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The mad scramble to claim undeserving victimhood status from the Lindt Chocolate café siege

December 16, 2014

The mad scramble to claim undeserving victimhood status from the Lindt Chocolate café siege


Man Haron Monis lies dead perhaps on a slab at the Sydney morgue. Perhaps elsewhere, who really cares? What does matter is that the siege that he started yesterday is over and as a result, two innocent victims were: one a Sydney solicitor who was reported as protecting her pregnant friend the other the man who tried to wrestle the gun from Monis. Two heroes killed and one snivelling coward who held captive 30 or so people whose only crime was to be in the Lindt Chocolate café at the wrong time.

One can only imagine the absolute terror that went through the minds of the hostages as Muslim cleric Man Haron Monis threaten their lives and forced some to call radio and television stations to relay his set of demand. Images early in the siege show two terrified women pressed against a window, as they were forced to hold up a black with white inscribed writing Islamic flag. One of his first demands was for genuine ISIS (Islamic State) flag to be delivered to the café where he was holding the hostages. He also claimed that he other operatives who were ready to detonate bombs at undisclosed locations within Sydney. There is no doubt that this was a serious threat with political motivations.

Further evidence as collated by the Vox news website shows images of Monis’ own website where his political and religious motivation were on display. Here you will find images of dead children; condemnations of the USA and Australia; swearing allegiance to Allah and so forth. It is the website of an extremist trying to sell the Islamist message to the world. Unfortunately just selling the message was not enough for this radical cleric. He had to put his political/religious fanaticism into action and take hostage the helpless people who happened to be in the Lindt Chocolate café in Sydney.

As more details emerged about the so-called madman a disturbing history of harassment and violence emerged. Monis had been previously found guilty of sending abusive letters to the families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan; he was also complicit in the murder of his ex-wife (who was stabbed and then set on fire) and most recently he was charged with sexually assaulting women who attending his spiritual heal sessions. He was precisely the kind of person that rang all the alarms of a danger to the community and was still given bail by the presiding judge of his case. How was this possible?

Far from being a lone madman on a rampage, there is every indication that Monis was a barking mad fanatic who saw himself as being justified by ideology to commit any crime he saw fit. Hold terrified hostages and threatening to kill them was just a means to his stipulated goals to ‘Obey Allah and His Messenger’. (Monis’s own words)

Victims United

In terms of motivation, things could not be clearer. The case would be closed for most rational thinking people. However in the Noddy Land of social media, it is always someone else’s fault or black is white. There should be no mistake as to who the real victims of this siege and who is really deserving of sympathy. As I said, social media is a kind of Noddy Land where hits counts are more important than logic and we find people being rewarded for any paranoid conspiracy theory that they can dream up.

Even before the siege was over the twitter hash tag
#IllRideWithYou was created on the grounds that a there would be an expected backlash in the community. There was no indication of this would occur but it did not stop this from becoming a headline story for the ABC News. It was created when one woman said that she witnessed a Muslim woman slowly taking off her headscarf before boarding train.

The Age newspaper writes an online article about the siege that magically does not mention the word Islamic or Muslim once.  Is there any mystery over his motivations.

ABC Drum blogger Ruby Hamad wastes no time in pretending that Muslims are the real victims because of some imagined backlash coming from the siege. Forget all the evidence I mentioned above because according Ruby:

No sooner had the terrible story come to light, than the media speculation, misinformation, and outright lies came flying thick and fast


While it is true that this gunman put Islam front and centre by utilising that flag, let’s put the emphasis where it belongs. He may have made it about religion, but the operative word here is “he”, and not “religion.

I kinda get the feeling that Ruby does not believe that demanding an Islamic State flag is a political act.

Jenna Price of the Canberra Times is incensed that people may find the #illridewithyou distasteful whilst real victims are still being held hostage in the Lindt café. In Jenna’s universe an imaginary threat trumps the reality of any genuine threat happening:

Do Muslims in Sydney need to be protected? Maybe, maybe not. There are plenty of social media in the last day gratified by the response.

Well, it is gratifying that it is there just in case. Or as radio personality Chris Kenny remarked on his twitter page:

The people in the cafe are the ones who deserve your thoughts not some imaginary fellow bus passenger.

So far I have not seen any hash tags for the hostages that state: #illswapwithyou.

Unfortunately, when the moral compass is so far off target it is often hard to realise when you are going the wrong way.

Editorial Comment

Maybe next time we will see, ‘Ill swap with you’, but I doubt it. Mediocre moral grandstanding is much easier.

There is some contention over whether Monis is an actual cleric or just a self-proclaimed cleric. Some say self-proclaimed, his lawyer says he is a real cleric. I throw my hands in the air at this moment until the matter is clarified.

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