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Confusing Terrorists with Victims

October 16, 2015

Confusing Terrorists with Victims

The ramifications of becoming emotional about a terrorist attack should never be underestimated. Like most of life biggest challenges, it is best handled dispassionately. Yet simply taking a neutral position misses the whole point of understanding a threat. Eventually in any conflict, you may be forced to have to pick a side. In the choice between the terrorists and their victims, it should be a no brainer to work out which side to choose.

Do you choose the side that it trying to kill you? I think not.

The young man who executed a man outside a Sydney police station whilst he was chanting “Allah….” Clearly this was the fanatical act of terrorism and clearly everything possible needs to be done to prevent any similar attacks from occurring in the future.

When Man Monis held hostages in the Lyndt Café in Sydney there were still people who were trying to distract us from any mention of the word terrorism. Even when he flew Islamic flags in the windows of the café and demanded the delivery of an Islamic State flag, there were people pretending that it was not happening. As a result, we had the ludicrous #illridewithyou Twitter campaign that was based on a fictional story. Adding insult to injury was the reality that this Twitter indulgence took place whilst hostages were still being held at the Lyndt Café.

We can look back to the young fellow who was killed in whilst he was attacking two police with a knife. Again this episode was an act of terrorism with the common denominator being radical Islam.

The reality that radical Islam has declared war on Australia means that there will more than likely the same kinds of attacks in the near future. On more than one case young Muslims have been arrested for planning to capture a random civilian to publically behead them.

The Islamic State is not the only source of terrorism in the world and many other organisations can be just as chillingly ruthless in their attacks. However, it is the threat that is now facing Australia. If not challenged the threat has the potential to cripple the nation both financially and physically. It has the potential to so dramatically change the Australian way of life that our normal expectations of safety cease to exist. Simple things like going the beach, a cinema, a football game or even a shopping centre could easily become life or death moment.

Fighting the current terrorism threat is not just a case gathering up the disenchanted and wayward youth for a grand group hug. We are kidding ourselves if we think that kind words and inclusive workshops begin to even scratch the surface of person who is already drawn to terrorism. Once the justification to kill innocent civilians has already been made in their mind it will take more than a series of well-meaning workshops to remove this kind commitment.

Throw into the confusion a rather condescending approach from the television talk show called Q&A on ABC television. Here Sheikh Wesam Charkawi was asked this question:

So, my question is: what is it about the Islamic religion or people that makes them susceptible to radicalisation and what can be done to mitigate this?

To which Charkawi gave a very long winded reply to claim that it youth are being marginalised and isolated that makes young people believe ISIS propaganda more easily. Unfortunately, the question was not answered and the audience was left with the impression that it was Australia’s fault that terrorism happens. What we did not hear was any assurance from the leaders of the Muslim community that they absolutely rejected this act of terrorism.

In fact, the Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed (who does not speak English), remained silent on the matter for days. Mr Neil El-Kadomi, the head of Parramatta Mosque, told Fairfax Media that he felt abandoned by the Grand Mufti after he was seen having heated argument with Dr Ibrahim.

Perhaps the most useful thing that the Grand Mufti could do is to declare a Fatwa against terrorist actions. Unfortunately, the language coming from the leaders of the Muslim communities is increasingly vague and laced with accusations of Islamophobia.

Whether we like it or not the Muslim community is here to stay in Australia and comprises around 2% of the population. By 2030 it is expected that the Muslim population will grow from its current 470,000+ to well over 700,000. There are similar sized religious and ethnic groups in the community such as the Hindus, Sheiks and Buddhists but none of these has resulted in a spike of terrorist activity in Australia. Do we really need to ask why not? Or how often do we need to ask “what is it about the Islamic religion or people that makes them susceptible to radicalisation and what can be done to mitigate this?” before we hear a reassuring answer.

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