full democracies in the 2012 Democracy Index. As for women …

Quranic verse 4:34:  “Allah has made men superior to women because men spend their wealth to support them. Therefore, virtuous women are obedient, and they are to guard their unseen parts as Allah has guarded them. As for women whom you fear will rebel, admonish them first, and then send them to a separate bed, and then beat them. But if they are obedient after that, then do nothing further; surely Allah is exalted and great!”
The rules for management of women can throw up some knotty problems
In Saudi Arabia, women aren’t allowed to drive, or even ride bikes, and men aren’t allowed to drive women they’re not closely related to. The kingdom is currently dealing with the dilemma of how to get 367,000 girls to school on buses that can only be driven by men.
There are less amusing examples such as the religious police forcing schoolgirls back into a burning school because they were not wearing Islamic headscarves and black robes as they tried to escape the flames.
Could be enough to make you quit Islam. Hang on a moment. In most of the Muslim world apostasy is a crime. If you’re lucky it could be prison or a flogging but …
The countries surveyed that expressly make apostasy a capital offense are Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Well at least I’m safe from accusations of apostasy, I have no faith to renounce. Duh, did I just admit that? Atheists and other religious skeptics can be executed in at least thirteen nations: Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
I guess a lot hinges on your definition of peace.
As-salamu alayku.

Je suis …

Well, me, je suis me.

I’m glad I’m not Charlie, I have an aversion to being shot (and for the record, decapitated as well).

The barbarity exhibited in Paris in recent days has brought a massive response. Consciousnesses have certainly been raised.

The people, the politicians and the cartoonists have led the way.

Let’s have a look at them in a slightly different order. Monsieur Hollande has been quick to reassure France that the French way of life will endure and that this is nothing to do with Islam. Mark Steyn was not impressed

Yeah, right. I would use my standard line on these occasions – “Allahu Akbar” is Arabic for “Nothing to see here” – but it’s not quite as funny when the streets are full of cowards, phonies and opportunists waving candles and pencils and chanting “Je suis Charlie.” Because if you really were Charlie, if you really were one of the 17 Frenchmen and women slaughtered in the name of Allah in little more than 48 hours, you’d utterly despise a man who could stand up in public and utter those words.

The louder the perpetrators yell “Allahu Akbar” and rejoice that the Prophet has been avenged, the louder M Hollande and David Cameron and Barack Obama and John Kerry and the other A-list infidels insist there’s no Islam to see here. M le Président seems to believe he can champion France’s commitment to freedom of expression by conscripting the entire nation in his monstrous lie.

Is he just pandering? There are, supposedly, six million Muslims in France, and he got 93 per cent of their vote last time round. Or is he afraid of the forces that might be unleashed if the Official Lie were not wholeheartedly upheld? Stéphane Charbonnier said he’d rather die standing than live on his knees; M Hollande thinks he can get by with a furtive crouch.

Harsh words, sadly entirely fair. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the surrender monkeys, Barack Obama. Such were the forcefulness of his words I almost expected him to draw another line in the sand. Our very own Tony Abbott had a few platitudes to mouth. They ring hollow whilst section 18c remains on the books.

And the cartoonists and their employers, praising the courage of their fallen comrades, there were a couple I liked …

B6wZOY8CMAA_b6v B6wcXWdIgAA_Lbr

… and one that M. Hollande would have preferred, what we might call the ABC approach …

B6wb6lzIYAAWia1

… it’s all about the backlash.

Guardian Australia cartoonist Andrew Marlton was in no hurry to offend his Muslim audience. As he explained last week …

I don’t depict Muhammad because it’s probably racist and also I don’t get to put my family and my coworkers at risk of being firebombed.

Tim Blair’s turn to be unimpressed …

Now, I’m not particularly against Marlton’s gutlessness over the non-drawing of old Mo, which regrettably has become an industry-wide standard – although his line about racism is interesting (what race is he talking about?).

Instead, Marlton is awarded the yellow sash for the second part of his statement – that he fears his family or the Guardian‘s office will be firebombed if Marlton upsets Muslims.

This is a fellow who makes his living frequently ridiculing what he depicts as an exaggerated fear of Islamic terrorism and who routinely describes as bigots and idiots those who condemn Islamic terrorism. While his leftist fans just lap that stuff up, it now emerges that Marlton himself believes he is just one cartoon away from the possibility of fiery death.

Notably absent from the main stream press were the Charlie Hebdo cartoons themselves. If you need to see what the fuss was about you can find a collection <HERE>. At least one of them would be truly offensive to Muslims, much in the way that putting a crucifix in a jar of urine would be to a christian.

The people’s response was spontaneous and in many ways quite nice. Je suis Charlie, we care, we stand united against barbarism. Charlie’s next edition will happen and it will be a sellout and that is all good. And then they will go back to work and to school and then … what?

Well we wouldn’t want to overreact. Here in Melbourne, Victoria we certainly won’t. Today’s news

Khodr Moustafa Taha, 35, from Brunswick, allegedly tweeted Victoria Police with the chilling message: “I’m going to hurt your officers.”

Police raided his home and allegedly discovered ammunition and three swords.

Mr Taha, who is Australian-born of Lebanese heritage, was also accused­ of running several additional Twitter accounts­ posting material supporting Islamic State.

Another contained a ­profile picture of the al-Qaeda flag.

Police argued in Melbourne Magistrates Court last week that Mr Taha — suspected of brutally bashing his ­mother and attacking his ex-boss with a hammer — posed an unacceptable risk of reoffending.

But Deputy Chief Magistrate Jelena Popovic let him walk from court, ­

“I’ve taken a view, on ­balance, that any risk can be fixed by the (bail) ­conditions.

There’s a bad day coming folks, wrap yourself in copies of the Racial Discrimination Act and have your bail conditions ready. Be prepared for the next time you are caught in an Islamic massacre …

Motive unclear …

Today’s nothing to do with something beginning with I is brought to you from France via Reuters

French police arrested a man on Sunday evening after he deliberately mowed down a dozen pedestrians in the eastern city of Dijon, badly injuring two of them and shouting “Allahu Akbar”

investigators had yet to determine what his motives were

Nothing to do with …

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.