We have all seen it on tv and in the papers. Besides the heart wrenching moments of violence, we had to endure the lies and manipulations, the advertisements and the hate-mongering in the media. We may be angry or sad, we may feel that we must do something, but we must be careful. The truth does not come from Jones, Hadley (on this side of the ocean) or O’Reilly (on the other side of the ocean) or from the other Murdoch hench(wo)men, no matter how convincing they may sound.
You may feel angry about Monis and what he did, but look around and find the real issues. Monis was highly likely mentally ill, he should have been in a mental health institution getting help. Unfortunately the NSW governments in their eternal (inhumane) wisdom decided to cut the funding to the mental health sector and many hospitals (including the one in Rozelle) were closed down because, according to them, money was needed elsewhere. Monis was charged with serious offences, yet he was granted bail. Perhaps the Bail Act in its current form is not serving and protecting the community, but the favours the criminals. So who is responsible for what Monis (was allowed to do) did?
Back to the news. The Daily Telegraph released a 2pm special edition claiming that ISIS was responsible for the “terror” attack. Well none of it turned out to be true. The flag inside the cafe can be bought anywhere and has nothing to to with ISIS. In fact the Shahada flag merely means there is no god except Allah, which is a religious statement, just like “Merry Christmas”. Coincidentally those to religious sentiments appeared in close proximity in the window of the cafe. Saying otherwise is ignorance, racism or fear-mongering to sell more newspapers by Murdoch’s empire, hence I call it a royal lie.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted a so called “terrorism expert” Greg Barton, who was made to sound so desperate to convince us that Monis was a terrorist. He speculated that Monis used the Shahada flag because he could not get hold of an Islamic State flag. Well Monis likely had access to the internet and could have easily found a photo of the IS flag and could have printed one if he really wanted to. This was an ungodly lie.
There were voices in the media questioning why was the army/commando/SAS not used to resolve the situation. Quite simply, because those boys (and some girls among their ranks) cannot do policing, their rules of engagement are significantly different. The police will try to resolve the situation peacefully and if possible bring the perpetrator before the court according to law. Police are not judges, jury and executioners but, according to the principles of policing, the keepers of the peace. Using the army for policing had disastrous results in the past and the effect of militarising the the police can be seen in the USA. Once you have a hammer everything looks like a nail, once you have a militarised police everyone will look like enemy. Thank God (whichever you believe in) it is not the case here in Australia.
Regardless of the scare campaign of the big media people of course will do all sorts of things out of their own volition. People will pray together, meditate together, just like in Washington in 1993, to create peace. We need not change our or other people’s religion, philosophy or view on life. We just need to have a (w)holy intent to create peace in each and every one of us. This is our responsibility and freedom.
Our responsibility is to inform ourselves about current affairs and issues. An issue in relation to “national security” and privacy is the proposed new data retention law. To illustrate what it means take a look at your phone bill. You can see the dates and times of the phone calls and text messages, even the telephone numbers, but there is no way of knowing what was said in those calls and messages. But if you were to look at someone’s web browsing history, you could quite easily visit the same websites later and, unless those sites changed significantly, could see what the person was looking at. Web browsing history can tell life stories. Imagine a person, after leaving the doctor’s office, searches for “cure to XYZ disease”. Do you think it would tell you what the diagnosis of that person was? If you are happy for the government to have access to that sort of information without a warrant then you need not do anything. On the other hand if you are worried about the invasion of your privacy then speak to your MP and/or start using tools to protect yourself, even from the media.