Where are the journalists with courage?

In today’s environment, it’s easy for the coverage of the inquest into the Lindt Café terrorist attack to be lost in all the other ho-hum reporting of blown up airliners, massacred Syrian Christians and the odd mob that refuses to stand up for a judge after being arrested towing a tinnie to Indonesia.

In other words, in the time it’s taken for the last census to be filed in the national archives and the next one to come around, terrorism has been normalised across Australia and the world.

That’s not a bad effort in just five years.

Unfortunately, the evidence that continues to flow from the Lindt Café inquest shows just how unprepared our military, security and intelligence agencies are for this new version of normality.

Three days ago it was revealed that the lead negotiator at the Lindt Café had only received training in ‘Islam 101’.

This was a nice headline and a quick soundbite. Then this important issue disappeared off the news webpages to be replaced by stories about Johnny Depp.

I guess that also shows the media is entirely unprepared to play its supposedly important role holding the government to account and strengthening our democracy.

Helloooooo? Journalists? Where are you?

There’s a Walkley Award waiting here for someone with the courage to start asking the right people the right questions.

Like this: what exactly makes up the ‘Islam 101’ package presented to military, law enforcement and intelligence officers?

And this: who teaches ‘Islam 101’ to these officers?

Maybe this: do these officers ever get to study ‘Islam 201’?

Or this: are any of the instructors of the ‘Islam 101’ package not pro-Islamic?

I guess that last question is pretty important. It goes to the heart of institutionalised bias within the intelligence community. Just how, for instance, does a Director General of ASIO arrive at the conclusion that Islam is a peaceful religion, or that the Islamic State is not Islamic?

Is it because he simply regurgitates the word of Saudi-funded academics after graduating from the lengthy two-hour long Islam 101 package? Or is it because an unbiased assessment has been made by non-Muslims based on evidence to support that conclusion?

It’s a good question because the government’s deradicalisation program, which actually promotes Islam, has radicalised more people than it has reprogrammed for peace.

That might have something to do with the fact that there’s scant evidence that there’s anything remotely peaceful in Islam anyway. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped the head honchos. They parrot on about Islam in cool leather jackets on QandA. But beneath the façade is very little substance.

In fact, objective analysis of the ‘Islam-is-peaceful’ propaganda shows that there really isn’t anything there apart from Malcolm Turnbull’s massive forehead and the waffle that always seems to tag along with it.


Actually, to be fair to Malcolm, he wasn’t wearing a leather jacket when he blathered on about Islam being a great religion. He did that on another episode. When he was wearing his leather jacket, Lord Waffle stated that he hadn’t undermined or sabotaged Tony Abbott.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

If I was running the joint and believed in all truthfulness that Islam was a peaceful religion based on the life of Mohammad and the Islamic texts, then I’d be doing things a bit different than the current mob.

For instance, I’d plaster mosques with posters like this:

Islam 1

Or maybe this one:

Islam 2

But that isn’t happening.

Instead, adherents of Islam with more knowledge of its ins and outs than your average Director General of ASIO are reaching out to the next generation of halal butchers with their own social media campaign.

This campaign is not vacuous. It means something to those motivated to become good Muslims. It has substance: actual quotes from actual Islamic scriptures, rather than whatever Malcolm Turnbull said on QandA last week.

For instance, this graphic just happens to come from the Islamic State’s monthly magazine of laughs. It contains quotes from Mohammad. About obedience. To the death. And slaying anyone who’ll get in the way.


For a peaceful religion, there sure is a lot of discussion about striking and killing. I’m sure the government’s ‘Islam 101’ package can answer any questions you may have on this point.*

(* No it won’t)

Now the average Aussie is not as ‘professional’ as ‘intelligence professionals’. However, they’re not thick either. They usually only need the time it takes for the call of ‘Allahu Akbar’ to be replaced by the crack of an explosion to ‘assess’ that there is some kind of link between Islam and terrorism.

So here’s another important question some budding journalist might like to ask: where is the government’s assessment that Islam is a religion of peace?

And any journalist worth his salt would not be put off by statements that assessments on Islam are an ‘operational matter’.

Islam is not a state secret.

And, for heaven’s sake, if the government has the answer to refute the Islamic State’s claim that Islam justifies beheadings, why the hell is it locked up and labelled ‘Top Secret’?

Surely this information needs to be spread far and wide.

I guess a journalist hunting down his Walkley would soon come to the conclusion that the government actually has no real idea about Islam; that there is no one within any Defence, intelligence or law-enforcement agency actually looking at the reality of the link between Islam and violence.

And here we come to the crux of the problem: no one is looking at Islam because a decision has been made that critical analysis of Islam is off limits. The government is too politically-correct to question the ideology of those who wish to kill us.

The sad reality is that there is not one single intelligence officer dedicated to understanding why Mullah Aktar quotes from the Quran while turning himself and those around him at the local football ground into pink mist. All of our agencies are too politically-correct to accept that Islam may have some part to play in the situation we face today.

That’s the truth of the matter.

The government has been allowed to get away with this because journalists are not doing their job.

They’ve been fobbed-off, Austin Powers like, with a wave of the hands and a chant about the religion of peace.

So if Australians really want answers to these questions, they’ll have to empower someone else. And that is why I am asking for your votes on July 2. If I am elected to the Senate for the Australian Liberty Alliance, I will ask these questions in parliament.

And answers will need to be provided. You can be sure of that.


Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of eight children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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