NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Violent Islamism erupts on the streets of Sydney
by Mervyn F. Bendle
News Weekly, September 29, 2012
The Clash of Civilisations — that is what the world is witnessing. Vast mobs of rage-intoxicated Muslim thugs have embarked on a rampage through cities across the globe, ostensibly in response to a pathetic video that most of them haven’t seen, but which they have been told is an unforgivable insult to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, and which they have been assured justifies their outrageous behaviour.
“We are Your Soldiers, O Muhammad”, said the headbands worn by the hardcore militants at the centre of the Sydney riot on Saturday, September 15, while their T-shirts proclaimed their commitment to “the Sixth Pillar” of Islam — jihad.
“We love the Prophet more than ourselves… more than our wives”, they chanted. “Behead those who insult the Prophet”, demanded a banner held aloft by young children. “Our Dead are in Paradise; Your Dead are in Hell”, declared another placard. “Sharia Law will Dominate the World”, said yet another.
Whatever the slogans the central message was clear: “We are Us. We may live in Australia, but we are militant Muslims above all else, above all reason, above all restraint, above your laws. Yes, we live here, and we are happy to take the benefits of your naïve, infidel, welfare state; but we are only biding our time while our numbers build up and we become an irresistible political force that can deliver the esteem and the submission we demand. Our time will come.”
How ominous, and yet how apparently counter-productive. Indeed, so grotesque was the sight of the hooded, masked, balaclava-clad and full-bearded “gangstas” rampaging around the streets of central Sydney that even the Prime Minister was moved to condemn the violence. What was it all meant to achieve?
That is the question — what was actually going on? Was this apparent shambles really just an unplanned mess? An under-organised protest that got out of hand? Or was there something far more sinister and complex happening? Was it a practice-run, a try-out, a rehearsal for even more violent Islamist direct action that will now come at an increasing rate as the rioters learn how much they can get away with?
The police reports are being compiled; but at this stage it appears that the scenario for the event followed the familiar, tried-and-true protest methodology for extremist organisations executing a carefully planned long-term strategy.
First, the shadowy and covert leadership group used social media to coordinate activities, bringing out the crowds to an ostensibly peaceful demonstration, making a point of encouraging family groups with women and children, especially those in prams, and getting them up front, where they were highly visible and vulnerable. Then, once the media are there, the cadre of hard-core militants were activated to provoke as much violence as possible, shedding blood, getting their adrenaline going and making sure the other young toughs were all fired-up.
Most importantly, they ensured that lots of cameras were filming, trying to catch scenes of “police violence against Muslims” that could be edited into propaganda for YouTube, Facebook and Muslim internet sites and television stations. And, above all else, the riot made it possible to “blood” recruits, and radicalise the new-comers to Islamist extremism, getting them used to violent physical confrontations with the police, encouraging and sustaining their resentment, their sense of grievance, their rage and their desire for revenge.
Meanwhile, at the ideological level, the Australian chapter of the international Islamist organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, held a conference in Sydney on Sunday, attended by 600 people. Its theme was “Muslims Rise”, a call to re-establish the infamous medieval Caliphate, stretching from Spain to the Philippines, so that Sharia law will reign supreme.
Here the crowd heard an eight-year-old girl give a speech on behalf of Muslim youth, declaring her love of jihad and her desire to live under Islamist rule. Apparently no mention was made of the incidents of female genital mutilation amongst Muslims that had been exposed in court the previous week.
Dr Mervyn F. Bendle is a writer and academic. His many articles include “9/11 and the intelligentsia, ten years on”, Quadrant, September 2011, and “How civilisations die”, Quadrant, April 2012.
The challenge of Islamist ideology
by Peter Westmore
The statements by a range of Muslim organisations to condemn the violent protest in Sydney are welcome, and must be acknowledged.
However, their statement, “The protest was not sanctioned or authorised by any Islamic organisation”, is clearly incorrect.
It is not possible to assemble hundreds of people, equipped with banners and posters, without any organisation. Further, The Australian (September 18, 2012) reported that a number of those arrested were linked to the al Risalah book-store in Sydney’s western suburbs.
One of those arrested, Ahmed Elomar, is a boxer who had earlier been arrested in Lebanon in June 2007 over extremist activity.
The problem of Islamist violence will not be solved unless Muslim organisations challenge and discredit the people and organisations within their community who organised it. This has not happened.