426 Palestine, terrorism, Israel


This is the aftermath of my blogs  417  and  418 … we talked about Sam Harris’ writings at a social gathering, and Phillip, whom I directed to my blogs, responded with an email that led to a lively email exchange; Phillip eventually summarized his emails in one piece, which I publish below in full, unedited and in blue.


Our discussion started with me saying my position on Islam is indeed shifting …


“… not as far as your position, but nevertheless to a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of radical Islam. Harris wrote his book ten years ago … and since then we had the rise of ISIL and their ‘caliphate’. But this is the thing: Ten years is a long time. In that time we haven’t had much radical / extremist Islamic activity in Australia … and that is why I said in my blog 418: 


I do believe (yes, I still do) that in our (Australian) multicultural society we are a step ahead of the rest of the world …


“So my position is very much more conciliatory than yours (or Harris’); I believe we are not in danger of being over-run by Islamic extremists, and that - importantly - we must support moderate Islam in our country: There are many Islamic leaders in AUS who denounce ISIL and their violence, who indeed denounce any violence; in fact, there have been few voices of influence who support Islamic extremism. However … yes, having read Harris was an education. I had never looked at the teachings of Islam the way Harris has done ... certainly not with the conclusions he arrives at. 


“My position on Muslims has changed in so much that through Sam Harris’ books & talks I understand more what motivates devout Muslims - and I find the disclosure of those motivations shocking - i.e. that their religion demands from Muslims to engage in jihad, more specifically in armed incursions against the West; I reckognize that is what drives ISIL. The point though is, we have not had active terrorist activity in Australia (terrorist attacks; I guess we both don’t count the Lindt Café Idiot). You will say, not yet … I agree, not yet. The question we cannot disagree more on is how it can be kept that way. Our approach to this conundrum is radically different: You are worried about Muslim terrorist activity that currently is all but a potential threat and you wish to answer it with a hardline approach (to nip it in the bud, so to speak), perhaps even militancy; my point has always been (and with what I say above still is) that such a response will radicalise moderate Muslims and indeed make a potential threat a real threat. You refer to the need to fix it urgently … fair enough, but I believe the threat is best dealt with through increased surveillance and more stringent security. So in my heart I believe that Australian Muslims will not be radicalized to the point where they will become terrorists in our homeland ... unless pushed too hard; and I say, why are we stopping those who want to leave the country and fight in Iraq? Let them go, if they are forced to stay they potentially will want to fight here in AUS. But again, I believe  a hardline approach against moderate Muslims may well turn them into extremist Muslims … I believe we have a different situation here with our Muslims as the ones Harris is talking about; I know this isn't good enough for you, but I’m worried about throwing the baby out with the bathwater."


At this point our discussion arrived at an argument about the causes for terrorism, which again is an issue we strongly disagree on; Phillip’s position is that the Palestinian’s are to be blamed for the mess in the Middle East, they’re the ones throwing stones and firing rockets at civilians ... and entrenched in the Hamas Covenant is the wish to destroy Israel.


“Indeed, there are groups of Palestinians who want to eliminate Israel (Hamas). But the Palestine/Israel issue will not be resolved until Israel and the West recognise that in the first place it was the Palestinians who had their land taken away … that the trouble in the Middle East results from that act. It is spurious to keep pointing out that Palestinians fire rockets at civilians (which of course must be condemned), without looking at just why they do so. Why is it they hate Israel? Because 66 years ago a large part of their home land was taken away from them (and used to found Israel). Who would tolerate that being done to them? This was the beginning - and is the root-cause - of the trouble in the Middle East, indeed of terrorism. So, some of them (Hamas) want all of their land back, others (Fatah) want: A return to 1967 borders, a return of settlers’ territories, their own independent state and a peace agreement with a two-state solution that would guarantee Israel’s autonomy. We all know Fatah lost Palestinian elections to Hamas in 2006, which indeed complicates the Palestinian/Israeli/West relationship … however, I do believe when we look at any aspects of that relationship, we must look back at what happened in 1947/48. 


“How about the issue of the proposed UN Security Council resolution by Palestine that was (with the help of Australia) rejected this week? The proposed resolution would have set a 2017 deadline for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza (50 years after the occupation), borders to be drawn up on 1967 lines with negotiated land-swaps, and calls for a "third party" to guarantee security and prevent a resurgence of terrorism. The Palestinians see their turn to the Security Council as a necessary jump-start for stalled peace talks. Israel and her supporters rejected the resolution, saying the Palestinian Authority is trying to advance a forced settlement on Israel instead of pursuing peace by sitting down to the negotiating table … at the bottom of this argument is Israel’s insistence on negotiations without pre-conditions. 

"But here’s the cinch: The “pre-conditions” are largely what had been part of the initial 1948 UN General Assembly resolution 181. That resolution recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States, and it is largely upon this resolution Israel bases her legitimacy ... but where is the Palestinian state? The two-state solution was formally confirmed in 2002 with UN Security Council resolutiuon 1397. The Council demanded an end to the violence that had taken place between Israel and Palestine; it was the first Security Council resolution to call for a two-state solution to the conflict (the before mentioned resolution 181 was before the UN General Assembly). Remember too, one of the “pre-conditions” Israel rejects is the Palestinian's demand for withdrawal of settlers in occupied territories ... these settlements have been declared illegal many times by the UN (also the US and many European governments).


"I believe, Phillip: To achieve the beginning of the end to terrorism, the above needs to be resolved.


“I’ll say this as my closing remark to our discussion: I believe ideally there would be neither a Jewish state nor a Muslim state in Palestine, instead there should be one secular state (so no two-state “solution”) ... with a tri-faith capital, Jerusalem.”


“Horray!  At last there is hope.  I agree.  I agree.  




in our recent discussions you say that your position on muslims is shifting having read much of Sam Harris’ opinions and in the wake of the Lindt Café siege recently in Sydney … if this is so, I would suggest your view has shifted by only millimetres.  You (and the Left in general) still do not fully appreciate, in my view, the problem.  There is a stark denial of reality.


Let me explain –

Since 9/11 there has been a gradual, sometimes reluctant, awakening to the dangers of the muslim world.  I am a fair person, an honest person, I am an immigrant to Australia and I am neither a racist or, as the Left would like to call me, Islamophobic.  I am a realist.  However, I no longer agree to be tolerant to the intolerant and more and more Australians are waking up to the threat that radical muslims pose. 


Firstly, let me say that moderate muslims don’t matter.  Even though moderate muslims constitute most of the world’s population of muslims, they either are neutral or silent when it comes to criticizing the actions of radical muslims.  This is because they are frightened of the consequences.  This is why you rarely hear condemning muslim voices in response to muslim atrocities and  barbaric acts.  They are just like us - but they just don’t count.


Of the 1.5 billion muslims in the world most estimates suggest somewhere between 15-30% are “Islamists” (muslims who believe a non-muslim should convert to Islam and democracy should be replaced by Sharia Law) pose. Jihadists are a subgroup of Islamists and account for about 5% of the total Islamic population.  These are Islamists who are actually prepared to kill or die to achieve a Caliphate or muslim state ruled by Sharia.  Now that is a big problem.


In relation to the Islamists/Jihadists - there is much to dislike : beheadings, crucifixions, slavery, torture, rape, treating women like farm animals, putting to death apostates, female mutilations, mass genocide, stonings and cutting off of hands, sending thousands of rockets into civilian areas, kidnapping and murder of innocent people and whole families are a good start.  To lie to a non-muslim (infidel) is not immoral, it is a badge of honor.


But for some strange reason which still baffles me, the Left seem comfortable with these bedfellows.  They give terrorists a voice at the UN, support terrorists groups like Hamas and even want more muslim immigration into Australia.


The Left seem to have a propensity for denying what is bloody obvious to everyone else.  A recent good example is the Lindt Café jihadist who killed two in Sydney before being killed himself in a siege.  The Left are still not convinced this muslim cleric who preached hate for years and advocated a Caliphate was a terrorists.  Obama to this day refuses to label the Fort Hood jihadist who yelled “God is Great” while killing 13 unarmed soldiers a terrorist but prefers to call this incident “workplace violence”.  What a joke.  A very bad joke.  Unfortunately, the Left cannot come to terms with the reality of the Islamists/Jihadists.  It would be instructive for your readers to read the Janet Albrechtsen’s Opinion in the Australian Newspaper 24 Dec. 2014  (re-published below, I normally include links to interesting material, but The Australian does not grant casual access to their articles; CB)  which amply describes how this Islamic conman got into Australia, committed numerous serious crimes, abused our welfare system and then turned our legal system against us before slaughtering 2 innocent Australians.


Because the Left are trying to defend the indefensible, they retreat to personal attacks. Yells of “racist” or “islamophobia” ring out.  Because in this way one does not need to defend the indefensible, one only needs to attack the character of your opponent and then everything he or she says must, by definition, be wrong.


So, we come to my proposed policy on Australian immigration.  It is based on observing what has gone on in Europe and other parts of the world and what has transpired in Australia with so called “asylum seekers” flooding into the country under a Labor government.  My proposed policy is that any person claiming asylum and entering Australia illegally will never get permanent residency and never get citizenship.  They should be looked after and receive health care, food and housing but should be returned to their country of origin or another country that is prepared to accept them when it is safe to do so.  They have no rights to the normal welfare systems and legal aid systems as they have broken the law by entering Australia illegally.  If they depart Australia and apply through the normal channels and can prove their identity and be subject to security checks, they may apply for legal entry to Australia and permanent residency or citizenship.


Until the world’s muslim problem is better resolved, I am totally against increasing the proportion of muslims in our population.  Carsten, I know you believe that dialogue with “moderate muslims” can go a long way to resolving the problem but, as I said previously, moderate muslims don’t count.


Phillip A.


I re-published the article Phillip mentions here ... I normally include links to interesting material, but The Australian does not grant casual access to their articles (I hope I'm not breaking copyright law here); please note: I do not endorse many of the inferences brought forward in this article (except, I fully agree with the very last paragraph), the article reflects Phillip's stance on Islam; I re-publish it as a matter of interest and for the sake of balance, C.B.

Janet Albrechtsen


Columnist, Sydney

Illustration: Eric Lobbecke Source: Supplied

AT first glance the connection between Sony last week pulling the comedy The Interview from our screens and the murders in Martin Place is not obvious. Yet both are explained by tolerating the intolerant, a deadly virus that has long infected the West.

Last Tuesday, when Australians woke to news that a gunman had murdered two innocent Australians in the name of Islam during a 16-hour hostage siege, we also woke to the lethal, horrifying cost of tolerating the intolerant. As much as we would prefer to put this behind us and get on with Christmas and a brand-new year, it pays to remember just how tolerant we are.

We allowed Iranian Man Haron Monis into our country on a business visa and then welcomed him as a political refugee. Charged with fraud at home, the Iranian government asked for him back. But we said no to the Iranians. When Monis wrote inexcusable letters to the families of soldiers who died in Afghanistan, describing them as pigs and Nazis, we excused that — delivering only a slap on the wrist of 300 hours of community service. Some called for his Australian citizenship to be revoked. We said no to that, too. We allowed Monis to remain an Australian citizen, a gift sought out by millions of refugees who are keen to embrace and respect Australia as an open, generous and free country.

When Monis asked his local MP and ex-NSW Labor leader John Robertson for a letter asking the state government to consider granting Monis access to his children — despite an appre­hended violence order that prevented such meetings — the former opposition leader agreed.

When Monis was charged with being an accessory before and after the fact to the vicious murder of his former wife — she was stabbed multiple times and then set alight — we allowed him bail. When Monis was charged with 50 acts of sexual assault, again we gave the man bail. When Monis sought to overturn a criminal conviction about the letters sent to the families of soldiers last week in the High Court, we provided taxpayer-funded legal aid for him to engage one of the nation’s most expensive barristers.

This man was known for his anti-West hatred. He told us about it. He was on our radar. He was known to our security ser­vices, federal police and NSW police. On November 17, less than a month before he took 17 innocent people hostage, he posted online his hatred of the West, he wrote about his allegiance to ­Islamic State. Still, we allowed Monis to roam free among us.

Tony Abbott is right to call Islamic State a death cult, but the question must be asked: is the West’s tolerance of the intolerant a death wish? And when many on the Left blindly refuse to identify terrorism, isn’t that furthering the death wish?

When a killer slaughters ­people in the name of Islam, we should take him at his word. Monis is the newest form of terrorist. There is no Islamic State membership card, no initiation ceremony, no formal welcoming morning tea.

Moreover, terrorism is not a numbers game. It’s not about the number of perpetrators who org­anise an attack. It’s about the motivation of the attacker. It’s done to instil fear, to attack our values, to undermine our confidence in our own culture.

The Interview, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, is a spoof about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. When North Korean-backed hackers recently threatened harm — “remember the 11th of September”, they said — if Sony released the movie this month, Sony capitulated. Giving the anti-free speech terrorists what they wanted, Sony pulled the movie from theatres.

We shouldn’t be surprised. The West has a sorry history of tolerating the intolerant here too. Think of the Danish cartoons. Too few media outlets decided to defend our right to free speech in 2005. Instead they caved in to the demands of Islamofascists by not publishing the silly cartoons of Mohammed.

Remember too when Random House, in 2008, pulled the publication of The Jewel of Medina, a book by Sherry Jones that told the tale of Aisha, the child bride of Mohammed. The publisher had received no threats, just “cautionary advice” that publishing the book “might cause offence to some in the community (and) incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment”. Random House chose anticipatory surrender.

Following the Danish cartoons controversy, a South Park episode featured Mohammed behind a black “CENSORED” box. It was a pointed joke by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Carrying on with the joke, the 200th episode of South Park reintroduced Mohammed in a bear suit. Soon enough, a Muslim website warned Stone and Parker would end up like filmmaker Theo van Gogh — the Dutchman slain by a Muslim extremist in 2004 for his film Submission, which explored Islam’s treatment of women. And in another case of depressing anticipatory surrender, the bosses at Comedy Central inserted audio beeps and “CENSORED” block outs into the episode. That wasn’t a joke.

Neither is it a joke that many vocal Muslims claim special treatment. They don’t want an equal playing field. Those who want Mohammed fenced off have no qualms about attacking Christianity or other religions. Our reaction? We tolerate that too. A few years ago, Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, announced that Islam deserved different coverage in the media compared to other religions because Muslims were an ethnic minority.

Human rights commissions in Canada have been used to stifle free speech about Islam. Muslim-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a convert to rationalism, a believer in Enlightenment values and a critic of Islam, has been forced to live with 24-hour protection — in countries such as The Netherlands, the US and Australia. As Hirsi Ali said a few years ago, when more of us defend Western values, “there will be too many people to threaten and at that time I won’t need protection”.

Last week the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann staked a claim, too, for Western values when he said during an interview with the PM, “in a truly tolerant Western society … we would hope for a day when Islam is so integrated that it can be criticised in the way that Catholicism is criticised”. That kind of tolerance is also my hope for 2015.