Islamic State – The Bogeyman Haunting The Lindt Chocolat Café

December 19, 2014 by David Singer
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The joint press conference given by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 16 December after the siege at the Lindt Chocolate café in Martin Place had finally ended – was particularly noteworthy for certain viewpoints expressed by Mr Abbott during that conference…writes David Singer.

The Prime Minister – flanked by NSW Premier Mike Baird, Commissioner Colvin of the Federal Australian Police and Deputy Commissioner Burn of the New South Wales Police – made the following statement:

“It is pretty obvious that the perpetrator was a deeply disturbed individual, a long history of crime, a long history of mental instability and infatuation with extremism. It’s interesting that the ISIL death cult seems to attract people like that. I refuse to use the term Islamic State and I would strongly caution anyone, anywhere, from using that term, because that exults a movement which has nothing to do with any real religion and is a travesty of a true and just state. It is very wrong to identify the death cult that the individual concerned tried to associate himself with; it is very wrong to identify that death cult with any community or with any faith. The phrase that I like to refer to, uttered by my friend, Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia, of the ISIL death cult: it’s against God, it’s against religion, it’s against humanity.”

The Prime Minister’s description of the perpetrator – self-styled Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis – failed to mention his involvement – with his partner Amirah Droudis – in a long running legal battle defending charges arising from letters sent in 2007 to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Their cases and appeals have so far progressed through eight separate court hearings and appeals in which Monis and Droudis were separately represented by two different legal teams.

Funded at enormous public expense by Australian taxpayers – the matter first reached the High Court in 2012 leaving the High Court’s six judges who heard their case split neatly down the middle 3-3.

At this High Court hearing three QC’s, Five Senior Counsel, and 10 Junior Counsel appeared for Monis and Droudis the Queen and the State of New South Wales – with the Commonwealth, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland intervening .

The latest hearing – a second Application for removal of all the proceedings to the High Court – was heard on 12 December 2014 by the High Court – comprising his Honour Chief Justice French and his Honour Justice Gageler – who refused the applications.

The matters are listed for mention in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal again on 12 February 2015.

The opinions of these legal teams regarding Monis’s alleged mental instability and ability to give instructions and comprehend what he was being told could prove most enlightening.

The Prime Minister’s comments exhorting people not to mention the term “Islamic State” fly in the face of the unpleasant reality that has developed since Islamic State and the restoration of the Caliphate were formally declared in June and has since reportedly attracted 80 recruits to its ranks from Australia.

Prime Minister Abbott’s attempt to downplay the threat to world peace and security constituted by the actions of Islamic State – as endorsed by the UN Security Council in Resolutions 2170 and 2178 – constitute a serious error of judgement.

Mr Abbott’s ”death cult” views were first expressed in September this year.

At pains to “de-islamize” the Martin Place siege – the Prime Minister stated at his joint press conference:

“We are a very united society. Yes, we have amongst us a few deranged individuals who may choose to try to wrap their psychoses in a political ideology. But the point I keep making is that the ISIL death cult has nothing to do with any religion, any real religion. It has nothing to do with any particular community. It is something to which sick individuals succumb and sick individuals exist in all communities and in all societies. This idea that ISIL is somehow spawned by any particular religion, frankly it’s probably even less true than saying that Catholicism spawned the IRA. They’re just completely separate things.”

Islam was clearly visible at the Lindt Chocolat café when Monis forced hostages to hold up a black flag that declared in Arabic script:

“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

“Islamic State” was also certainly at the forefront of his thinking.

In a video – shot while the siege was ongoing and posted to Facebook – Westpac executive and fitness business owner Marcia Mikhael relayed three requests by Monis including:

“One is for him to get an IS flag and he will release one hostage.”

New York Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter Terrorism – John Miller – had no reticence in stating that the Martin Place siege had the hallmarks of Islamic State orders – telling the Daily Telegraph on December 16:

“You have to go back to September when ISIS put out the call through its official spokesman for people to attack in their own countries with what they have at hand.”

Viewing Islamic State as purely a death cult and not a well-armed and run State already occupying an area larger than England denies the reality of what this group poses.

The bogeyman in the Lindt Chocolat café won’t go away because Australia’s Prime Minister wants to put the term “Islamic State” out of sight and out of mind.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

 

 

 

Comments

8 Responses to “Islamic State – The Bogeyman Haunting The Lindt Chocolat Café”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    You’re right in regard to the Prime Minister’s words you quote, David. It’s an over-kill by him in his efforts to keep things stable in the Australian communities. A complete over-kill, as well as stupid to refuse to use the IS title. He’s obviously not a man of subtlety! or of vision or commonsense. Thereby lies the reason behind his words, I think. I don’t say that tongue in cheek; I’m not an admirer of Abbott or the Coalition in general.

  2. Otto Waldmann says:

    Realistically, no one could possibly argue that, of all people in Australia, the PM does not know that the entire Martin Place tragedy can only be associated with Islam. The public statement was made precisely in order that the public does not resort to its own means of addressing the obvious menace in an uncontrolled ( by official institutions, of course ) manner, an obvious allusion to the “Cronulla Beach Syndrome”. By the same token , the same provisions are in relation to how the “other side”, the known (!!!!) unmanageable cohorts of islamic suburbs in Sydney alone would react. We have had in Sydney regular “samples” of the nature of pernicious cohesion demonstrated by the islamic contingents in our civil (sic) society. Consider the blocking of the CBD days on end when Israel was the “cause” or the most savage display by any group in the heart of Sydney on the occasion of some film being produced and NOT shown here allegedly offensive to the islamic crede.
    Tony Abbott has been doing what he understands a national leader is supposed to do, control the demographics in the face of imminent massive disorder, the type our own Government(s), State and Fed. cannot control if exploding as in so many other places. This also must imply that OTHER means at work dealing with the well known destabilising islamic presence in Australia.
    To this effect other statements made by Abbott in relation to a host of problems evinced by the Martin Place event should persuade the “nonbeliever” that drastic measures are afoot in sorting out the cracks through which such drama did occur.
    In cases of this nature crystal clear disclosures cannot be expected and slightly deceiving statements are quite in order.
    The issue of mental instability may be extended in as far as associating almost any manifestation of antidemocratic nature seen at any section of the muslim population in our midst as, practically INSANE as such action would counteract our fundamental , civilised, democratic tenets. Such actions, as many of the statements and “educational” activities typical of the islamic fold which encourage a distancing from our values, could be easily classified in regular terms as “abnormal”.
    It would be fair to expect that all formal institutions charged with safeguarding or society would be critically aware of actions generating by the muslim community capable to destabilise to any degree our social harmony.
    Conclusion: Tony Abbott’s above quoted statement MAY NOT be taken at face value !!!!

    ( However, David Singer is always right, but me more so. Don’t know about the others, mainly the ladies in …question )

  3. Liat Nagar says:

    David, I too found it frustrating, and consider it dangerous, that the Prime Minister and many other spokespeople from different organisations focussed on an individual’s mental instability and veered away from the importance of Islam and the Islamic State in the scheme of things. However, I would guess that it was done with the safety of Muslim Australians in mind, as prior incidents such as police raids on purported Islamic fuelled activists cum terrorists in Sydney and Brisbane had resulted in abuse of Muslim women in particular going about their daily business. So, it is necessary to attempt to nip this in the bud.

    That said, it’s more than important to say it how it actually is and not end in whitewashing the origins of an event as dire and tragic as the Martin Place siege turned out to be. If people really think about the emphasis on ‘mental instability’, which most probably won’t, it’s probable that most involved with IS or ISIS are mentally unstable anyway – it’s not exactly normal behaviour to behead human beings with ease or be on a mission with the particular aims they have. So, in that sense the Prime Minister’s words are neither here nor there.

    • david singer says:

      Liat

      I understand the Prime Minister’s attempt to try and hose down any Islamic connection or influence with the siege and to claim it was the action of a deranged lone wolf.

      However why on earth would he be telling everyone in the middle of doing so:

      “I refuse to use the term Islamic State and I would strongly caution anyone, anywhere, from using that term, because that exults a movement which has nothing to do with any real religion and is a travesty of a true and just state. It is very wrong to identify the death cult that the individual concerned tried to associate himself with; it is very wrong to identify that death cult with any community or with any faith. The phrase that I like to refer to, uttered by my friend, Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia, of the ISIL death cult: it’s against God, it’s against religion, it’s against humanity.”

      If Islamic State was not a factor in Monis’s actions why raise the issue of Islamic State in an internationally broadcasted media conference at all?

      If Tony Abbott is right – why haven’t all 57 Islamic States in the world rushed to join the American-led coalition now fighting to degrade and destroy Islamic State?

  4. david singer says:

    Shirlee

    Your complaint is without foundation.

    The video is readily available on-line at sites like Channel 9 News and the Australian.

    Have you written to those organisations lodging a similar complaint?

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

    • Shirlee Finn says:

      I have contacted Channel Nine but no one is available until tomorrow. Youtube took theirs all down because they were asked to so not as to distress or embarrass those who were forced to make them.

      That’s why I haven’t used them.

      • david singer says:

        Shirlee

        Hope you also contact The Australian, Channel 7 and Daily Mail Australia. They have all posted videos made by the hostages on-line.

  5. Shirlee Finn says:

    I don’t know why you have the video of the hostages on line when it has been specifically requested out of respect for the hostages and those who died not to do so.

    Channel must have missed one. Even Youtube took them down. Shame on you

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