Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Two terror attacks

On 15/12/2014 Man Haron Monis held 17 people as hostages in Lindt Chocolat Café, Marin Place, Sydney. He was the lone gunman. He made some people stand near the window. Some hostages escaped during the day. At night there was gunfire in the café. Commandos went in and shot him. Two others died. One was Tori Johnson, 34, manager of the café, and the second, Katrina Dawson, 38, an attorney. Some were injured. The siege was over by 2.15 a.m. on 16/12/2014.
Australians had first experience of terror in their country. It was by an Iranian who had sought asylum in Australia in 1996 and later became citizen. There were many criminal cases against him. He was charged with murder of his ex-wife Noleen Hayson Pal. He had a case of sexual assault against him. He was out on bail. It reflects poorly on Australian judicial system and badly on unscrupulous lawyers who represented Monis. This is a lesson to people who praise the policy “bail, not jail”.
Iran had warned Australia about criminal background of Monis. Monis’ original name was Manteghi Bourjerdi. Monis was on watch list of Australian Security Intelligence Oragnaisation in 2008 and 2009 and later his name was dropped. He was 49 or 50 years old. He claimed to be a cleric and had assumed the title of Sheikh. He had written to offensive letters to families of eight Australian soldiers who had died in Afghanistan. He wanted ISIS flag and wanted to talk to Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Abbott.
Many placed flowers outside the café. Abbott and his wife Margie were among them.
On 16/12/2014 terrorists attacked Army Public School in Peshawar and killed teachers and students. Many were injured. By evening 132 students and nine teachers had died. Few more succumbed to injuries later on. Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility and said it was revenge for attack on the Taliban.
In Pakistan many schools and students had been attacked before, mostly in tribal regions. This happened in Peshawar and on a large scale. In 2012 Malala Yousafzai was shot at. She survived the attack. The attack boomeranged on the Taliban. Malala became famous and at 17 went on to become the youngest recipient of Nobel Peace Prize.
Nawaz Sharif declared three days mourning. He convened all party meeting in Peshawar. He said there is no good Taliban and bad Taliban. He revoked stay on death penalty.
Pakistan’s army chief Raheel Sharif went to Kabul and demanded the extradition of Mulla Fazlullah. Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of abetting terrorism in Pakistan and wants extradition of Mulla Omar.
In India Parliament and schools observed two minutes silence. On #IndiaWithPakistan many Indians condemned Peshawar attack and offered condolences.
On 18/12/2014 there was outrage in India as Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi got bail in 26/11 case. India made it displeasure known to Pakistan. Pakistan put Lakhvi under three month detention.
Media persons should refer to terrorists as such and not as extremists and militants.
The children and teachers who died in terror attack in Peshawar are murder victims and not martyrs.
Some other incidents happened during those days but they did not get much publicity. There was terror attack in Saudi Arabia and kidnapping of girls in Nigeria.
It is foolish to show mercy to murderers and high criminals.
There are people who say a terrorist is a terrorist, he has no religion. Their ignorance is profound. There are passages in different scriptures that justify killing and violence. In Pakistan’s case it is an Islamic Republic. Non-Muslims are second class citizens. Some Muslims consider themselves true Muslims and others as infidels or false Muslims. They do not want democracy. Pakistan has to come hard on terrorism. Otherwise it may end like Libya.

Updated: December 20, 2014 — 7:50 am

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