1. Tracee Hutchison was indignant that “talking about committing an unspecified violent act actually constitutes a breach of Australian law.” Funny, I can’t remember her expressing similar outrage when the Two Dannies endured years of legal proceedings for simply talking (accurately) about what was in the Qur’an.
“After 482 bugged conversations and thousands of hours of telephone taps and video surveillance, all the prosecution could present to the court was talk. Big talk. Chilling, some of it. But it was, in the end, just that - talk.
There was no evidence of any specific target — only the testimony of a witness even the judge described as unreliable and who was being treated for a mental illness at the time he testified that the Grand Prix and the AFL grand final were part of a terror plot.
…history will record that Benbrika was engaged in an organised campaign to commit violent jihad in Australia and enlisted a group of young Muslim men to help carry out the plan. The actual plan was never, and never had to be proved, such is the wording of the Howard government's amended terror laws that refer only to proving the existence of a terror act.
The seven convicted members of a terror organisation might as well be known as Benbrika's Brigade. It wasn't al-Qaeda or the Taliban. The terror-related items several were convicted of possessing weren't fertiliser or explosives — they were DVDs of beheadings and DIY terrorism handbooks. Not nice, but illegal? Apparently now in Australia it is.
In the police recordings, Benbrika does talk with a chilling desire to inflict maximum damage in the course of dying for jihad and talk of killing John Howard and killing 1000 to make the Australian Government pull the troops out of Iraq.
But as I sat in court during Justice Bongiorno's summing up I had to really ask myself what the 12 men in the dock had actually done. Plotted. Talked. Watched some videos and read some terrorist handbooks. Rebirthed a few stolen cars to fund their unspecified plans.Perhaps these men really were on a path of violent jihad. Or perhaps they were just disenchanted Muslim men reacting with misguided empowerment to the prevailing anti-Muslim sentiment whipped up by the Coalition of the Willing at the time… what we are left to contemplate has set a dangerous legal precedent about guilt before the law and where we have really landed in the so-called war on terror. (source)
2. Judge Bongiorno - Karen Kissane, in the Age 18th September, in “Trial and Error”, noted that he
“shortened the jury’s sitting time by half an hour from Sept 1st to allow the defendants to make it back to jail in time for sunset during the fasting period of Ramadan.
He debated with lawyers how best to manage another court custom. In a Supreme Court trial, the court is ordered to stand for the entrance of the judge, and then the judge and those facing him bow to each other as a gesture of respect for their mutual roles and for the legal process. In this trial, the accused stayed seated during that little ritual.
Supreme Court judge Bernard Bongiorno has been persuaded by SC (Senior Counsel) of the defendants, Jim Kennan and Mark Taft*, that the alleged terrorists are being treated inhumanely by the authorities and are at a state of mental collapse.
A Muslim may bow to no one but Allah, the judge was told. This was confirmed by witness Samir Mohtadi, a Muslim community leader, in his evidence to the court: “It’s an act of worship. Shouldn’t be done even to a king or queen.”
There were many sharp exchanges over Corrections Victoria classifying the accused as high-risk. Corrections tried to insist on 26 security guards in court (the judge allowed only 12) and wanted the men to sit behind an existing perspex security screen in the dock. But at the request of defence lawyers, who argued the screen would prejudice the jury against the men because it suggested they were seen by authorities to be a danger to the community, the judge ordered it be taken down.”
Amazing how we suspend our own customs in order to defer to Islamic demands. Time was that if an accused refused to stand up, he was in contempt of court. But sharia obviously trumps Australian law. And heaven forbid anyone got the idea these jihadis were seen as a danger to the community!
3. Keith Moor prepared a special report - “Terror Down Under” – revealing his abysmal ignorance of Islam.
“Benbrika was able to twist Muslim literature to extol the virtues of being a suicide bomber… tempting Merhi with was the promise of juicy rewards awaiting him in paradise if he became a martyr in Allah's cause.“Muslim religious documents and literature” - would that be the Qur’an and hadiths, which are the basis of Islam? As for twisting, just as a corkscrew is not a twisted version of anything, neither is Islam. There is simply no untwisted Islam!
Benbrika's interpretation of Muslim religious documents was that if Merhi killed himself while committing a terrorist act, he would receive the seven special things Allah supposedly gives to martyrs and no one else… including 72 virgin women in paradise, 70 members of his family would be guaranteed access to paradise, a special crown and garment in paradise so all would recognise him as a martyr, his soul would be kept in the bodies of the green birds that fly around paradise.
Police secretly taped Benbrika telling Merhi that the rulings of Allah meant it was permissible to carry out violent acts of jihad in Australia, as Allah permitted violent jihad against countries which were considered a land of war and that Australia was a land of war because it had sent troops to Iraq in support of the US.
Benbrika told his followers not to believe moderate Muslims when they taught that the word jihad had many meanings, not all of them violent.
''They say jihad means many things. He's a donkey. He doesn't understand his religion,''Benbrika met and befriended Samir Mohtadi, who told police he drifted away from Benbrika because of his fundamentalist Islamic views. Benbrika used his classes as a recruiting ground for radicals and chose likely candidates to attend more secretive meetings to discuss an extreme form of Islam - a form which most Muslims despise and reject.
Allah he mentioned the jihad in the Koran. What does it mean? It's fighting the unbelievers, that's all. And the kuffar (unbelievers) ... this word, they know what this word means. It means we want to kill them.''
Is Keith claiming Muslims despise and reject the core beliefs of their own faith? Where is his evidence? Surveys overseas have consistently shown that a significant proportion of Muslims support Sharia and an Islamic state in the Western country in which they live, and the goals and methods of Islamist terrorists. Any Muslim or non-Muslim who criticises Islam is threatened by other Muslims or murdered, as well as being denigrated by our media and academia and labelled racist/ Islamophobic.
Muslims who do reject Islam often live in hiding, in fear of their lives, as Islam mandates death for apostasy. Moderates who stay and try to reform Islam are also threatened and have no power or influence.
They were also taught why, in Benbrika's warped view of Islam, Muslims were expected to take part in violent jihad - including jihad on Australia.
Benbrika's warped interpretation of Allah's wishes included permission for his followers to steal cars, commit fraud, become suicide bombers, kill innocent women and children and generally wage war on Australia in Australia.
“Ok by Allah because stealing to fund terrorism was approved by the exalted one”.
Benbrika’s view is not warped. Muslims are expected to wage permanent Jihad, and they can kill, steal, rape and loot for this purpose, just as Mohammad did, as the Qur’an mandates, and as Muslims have behaved for 1300 years.
Bassam Raad's barrister, Benjamin Lindner, told the jury his client was:
a ''naughty boy'' who was involved in credit card fraud and other ''naughty'' things…Though he was never a terrorist… he made threats but didn't carry through with them…'When he says he's going to shoot someone, don't take him literally and don't take him seriously…His actions speak louder than his intemperate and hot-headed words.'' (source)
So stealing and threats of violent jihad are just being naughty? That’s OK then. Let’s send them to bed without supper!
“It is a fair description to say Benbrika preyed on the vulnerability of young men, under the cloak of religion, as a means to extol his own extremist version of IslamDescription it might be, but not a fair one. Islam is extremist. Islam is an ideology hiding under a cloak of religion via taqiyaa, used to hide the hideous reality of Islam.
Extremists use various tools to exert a considerable amount of influence including advice provided under the guise of religion, which includes the promise of paradise maidens."
5. Mick Keelty Australian Federal Police Commissioner.
“This is one of the things our counter-radicalisation strategies are trying to defeat. We now know a lot more about radicalisation and how it works around the world…How few would that be, Mr. Keelty? Almost half of UK Muslim males 15 to 35 support jihad, sharia, an Islamic state and the goals and methods of terrorists. And where is the entire Muslim community’s protest at Islamic violence?
That’s why the broader Australian community does not condemn the entire Muslim community for the actions of a few”.
6. The Prosecution
In “A Jihadist and His Disciples”, (see later) Karen Kissane noted:
Benbrika was an absolutist and a perfectionist, passionate about his own interpretation of Islamic belief (the prosecution was at pains to point out that it did not suggest for a moment that Benbrika represented the true face of Islam).Of course not! The true face of Islam is kind and friendly - that’s why it wants us dead!!
So much for the twits’ words of wisdom. Now let’s hear it from those who know.
1. The Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Fehmi Naji El-Imam
"The Islamic community is relieved that this legal process has now come to some conclusion," the sheikh said.
"Although we were not present throughout this lengthy trial, we are confident that the accused were given the opportunity to present their innocence.
"The reaction from the Muslim community to the verdicts is one of mixed emotions, as many people know of these men and empathise with the hardship that their families have endured to date and will continue to endure beyond today." (source)
Extraordinary words!! In case you missed it, Fehmi is declaring their INNOCENCE, which under sharia they are, as it is licit to steal, lie and commit violence against the infidel.THE refusal by Australia's new Mufti to accept Osama bin Laden was responsible for the September 11 attacks has sparked an outrage which was very quickly forgotten by the media.
And why mixed emotions? Surely if Muslims are loyal citizens, they should empathise with fellow Aussies, who have endured hardship because of Islam, not with the perpetrators?
Just whose side is Fehmi on?
2. Islamic Council of Victoria
Mark Colvin said back in 2005, when news of the arrests broke, the ICV feared a backlash, and that their community would be further tarred with the terrorism brush, but they are happy with the way the judicial process unfolded.
Malcolm Thomas, ICV:
“justice has been served, as Justice Bongiorno stressed to the jury that the trial was about the activities of the men and that Islam was not on trial.
JEFF WATERS: But surely you can't be happy that six members of your Islamic community have been found guilty of terrorism?
Does it not trouble you that these men are Muslim?
MALCOLM THOMAS: It troubles us that by association people will think that Muslims are prone to violence and acts of terrorism. That's a perception which is brought about obviously by cases like this and activities overseas.
JEFF WATERS: So how do you explain cases like this then?
Aly, Soliman and Malcolm Thomas
MALCOLM THOMAS: I can't explain cases like this. Only to say that these people have done actions which is not in accordance with what we believe our religion tells us.
JEFF WATERS: Malcolm Thomas says conditions in the community have changed since the convicted men first came together, an assertion Waleed Ali agrees with.
WALEED ALI: Well one of the things that's changed, perhaps paradoxically enough, is this trial. I mean the fact that this trial happened, that they were arrested, I think it changed the shape of the issue. And to a lot of people who may have been on the edge of radicalisation I think it probably did send some kind of message to them that the authorities were being vigilant, and so it may have caused some in that sort of position to back off.
But also I think don't underestimate the impact of the Mohammed Haneef saga, which did a couple of things; one, it really did expose the limitations and the potential shortcomings of anti-terrorism laws in this country and their application. But it changed the nature of the national security conversation around terrorism and suddenly I think the public became a lot more sceptical of the way the government was riffing on terrorism as an issue.
And that in turn changed the social environment. So discussions of terrorism were not as heated and really frenetic as they were previously. And it lowered the social temperature a little bit which is kind of an odd outcome. (source)
Yes Malcolm, unsurprisingly people do think that Muslims are prone to violence and acts of terrorism, a perception reinforced by Islamic words and activities here and overseas.
Waleed, ever eager to project blame away from Islam, tries to insinuate the Mohammed Haneef case illustrated the government were manipulating the terrorism laws for their own purposes, increasing public scepticism of our anti-terrorism efforts. Certainly, this was the rhetoric of Islamists and their far-left supporters, but it is not supported by the evidence.
3. Samir Mohtadi
"I said if he intends to kill anyone in this country, he will imprison our Muslim sisters, basically, and he would be killing innocent people and … it will be devastating for the Muslim communit y and the non-Muslim community."So the reason for Mohtadi’s concern is that Benbrika would make it hard for Muslim women and the Muslim community. And then, as an afterthought, for us infidels as well!
4. Professor David Wright-Neville , co-founder of the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University, giving evidence at the plea hearing last year for Atik, who pleaded guilty to terror charges, argued that religion was not a causal factor but could help hold a group together:
"Religion becomes a way that the political entrepreneur can manipulate (and) instil a common ideology." (source)So Prof, the terror has nothing to do with Islam? Nothing to do with what the Qur’an says?
Well, that’s a relief!!
I can sleep easy in my bed tonight, knowing that someone of your calibre is lecturing on global terrorism at one of our top universities!