Then we suffered the shock of the 2002 Bali bombing with the loss of 202 lives, 88 of whom were Australians. While closer to home, it was not on Australian soil and it wasn’t clear we were targeted.
There were attacks in London and elsewhere, and of course we learned of terrorist plots at home that were foiled.
We were told to live normally and to accept Islam as a religion of peace. It says much for the tolerance and decency of the Australian people the benefit of the doubt was extended for so long. It was not until September 2014, when Islamic State supporter Numan Haider attacked two policemen in Melbourne, and three months later, when Iranian refugee Man Haron Monis seized control of Sydney’s Lindt cafe, that Australians finally confronted Islamic terrorism on home soil. The authorities were quick to blame politics, not religion. Sydney mayor Clover Moore denied the siege was a terrorist act, saying: “This was a one-off isolated event by a mentally ill man with a violent background.”
This lack of candour remains pervasive. In Germany, Cologne’s police chief initially covered up multiple New Year’s Eve sexual assaults on women. A statement that it had been “a peaceful New Year’s Eve” was refuted by leaked internal reports revealing the opposite. More than 500 complaints were filed. Police ID checks confirmed almost half those arrested were recently registered Muslim refugees.
Last month a Philadelphia police officer was shot by a man dressed in Arab garb shouting allegiance to Islamic State and confessing he did it “in the name of Islam”. The city mayor said: “It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.”
This desperate desire to be loved now even infects Australia’s navy, where its chief fasts for Ramadan. (Does he celebrate Hanukkah with his Jewish officers?) His adviser on Islamic affairs took this gesture as a cue to ventilate pro-Islamic political commentary on her navy Twitter account.
But why are we surprised? After all, the leader of the free world sets the tone by never uttering the words “Islamic terrorism”. Not even the mass shootings in San Bernardino, California, were enough.
On national security, Barack Obama’s State of the Union address is said to have veered from delusional to dishonest. Rather than condemning Islamic extremism, or joining a protest march with 40 world presidents and one million Parisians, the US President prefers moral relativism and draws attention to Christianity’s violent past. He fails to mention the New Testament does not exhort Christians to behead nonbelievers. It is beyond satire.
As the US commander-in-chief, Obama says: “The US is not and, never will be, at war with Islam.”
What could change his mind? Iran has long been the largest exporter of state-sponsored Islamic terrorism and is a would-be aggressor. Yet while Iran tested ballistic missiles, Obama agreed to a deal that would strengthen Iran economically and weaken demands on its nuclear program.
Perhaps the US’s relative economic decline has robbed it of the capacity to send a powerful message of deterrence. Or maybe Obama’s vanity and his craving for a positive legacy in the Muslim world is more important to him than the West’s collective future.
Either way, he radiates appeasement.
Last year Germany suspended reason and welcomed nearly 1.1 million, mainly young Islamic male, refugees. Now Chancellor Angela Merkel is in full damage control. Talk about carts before horses. In Britain, France, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark, the practice of sharia law is tolerated in no-go zones, where radical Islam and serious crime go hand in hand. French magazine Valeurs Actuelles reports France alone has more than 750 areas “where the law of the French Republic no longer applies”. For France, this is an existential threat and demonstrates the folly of lax immigration policies.
In Islam, religion and politics are interchangeable. Wherever in the world Muslims settle, they form colonies. They expand the interests of Islam and, rather than dissolving over time, multiply and consolidate. Yet our leaders behave like fifth columnists and, despite the evidence, play down the growing Islamic threat. Critics are portrayed as bigots, racists and Islamophobes and the Muslim majority as victims.
We know most Muslims are not part of radical Islam, but appeasement in exchange for occasional intelligence co-operation won’t do. Either the silent Muslim majority becomes a more supportive and integrated part of Australia’s rich ethnic mix or, at some point, its sensibilities must be confronted.
Australians are fair-minded, generous, people, but they cannot be expected to indefinitely tolerate threats to their way of life. Australian citizenship is precious. It is highly sought after and should not be given away lightly. It allows great freedoms and offers wonderful opportunities for personal development and prosperity.
Such a society must be protected and imposes reciprocal obligations. Australia is a highly successful melting pot built on a multi-ethnic, monocultural, foundation. The multicultural industry seeks to deny this principle and cynically uses cultural backgrounds to pursue uneven application of the law and to promote selective access to welfare. This is divisive and encourages unhealthy political exploitation at the expense of the majority.
The rise of radical Islam has brought into stark relief the fragility of our belief system and the timidity of our leadership and its reluctance to deal with dangerous threats from within. While he downplays it, Malcolm Turnbull finally acknowledges the link between Islam and terrorism. However, it is late in the day and his resolve remains uncertain.