Thursday, October 08, 2015

08-Oct-15: In Australia, the pistol-wielding youth and his friends start to look like something... mysterious

The victim of the fifteen year-old gunman's lust for
killing: Curtis Cheng, on the left, with family [Image Source]
Because it's happening in far-away Australia, the unfolding events surrounding a murder carried out by a black-robed fifteen year-old boy who arrived in the country as a refugee is not getting much attention away from the location of the savagery.

But there are developments. For the background, see our post: "04-Oct-15: In Sydney, a boy murders a stranger with his pistol and the authorities are lost for words. But there's room for theories"

Sky News has this today:
Four people have been arrested over the murder of a police accountant in Australia which investigators think was terror-related. Detectives believe the suspects, aged from 16 to 22, were involved in planning the killing of Curtis Cheng as he left police headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta on Friday. The 58-year-old, who had been with the police force's finance department for 17 years, was shot in the back of the head by Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad. The 15-year-old gunman, who was born in Iran, was shot and killed at the scene by police. The investigating team have also contacted Turkish police to search for the killer's sister, who left Australia the day before the deadly attack. New South Wales Police deputy commissioner Catherine Burn said: "We suspect that a terrorism event has occurred and we suspect that they may have some knowledge..."
Tim Blair who blogs for the Daily Telegraph from Sydney has some pungent comments about the unwillingness or inability of many to face up to what has happened. Here's what he writes in a post from October 6, 2015 entitled "The ancient Islamic festival of If If":

Founder of the Australian Arabic Council, Joseph Wakim, conducts the traditional post-atrocity ritual of nonsensical evasion

When an incident is imbued with a single drop of Islam, it apparently explains everything, and blinds us from asking the right questions. 
The “incident” to which Wakim refers involved a murderer whose mosque attendance was obsessive, who wore traditional Islamic garb on the day he set out to kill innocent people, and who screamed “Allah! Allah!” in the street after shooting a father of two. This wasn’t a “drop of Islam”. It was a reeking bucket. 

We are so hasty to roll out the loaded labels, such as “terrorist” and “gunman”, even when referring to a 15-year-old boy. 
Very well, Joseph. We’ll call him a terrorist gunbaby instead. 

If Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar was a gun-wielding white teenager in school uniform, rather than a brown teenager in a black robe, would we have labelled him a mixed-up kid with mental problems or a radicalised, cold-blooded terrorist? 
If he was a flappy-tailed crustacean, would we call him a lobster? If he was still alive and prancing around outside our house with a gun, would we call the police? If he was developmentally delayed and wrote for Fairfax, would we call him Joseph Wakim? These important theological questions have vexed scholars throughout the ages. 

If a white teenager had opened fire inside a mosque, would we have labelled him an angry misguided youth? 
Beats me. Call me if it happens. 

If we are serious in wanting to break this cycle of violence and acts of terror, we need to stop using dehumanising labels and stop absolving ourselves by shifting blame to Islam. 
What “cycle of violence”? The kid was never provoked. And what “dehumanising labels”? And why the need to absolve ourselves from a crime he committed? 

The complex reality… 
Here we go. that many factors line up to trigger such violent acts, including broken families, mental health, perceived lack of alternatives, current circumstances, loneliness, detachment, exposure to violent videos and a twisted moral compass that defines heroism as a violent means towards a rewarding end. These are the push factors that recruiters exploit, especially if the recruit is vulnerable and lacks a good parent. 
Not to mention local mosques

Youth peers are more likely to derail the radicalisation pathway by planting seeds of doubt and offering other pathways towards redressing injustices. These might include youth groups, political parties, fundraising for charities and letter writing. 
Attention, young brainwashed beheading-ready jihadi children destined for Syria or police stations in Sydney! Might you be more interested in writing a letter instead? Why, of course you are! 

Islamophobia and bombardment with hate messages communicating that Australia does not trust Muslims push “them” to the margins. 
Flip that idea around, son, and you might be on to something. We’ve seen a few hate messages delivered lately, and they’re all coming from one side.

Meanwhile this is from yesterday's (Sydney) Daily Telegraph:
The weapon used by teen terrorist Farhad Jabar was believed to be sourced from a Middle Eastern crime gang and police suspect it was handed to the schoolboy at the Parramatta mosque. Details about where he got the gun and its original source were established early in the investigation but the Telegraph was asked by police not to release details until after today’s raids.

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