The Need for Clarity on Terrorism in Australia

This week’s arrest of a number of men who were alleged to have been plotting terrorist attacks against an Australian military base has reminded us afresh of the need for eternal vigilance against Islamist terrorism. And it has also reminded us that political correctness and anti-anti-Islamism is also still alive and well.

During the Cold War those who warned about Marxist aggression were dismissed as panic-mongers, war supporters, and opponents to world peace. Thus there sprang up a whole movement, aided and abetted by much of the mainstream media, known as anti-anti-Communism.

Today we have a very similar situation, in which those who seek to warn against Islamist aggression and jihadist expansionism are accused of being belligerent, racist, Islamophobic, and intolerant. Thus we now have anti-anti-Islamism.

This was fully in evidence when the terrorist plot was uncovered earlier this week. It was clear who the terror suspects were, what their religious and ideological position was, and in whose name they were planning to carry out their attacks.

Yet immediately the forces of PC and anti-anti-Islamism sprung into action, assuring us that this had nothing to do with Islam, and just as there are some bad eggs in Christianity, so too there might be a few bad eggs in the Muslim world.

There is no connection, in other words, between the recent violence the West has experienced, they seek to assure us, and the religion of Islam. Never mind that the overwhelming number of terrorist attacks of the last decade has been Islamic in nature and origin. Indeed, over 10,000 such acts have occurred since the 9/11 attacks.

Three recent opinion pieces pick up on these themes, the most important of which comes from Walid Phares. Phares, who was born in Lebanon, is an expert on international terrorism, and has penned an important 2007 book, Radical Islam: Terror in Its Own Words.

He has just written a column on the Australian arrests, and his words are worth noting. Says Phares, we must be serious about the root causes of this Islamic terrorism. We must ask, and seriously answer, the question: “Why do they hate us?”

He says Western agencies have been good at monitoring the threat, but weak at understanding its nature: “With the exceptions of the first strikes of 2001 in New York, 2004 in Madrid and 2005 in London, police and security teams have been able to stop the plots before they are executed; knock on wood so far. But these law enforcement heroes are operating under the aegis of questionable government strategies, or rather non-strategies, with dramatic consequences.”

Australia, says Phares, “was lucky to have aborted the strike. But more ominous is the bigger picture. Australia, regardless of Somali and Lebanese connections in this particular operation, is on the al Qaeda international list of Kuffar (infidel) countries to be hit; and Canberra must realize that is part of the Jihadi campaign against democracies; even though its current government is dismantling the so-called ‘war on terror,’ linguistically.

“Jihadi ideology and strategies cannot be changed or affected by the wishful thinking of their victims. That is what Washington, London, and the rest of the partners in the so-called ‘overseas contingency operations’ are learning day after day from Waziristan to North Carolina. Australia’s new school of thinking on the confrontation, emulating U.S. and UK ‘new’ doctrines, argues that by not pinpointing the ideology of the threat, it will just go away, or at least it would be sidelined.”

And a major part of our own self-defeating policies is the refusal to call a spade a spade, and acknowledge who the real aggressors are. As I have discussed earlier, Australian authorities are being encouraged to not even use such terms as “Islamic terrorism”:

Phares sees this as a recipe for disaster: “As we saw in Georgia in the U.S., and in Birmingham in the UK, a lexicon banning clear words only contributes to the defeat of democracies. For such wrong analysis is responsible for legitimizing Jihadism in the eyes of indoctrinated youth. Naturally, if Jihadism is not exposed, Jihadi ideologues and cadres can operate freely and in full legitimacy to further recruit.

“Worse, by banning the use of extremely important terms, these medieval-like lexicons terminate the ability of analysts, let alone the public, to detect the ‘threat.’ The West in general, and Australia in particular, will unfortunately continue to experience the catastrophic effects of blurring their own vision, as most seasoned experts in Jihadism believe the plots we have already uncovered are only the beginning.”

Tim Blair also notes the desire to obfuscate issues: “Just like world championship swimmers, who last month in Rome busted almost every swimming record extant – plus the record for fastest time to wreck an entire sport’s credibility – apologists for Islamic terrorism just keep getting quicker and quicker. Time was when you’d have to wait at least a few days following some Islamic terror outrage before the first opinion pieces dodging responsibility or blaming everything on the West would appear. Now they’ve got it down to less than 24 hours. Way less. This week’s police raids on suspected terror plotters in Melbourne began at 4.30am Tuesday and by just after midnight the first mainstream opinion piece offering excuses was online – at the Melbourne Age’s website, of course.

“Maybe they’re wearing swimmer-style go-faster costumes. Or maybe they’ve just gotten faster due to practice. After all, Islamic terror apologists have had a few opportunities to work on their reaction times since September 11, 2001, including the first Bali bombings in 2002 that killed 202, blasts in Morocco in 2003 that killed 41, a suicide attack on Westerners the same year in Riyadh that left 34 dead, the 2004 Madrid train explosions that murdered 191, Beslan’s child hostage outrage in which more than 300 were slaughtered in 2004, an attack on Nigerian Christians that killed 49 the same year, three bombs aimed at Indian Hindus in 2005 that killed 62, another four suicide bombs the same year that murdered 52 in London, a suicide attack on a Karachi wedding in 2006 that killed 55, the bombing of Mumbai trains later that year leaving 200 dead, another 200 killed in a Chad village in 2007, an attempted attack on Glasgow airport that same year, the slaughter of 183 in Mumbai last year….

“So, no shortage of opportunities to learn your lines then. By some counts there have been more than 10,000 incidents of extremist Islamic terrorism since 9/11. Little wonder the turnaround time for evasion publication is plummeting.”

And Andrew Bolt also weighed into this issue, examining how some are looking at the causes of this terrorism as being “not ones buried in Islamic, Lebanese or Somali culture, but in Western failures”. It’s the old blame-the-West-first syndrome.

Says Bolt: “The fact is some religious and ethnic communities are more likely than others to produce terrorists. Or put it this way: some are more receptive to ideologies of hatred and even violence. Check only the Federal Government’s list of proscribed terrorist organisations. All but one of the 17 are Islamist, and the one that isn’t – the PKK – is based in Muslim land.

“Know also this: we have more Buddhists than Muslims in Australia, 419,000 to 340,000 says the latest census. But when did we last have a Buddhist arrested for plotting terrorism? When did a Buddhist last feel obliged to write in The Age that we must fix Burma or Thailand . . . or else? And know this, too: that while there’s always more we can do to help refugees settle in, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees only last February praised us for having ‘one of the best refugee resettlement programs in the world’.

“What’s more, he added: ‘Australia has a proud history of welcoming refugees into the community.’ So if people from one community are particularly prone to reject this country, or even, in a tiny minority of cases, to take up arms against it, where should we first point the finger? At Australia? At the country that helps refugees most? At the country whose other immigrants settle in with a fraction of this strife and angst? Even Somali leaders admit their people are peculiarly susceptible to recruiters for jihad.”

He concludes, “So here’s the dilemma. We do not want to be racist. We do not want to generalise. But it’s also true that we do not want to import individuals in this country who are likely to turn into terrorists or breed them – and there is no way of predicting precisely which one will. All we know is that one faith today seems to inspire a small minority of its followers – especially those from Arab and African countries – to reject their new Western homes and even to kill. And until that burning strand of Islam gutters out, we may be safer to bring in fewer of that faith’s followers, rather than more.”

While many want to play the blame-the-West game, it is reassuring to know that some observers are more level-headed, willing to face up to reality, even if that means a few toes might have to be stepped on along the way. But that might be the price we have to pay to save a few more lives. Maybe many.,21985,25893775-5000117,00.html

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18 Replies to “The Need for Clarity on Terrorism in Australia”

  1. It’s a blindness in our culture. They try to explain people’s behaviour in terms of the environment: employment, poverty, discrimination, grievances. But they avoid like the plague considering the ideology. It’s like trying to understand how a computer behaves by looking at environmental factors and ignoring the software program. Also they don’t want their cherished belief challenged; they think all religions are the same and can’t bear to admit that they are not.
    Tas Walker

  2. Perhaps we should gift copies of “Global Jihad” by Patrick Sookhdeo to mainstream media editors, MP’s, & the AHRC. Hopefully this book would be read diligently with an open mind, although I daresay no amount of well researched and factual material exposing Islam’s inherent agenda of violent Jihadism would penetrate the armour of the paragons of political correctness, driven by blind secular multiculturalism fantasies.

    How many maimed & wounded (let alone dead) Australians can we expect over the next fifty years resulting from Islamic Jihadism? Bali was just the start but if we wake up, Australia may preserve it’s democratic traditions and easy going way of life. We will need truth & leadership, not PC feel-goodism blindfolds to counter evil encapsulated in Islamic Jihadism. Most of all, His people need to engage this enemy in prayer & watch the strongholds tumble down…..the questions is, will His people watch and pray?

    Grant Weedall

  3. No they won’t Grant. Australians are far too easy going for their own good and have their minds switched off. Many Australians are lazy and slothfully happy about their leisures and pleasures. Witness the whole culture of parents who blame teachers instead of addressing their own bad parenting! This is one example of what is wrong with our country.
    Michael Webb

  4. “By their fruit you will recognise them… a bad tree bears bad fruit”
    Four Corners on the ABC last Monday night gave us an insight into Muslim thinking. The murderers were spurred on to commit atrocities by their controllers back in Pakistan encouraging them that they were doing the will of Allah. They seem to be motivated by a theology of salvation by vile deeds; an all embracing desire to carry out their father’s desire. ‘He was a murderer from the beginning’. Yet our political leaders the world over tell us Islam is a religion of peace and love. Who do they think they are kidding?
    It is encouraging that the Herald Sun was prepared to publish Andrew Bolt’s article. “…we do not want to import individuals in this country who are likely to turn into terrorists or breed them… until that burning strand of Islam gutters out, we may be safer to bring in fewer of that faith’s followers, rather than more.” Why import trouble?
    From a anti-anti-anti Islamist
    Des Morris

  5. I wonder if it is a deliberate strategy.

    Consider the logic:

    There is a given proportion of “radical” Muslims. A larger proportion of Muslims are “nominal” (ie moderate) but still loyal to the Islamic identity and closely tied into Islamic community.

    A war on Islam, per se, will create active enemies out of the (currently) passive majority.

    Instead, let’s create the myth of the “moderate Muslim” and try to recreate Islam in Australia by giving the most westernised, most compromised, most “Asutralian” another option.

    It would almost be a good strategy.

    Except that at some point you still need to condemn extreme Islam and you also at some point need moderate Islam to declare a repugnance to extremist Islam and a loyalty to Australian values or law or peace or something.

    I guess until the Australian authoriities are clear and brave enough to “call a spade a spade” and declare extreme Islam as responsible fro it’s atrocities, and until moderate Islam is prepared to condemn the atrocities of extreme Islam everything you say is true.

    Michael Hutton, Ariah Park

  6. Slightly off topic,

    Do you think Greenpeace should be declared a terrorist organisation, or at least economic terrorists?

    A protestor waves plackards outside parliament house.

    Someone breaking into a private facility, tresspassing, sabotaging equipment and disrupting legitimate operations of a legal and economically vital industry is closer to a terrorist.

    I suggest the mentality is the same: ‘I’m above the law because this issue is so important’.

    Just a thought,
    Michael Hutton, Ariah Park

  7. Yes Mr Webb, I fully concur with your comments, fueling my unease about how our apathy & indifference seems to even surpass the Lemmings. I work with a Coptic Egyptian who knows full well the evil workings of a false religion in the name of a false god. He describes Australians as “stupid” allowing peoples who have no intention to assimilate with intent to eventually rename this country – The Islamic Republic of Australia – to live here with the State’s blessing.

    Is our stupidity induced by our loss of fear in the Lord?

    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” -Proverbs 1:7

    Grant Weedall

  8. Hi all.
    It appears that the PC “spin” of protecting the Islamic religion from criticism that Bill speaks of has being whittled away quite substantially even in the past week.

    In the last week, the Victorian Chief Commissioner spoke and wrote openly of terrorism with an Islamic genesis.

    Very significantly also in today’s Age there is an article in the Comment section, written by Adem Somnyurek, one of the Victorian Labor members of the South-East Metropolitan region, who has Turkish ethnicity with at least a Muslim cultural background.

    He spoke of the severe problems Islam has with both the typical imans in Australia. Firstly, those from overseas with some training. Secondly, “self taught lay people who claim the title of Iman”.

    He contrasted these religious leaders with an acquaintance who is a maronite priest, and lamented the huge problems that the Muslim spiritual leaders have in assimilating or understanding the Australian ethos.

    Whilst there are clearly discussions to be had , as Andrew Bolt suggests, in allowing too many people of a Muslim background into our country, it is instructive for us to understand some of the problems people of a Islamic culture will experience here.

    Hopefully those who follow a moderate understanding of Islam can be supported, That will allow the opportunity of bridging gaps with those who do not follw Islam. I don’t believe that a simple total “anti Islam” focus, will achieve the aims of many who promote that.

    David Everard

  9. and just as there are some bad eggs in Christianity, so too there might be a few bad eggs in the Muslim world.

    There is hardly any way to say politely that the people who espouse this guff are idiots.

    Certainly, Christianity has a few bad eggs. Even more than a few. But how many terrorists are Christians?

    Until people can recognise that most of the world’s terrorists are muslims and for religious reasons (even *if* it really is just one interpretation of Islam), we will not be able to eradicate this problem.

    Louise Le Mottee

  10. The very core – Islam teaches a small number of its most devout believers it’s OK to kill in the name of Islam.

    You can see these most devout Muslims doing God’s work on a daily basis.

    Only fools and apologists for Islam refuse to admit the facts.

    Until Islam has a reformation and stops teaching the Islamic philosophy of hate, the training of these killers will continue to plague humanity.

    Those in the non-Muslim world who work to expose Islam for what it is are part of the solution. Those apologists who make excuses for the violence of Islam are as guilty as the jihadists who perpetrate the violence.

    Bob Smith

  11. Bob, you state “Until Islam has a reformation and stops teaching the Islamic philosophy of hate, the training of these killers will continue to plague humanity.”

    Christianity’s reform returned it to it’s basic tenets of forgiveness through God’s grace. If islam were to reform to it’s original tenets, it would become ‘taliban’ all over, as they truly follow the quran and mohammed’s example.

    No, islam needs to change completely, but that would mean it wouldn’t be islam any more.

    John Moller

  12. I agree John. The problem isn’t that Islam needs a reformation, the problem is that it’s had one! In other words, some commentators say there has indeed been a revival of Islamic orthodoxy and this is why we now have Jihadists.

    Ewan McDonald.

  13. John and Ewan are on the mark. Islam has had a back-to-grass-roots reformation which rejects all things Jewish, Christian, from Israel, from the USA, Western, Eastern, modern, feminine, English, logical, European, Spanish, French, Australian, etc.

    Islamists love the culture of death, and, so are, in a warped sense, necrophilic. The desire to kill to attain ‘heavenly sex’ with 70 or more virgins is too strong to ignore or resist for all too many Islamic folk.
    As they are just following in Mohammed’s footsteps, so they see nothing wrong with their actions.

    BTW Muslims don’t need a reformation, they need TRANSFORMATION by the Holy Spirit. [Just as we all do!]
    They need justification by faith and not by works, lest any man should boast.
    Michael Evans

  14. I would like to say to Grant no need to gift “Global Jihad” by Patrick Sookhdeo to mainstream media editors, MP’s, & the AHRC. They will not read it diligently with an open mind.

    You are hoping for too much. Don’t think we can do much about political correctness either or mulitcuturalism. The horse has already bolted.

    My strong belief is that we cannot be fanatical about these things. We need to get a life! I have and suggest you do the same.

    John Davidson

  15. Thanks John

    But your last sentence especially is quite unclear to me. Just what are you suggesting? If you are saying that we should not get too worked up about very real threats which we face, I strongly disagree. Am I to just ignore the drug dealer or rapist who stands outside my door, wanting access to my kids? Were we being “fanatical” about warning of the dangers of the Nazis or the Marxists? Sorry, but if real dangers exist, we have every obligation to sound the alarm. Whether this falls of deaf ears or not is beside the point.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  16. The church in Oz is dead. Allow the muslims in to wake us up and we can evangelise them. They won’t let us in to their countries so let us show them an alternative here in our culture. Turn a negative into a positive. They’re here to stay so lets make friends with them. What would Jesus do? Hate them or love them? Does God recognize borders and countries? Aren’t they all man made anyway?
    jamie quilliam

  17. Thanks Jamie

    Yes and no would be my response. As long as God exists, he will build his church. As to Islam in Australia, it is both a threat and an opportunity, depending on how we respond. Yes we can easily use this chance to evangelise Muslims while they are in the West. But are we? In the meantime, they are busily evangelising us. So we need to get our act together here.

    As to nations, God is also interested in them, as he is individuals, as the Bible makes clear. So we should not be too cavalier about what God is doing in and through the nations.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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