Terrible attacks in both Manchester and London further underline the fundamentally flawed official response to Islamic terrorism. The official refusal to name the enemy leads to a muddled law-and-order response, focussed on the criminal plans and actions of errant individuals. Yes, the powers-that-be talk incessantly about the so-called ‘war on terror’. But this is a cop out, as they must know in their hearts even as their mouths spill those Religion of Peace™ platitudes.
To wage a real war, you highlight the goals of the enemy, not simply his methods. Just imagine if, instead of assailing the philosophy of Nazism and its plans for domination, Churchill had talked only about the need to wage war only on Stukas, U-boats and the Bismark. Get the point? Terror is the weapon. Militant Islam, implemented in accord with quite specific Koranic instructions, is the hand that wields it.
It seems to me that the ordinary punter “gets it”, whilst “educated” officialdom remains in a fog of stupidity and political correctness.
I suspect that large numbers of ordinary people are sick of efforts by the likes of Malcolm Turnbull and Therese May to describe Islamic terrorists as somehow “un-Islamic”, supposedly guilty of perverting Islam, despite numerous quotations from the sacred texts lending full justification to the jihadis’ mayhem. Of course, neither Turnbull nor May is in any position to propound a corpus of doctrine which would constitute “authentic” peaceful Islam.
Unfortunately and inconveniently, a large percentage of Muslims in the West countries regard Sharia supremacism and violent jihad as authentically Islamic and other Muslims who opt for peaceful integration as un-Islamic. Whether we like it or not, a large number of Muslims in our midst, whether by thought or deed, feel themselves at war with the rest of us.
By trying to pretend that we are not at war, we have sacrificed innocent lives. We should long ago recognised that this is not simply a matter for the police and the criminal justice system. Nor is it any longer a matter of our intelligence services being able to catch terrorists just before they commit mass murder. So far, with the notable exception of the Lindt Cafe siege, Australian intelligence has largely succeeded in foiling large-scale potential terrorist acts. But even the best intelligence service cannot hope this run of luck will continue. Someday, somehow, an Islamic terrorist group will slip through the net. (stop press: last night in Melbourne a Somali-trained disciple of the Prophet killed one person, wounded three police officers and, his one good deed, saved the courts the trouble of dealing with him by succumbing to hail of bullets).
The great tragedy in both Manchester and London is that at least some of the perpetrators were “known” to authorities, as was the perpetrator of Melbourne’s ambush. We have now further learnt that up to 23,000 are, err, “known” to Intelligence authorities in Britain. The problem is that only approximately 3,000 can be monitored at any one time. The rest, including the perpetrators of the latest horrors, were off the intensive watch list for the time being.
Clearly, the reactive police approach favoured in peacetime has failed, and will continue to fail, with more tragic loss of innocent lives.
By contrast, waging war against a named enemy must be necessarily proactive. The following are the essential elements of waging war:
(1) Name our enemy. To the extent that Islam is a spiritual exercise, it can be tolerated. However, to the extent that it is a political ideology, which does not recognise any distinction between the sacred and the secular, it must be fought and defeated. We may choose to identify the enemy as “Sharia Supremacism”. This is the goal for which the terrorists are fighting.
(2) Institute preventive detention. The onus would be on those interned to prove that they pose no threat to life and limb. Those who declare war on our civil society through incitement, association and actions should not expect protection from institutions whose legitimacy they reject.
(3) Those who have chosen to fight for the Islamic State are our enemies. Where possible they should be stripped of Australian citizenship and prevented from returning. Whether they become stateless is their problem not ours. After all, they have chosen to place themselves outside of Australian civil society.
(4) All funding from abroad for mosques, Islamic institutions and associations should be blocked. Saudi funding of Wahhabism in this country and worldwide is an especially pernicious facilitator of global jihad.
(5) All mosques which promote Sharia supremacism to be closed down. Likewise, Islamic associations, such as Hizb Ut-Tahrir should not only be banned but, in addition, its members interned.
(6) Proactive counter-terrorism must inevitably be the responsibility of the specialist military. The police forces have to remain primarily focused on civil law enforcement.
Today we hear that the perpetrator of the latest incident in Melbourne was yet another of those “well known” to police — a fact that underscores the point that the sooner we move away from the stupid delusion that a peacetime criminal justice system can deal with the threat, the safer we will all be.