Dad walks nine miles from his home to Manchester Arena wearing placard calling for deportation of ‘all known ISIS supporters’
AN angry dad has marched from his home to the Manchester Arena wearing a placard calling for the Government to “deport all known ISIS supporters”.
Steve Dent walked nine miles from his house in Radcliffe – hometown of John Atkinson, who died last week at the event lived – to the concert venue on Friday.
It read: “Walking to the Manchester Arena in support of those children that died and injured.
“I am walking to the arena to demand that our government take the British people seriously and make us there first priority.
“1: Deport all known ISIS supporters.”
Steve Dent decided to march after feeling ‘helpless’ in the wake of the atrocity that claimed victim from his hometown of Radcliffe
Keep calm and carry on? Not this time. Keeping calm has promoted a comatose citizenry. Light a candle or tweet a hashtag, talk of unity, love and strength. Gather at a vigil, then go home. Don’t ask hard questions about why Islamic terrorists are able to keep murdering us. Love did not save the lives of eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos or 18-year-old Georgina Callander. Unity did not save the lives of the two mothers waiting in the foyer of the concert hall for their daughters or teenage sweethearts, Chloe Rutherford and Liam Curry.
And unity around what exactly? Too many in the West refuse to unite behind the most basic moral clarity about Islamic terrorism. This week, of all weeks, our public broadcaster made light of Islamic terrorism, invited on to its television shows commentators who mocked terrorism and who told us not to jump to conclusions about terrorism. The ABC’s own journalists struggle to mention the Islam element. Our politicians talk about terrorists as marginalised and vulnerable, as if we are to blame for the murders of young children in Manchester. Keep calm about these useful idiots? Not a chance.
In Riyadh this week, US President Donald Trump reminded more than 50 Arab Muslim leaders that “the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them … A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists.”
“Drive. Them. Out,” he said. “Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land and drive them out of this earth.”
Trump offered up the kind of moral clarity that drove the West to defeat Nazis and Soviet communists. What has happened to us in the interim? Paralysed by political correctness, we walk on eggshells so as not to offend. Ask hard questions about immigration? You’re a racist. Talk about Islam and terrorism? You’re an Islamophobe. Keep calm and stay quiet? Not any more. It’s time to get angry.
Examining the causes of terrorism without reference to Islam, the Prophet and the Koran is as intellectually vacuous as looking at the causes of World War II without reference to Nazism, Hitler and Mein Kampf. It’s no coincidence that those who are angry are making the most penetrating observations. Morrissey, the former lead singer of the Smiths, was angry when he posted this: “Sadiq Khan (London’s mayor) says ‘London is united with Manchester’, but he does not condemn Islamic State — who have claimed responsibility for the bomb … Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an ‘extremist’. An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?”
Brendan O’Neill from Spiked is angry, too: “The terrorist seeks to weaken our resolve, the powers-that-be want to sedate our emotions, retire our anger, reduce us to wet-eyed performers in their post-terror play. It’s a dual assault on the individual and society.”
British commentator Piers Morgan funnelled his anger into more questions that demand answers. The bomber, Salman Abedi, was someone’s son, friend, brother and neighbour. His behaviour changed in recent times. He grew a beard, wore Islamic garb, dropped out of university and retreated from his youthful drinking days. Mohammed Saeed El-Saeiti, a local Manchester imam recalls seeing “the face of hate” on Abedi after a sermon against Islamic State. Abedi’s cousin said Abedi’s parents were concerned their son was turning to violence. “We knew he was going to cause trouble. You could see that something was going to happen, sooner or later,” said the cousin. A family friend told The Times that Abedi had been “radicalised by mosques in south Manchester; there are many people who are suspicious about him”.
Who raised an alarm? Rather than staying calm and carrying on as usual, it’s time to ask Muslim communities to step up some more.
At the Albert Square vigil after Monday’s atrocity, Tony Walsh recited his poem: “This is the place that has helped shape the world, And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride.” That’s nice. But the Manchester suburb is better known as the home of Islamic bombers, Islamic State recruiters and jihadists than the home of a suffragette. Another 16 convicted or dead terrorists lived within 4km of Pankhurst’s birthplace.
Keeping calm and carrying on encourages more sweet-nothings. Where and when will the next terrorist attack happen? In Australia?
Our hardworking security agencies have foiled 12 imminent attacks since September 2014 when Australia’s national terrorism alert level was raised to “probable”. Twelve. In less than three years. This week NSW Coroner Michael Barnes revealed how our immigration system, court system and senior policing policies failed us when Man Haron Monis took hostages in the Lindt cafe, holding them for 17 hours culminating in the death of two beautiful people, Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson. The coroner found that Monis wasn’t mad. Monis murdered in the name of Islamic State.
Keep calm and carry on? No. Not again. Evil triumphs when good men and women do nothing more than offer up platitudes, light candles, post hashtags and recite poems.
First Islamic terrorists chose to kill Jews in their homeland and beyond. Then they murdered Americans working in New York’s tall buildings. They murdered people travelling on London trains and buses, too, then French journalists and cartoonists.
Islamic terrorists struck Paris again, slaughtering people at a rock concert and in nearby restaurants. Islamic terrorists blew up people at an airport and a train station in Brussels and drove into people strolling along Nice’s promenade, people walking along London’s Westminster Bridge. A Copenhagen street, the Boston Marathon, a Sydney cafe, Berlin’s Christmas markets, a pedestrian mall in Stockholm, Christians, Yazidis and Muslims across the Middle East. Thousands slaughtered by Islamic terrorists with no borders, physical or moral.
On Monday, Islamic terrorists murdered children in Manchester. One image sticks. A little girl with a headband, the kind little girls like. Her leather jacket makes her look older than her tender years. Her eyes are glazed, wide with shock. She’s hand-in-hand with a woman, hopefully her mum.
One voice sticks, too. The raw agony of another mum ringing CNN pleading to hear from her 15-year-old daughter, Olivia, who went to the Ariana Grande concert but hasn’t been seen since. Olivia, along with 21 other children, teenagers, young people and parents, has been murdered by a 22-year-old Islamic terrorist.
Where does this end? How? When? It being Britain, many are saying “keep calm and carry on”. Politicians reach for a formula of pacifying words every time Islamic terrorism strikes. We are united. Terrorists will be defeated. Love conquers hate. Freedom stands up for itself, our own Prime Minister once said.