Part 4 of a 6-part series.
This essay delves further into government policies and actions that do not match the reality of what politicians say and do. We live in a time when the term democracy describes a preferred state of mind as opposed to a physical sovereign state populated by citizens who possess unquestioned rights and freedoms.
Politicians distort the truth as a means to cover up agendas, incompetencies, and to perpetuate more deceptions. Even the word politician is now synonymous with the word lie. Honesty is no longer a virtue to be highly valued, but a disadvantage that can cost an individual dearly, even in politics.
Laws that restrict democratic rights and freedoms are now the norm, not the exception. A survey of the current federal, state, and territory statute books has identified 350 laws that infringe upon freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of movement, the right to protest, basic legal rights, and the rule of law.
Terrorism and Wars
Depending on what is read and the perspective taken, either there are independent, self-motivated, self-funded Islamic terrorist groups that aim to bring down Western countries, or these same groups are CIA / US Government sponsored /funded to bring about political / economic advantage or perhaps a new world order.
Even the question of whom or what is driving the atrocities that are now a common broadcast on the nightly news invites further questions. Does responsibility for what we witness lie with “radical Islam” or even a “moderate Islam”? Is the Koran the source of inspiration and guidance for carrying out the most heinous of acts? Is Sharia law the base reference? Are all Muslims unreserved adherents to the teachings of the Koran or do the majority simply live their lives as best they can under difficult circumstances?
The problem is that the mainstream media dominates how Westerners’ understand current events. For most well informed Westerners, placing their faith in the asserted honesty and integrity of the media is problematic. For example, despite mainstreams’ assurances and assertions to the contrary, it is possible that even a ‘moderate Islam’ harbours a serious threat, physically, socially, and culturally.
In 2013 and 2015, Pew research published the results of a world survey of Muslims. Seventy-two percent of Muslims in Indonesia and 86% in Malaysia favoured making sharia the law of the land; of those, 48% and 60% favoured stoning for adultery and 18 and 62 percent favoured death for leaving Islam. Hand severing, a favoured punishment for theft in the Muslim world also predominates.
Although highly disturbing, these percentages are less confronting than for Pakistan (84, 89, and 76 percent), in Egypt (74, 81 and 86 percent), or in Afghanistan (99, 85 and 79 percent). Thus, within the Muslim world wherever Islamic teachings predominate, enlightened Western values do not appear to be high on the list of priorities. See: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/12/07/muslims-and-islam-key-findings-in-the-u-s-and-around-the-world/ and http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-overview/
Perhaps even more disconcerting, surveys taken in the US, UK, and Australia suggest that terrorist groups enjoy a remarkable degree of support from members of the resident Muslim populations, especially among 18 to 24 year-olds.
The picture I am painting does not end here. There is a bewildering, almost insidious twist that may prove to be more damaging to the Western world than simply the seemingly interminable threat of a terrorist takeover. The real threat may reside inside our borders. It is the threat that arises out of self-interest and inaction.
Our politicians, concerned more with voter numbers and retaining their extraordinarily well formulated benefits, for the most part, display very little concern for the security and composure of mainstream Australians.
With every passing day and alongside escalating terrorist atrocities, the nonsensical attitude of western leaders toward Islamic inspired cults and their connections with Muslims in general, is an increasingly vexing puzzle. Subsequent to each terrorist atrocity, their primary concern is to appease the Muslim population rather than display genuine distress for the injured or slain citizens and extend concern and compassion to the general population.
While it is arguable that not every Muslim is preoccupied with destroying westerners, what is noticeably absent is evidence of direct action to prevent their members from carrying out such atrocities. The occasional public protest against such actions or even a display of support for the victims would go a long way to assuring Australians that we all share the same unease. Something similar to the Irish experience perhaps? See: http://morningmail.org/dublin-declaration-ireland-shows-way/#more-42936
Regardless of whether terrorists are referred to as ISIS, Boko Haram, the Haqqani network, Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Nusrah, al-Qaeda, the Houthi or any of the myriad mutations that the media reports, one thing stands out. Either way, their influence, destructiveness, and impact, especially through fear, is undeniable.
Terrorist outfits have extended their malicious acts from northern Europe, the UK, France, south across the Mediterranean, and down through Africa. They are in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Indonesia, with isolated breakouts in the US, the UK, France, Belgium, and Australia.
Over past years, extremists have toppled rulers in Tunisia, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, with protests in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Sudan, Mauritania, Oman, Djibouti, Western Sahara, Mali, Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank. In all of these places, as well as in Paris, San Bernardino, Melbourne, and Martin Place, there are jihadists who want to kill Westerners because they hold different values.
As Ackerman writes: “Yet while the threat is identifiable, indeed, it self-identifies through a resoundingly skilful propaganda campaign, it is beyond ironic that on almost every campus across Australia and within the ABC and Fairfax, those nations at the forefront of the struggle against the death cult are held in utter contempt”. Despite evidence of its failure, schools and universities churn out young people who think a hug will change a jihadist’s viewpoint. Cowered by years of politically correct condemnation, and with political leaders succumbing to moral panic, many Australians no longer voice their concerns, as they know their views will be subject to ridicule and censure.” See: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/piers-akerman-we-must-tackle-the-unspeakable-truth/news-story/ba1a433737ddc981d17a3c55aa500ead
Western citizens must be free to talk about the groups whose members are committed to killing those who will not follow their extremist ideology, including fellow Muslims.
Sadly, only time and history will cast a proper light on the truth of this unwelcome predicament.
Metadata Collection and Storage
The devastating attack on American soil on the morning of September 11, 2001 became the catalyst for Western governments to apply all their resources (paid for by taxpayers) to spy on their own citizens. That is, monitor the same people that pay for these unwarranted activities and have never, or do not intend to carry out terrorist acts.
Since that ineffable day, Australian Parliaments have embarked on a process of approving laws that have significantly eroded basic democratic rights. For reasons that have never been fully justified, parliamentarians have enacted laws that restrict and diminish the rights of ordinary citizens in favour of purging the threat of terrorism.
As a result, unprecedented anti-terrorism laws have created new insights and practices that have led to an even broader range of legislation that directly infringe on the rights of all Australians. These reactions have prompted not only new anti-terrorist laws, but have generated stringent laws in other areas such as State-based organised crime and bikies. See: http://www.cla.asn.au/News/legal-assault-on-australian-democracy/
Politicians repeatedly attempt to convince Australians that there is no link between terrorism and Islam, Islam is a peaceful religion and does not influence Muslims, and Sharia law is not a threat to the Western way of life. Moreover, they give assurances that no one treats Muslims differently to mainstream citizens, and that the war on terror is not connected in any way to any of the preceding factors.
Yet reports appear on infringements of civil rights, restrictions on freedoms, increased surveillance, monitoring, and data gathering. All the while politicians studiously ignore the issues that concern Australians most such as security, well-being, health, fairness, and opportunity. For a taste of what is happening in other Western countries, see: http://morningmail.org/free-speech-is-not-a-government-gift/
Can we also not ask why Muslim men can have multiple wives; why Muslims can claim exemptions from everyday traditions; why they can so cruelly mutilate their young daughters; why Australian law tolerates underage sex; and, why Australian goods are subject to a halal tax without agreement? A broader question is why non-Muslims can be gaoled for conducting any of these unlawful and socially insupportable acts.
All this has occurred while terrorists appear to have free reign to wreak havoc
Right now, in Australia, there are so many elephants in the room that it is about to burst apart at the seams. Is there another agenda that is not public knowledge?
Consider for example, the recent legislation on surveillance and the use of metadata. What is its purpose? Why does the government really want it? Why such an obvious attempt to undermine our civil liberties?
We now know that 61 government entities have applied for ongoing access to the telecommunications data of Australian citizens and residents. Four of the 61 are unnamed. Whilst we know that many of these agencies are not involved on terrorist prevention or tax evasion, or copyright infringement, or paedophilia activities, then why are there so many departments and agencies on the list. Perhaps just as significant, why were we not told the truth from the outset? Why are there so much secrecy and so little information about a legislation that amounts to a gross infringement on privacy? Has this legislation become a covert way around the reaction to the Australia Card fiasco?
The potential for metadata to be used to record, monitor, analyse, and control every aspect of our existence is a serious threat to citizens’ rights and freedoms. Once fully established, the silent accumulation of digital data can reveal the most innocent of activities, of which a number of unknown organisations and agencies can manipulate to fabricate false subversive interpretations.
This scenario ultimately risks taking the country the closest it has ever been to a totalitarian state. Think this cannot happen? See: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-22/orwells-nightmare-here-china-just-gamified-obedience-state-and-soon-itll-be-mandator
It is a serious enough problem to allow technology to control every facet of our lives to the extent that we are longer its master. The real danger however, is to unconsciously relinquish control and not even realise that we are no longer the masters and have no understanding of how technology actually affects our lives.
Politicians have lost sight of the fact that the legislature exists to put laws into place that formalise the wishes of the Australian people. If the majority of Australians believe it is right to ban the practice of sharia law or remove the halal tax from the products they purchase, then it should not be necessary to argue for change. In a genuine democracy, citizens should be able to put forward their views along with the relevant facts and in turn, the government should respond by enacting their demands.
A legitimate government draws its authority from the consent of the people, as expressed by the votes cast through democratic elections. Such consent is the only grounds on which a government becomes legitimate and thereby permitted to act on behalf of the Australian people.
Australians believe they have the right to run their country the way we see fit. For too long, successive governments have signed inadequately explained treaties and free trade contracts, and agreed to war commitments, all of which have slowly removed freedoms and reduced the quality of life. When politicians’ experiments fail, Australians should have the right to reverse these decisions whenever the majority request it.
Given the seriousness of the current circumstances, Australians must be free to talk about the catastrophic global threat of Islamic fundamentalism to their way of life before it is forever lost. With luck, the western way of life may still be a distant memory in the minds of our grandchildren. It is my hope that left-wing political correctness, self-serving governments, and their MSM propaganda allies will never be successful in changing this memory.
Part 5 follows below.
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