Michael Roberts, presenting an item drafted on 22 September and circulated to Australian news agencies without receiving any takers; but drawing a pertinent response from an Aussie cricket buff with political interests — one which indicated that my NOTE was shallow and inadequate because it did not recognise the degree of hostility to the secular state and its institutions that resided within the thinking of the Islamic jihadist extremists, something that was not integral to either Serbian, Croatian, Sinhalese or Tamil extremists who got at each other’s throats. This note is presented below under the pseudonym Ibn Wirriq.
When some Australian Islamic extremists developed intentions of beheading a random Australian victim in the heart of an Australian city, they were not only affirming their faith in a symbol of militant Islam on the march, viz., the scimitar, but also pursuing a blitzkrieg upon the ‘Western mind’. The thought of beheading by sword arouses primeval fears in the West. Most people residing in the West today have moved beyond the era not so long ago in the 19th century-and-before when the guillotine, beheading by axe and hanging were standard forms of state punishment in their own heartlands. Today, moral revulsion is expressed at such a form of execution.
ISIS, the new spearhead of political Islam in the Middle East, capitalised on this thinking in choosing to execute Jim Foley, Steven Sotolof and David Haines by knife or sword. As they desired, many public voices in the West reacted with horror and called this form of killing “barbaric.” When the Australian state authorities picked up extremist Islamic chatter within Australia which indicated plans directed towards a number of public acts of “terrorism,” including a bomb attack and a beheading of a random victim, they immediately launched a series of raids in Sydney and Brisbane on extremists whom they had been monitoring.
These raids and arrests occurred on 17th-19th September and the Australian media, whether radio, TV or print, has been whipping itself into frenzy about these events. We can speak of a media tsunami. The “barbaric” intentions have aroused great anxiety. The media tsunami is continuing its surges.
Contrast the media coverage when two Sinhalese students in Westmead in Sydney were subject to an acid attack by a handful of Tamil extremists on 17th May 2009 in the aftermath of a Sri Lankan Tamil protest demonstration as the LTTE slid to final defeat in Sri Lanka. Watawala and Weerasinghe were “splashed with acid, suffering severe burns;” while “one of the victims [Weerasinghe] was stabbed in the stomach and broke his ankle.” This was a racist ethno-nationalist assault, a symbolic statement by ardent young Tamils seeking to terrorise Sinhalese in Sydney. Amalathepan Srikantharajah of Girraween, a 25 year-old Sri Lankan Tamil and a son of a restaurant proprietor, was identified as one of the “principal offenders” and was charged and found guilty.
So the law was not tardy here.
However, the media reports were mere run-of-the-mill accounts. There was no media storm. It was just a squall. Well, not even that. This is not surprising. It is not merely a case of acid burn versus sword beheading. The difference lies in the WHAT of target and the WHOM of assailant. Local ethnic squabbles between, say, Serbs and Croatians (as in the 1990s), or Sinhalese and Tamil migrants, are seen as law and order issues at the margins of Australian society — marginal in demographic implications as well as symbolic terms. But the slightest threat from Islamic activists within today’s world dispensation is a TERROR aimed at “Us”, Australia writ large.
A media headline captured this dimension quite sharply: “Terror Australis” it yelled. The core of Australian society is deemed at risk, that is, White ‘Christian’ Australia. “We” Australians are not threatened by the terror unleashed on marginal ethnic communities by other marginal ethnics to the same degree as the terrorising plots of marginalised Islamic extremists seeking to pierce the heart of White Australia.
The scimitar symbol of proselytizing militant Islam on the march compounds the fear. Contemplating acts of beheading arouses primeval fears and surging waves of concern that squabbles and acid-attacks among tiny bodies of ethnic migrants simply cannot match.
The Australian media serves as a barometer that both orchestrates and marks this difference.
22 September …………..Dear Michael,
Thanks for those recent items on the sword and the acid. As I see it, the media does not feature much on any Tamil terrorism of the past or even now because firstly, the scale of its extent is “minimal” and it is not occurring as the result of numerous directives issued to all Muslims as found in the Koran and other Islamic texts. And Tamils don’t specifically target Jews, Christians, Infidels and Atheist and others for discrimination and lethal violence. I’ve certainly written my share of letters to the editor on Islamic violence and its potential consequences.[particularly to several Australian news editors]. It’s that which does make most Australian suspicious of Muslims in general and very wary of Islamic ideology.
While those discriminatory and lethal verses remain as part of Islamic indoctrination, nothing will really change for the better, in fact it will get worse as the numbers of those prone to violence will increase along with their general population in all Western nations. Levels of education don’t seem to make any difference to those who join jihad from Western nations either and those born there as nationals as well as converts, seem equally prone to jihad.
As for Islamic terror being directed to “white” Christian” Australians only, this is a misnomer. It is directed at all members of secular Australian society, which to some extent, is viewed as “sus” by some areas of our Christian population who see secularism as almost as great a threat to their form of monotheism as Islam does. That’s why most Christian clergy of whatever denomination stay relatively silent about the Islamist threat and won’t ever comment or criticize the violent aspect of Islamic doctrine. The way things are going here and in Europe especially, as the Islamic population increases, [as seen as a form of invasive foreign ideological penetration it has no answer to] either by the next century, Islam may prevail or the most horrendous violence will occur in our societies in a last ditch attempt to prevent it. It won’t be the smokescreen of Islamophobia motivating them but Islamoreality.
As for the lethal violence between Muslims themselves, because of the Sunni-Shi’a divide everywhere, who knows what that will eventually escalate to?
Troubled times lie ahead for many generations to come.