WITH THE elevation of Australia’s official terror threat from “medium” to “high” — meaning a terrorist attack on Australian soil is considered likely — has come greater media coverage of locally-based Muslims bent on “jihad” against the West; from threats against military personnel and plots to carry out terror strikes in this country, to travelling to fight “jihad” in the name of ISIS, those who do so have no right to call themselves Australians.
Until very recently, with the advent and apparent entrenchment of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in a rapidly expanding tract of “Islamic Caliphate” territory in the Middle East, this column has mostly avoided talking about issues primarily based on Islam; such matters have become an incendiary sore point in Australia, with those who (rightly) point to problems of spiralling religious violence in other Western countries potentially becoming replicated in Australia slapped down — and armed with a pile of legislation designed to outlaw their grievances — by an army of chardonnay-swilling, politically correct trendies determined to ram “diversity” down the throats of whoever dares as much as question it, let alone voice any opposition to it.
I have steered clear of such things because in many respects they are arguments you can’t win; there are Muslim people who simply want to be left alone and to live in peace (in Australia and elsewhere) and there are those who want to kill infidels, wage “jihad,” and rape and murder and pillage — all in the name of Allah, of course; it’s religion and faith that is used to justify such slaughter.
Those who defend the rights of the Muslims in the first category to live in Australia are shot down by those determined to round up and deport all Muslims in order to ensure the complete removal of those in the second category from Australian shores, and the paradoxical truth of the matter is that the arguments of both carry some merit.
But those Muslims who live in Australia and who have become “radicalised,” to use the current jargon — and who want to either mount terrorist attacks in Australia, or skip the country to fight alongside “brethren” in the Middle East in a “jihad” against the Western world — have no right to call themselves Australian, and as far as I am concerned should not be welcome in this country under any circumstances.
The official escalation this week of Australia’s terror threat to “high” for the first time ever — and taking it to the second-highest level on the four-tiered scale adopted a decade ago — comes as the issue of radical Islam and the threat it poses globally is arguably the most prominent it has been since Muslim terrorists flew hijacked aircraft into various landmarks in the USA on 11 September 2001, killing thousands.
What is now clearly two rival complements of radical fundamental Muslims — Islamic State and Al-Qaeda (the latter initially thought to have spawned the former) — are busily laying waste to a rapidly growing tract of the Middle East, and the obscenity of the crimes being committed against humanity in the process are too revolting to countenance.
In the three and a half years I have been publishing this forum, I have posted articles devoted to Islam just four times, and it speaks volumes that one of these — an angry piece penned in the wake of Muslim riots in Sydney two years ago — remains, to this day, the most widely read article ever published here (although a pre-election expose last year about
Communist Party Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young comes a very close second).
But I read yesterday, among other things on the subject, an article in the Weekend Australian that demands comment for the simple reason that anyone who “hails war with the West” might well possess Australian residency or citizenship — although those things can be changed — but they have no moral or social right whatsoever to categorise themselves as “Australian.”
To put it bluntly, these are not the kind of people this country either needs or wants, and they should be deported. But more on that later.
One of the more disturbing aspects of the fundamentalist terror advocates that have at least partly underpinned the Commonwealth’s heightened state of terror alert is the fact their activities are so open; these people are either extremely careless or extremely cavalier, conducting their campaigns of recruitment and propaganda in full view of anyone who cares to look.
The Australian‘s story features “Australian Islamic State fighter” Abu Khaled, who it seems maintains an easily accessible propaganda presence on Twitter and Facebook; Khaled — said to be a “former Melbourne man” of Fijian and Cambodian ancestry, neither of which are typical of Islam — is apparently also the “star” of a soon to be released propaganda video from Islamic State.
I’m not going to drone on about every detail carried in these reports (although a selection may be accessed here, here, here and here for those wishing to read further). Suffice to say, however, Australia — thanks to immigration policies that are either inadequately rigorous and/or too easily circumvented when it comes to rooting out religiously motivated troublemakers — now finds itself at risk from the local adherents of these murderous groups who hate everything about liberal democracy, freedom and the rule of law, and anything that doesn’t fit with their extremely strict conservative interpretation of the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an.
For once, one will say something favourable about the Fairfax press; it’s obsession with the hobby horses of the Left (such as “tolerance” and “inclusion”) has seen it publish today a piece focused on Ibrahim Abu Mohammad, the Grand Mufti of Australia, who not for the first time presents as the reasonable voice of the moderate Muslim community (which — as I have repeatedly noted in this column — is actually most of the Muslim community).
But Muslim voices such as Dr Ibrahim’s are all too infrequently heard: it may be that comparatively little attention is paid to them, it may be because of prejudice, or it may be that they simply don’t speak up to the degree they ought to. But what seems indisputable is that those who seek to act in the name of Islam to perpetuate mass killings and other outrages pay no heed to responsible leaders in their communities like Dr Ibrahim whatsoever.
I am not a bigot or a redneck, and I disagree with those whose “answer” to the threat posed by violent religious jihadists is to throw every Muslim out of Australia; to do so (were it even possible) would be to respond to a local threat posed by the comparative few in a fashion utilising the polar opposite extreme to tar the many — wrongly — with the same brush.
By the same token, however, I am on the record in my view that nobody should be permitted to come to Australia and seek to change the place to what they think it should be, and in this sense the Muslim community does have to be singled out. The fact bacon is not sold in some mainstream food establishments for example, or that some multinationals sell halal meat only to avoid giving offence, is a nonsense that has no place in this country at all.
And the suggestion that arises periodically from some sections of the Muslim community that Australia should adopt Sharia law is an insult to more than 20 million Australians who are not of the Islamic faith, and frankly, those who advance the calls for it to be introduced have no place in Australia either.
Australia is a very welcoming country, perhaps the most welcoming in the world; as a nation of immigrants, one of our strengths is that we reflect the very best of many cultures alongside the primary roots of British settlement and, for those to whom it is important, Aboriginal custom.
Yet if one group wishing to come here wants Australia to adopt their laws in place of ours — in this case, Sharia — then they shouldn’t come here at all; they should stay where they are instead, however horrible they think their lot is, or go somewhere else that might be more sympathetic to their demands to overthrow the system — literally.
But with a welcoming and tolerant country also comes responsibilities.
On one level, I don’t really care if all of these so-called “jihadists” want to go off somewhere secluded and blow each other to kingdom come. In a macabre sense, if they want to do this to each other in a place nobody else has to be affected by it, they’d be doing the rest of the world a favour.
But on another, I think it is a moral and human outrage that in choosing to do so they are content — nay, happy — to rape and torture and kill civilians, innocents, women, children, the helpless and the unsuspecting.
And it is particularly disgusting that these atrocities are done in the name of “God,” “religion,” or any other justification based on exploiting and perverting a developed system of theological values.
The reason I have posted links to a broad sweep of what has been published on Islamic terrorism in Australia in the past couple of days (and there is plenty more; I’ve merely used the first few articles I encountered on my daily sweep of the news portals yesterday) is because nobody can seriously argue that there is no problem posed by violent, radicalised Islamic groups in this country, or by the gullible and dislocated individuals they are recruiting to their ranks.
I have said previously that any permanent Australian resident or citizen who travels to the Middle East to take part in the fighting going on in the name of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State should have their passports and citizenship revoked, and permanently denied re-entry to Australia.
If it leaves them stateless and consequently stranded in the middle of a war zone then frankly, so be it: life is full of choices, and choices come with consequences.
Australia cannot — despite the fervour and zeal of the Left — tolerate and diversify and compassion itself to the point that it becomes a haven for the murderous, the lunatic and the despotic.
Especially when the target of such people and the groups to which they belong is the way of life we enjoy in this country, and everything it stands for.
And I note that the problems that are now starting to really become apparent in Australia — even to those who, for whatever reason, have chosen to avert their eyes in denial — are not unique to this country; all over the Western world, in the USA, the UK and Europe (and even in places like Russia), organisations based on this radical brand of Islam are growing in strength and prominence, with everything they find disagreeable in their crosshairs.
Clearly, it is not possible to speak for those in other Western countries, although the sentiment probably holds good irrespective of whether we’re talking about Australia, the UK, or somewhere like the Netherlands, which is notorious for rising levels of Islamic violence and social trouble.
The escalation of Australia’s terror threat level is not something done on a whim, or for purely political reasons; indeed, the decision to do so stems from ASIO, not the Abbott government, and Bill Shorten must be given his due for publicly falling into lockstep with Prime Minister Tony Abbott in response (even if some of his less-principled colleagues see it as an opportunity for political point scoring).
And there’s no diplomatic way of saying this, so let’s call a spade a spade: the reason for the change in terror alert, very simply, is due to a threat posed by violent Islamic fundamentalists.
If any of the people involved in these terrorist cells — like Khaled who, of course, is long gone — possess the citizenship by birth or ancestry of any other country, then as far as I am concerned their Australian citizenships must be rescinded.
If they are off fighting overseas, then they will never return; if they continue to dwell on Australian shores, their tenure should be summarily and abruptly terminated, and they should be deported along with their vicious ideas and violent intentions.
There are too many compassion babbling voices peddling bleeding-hearted bullshit about being tolerant of diversity: this isn’t an issue of racial or religious diversity, per se. It is an issue of terrorism, of murder and brutality, of rape and torture and slaughter. Whatever the basis for such monstrosity can and should also form the basis upon which this country rids itself of the threat.
I’m happy for Muslim folk who go about their business peacefully to call Australia home for as long as they are prepared to join our way of life, and provided they do not expect to turn the place into a Sharia society: there is a place for that, and it isn’t here.
But those who revel in death and destruction — indeed, those who “hail war against the West” — have neither the right nor the entitlement to call themselves Australian. They do not belong here and they are not welcome. And by whatever means possible, now Australia faces a heightened risk of terrorist indecency being carried out on home soil, it warrants the removal of those who would perpetrate such horrors from our midst.
*The fourth was a piece opposing the establishment of a dedicated Muslim enclave in Sydney a couple of years ago; all I will say on the subject today — and no, I don’t want a debate on it now — is that most Muslim nations would look very poorly indeed (to put it extremely mildly) at a bunch of white Australians setting up closed enclaves in their own countries, and there’s no more justification for them to do it here as for us to do it there. Enough said.