But still probably best to drop the problematic word, jihad, and just call it “violence,” to be on the safe side. “Judge tells terror trial religiously motivated violence illegal,” by Gary Hughes, for the Australian, August 18:
RELIGIOUSLY motivated violence was against the law, no matter which religious group was behind it, the judge in Australia’s largest terrorism trial said today.
Hear that, all you would-be Buddhist mujahidin?
During his final directions to the jury, Justice Bernard Bongiorno said it did not matter whether the supposed justification for such violence came from the Bible or the Koran.
“Religiously motivated violence is illegal,” he told the Victorian Supreme Court jury.
He said the term “violent jihad” had been used by the prosecution in the case, despite the fact it had never actually been said by any of the 12 accused.
The prosecution has claimed that the 12 Melbourne Muslim men allegedly led by self-proclaimed cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika plotted to wage violent jihad on Australian soil, including attacking sporting events.
Justice Bongiorno said there had been a variety of definitions provided to the jury about the meaning of the term jihad.
But the only definition that was relevant was the one the jury decided to place on “violent jihad”.
“It doesn’t matter what jihad means,” Justice Bongiorno said. “It’s what violent jihad means.”
He might just as well have said it doesn’t matter what jihad means, only what violence means.
Mr Benbrika and the 11 other accused have pleaded not guilty to a range of terrorism charges, including knowingly belonging to a terrorist organisation.
Justice Bongiorno is continuing his final directions to the jury.