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
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 …
… and one that M. Hollande would have preferred, what we might call the ABC approach …
… 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 …
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 …
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.
It is a dreadful thing to take a human life. It was this man’s duty to do so.
I think you can see from the video he takes no pride in it. He now has to live with it.
If it were not for his actions any one of those applauding him might now be dead.
Defence of freedom and democracy is no easy matter.
This guy isn’t an English convert is he?
If you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be.
We have an emotional envelope that ranges from very happy to very sad and off in a different direction to very angry. We can get to the limits of the envelope over quite little things, in tears over spilt milk, angry at dirty footprints on the carpet, thrilled at a compliment to our good looks.
It’s a range that doesn’t seem big enough for some of the big things.
On this day in 2001 a terrorist attack in the US killed nearly 3,000 people. Ordinary people going about ordinary lives. I knew on that day that it was an event that would cast a shadow on the rest of my life. And it does.
That evil act, and many others before it and since, was done in the name of religion.
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. Steven Weinberg 1999.
Islam does not have a monopoly on evil but at the present time it poses a very significant threat to civilisation. I hear and read that Islam is a religion of peace. This comes from politicians, christians and nice decent people that wish it were so. If instead you read the Quran you will find at least 109 verses calling for violence including Quran(8:12) …
I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
… and if you would like to track the relevant videos down you can watch adherents of this creed in action.
Today, I am thinking of those who died this day in 2001 and since innocent victims of barbarism. I extend my sympathy to those who lost loved ones in that attack and subsequently.
A sense of proportion in our narrow compass of emotions is a good thing. And if you would like to see civilisation continue then it is necessary to see things as they are, not as you would like them to be.
Just when Obama had lulled them to sleep …
The Israeli blockade of Gaza makes life hard for the people of Gaza. It’s a bad thing … ask anyone in Gaza.
On the other hand it makes it hard to import rocket building materiel into Gaza, which means that folk in Israel can go about their business with a reduced risk of being blown up. That’s a good thing … ask anyone in Israel.
Some British aid workers felt sorry for the people of Gaza and decided to take aid overland. If the aid got there the people of Gaza would have a truck load of stuff that they wouldn’t otherwise have had, if it didn’t get there the effort would at least highlight the plight of the Gazan people. They made it as far as the Libia Egypt border where they were turned back, subsequently they were kidnapped. Theirs was a noble and compassionate impulse …
Awad al-Barassi, the Prime Minister of Libya, visited at least two of the victims in hospital before they were able to fly home. He told media that three women had been raped and that two of them were sisters. He said the sisters had been raped in front of their father.
Noble, compassionate and naive. Now forget noble and compassionate, hang on to naive. In the face of the horror that was the bombing of the World Trade Centre one of our worthy opinion makers, paid by the Aussie taxpayer to serve up one side of political thought, had this to say on how to deal with Osama bin Laden …
“What if that involved bringing him somewhere, absolutely safely, sitting down with him, treating him like a human being and talking about it, and then Osama bin Laden going home again, not bombing the hell out of bin Laden?”
Quite so, Virginia Trioli of their ABC.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, the Tsarnaev brothers hijacked a car with a “Coexist” bumper sticker. They come in a number of flavours but this one is typical …
But, saving the best for last.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s former brother-in-law points to the Boston bomber’s possible motivation …
He was angry that the world pictures Islam as a violent religion.