An unusual outbreak of common sense in the mainstream media.
“We must accept that terrorist acts are religiously motivated,” by Rodger Shanahan, The Australian, October 10, 2015:
The desire to airbrush religion from terrorist and foreign fighter recruitment activity has seen politicians and public figures tying themselves into knots.
Trying to avoid using the R-word, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione noted during his press conference about the Parramatta police shooting last weekend that “we believe (teenage gunman Farhad Jabar’s) actions were politically motivated and therefore linked to terrorism”. There was no mention of the nature of that political motivation or why religion wasn’t considered to be a motive.
The federal Criminal Code Act 1995 defines a terrorist act as advancing a political, ideological or religious goal.
The following day, Fairfax Media columnist Tim Dick spoke of the shock of the act and that it was not so much the murderer’s “obscure political purpose”, but his age that was of concern.
Without doubt his age was concerning, but again there was no mention of what that political purpose was, or any thought that it could equally have involved an obscure religious purpose.
Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs Concetta Fierravanti-Wells recently claimed that some young people were attracted to becoming foreign fighters because they had been lured with promises of drugs, women and weapons, while others went with criminal intent so they could rape, plunder and pillage.
Nowhere in any of this is there a sense that the motivation may be religious, or that most videos glorifying the fight in Syria and Iraq are about helping Islam to victory over the unbelievers, idolators and apostates the jihadists claim are arrayed against them, and to impose Islamic law over the lands it conquers.
The unpalatable reality is that the actions of domestic terrorists and foreign fighters and their facilitators are not politically motivated, they are religiously motivated.
People aren’t attracted to fighting in Syria or Iraq because they’re Arab nationalists or Syrian-Australian dual citizens or would-be humanitarian workers or because it’s cool. They’re attracted because it gives them a sense of empowerment through their religious identity. Recruiters portray such jihad as part of a distorted sense of religious obligation and social media is awash with religious references to the fighting….
If it were really all that distorted, would it really be as appealing to young Muslims as it is?