…before they deal with us.
Oz PM Malcolm Turnbull: “it was a truck attack.”
Chris Kenny@ The Australian December 24, 2016:
Terrorism: we must fight Islamic extremism, not trucks
“As you know,” Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday after at least a dozen people were killed in Berlin, “this was a truck attack.”
Damn those trucks.
“This appears to be a similar type of attack to that in Nice earlier in the year,” the Prime Minister continued. The following night at Adelaide Oval, temporary concrete barriers were in place to keep trucks at bay. Around the world, media reported on “lorry” and “truck” attacks. The BBC asked: “What solutions are there to the threat of truck attacks?” Plans were announced for barricades at shopping malls.
Metal detectors at airports, bollards at shopping centres and fences to keep people off the grass at Parliament House: authorities are going to great lengths to keep us safe. They ban seven-shot Adler shotguns, prevent us from taking liquids or cutlery on to planes and search our bags at sporting events.
From nail files to aerosols, it is hard to remember what we can take where. And now they’ll block B-doubles from stadiums.
But these wars on trucks and bottles are never-ending. They are battles that can never be won. If lunatics are prepared to kill themselves to kill strangers, there can be no stopping them. In Israel, terrorists drive cars into bus stops and set fire to bushland. They’ve flown planes into buildings, driven trucks into crowds and used guns, bombs, knives and axes. Think of our bushfire vulnerability, petrol tankers on our roads or ferries on our waterways; the number of soft targets and sickening plots is limited only by the evil imaginations willing to conceive and carry them out. Unless we all live in bunkers the increased security is ultimately futile without frankly addressing and tackling the actual threat — Islamist extremism.
Many political leaders, some security agencies and much of the media are too timid to even discuss the ideology that wishes us ill. They prefer to talk about methods or weapons. Hosting a global summit on the threat last year, Barack Obama talked about “countering violent extremism”.
Don’t mention the religion. Avert your eyes from the inspiration. This column has called out jihad denialism for years but, as the atrocities mount, this determination to look the other way only seems to become more entrenched. When a Muslim extremist invoked Islamic State and took people hostage in a city cafe, journalists and activists tried to redefine it as a mental health episode. When a teenager walked from a Parramatta mosque and shot a stranger dead while yelling “Allahu akbar”, the police said, hours later, there was nothing to suggest terrorism.
Even ASIO head Duncan Lewis pussyfooted around the motivation. “I don’t buy the notion the issue of Islamic extremism is in some way fostered or sponsored or supported by the Muslim religion,” he said. He called politicians to ask they refrain from linking Islamism and terrorism.
When a gunman invoked Islamic State and slaughtered 49 people in a Florida nightclub, journalists and politicians preferred to label it a gay hate crime. When British soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death in London, and his attackers shouted to onlookers about Allah, sharia and the Koran, media around the world ignored the Islamist motivation.
It is difficult for most of us to comprehend this determination to deny or play down how Islamist extremism foments these attacks. Do people believe if we ignore the jihadists they will go away?
For the media/political class the threat seems too difficult to confront — challenging their faith in multiculturalism and undercutting their preferred cultural relativism. Rather than contest the extremists’ propaganda — where they cite grievances such as Western imperialism, US military actions, the Palestinian issue or so-called Islamophobia in Western countries — we constantly hear politicians and journalists reaffirming this victim status. They suggest that even to identify the Islamist motivation in terrorist acts might compound the victimhood of all Muslims.
This is cultural cowardice. This is delusion. This is surrender.
We saw it again yesterday. Rather than condemn the ideology inspiring yet another group of Australians planning to slaughter fellow citizens, some pretended it away. “What was being planned was not an act of faith, was not an act of religious observance,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said, “it was instead, in its planning, an act of evil, a criminal act.” Yes, Premier. But as much as we abhor it or wish it weren’t so, this was inspired by warped religious beliefs. This was “Islamist terrorism”, as Turnbull bluntly expressed it.
We understand the need to avoid demeaning or alienating Muslim Australians but it is patronising to consider they are not acutely aware of the extremist elements of their own faith and the dangers inherent in them. We should not insult Muslim Australians by implying we can’t all join the discussion about how to combat Islamist extremism.
It is not public debate that creates angst for Muslim Australians; it is the Islamist extremists who use violence to undermine our pluralistic, tolerant, liberal and democratic society. Yet the media/political class responds with self-loathing absurdity.
While a dozen innocents were held hostage at the barrel of a terrorist’s gun (two would be killed) the virtue-signallers were tweeting “I’ll ride with you” to express solidarity with Muslims because someone had fabricated a “fake news” story about harassment on public transport. And while the police were paralysed about whether to launch an assault against the Martin Place gunman, they launched an operation to protect Muslims against this imaginary backlash.
We live in an era where human rights activists used section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to try to censure and censor Bill Leak over his attempt to shine light on to indigenous community dysfunction, yet they turn a blind eye to Muslim protesters brandishing signs saying “Behead those who insult the prophet”. Instead of railing against women forced to wear burkas, progressive feminists don fashionable hijabs to normalise the garb.
The media/political class is horrified that Pauline Hanson and the Australian Liberty Alliance start an open debate about their hardline call for a moratorium on Muslim migration. Yet they ignore the activism of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a fundamentalist political organisation, banned in some countries, that is committed to sharia law, undermining liberalism and restoring the caliphate.
Across the Western world we display a lack of confidence in our civilisation, an unwillingness to profess and defend the superiority of the liberal, democratic, sovereign state. The green Left is intent on submitting to a supranational world where tolerance involves disregarding borders and accepting all cultures as equal, even if they aspire to medieval theocracy.
From The New York Times to Prince Charles, we get lectures that the real problem is the potential rise of prejudice against Muslims. No, the core problem is the virulent Islamist extremism that seeks to subjugate all Muslims and offer the rest of us a binary choice between conversion or death.
We need vigilance, security and vehicle barriers, sure. But ultimately we must expose and defeat this ideology. We can have no truck with Islamist extremism.