What can we do to discourage more Muslims from becoming jihadists. Hmm, I don’t know. Let us call them gangsters. Ha. That’ll work. Even better, let us s call it “gangster jihad.” Right guys? Oh wait, then we call half of them gangsters haha! That will not blow back in our faces at all… We will control the narrative. W-won’t we? Boss? Here is a mini-version of a terrorist profile.
Once upon a time there was a boy who grew up to become a splatted religious terrorist. Counter-terrorism ‘experts’ wonder what happened during this process. His name was Khaled Sharrouf. The documentary called “gangster jihad” was born. It was tough for me to get through it. It was hard. These guys are so-called ‘experts’ yet seem to lack on religious understanding to the point where they feed extremist religious narratives. Let me give you some examples…
Obfuscation of Religious Connections
“The reality is that if he is involved in that level of violence, if he is involved with some of these people, I think it casts a great deal of doubt of the seriousness of his religious beliefs.”
There you have it folks, you cannot be criminal and Muslim. I guess those Christian gangs that mix drugs, violence, robbery, and murder, with religious doctrine cannot be Christian either. R-r-right, Nick? What a very poor statement. You cannot sin and be a Muslim? What happened to the forgiveness of Allah and the ablution of sins for certain deeds?
Further, you cannot be involved in ‘that level of violence’ and be a Muslim? How very odd. That statement must be verifiable to the scriptural works of Islam, must it not? Well, to save you the time… there were many acts of violence committed by the first-generation of Muslims, including ordered, directed, and enacted, by the Prophet Muhammad himself.
To claim that violence is not permitted religiously is bluntly wrong. It will incite frustration and backlash towards these fallacious arguments and superficial statements about their religion. You will never control the narrative by giving it away so easily. Grab it back!
This kind of obfuscation destroys the prospect of understanding Islamic terrorism. Khaled Sharrouf was an Islamic terrorist however troubled he may have otherwise been. You can enact on behalf of religious teaching, or God, or your interpretation, whilst being a gay transsexual Muslim bank-robber for all you care. He was doing it for a purpose, for a motive. Those motives may have mixed a little, at times, but, ultimately, he died whilst being an Islamic terrorist.
Half-Truths Played as Full-Truths
Even more laughably, just following that statement, “Islamic community leader,” Jamal Rifi who says:
“I believe that Khaled Sharrouf was afraid for his life and that is what made him decide to leave Australia.”
This is a half-truth and half-a-statement. Sure, if you are scared for your life you may flee country. Then why aren’t more fleeing criminals, or at least those suspected to be in the criminal underworld, joining terror organisations? Whoops. Your theory just fell flat.
It does not accurately explain how Sharouf ended up in Syria, a war-torn country, on the frontlines calling himself a holy warrior. I guess you skip the accuracy and accountability of your statements so long as it suits your ideological mode: to disassociation religion from religious terrorism. Shared understanding would really help dissolve tensions instead of increase them, at least discuss the aspect of religious violence as a potential factor.
Then later in the documentary we get the same old stirs of difficult upbringings, some degree of poverty and discrimination, some degree of isolation and alienation. Guess what? A lot of kids go through that! This is not an explanative theory.
I mean is that not the trend of terrorism now? The petty street criminal who turns martyr, being forgiven by Allah for his crimes in the process? The guy with a ‘history of mental illness’ (anything from depression to schizophrenia, in this case schizophrenia) who decides to fight for a cause? The loner who picks up his gun and becomes alone no more?
Later come worse terms like ‘groomed,’ ‘trained,’ and ‘indoctrinated.’ Laughably, these terms can be used for any organised movement or religion. Even political movements. They do nothing to highlight the radicalisation process or what was really going on. They just fill empty spaces with unevidenced and assumed explanations.
This document got even harder to watch when the assessment of what is and is not Islam, or fighting for Allah, was given by Jamal Rifi:
“He did not go to Syria to do this to defend the Ummah, the people of Syria or the press there. He was scared for his life and fled his country.”
Right, okay. So if you claim to be fighting for the Ummah, which the Islamic State do claim to do and in fact claim to be re-awakening the Ummah and Caliphate, then does your statement not become relevant to the case? Whoops. He joined the group that claims to do exactly that. I guess your theory fell through for a second-time.
Above: Sharrouf with Black Flag showing Monotheistic Salute (left) and with his children (right).
The Shining Light of Truth
But then what does Sharrouf’s lawyer, Adam Houda, say?
“If you were interviewing Khaled Sharrouf what now and you asked him what motivated him to go to Syria and Iraq. He would tell you – I am just sick and tired of seeing brutal dictatorships killing women and child. It is incumbent on every Muslim to go to the defence of those who are being killed and oppressed. “
This is spot on the money for the Islamist-Jihadist oppression narrative with a slant on sectarianism. Half way into the documentary and we finally got some verifiable reasoning. Sharrouf could ‘re-launch his credentials’ as a radical jihadist, indeed. This has a religious implications: forgiving or ridding one of sins, enjoining in the elite Muslims who fight on behalf of Allah. It is also present in his tweets.
Returning to Your Original Broadcast…
And nope! That lasted no more than a few minutes. Back to good old Nick Kaldas to tell us:
“The events of the day showed us that they were a minority – and they were a minority – both in that group and generally in the community who were susceptible to some pretty extreme views.”
Fail. Fail. Fail. No, Nick. You have lost the narrative! These “extreme views” include protecting the name and reputation of the Prophet Muhammad during the 2012 Sydney Hyde Park riots. If you call that ‘extreme,’ you feed their persecution complex.
They think they are defending their Prophet. Do not call this extreme. Misguided use of their tongue, hearts, and fist is what the Islamist would understand. There is no time for the sword when the enemy offer peace.
Also, terrorism and radicalisation is in a minority. Well, is that not the best news I have heard all day. Who would have known that terrorism is in a minority? Come on, Nick, this is a truism. It is common sense. Your attempt at minimizing the problem is negotiating more with non-radicals than with radicals. It is protecting the ‘vulnerable minority’ by re-affirming their religious understanding, rather than challenging the ‘extreme minority’ and their understanding of said religion.
Playing-Off Common Frustrations as Answers
Time and time again we hear about employment, opportunities, discrimination, frustration, even petty criminality including drugs… all common features of any modern society. This one group in particular, though, jumped on the radical Islam bandwagon. That does not happen for the rest of society – or for non-Muslims – even in similar situations. If you can replicate the conditions and yet come out with different conclusions, you are missing something…
The big piece of obvious: religion. The central theme that guides their everyday lives.
I was hoping through the documentary, at least one of you guys would get it. I guess the only person who truly understood it was Adam Houda. Welp. At least the guys who are supposed to be studying, researching, and stopping it tried. Extra points for trying.
Border Security Failure
Wow. Using his brother’s passport was all it took to get on a flight and work his way into Raqqa, Syria. That is quite slack. If brotherly tricks get passed out finest intelligence strategies, I do not have a whole lot to say but… improve, improve, improve! Worryingly though, what if he stayed? Would he have killed Australians on Australia soil? Should we have #letthemgo? Those are viable questions to ask in this situation. This is a huge counter-terrorism mistake that should never happen again.
Social Media Narcissist
Then came the baiting, beheading photos, execution photos from the suspect himself. You know the rest. The typical social media rants of a narcissistic “holy warrior.” Reports say he is now dead. In his mind, he has redeemed his sins by fighting for God. You have to understand the metaphysical viability of that when you connection crime-to-terrorism. What a sick ideology. Sick!
Either learn about the problem and religious connections or keep making the mistakes you are making. You are asleep at the wheel people! You are losing the narrative, feeding frustrations, and probably energizing the base. This criticism is in no way meant to disrespect those involved but to make satire of the situation, as well as rubbing-off some good old-fashioned advice. We should confront the problem as it presents and understand it from the threat-perspective. Only then can we pretend to not know about the problem.