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THE most grotesque sight in the aftermath of a terrorist attack isn’t just the bloodied bodies or burnt out buildings.
It’s the ugly contortions of the apologists and appeasers on the hard left who either make excuses for murder or try to tell everybody that terrorism really isn’t a problem at all.
And it’s the frothing brutality of those on the hard right who think the answer is to simply lock all our doors, throw up our walls and let the terrorists kill whoever they want as long as it’s not on our doorstep.
That is what I hate most about terrorism: The fools it triggers and the hypocrisy it lays bare just when we need our intelligence and integrity the most.
As usual both the hard left and the hard right are dead wrong. It’s time to de-bullshit their claims so that we can tackle the genuine problem we face with clear eyes, hard heads and bold hearts. Let’s start with the hippies.
An armed police officer at the scene of the terrorist attack in Brighton. Picture: AFP/Mal Fairclough
An armed police officer at the scene of the terrorist attack in Brighton. Picture: AFP/Mal FaircloughSource:AFP
One common refrain is to compare Islamic State to the IRA, and claim that the Irish Republican Army killed more civilians in Europe than ISIS has — some 1,800 innocent souls.
Firstly, these deaths occurred over three decades. Islamic State has killed more than 400 people in Europe in the last three years. If you think ISIS is less deadly than the IRA, just give it time.
And of course this does not include the hundreds more deaths caused by ISIS or ISIS-linked extremist groups in Africa, nor Islamic fundamentalists in the Philippines and Indonesia, nor al-Qaeda or the Taliban prior to ISIS’s rise.
Secondly, here’s a newsflash for all the geopolitical pundits out there: Ireland is actually IN Europe. ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. So how is this benign and much-maligned little battler doing back home?
Well, in January 2016 a UN report found ISIS had killed more than 18,800 people in Iraq in less than two years — 10 times more than the IRA killed in three decades.
So yeah, if you want to put things in “#perspective” as one Twitter user said after the London attacks, there’s some perspective for you. Strangely the same left-wingers who always complain about the Western focus of terrorist coverage always forget about the number of Muslim people terrorists kill in the Middle East.
A man stands in lone vigil after the terror attack on London Bridge. Picture: AFP/Chris J Ratcliffe
A man stands in lone vigil after the terror attack on London Bridge. Picture: AFP/Chris J RatcliffeSource:AFP
Speaking of which, isn’t this all just payback for the war in Iraq? Didn’t we bring it all upon ourselves?
Don’t get me wrong, invading Iraq was probably the stupidest thing any government has done in the 21st century. It was astronomically misguided in its ambition, embarrassingly flawed in its justification and catastrophically deadly in its execution — although strangely you never heard the hand-wringers say the media shouldn’t focus on it because it wasn’t as bad as WWII.
And Iraq is where ISIS came from right? Its leader is called al-Baghdadi for a reason. Surely proud Arabs are justified in seeking revenge on the Western imperialists who destroyed their homeland?
Unfortunately there are a couple of problems with the space-time continuum on this one. Firstly, the invasion was launched in 2003, following the al-Qaeda attacks that killed almost 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. In other words, Islamic extremists found plenty of excuses to murder civilians long before the US went to war in Iraq.
But that was al-Qaeda right? Isn’t Islamic State just fighting back from that invasion?
Well, if so they’re fighting the wrong people. The number one western target of Islamic State isn’t the US — which has remained relatively immune from direct IS attacks — it’s France, which has accounted for more than half the deaths in Europe.
And what did France do during the Iraq War? Absolutely nothing. In fact, it actively opposed it, much to America’s displeasure — remember Freedom Fries? And for that ISIS has killed more people in France than in any other Western country. They are either so evil they don’t care or so stupid they don’t know. Probably both.
Roddy MacLeod leads the funeral procession for his 14-year-old son Eilidh, who was killed in the Manchester bombing. Picture: Getty/Andrew Milligan
Roddy MacLeod leads the funeral procession for his 14-year-old son Eilidh, who was killed in the Manchester bombing. Picture: Getty/Andrew MilliganSource:Getty Images
But don’t the Irish Troubles prove that all religions generate terrorism? Well, let’s go to a notorious far-right neo-conservative outlet for a verdict on that: “This was a territorial conflict, not a religious one.”
Actually, that’s not from Fox News, it’s from the BBC’s official history of the Troubles. Not much ambiguity there. The IRA might have been Catholics and they might have been terrorists but they weren’t going around slaughtering people with bibles in their hand.
Just as dumb are the constant references to more people being killed by car accidents than by terrorism. Firstly, the keyword here is “accidents”. Cars are not programmed to kill people, terrorists are. More absurdly, the peaceniks who employ this argument are using the exact same justification that the US gun lobby uses to defend their right to bear arms. Apparently as long as you kill fewer people than every single automobile combined then both the far-right and the far-left will leave you alone.
Oh, and if I hear one more person bring up the Crusades, I swear to Christ I’ll … Well, let’s just settle that one in a calm and respectful fashion: IT WAS A THOUSAND @#$%ING YEARS AGO.
Muslim community leader Jamal Rifi. Legend. Picture: John Feder
Muslim community leader Jamal Rifi. Legend. Picture: John FederSource:News Corp Australia
Now at this point I know I’ve got the guys on stage right cheering wildly — even if they’re a bit confused as to why they’re applauding the BBC and gun control. But I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint them too — I didn’t become as popular as I am today by not ■■■■■■■ off everybody equally.
The fact is that there is an undeniable Islamic element in the actions of Islamic State — the clue is in the name — but that does not mean all Muslims are terrorists, nor that Islam itself is an inherently violent religion — despite the literal passages in the Qur’an the fundamentalists cling to.
For proof of this I will mention just three prominent Muslims I know:
1. Jamal Rifi, not a terrorist but a gentle suburban GP who has risked his life speaking out against extremism.
2. Jihad Dib, not a terrorist but a champion educator who transformed one of Australia’s most disadvantaged schools.
3. Ed Husic, not a terrorist but a sensible rising star MP whose only crime was opposing the Western Sydney airport.
And if you need more proof, try this: There are 1.7 billion Muslims in the world. If their religion dictated that they all needed to kill us infidels then there wouldn’t be any of us infidels left.
A world I do not want to live in. Picture: ThinkStock
A world I do not want to live in. Picture: ThinkStockSource:ThinkStock
Indeed, as I am always at pains to point out, ISIS specialises in killing other Muslims even more than it does in dispatching other unbelievers. Think Protestants versus Catholics during the Reformation and then add automatic weapons.
And so the idea that we should ring-fence our borders and deny safe haven to those people who are fleeing the very same terrorists we are trying to kill is not just heartless, it is hypocritical.
Does this mean that all refugees are inherently pure or will never be radicalised? Of course not. It is abundantly obvious, despite politically convenient denials, that some people from war torn countries with exposure to fundamentalist Islam will be susceptible to radicalisation. In Australia the last four terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islamic extremism have been carried out by refugees or their children.
But does this mean that because of these four incidents we should lock out tens of thousands of other desperate people fleeing terrorism? That is not good maths. By the same old argument we could ban all cars and eliminate the road toll but I do not want to live in a world where everybody is white and rides a bicycle.
We already have that, and it’s called the Inner West.