It’s hard to find a silver lining in this whole stinking Sydney siege saga. Even to look for one seems perverse when the dead are unburied and tears still wash into the sea of Martin Place flowers. If there is to be something positive to come from this, more meaningful than platitudinous commendations and commiserations that fall too easily from our lips — though they are not misplaced — there must be a direct line to the prevention of such obscenities from staining our civil square ever again.
We will mourn the innocent, heal the injured, comfort the bereaved, hail the brave and scorn the hate. But we must also learn the lessons. We are better than this.
To that end I am hopeful that the perfect storm unleashed by Monis’ barbarity will now envelop the too-long rorted immigration, welfare, and criminal justice systems and those responsible their debasement. It was no accident that this barbarian and others skated freely through the gates of our Australian community to live like leeches upon it.
If we can stop the boats and the drownings, we can stop the undeserved free lunches, as well as the lawfare waged on civil society and our safety. More than that, we can stop heeding the excuses and rationalisations on behalf of those who would harm innocents and coarsen our civil soul. If we have the will, if the collective outrage of right now declines to flag, we can say loudly that we refuse to live any longer in the rotten edifice of a social-experiment freak-out ginned up at a bong party in the sociology department common room.
We must first overcome the absurd protests that Monis’ villainy was a one-off, an isolated case, which had nothing to do with his sinister religious beliefs. Likewise, we must recognise the dysfunctional welfare-industrial complex for what it is — a support scheme available to help manifest and advance social pathologies. Have we not recognised that Monis was a walking Venn diagram of victim handouts, subsidised weirdness and extremist hatred? To be the quintessential welfare queen and a psychopathic, parasitic criminal and a terrorist are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, in this case they were symbiotic”
Islamist terrorists can be nutters, too, and typically are. It matters little what Monis’ state of mental health happened to be when he walked into the Lindt coffee shop. Remember, Sydney jihadist Khaled Sharrouf was an officially diagnosed, welfare-qualified schizophrenic. When Monis and other Islamist extremists carrying out their ‘lone wolf’ terrorist acts, — the 7/7 London bombings, the Boston Marathon massacre, the recent Ottawa assault and Fort Hood rampage — they are doing exactly what Islamist terror groups like al Qaeda and ISIL urge them to do. Mad as a cut snake or not, Monis did as ISIL requested, ergo it was a terrorist act.
It is simply not credible to assert this atrocity was not a terrorist act because Monis also happened to be a criminal — to wit, a megalomaniacal misogynist accused of multiple rapes and assisting in a particularly brutal murder. Since when have those qualifications been unsuitable for a terror gig and coveted free pass to the heavenly garden of virgins. Most Australians, including Muslims, who are the usual targets of Islamist terror in the Middle East and Asia, understand that, even if Ultimo sages don’t.
If we can take this first step and then others, if we can dismantle what has effectively become a societal Trojan Horse of our own making, we may well look back at this horrible event years from now and see it as the turning point when we began making a better job of protecting the innocent, helping the truly needy and, if we are to make these improvements permanent, holding to account those who have so conspicuously failed us and our precious civilisation.
Alan R.M. Jones was an adviser in the Howard Government