ISIL operative Zaky Mallah accuses the Government of pushing young Muslims to join ISIS in fiery Q&A exchange.
Zaky Mallah’s claim that Muslim Australians who disagree with Liberal Party politicians are “justified” in joining Islamic State prompted an apology live on air from Q&A host Tony Jones.
Watch from the 42th minute onward if you want to see what a radicalised Muslim really thinks. Our very own Zaky Mallah was given a podium on the ABC’s Q&A last night, and he seized the moment with gusto.
The lead up is important, and watch to the end.
The ABC took it off. Here’s Andrew Bolt’s take:
Ciobo wins on security laws. But why did Q&A give extremist Mallah a platform?
Fine work from parliamentary secretary Steve Ciobo, who was confronted on Q&A by an angry Zaky Mallah, who had pleaded guilty to threatening to kill ASIO officials but was found not guilty of preparing a suicide attack on a Commonwealth building:
“As the first man in Australia to be charged with terrorism under the harsh Liberal Howard government in 2003…. What would have happened if my case had been decided by the minister himself and not the courts?” [Mallah asked]
“From memory, I thought you were acquitted on a technicality rather than it being on the basis of a substantial finding of fact,” Mr Ciobo replied.
“My understanding of your case was that you were acquitted because at that point in time the laws weren’t retrospective.
“But I’m happy to look you straight in the eye and say that I’d be pleased to be part of the Government that would say that you were out of the country.
“I would sleep very soundly at night with that point of view.”
The response provoked murmurs from the studio audience and an angry reaction from Mr Mallah, who said it was Mr Ciobo who should leave the country for having such views.
“The difference is, I haven’t threatened to kill anybody,” Mr Ciobo said.
I don’t think Mallah is half as repentant as he claimed, given this:
”The Liberals have just justified to many Australian Muslims in the community tonight to leave and go to Syria and join ISIL because of Ministers like him,” Mallah said referring to [Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Steve] Ciobo …
And he later tweeted:
I would pay to see that Minister dumped on ISIS territory in Iraq.
A bonus point to Ciobo, then.
Note: part of the Q&A audience actually clapped Mallah. From where does the ABC get such people? From where did it get Mallah, and why give him a platform?
The ABC should not pretend to be shocked that Mallah said what he did when it invited him to speak. He’s said it all before.
From Mallah just two years ago, talking of his desire to die in Syria for the Free Syrian Army.
‘’I wouldn’t mind being granted martyrdom,’’ he said…
‘’Who’s to blame for Syria being a jihadi battleground? The international community has done nothing to prevent the atrocities against the Syrian people,’’ he said, adding that he returned from Syria [in 2012] feeling ‘’very pissed off at the whole world’’.
At a loss after countless job knock-backs, Zaky Mallah, who was acquitted of terrorism charges in 2005, emailed Fairfax Media explaining his desperate situation and saying “might as well bloody join ISIS lol. They have work! And good money!”.
The line was a joke, he later said, but it wasn’t for others in his situation…
“That is why many Muslims in the Islamic community are leaving Australia and heading to Syria… and turn to fighting. What is the point of living here?”
“Now, I am a big believer in the Muslim caliphate [being] established, after the Ottoman empire, however I don’t believe that the caliphate of ISIS is a legitimate one.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamic political party, also supports the establishment of a caliphate … [and] refused to condemn the actions of Islamic State.
But Mr Mallah says the Government, by seeking to designate Hizb ut-Tahrir a terrorist group, is shooting itself in the foot.
“A lot of these youth look up to Hizb ut-Tahrir as a way to say, ‘look, we don’t have to go overseas and join ISIS, we can call for the establishment of the caliphate from Australia’. Not that we want one here, but at least we can join a party that has those same views … and call for a caliphate while living in peace in Australia.”
“But when we do that, the Government cracks down and says, ‘we want to ban this and label it a terrorist organisation’. That further subjugates, isolates, segregates many of us in the Muslim community.
“I believe Hizb ut-Tahrir is the last line of defence [to stop] many of these youths who want to travel overseas to join ISIS.”
Why did Q&A give this man a platform and applauding audience? Why did it endanger the safety of Australians by so encouraging jihadism?
The kind of person the ABC invites onto Q&A to argue his case:
As you can see from the above, Mallah said nothing on Q&A he hasn’t said before. So it should have come as no shock to the ABC that he would repeat himself on national television, this time with the added status of having had the ABC invite him.
So the ABC’s apology this morning should be treated with great scepticism:
ABC Television Director Richard Finlayson said in a statement today:
“In attempting to explore important issues about the rights of citizens and the role of the Government in fighting terrorism, the Q&A program made an error in judgment in allowing Zaky Mallah to join the audience and ask a question.
“Mr Mallah has been interviewed by the Australian media on a number of occasions. The environment of a live television broadcast, however, meant it would not be possible for editorial review of the comments he might make prior to broadcast, particularly if he engaged in debate beyond his prepared question…
“As has been the case in the past on Q&A, circumstances will happen that are not anticipated. The critical question is whether risks could have been managed and the right editorial judgments made in advance.
“The circumstances of Mr Mallah’s appearance will be reviewed by the ABC.”
How could the ABC claim that what Mallah said was “not anticipated” when he’s said it often before? And when similar sentiments led to his arrest – the very thing that had the ABC invite him to speak?
No, the ABC needs to be far more honest about what happened. Names must be named.
How repentant is the ABC? Check out how it spins the confrontation – portraying Mallah as innocent when he’d in fact pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a Commonwealth official:
Liberal backbencher Alex Hawke told Fairfax Media it was not the first time the ABC had provided a platform for extremist views on the program.
“It’s almost as if the ABC is engaged in some form of sedition,” he said.
“They have utterly no regard for what they are doing on this show and the people who will suffer the most is the moderate Islamic community in Australia,” he said.
“If you’re going to get someone to say the citizenship laws are questionable and invalid but why would you pick someone who has threatened to kill Commonwealth officials?”
Fellow Sydney MP Craig Kelly joined in the criticism and said the taxpayer-funded national broadcaster had allowed itself to become a “mouthpiece” for “terrorist recruitment”.
“He was obviously planted in the audience as a ‘gotcha’ moment,” he said.
“Q&A is a program that’s tilted to the left but when they push the envelope and tilt towards a terrorist recruitment advertisement – that’s just a bridge too far.”
ACT Senator Zed Seselja said: “We are used to Q&A being stacked with a left wing audience.
“I suppose they have taken it to a new level by giving a platform to a convicted criminal who is still preaching hatred and giving him applause on the way through.”
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull accuses the ABC of making a “very grave error of judgement” in having on Mallah and endangering public safety.
Says he’s spoken to host Tony Jones and ABC managing director Mark Scott, and communicated with chairman James Spigelman.
“There was clearly awareness on the party of Q&A who he was … and what he might say.”
Said he was actually worried about the physical security of the audience, which strikes me as a bit extreme. My worry is more the message this sends: that extremists get status in the media.
The judge who sentenced Mallah to two years jail had words for the irresponsibility of media outlets just like Q&A:
10 – He acquired a Sterling .22 rifle and about 100 rounds of ammunition, on 27 September 2003.
11 – Police became aware of this purchase and naturally were concerned at this development. As a result, a search warrant was executed at his home on 28 September. The rifle and ammunition were found along with a number of documents, including a handwritten will, a printed document “How can I prepare myself for Jihad”.
13 – It is evident that he was beginning to enjoy, if not to crave the media attention, which was providing him with an interest or cause in an otherwise unfulfilling or empty life…
17 – The Prisoner made the threats to kill officers of ASIO or DFAT, in the course of a siege, which he said he had planned at the building of one or other of those agencies.
18 – The “plan” as recounted by him involved the surveillance of the building, after which he would make an entry armed with a weapon, hold its occupants hostage and shoot some of them…
33 – It does seem to me to have been regrettable that some sections of the media took up the Prisoner as a person of interest, and gave him an entirely underserved and unnecessary exposure…
37 Furthermore, placing a person such as the Prisoner into the public spotlight is not only likely to encourage him to embark on even more outrageous and extravagant behaviour but, perhaps more importantly, it risks unnecessarily heightening the existing public concerns about terrorist activity as well as encouraging or fanning divisive and discriminatory views among some members of the community.