There has been a new terrorist attack – this time in Australia. Just as the media predicted – along with federal police backing – this week would see another threat. How tidy, too. It landed right on the anniversary of 9/11; prompting a wonderful comparison by Prime Minister Turnbull.
There is no disputing that an attack took place, this time in the Sydney suburb of Minto. Headlines across mainstream media echo “machete-like knife” without police throwing the evidence to the crowds. “A new face of terrorism” and the word “linked” also seem prevalent. You see, my problem isn’t with the fact that a 59-year-old man now rests in a critical condition in Sydney’s Liverpool hospital. My problem rests with the media, the police, the politicians jumping on this story for the chance of I-told-you-so and self-promotion opportunity, and the very lackadaisical evidence provided.
The 7 News witness is a typical Australian working class man reiterating what the government said the week before: “someone’s running ‘round yelling Allahu Akbar, this is a good day to die…and not a week and a half ago ISIS is calling for lone wolf attacks; I’m pretty sure what it is.” But this one doesn’t convince me. The coincidence is unsettling. For one reason, it is a rehearsed rhetoric, reminiscent of the Australian government/media a week before. Not only that, the supposed English printed Daesh media, Rumiyah, which claimed these lone wolf attacks would occur at Australian iconic locations, was actually a regurgitated poem published shortly after Charlie Hebdo, denouncing “grey areas,” and therefore, unsubstantiated.
These words, according to Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn, are the basis for considering this a terrorist act.
“Linked” and “basis” is not a definitive description. There are no substantiated quotes, just a single “we know that this person has strong Extremist beliefs inspired by ISIS.” The Deputy Commissioner also used key words in the AAP press conference, like “planned” and “deliberate,” and in the same breath said “What made him actually act yesterday, we don’t know. But hopefully, our further investigations will uncover that. It was deliberate. It was violent.”
Really? So, they don’t have a solid “ISIS inspired youth,” though, albeit, mentally unstable, perhaps.
Then there’s the sudden appearance of a witness stating what he had heard in English, yet early media reports account for a similar quote in Arabic. It apparently related to ISIS, but initial accounts suggest no one can say for sure. It’s a little sketchy on the hearsay…
As violent as this appalling crime is, shouting in words that are not entirely defined, while trying to attack an officer through a window is more suited to a profile of Arab nutcase – not Muslim terrorist, not even terrorist, not ISIS linked. Let’s just try the word “nutcase” even, or maybe “nutcase who speaks Arabic.” Here’s one: “22-year-old bilingual stabs man in street…” nah, not such a grabby headline for all those MSMs out there.
ISIS is not so much in Australia as it represents the dark underbelly of humanity, lurking around every corner. It gives us the excuse to be an a*s—e. ISIS is what the media makes it, feeds to you and then adds the cherry on top – your nation. It’s a fear tactic. It’s a fear tactic that catches the attentions of those a little less sane – those who are already unhinged and just needing an excuse to attack.
But this doesn’t make it a terrorist attack.
Do we assign the label ‘terrorist’ to every mentally unstable person choosing to yell ‘Allahu Akbar’ before they attack? We’re giving ISIS unjust weight in their goals if we do. We’re allowing the mainstream media to perpetuate our fears.
ISIS exists, but relentless media and governments have produced ISIS into a revenue raising, justification for military operations, and to introduce restrictive laws – such as the additional new category of control for people between ages 14-18; uniformed nationwide “regime of post-sentence detention” as part of the introduction to new counter terror laws in Australia – this week.
Every neighborhood has and always will have the nutcase who wields a knife. Some will indeed, speak Arabic. Others will be Westerners, Asians and Europeans. Simply because the nutcase uses ISIS or terrorism as the excuse to act, doesn’t mean they weren’t going to act under another premise.
And what about ISIS claiming these attacks as theirs? Of course they will, even if they aren’t. All publicity is good publicity and a Catholic or Agnostic copy-cat wannabe killer is as good as the next one. So why not? Why wouldn’t they claim it as their own? They’d be nutcases themselves if they didn’t.
But I’ll be cyber-lynched for saying so.