The killing by police of a Muslim youth (an Afghan), after he had stabbed two policemen (one seriously injured) outside a police station, has again led to nonsensical claims by our leading political and police spokesmen that “religion” is not involved. Yet ABC news and 7.30 report featured interviews with leaders of Islamic groups and the existence of prayer shop where the killed man had lived, described as being operated by a radical Islamic group operating in Australia but not previously mentioned publicly as far as I am aware. His passport had been confiscated and a police spokesman indicated that they had been keeping a close watch on him for some months. A report that he was seeking details of Abbott’s overseas visit certainly justified such a watch, if not arrest.
Who do our spokesmen think they are fooling? At the very least they should acknowledge publicly that some interpretations of the Muslim religion are providing justification for violent behaviour.
This would contradict claims by some of the Islamic leaders that, as none of the mosques preach violence, they are not aware of why some become violent. But the availability of radicalism either from preaching or from the web or from examples of behaviour overseas needs to brought into the open. Openness is not only best practice in revealing the inherent depth of Islam but it would also help respond to the claims that IS has occurred because of previous mistaken policies by the US and others in the Middle East (see article below by Greg Sheridan).
The report that the proposed new counter-terror legislation will outlaw advocacy of a terrorist act may help here, if it is passed. Despite claims of bipartisanship there are already signs that Labor is seeking to “soften” the draft before Parliament.
Coincidentally, the US start of air strikes in Syria (with a weak legal justification) has been accompanied by a statement by Obama indicating that the US has suddenly discovered a new al Quaeda type group, Khorasan, planning to attack the US itself and, according to a report by CNN, “potentially involv[ed]ing a bomb made of a non metallic device like a toothpaste container or clothes dipped in explosive material” (see CNN report below). Whatever the extent of this threat, it may be sufficient to persuade Obama to do another back-flip and recognise that the terrorist threat is real. As I have previously mentioned, the smuggled-in big bomb is the most serious terrorist threat.
However, as indicated by the “Confederacy of Dunces” article below, a lot of back-flipping will be necessary on the terrorism danger not only by Obama but by a number of senior members of his administration. The author, Victor Davis Hanson, who is a first class analyst of the US political scene, has spoken at a conference in Australia.