|Send in the Hounds!|
The Australian Security Intelligence Office (ASIO) has been emboldened by
the concerns about domestic security, and are keen to flex their muscles after
being given new powers as well as a wink and nod from the government. They have taken
to raiding the homes of suspected Jemaah Islamia (JI) sympathizers - seizing
documents, computers and photographic films. A young university student claims
to have had her computer taken, with her only copy of her honors thesis (about
insects), due in two months.
Predictably, local Muslim
groups have been squealing 'victim'.
Some of the people under investigation have been Indonesian, so of course the
Indonesian press has reported the raids as brutal full-scale ethnic cleansing,
and the Muslim politicians in Indonesia
have felt obliged to jump on the Australian-bashing bandwagon
and join the chorus, also protesting about Australia's 'brutality'.
Never mind that JI poses a much bigger threat to the Indonesian government than
to the Australian government, never mind that cracking down on JI is actually
far more important for the Indonesians than the Australians - they have to meet
their immediate needs - appeasement of the Australian haters their policies have
created. Of course in later discussions with Alexander (things-that-batter)
Downer they resolved the 'misunderstanding'. Better to bite the hand that
feeds them when the feeder is not looking.
After bristling indignantly whenever the US suggested that Indonesia was
becoming a haven for Islamic terrorism, the Indonesian government was forced to
admit there was 'an issue' after the Bali bombings. But even after Bali
Bombings, Indonesia is trying to avoid making a decision which is increasingly
forced up on her - whether to appease her Muslim fundamentalists, or take steps
to stamp out the fundamentalism.
Ironically, Australia faces a similar choice - to appease Islamic
fundamentalism or to crack down on it.
Appeasement would appeal to the Left, who can happily remain
in denial of any problem (at least until the attacks start in Australia). More
and more money could be spent
paying them to avoid integrating (we call it multiculturalism).
The benefit is that it will make it harder for JI-like groups to recruit within
Australia. The subsidies will not
actually cause alienation.
On the other hand, a hard crack-down will scare many Australian-based
Muslims from supporting or associating with fundamentalist organizations. On SBS recently, several Muslims were
complaining that they might give money to an apparently good Muslim cause, only
to find later that the money was redirected to a terrorist group. Clearly
they want to be able to give money without taking responsibility for it -
"but they said they wanted to buy the Ammonium Nitrate for
fertilizer! When they said that great fruits would be borne from
sowing the seeds of Western destruction, I thought that it was a
metaphor!". Right - and my flock of pigs flew away with the tooth fairy.
A crack-down will increase the sense of alienation, and may make it easier for
JI-like groups to recruit, but it also gives a clear message that people are
running a risk by doing so. People are less likely to 'drift into' such a group
if they are aware of this from the outset.
As any shepherd knows: if foxes are killing your sheep, you don't feed the
foxes. It may stop them killing your sheep, but it will also bring more of
them; eventually you won't have enough food for all them, and there will be
even more hungry foxes than before. The only solution is to get rid of the
Fox-hunts may have become too politically-incorrect
in England, but Australia has only just
begun. Forget the dogs of war,
call ASIO! Send the hounds! Metaphorically speaking of course.