Sydney Siege 2014: A serious warning for better terror prevention.

There seems no end to the tributes at Martin Place, which has now spread to a second site

There seems no end to the tributes at Martin Place, which has now spread to a second site in Elizabeth St Picture: Britta Campion

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Just a few things to say to you today after the 16 hour hostage drama in Sydney, where 3 people were killed during a siege in which 17 people were taken hostage at the Lindt Chocolate Café in Sydney’s Martin Place.. There will be a lot still to be written about in retrospect, by others, – … further questions to be raised perhaps as well. 

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A totally senseless act of violence through the hands of a sick minded Iranian cleric with an extensive  criminal violent past.  Unfortunately, he has not been on a security watch list of the homeland security spy agency (ASIO) , which would have been part of due diligence because of his well known obsession with extremism..

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I will say a few more words on this later on…

The culprit in this drama used a flag with in the world of today a symbolism of the ISIL death sect, –  however though,  this siege appeared to be clearly an isolated incident.

Sydneysiders now leave floral marks of respect in Martin Place in an expression of profound grieve and unity with the victims of this siege. Respect as well for the courage shown, both by the victims but also by the police, – all of us not being used to this type of new terror in Australia.

A sad day for this country and the families who lost 2 loved ones. However, .. it brought Australia, for sure, more together from various directions.
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There are signs as well for the rest of the world that if those things can happen in a café in Sydney, they can happen anywhere. And in a world with changing dynamics, with more sick minded people being close to (or in contact with) evil forces – through modern media of connections and other contacts – there is the challenge not to mix the good ones with the bad ones. Not to retaliate in the wrong way,  neither in our country nor in any other countries with so many multicultural and different believers… There are many different religious views, and they are all fine, and they are all supposed to be treated with respect…

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Any individuals or groups however, who violate the human rights of any other person, or persons, regardless their religion, – should be subject to the law enforcement in proportion with their acts of injustice.

What we heard as well, after the Sydney siege, is that militants from the Pakistani Taliban,  attacked a school….The unexpected can happen anywhere, at any time, and there are no easy answers, besides at least, – that neither judicial systems, nor systems of close surveillance on suspected groups or persons, . . should fail in any serious raised suspicions.
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For those who are not related with Islam – considering the evidence that the Sydney gunman was a Muslim,  there can be a desire for revenge.. But this would as such, and really seriously, undermine all what we love most in this country, and its way of life.. Besides this, the fact is simply that the far greater part of Muslims in this country feel that those acts of violence are profound repugnant, – and share in the grieve of what has happened over the past days.

What we need in this country is compassion and love. Hatred fuels hatred and violence fuels violence, – the last which is the risk of prejudice and not making the right distinctions, – in case of any future events at a larger scale perhaps.

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So let us not get infected by the hatred elsewhere in this world, even when acts of senseless violence would recur in Australia, – or elsewhere… Let us continue to use common sense and base our decisions on values and respect for life, and not getting into a descending spiral, – the last which is the weakness  of violence as it aims to destroy..

In the history of the world, we often see that violence multiplies evil rather than that it is able reducing it.. However, – on the other hand, there have been instances where military force was required to end powers of evil, – ..this being the last means of civilization.

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Opposed to our desire to civilization is the evil direction of e.g. ISIS, a large powerful death cult without any connection with the real Islam,  and those who want to live in peace.. Even though they claim to be the true representatives of Islam,  they kill their Islam brothers and sisters and anybody else in most barbaric ways as a way to resolve their differences .. Those extremes want violence and killings in this world, – likewise militants of the Pakistani Taliban and others.
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So let us never get caught in a trap to retaliate in the wrong direction, – as the last is what ISIS or equal groups so dearly want.

They already sacrifice their own people on the altar of hatred, – and hope this fire will spread across the nations to set people up against other people, – countries against other countries.

What we need in Australia is not division; what we need in this world is not hatred; what we need here and elsewhere is not brutality and lawlessness, but is appreciation for what we are able to do together as a people in the positive.. Wisdom to overcome obstacles, and kindness towards one another, besides a feeling of justice toward those who are hurt or grieve, – whatever their origins or believes.
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Today is not the end of violence, not the end of uncontrolled people or groups.. People will continue to mess up in terrible ways, as shown again now as well by the brutality of Taliban militants in Pakistan…
And this type of violence, sadly, may happen anywhere.

And therefore let us dedicate ourselves to try and discipline brutality into humanity, wherever we can, in both small and large ways, – and expand the culture of tenderness and warmth, here, in Australia, – and elsewhere.. But let us be prepared as well, to protect ourselves as a country, together with other countries , – against the inhumanity of forces which put our cultures to the test.. Like that  group of Taliban militants, which walked into a school in Pakistan and massacred 141 people, – 132 children included…..Just children..!

The flowers at present in Sydney’s Martin Place are signs of respect and dignity, a tool and not a couch. For certain not a couch to rest on but a tool to move on and correct what strictly spoken could have been dealt with differently in the lead up to this drama – and this is the way we need to use time…

Dignity and respect lies in the hearts and minds of many people as a willingness, in our case, to support the best of what the Australian culture represents… It may not always work out that way, but as a society we seem to know that the boundaries are narrow,- but the responsibilities however being clear…

One may conclude that both a more proactive Australian justice system and this Iranian gunman being put on the ASIO watch list in the past, at an early stage (for both his passion for extremism and his violent criminal history), could or should have prevented perhaps this deadly siege in Sydney, if he was stopped, – if he was stopped at an earlier stage with a justified prison sentence. And this is one of the lessons to be learnt from this tragic event.

Terror prevention is not merely a distant goal that we search for, but a process through which we arrive at that goal, .. a learning experience, and a journey, which we need to travel, – as due to the increasing dangers we face – as a country with other countries..

And to travel this, –  we have to do this with the highest possible safety, – and with the highest possible speed, – and with the highest possible strategic and efficient efforts… All this, – and more, as part of the quality efforts our country and our citizens deserve!

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Thank you!

 Paul 
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