Sydney is my hometown so the hostage crisis there has had me more than a little preoccupied today, following most of it on Twitter. I’m obviously incredibly concerned for the well-being of the hostages and also hoping and praying that there won’t be any casualties among the police or other innocent bystanders. But its also got me thinking about some other stuff. Here are a few thoughts on the situation:
- As I write this (13:37 GMT on Monday, December 15th, 2015) I don’t know if the so called gunman is really an Islamist Terrorist, or whether he’s some nutcase that has been watching too much news lately about ISIS/ISIL/IS/whatever. He did hang a “Shahada” flag in the window of the cafe which does suggest that this has something to do with Islam. Even if it turns out that it he has nothing to do with Islam (escaped mental patient, part of a diversion for a robbery or whatever) I do think it is time society took a good, long and hard look at why it seems OBVIOUS to most that this would be an Islamist Terrorist since most of these types of events lately tend to be connected to Islam. Of course that’s not to say that all Muslims are terrorists – of course they are not – but there does seem to be a message somewhere in the way Islam is being taught to people that terrorism can be an effective and therefore justifiable means to an end. Of course you’re not allowed to point any of this out because that makes you “Islamophobic”. (EDIT: We now know who he is and it turns out he is a total nutcase, but also a self proclaimed Islamic spiritual leader. Certainly not mainstream Islam, and not connected to ISIS in any way, but I don’t think it changes the fact that all assumptions that he is a Muslim turned out to be correct and people still need to have this conversation and start to take necessary actions).
- I’m seeing a lot of collective back patting in social media over this “IllRideWithYou” hashtag. (If you haven’t heard about it, you can read about it here.) I am finding this back patting incredibly annoying. First of all, I see very little evidence that any Muslims were ever in any danger of violence. I see people recognizing that there is a problem with Islamist Terrorism, but certainly no threats of violence, nor terribly much genuine anti-Muslim feelings towards those that are not extremists. So this whole “I’m so terrific because I’m tolerant” attitude is just the latest example of social media as an outlet for Moral Self Licensing (Google it). Meanwhile, I don’t see a trending hashtag along the lines of “ImWithTheHostages”, the real victims here. And furthermore, I don’t recall Twitter and Facebook erupting in a campaign to protect Jews from real anti-Semitic acts of violence in Australia in the past. Where was the “IllRideWithYou” hashtag against REAL VICTIMS then?
- I was asking myself “self, where do you get a Shahada Flag?”. Turns out you can order one on Amazon. From the product description (obviously via Google Translate):
Flag: The Shahada written in white on a black background used by the Taliban in the period of 1997-2001. According to comments at FOTW, some Islamist websites began to display the black-on-white flag alongside the white-on-black one I have found in several 90x150cm | 3x5ft
Jihad The Shahada written in white on a black background
Since we know how important your external presentation is, we print our The Shahada written in white on a black background used by the Taliban in the period of 1997-2001. According to comments at FOTW, some Islamist websites began to display the black-on-white flag alongside the white-on-black one “I have found in several flag for your representative appearance using the most modern machines in Germany. To ensure your maximum flexibility, we have equipped the flags with high-quality metal eyelets, to let you simply attach these flags to any flagpole. To let you use the flags for a long time, we have strengthened the flag using double safety seams and a tear proof strap at the side of the pole.
Due to the quality of this business flag, you express your special attachment to The Shahada written in white on a black background used by the Taliban in the period of 1997-2001. According to comments at FOTW, some Islamist websites began to display the black-on-white flag alongside the white-on-black one.
Which led me to wonder if you can get an ISIS flag on Amazon. You sure can! (but they appear to be out of stock.) From the product description:
… because the first impression last
And that led me to wonder if you can get a Nazi flag. Bingo!! Way to go Amazon!!!!