At first, I, along with many others, thought of this criminal murderer in terms of his criminality rather than his religion. He was a baddy who did this deed as a crazy 'lone wolf', and the fact that he put a Muslim declaration of faith up in the shop window , and apparently asked for an ISIS flag as part of his demands, was sort of brushed aside.
I have since changed my mind.
During the siege, even before the siege was over and the 2 victims were killed, we had this ridiculous #I'll ride with you campaign cooked up by some leftard - sorry, but there really are times when this pejorative term needs to be used- in Brisbane, who was riding on a bus and saw a Muslim woman fiddle with her headscarf and take it off. The observer cooked up a scenario in her mind, without actually speaking with the Muslim woman, that maybe she took it off because she was afraid of a backlash against Muslims and so she thought, no, I will protect you, Muslim sister, from the depredations of us racist Australians. I will ride with you in a bus without spitting on you. And the hashtag spread and everyone though how beautiful it all was. We hashtaggers aren't racist, like the other right wing Aussies. We protect minorities, not like they do. Aren't we wonderful people.
I think everyone forgot who the real victims were. They were the hostages and the murdered cafe manager who was killed trying to disarm the terrorist; and the lawyer, who left 3 motherless children. They actually were the victims. The Muslims were not.
So that's a couple of points I would like to make. Australians on the whole are tolerant people and are not likely to burn crosses or crescents or whatever on lawns and lynch Muslims etc. And Muslims were not the victims in the Lindt cafe seige.
Then we saw this public outpouring of grief through floral tributes laid in Martin Place at the scene of the crime. Every florist ran out of stock. The photos looked amazing. Of course, the flowers will all rot and it will be a big job to clear the place in a few days, and what will be left? Nothing. I'll come back to that in a minute.
Then came in all the analyses and reassurances from police and politicians and pundits. This was not an act of Muslim terror. This was a crazy criminal 'lone wolf', who did what he did because he was a baddy. (If he was so bad, why was he out on parole or on bail, free to plan and execute this attack? Hmm. That's a good question.) No, it was not because he was a Muslim. No no no. We mustn't think that (or I guess there will be a terrible backlash against the poor old Muslims).
(And we know what happens when Muslims feel offended and insulted so hush, let's keep the peace. I'm sure there was some thought process like that going on in someone's head.)
Well, all I can say is that there seems to be a lot of these 'lone wolves' about. There was one in the Canadian parliament, and 2 who murdered Lee Rigby in the streets of Manchester, and the shrink who shot up Fort Hood and killed 14 US Army personnel - he was a lone wolf too, despite evidence in his email account where he was pledging jihad against the infidel- and there was the plot to randomly behead an infidel in Sydney which was thwarted, and the Arabs who ran down people waiting at light rail stops and bus stops in several incidents in Israel, and the 2 who murdered 4 rabbis at prayer in Har Nof in Jerusalem, leaving 14 fatherless children, and all of these lone wolves - so many that I don't know if the word 'lone' really applies- have one thing in common. Have a guess. No cigars for guessing the answer- they are all Muslims. And they have all taken it upon themselves after being incited by radical Muslim clerics and interpretations of Koranic verses, to attack infidels wherever and whenever they encounter them, Jews, Christians, in Israel and abroad.
You can continue to pretend that these people are not motivated by religion to kill- oh well, of course in Israel it is about the resistance to the occupation, right? Wrong. It's about Muslim incitement to fight The Other, especially the Yahud.
So keep pretending , but be prepared for more of these 'lone wolf' attacks because the incitement is not stopping any time soon.
I can't help but compare the response among Jews to the horrific attacks which have been perpetrated on them, to the Martin Place floral tributes, which make a strong statement but which are ultimately ephemeral. In every case, after every act of terrorism, the bereaved Jewish families urge people to give more tzedakah in the name of the victim, or to do more mitzvot, or to increase their level
of prayer and religious observance. Or they establish charitable foundations to help other families of victims of terror or other good causes. The Har Nof Shul was cleared of the blood staining the walls and the floor the very next day after this heinous attack, and more people have been attending and studying there than ever before.
This is also a form of resistance against the darkness that is closing in. This is all in the name of trying to make the world a better place.
I strongly believe that it is a terrible mistake to cancel the menorah lighting in Martin Place. If there was ever a time that we need to see more light, it is now. The kindling of the lights reminds us of the miracle of the oil, and that is how we celebrate Chanukah; but Chanukah means 'dedication'. We rededicated the Temple to Hashem after the miracle of the victory of the few over the many; but we don't dwell on the military aspects of the festival which enabled the rededication and the miracle of the oil. We Jews don't really gloat about military victories. To paraphrase R Adin Steinsaltz, we don't put swords in our windows to celebrate, we put menorahs. We add more lights and more lights, for every night of Chanukah, because that is how you push away the darkness.
Happy Chanukah to all, and may the families of the victims of terror be comforted.