I am sitting in Sydney Airport this foggy morning waiting for the first of four (yes, 4) planes to take me back to New York. The front page of The Australian, the country’s best newspaper, is mostly devoted to a warning from a former army chief: “We’ll fight Islam for 100 years.” Thumbing through the paper, I stumble upon a story with this headline “Don’t single us out with laws, say Muslims.”
Young Muslims feel unfairly targeted by the government’s new suite of anti -terror laws, under suspicion for visiting and supporting family that remain in countries racked by war and radicalism.
One such young Aussie Muslim reports that she feels “picked on a bit too much.”
For an explanation of why this should be, you need only turn to one of the stories tied to that front-page banner about fighting Islam for 100 years. I am thinking in particular of the story about Mohamed Elomar, a “promising young boxer on a scholarship” (natch) who decided that he prefer beheading infidels to boxing them.
Actually, I don’t know whether Elomar did the beheading, only that there are pictures of him grinning and holding a couple of freshly human heads, one in each hand.
The story wonders “how a regular suburban kid put his faith in a killer cult.” I think I can answer that in one word: Islam. The ideology of Islam is murderous. It attracts lost young men, and to a lesser degree women, because it fills the void of their lives with a transcendent, though malign, purpose.
When I was speaking in Melbourne a few days ago, one starry-eyed interlocutor assured the audience that he was against extremism in any form: Islamic extremism, yes, but also Christian and Buddhist extremism. There were a few titters at that. When’s the last time you ran intro a Buddhist extremist? Or, come to that, when’s the last time you ran into a murderous Christian?
It’s too bad that that young Aussie Muslim feels “targeted” by anti-terror laws. But until Islam grows up and abandons its infatuation with violence and mayhem, singling out Muslims for special scrutiny is not only justified, it is eminently necessary.