When a major disturbance occurs in society it sometimes produces out of the woodwork a reference to an event in the distant past which was little known but now adds emphasis to similar current threats to society. The siege in Sydney and the accompanying murder of two individuals by extremist Muslim Monis has indeed brought attention to an incident 100 years ago when two Muslim camel drivers killed four individuals outside Broken Hill in response to a call to jihad issued by the Ottoman Caliphate.
The Sydney siege and murders is subject to an inquiry, due to report by end Jan, which is additional to the normal procedures in a murder case. I have referred to that inquiry in previous commentaries and its terms of reference is on my web site www.ipe.net.au . Since my last commentary on 23 Dec there have been numerous other reports and/or commentaries on the Islamic terrorist threat, not the least being the astonishing report in The Australian on the education of children on beheading in Islamic State. If ever a reason was required for the western response to IS this is surely enough on its own. Yet I have sighted no report of any official denunciation.
The Broken Hill incident is referred to at the start of the article below by expert Islamic analyst, Mark Durie. The article has been republished by the US think tank, Middle East Forum, whose President Daniel Pipes is well known in Australia.
Durie postulates a striking parallel between the Broken Hill and Sydney siege incidents. But the key point made by Durie is that commentary by Australian and overseas sources suggesting that Monis was no more than a lone wolf and a nutter is wide of the mark. Monis was inspired by Islamic belief and its preaching of jihadism.
This is also clear from the second article below from the Daily Telegraph and this article by Professor David Martin Jones, who with Professor M.L.R Smith has just published a book entitled SACRED VIOLENCE Political Religion in a Secular Age.
It is important to recognise that jihadism within Islam is encouraged by the belief that the death of the jihadist as well as the killed is acceptable, indeed desirable. Further, while most Muslims do not accept jihadism, it only takes a small number of believers to inflict violence and killings on the community in general.
Government, business and religious leaders need to condemn Islamic practices and theology which conflict with Western values and, in some cases, to outlaw them. The siege here and activities in other countries send a signal for 2015 – act quickly before the problem deepens.