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Sydney Seige is Over

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It has been that way for a very long time. Islam's history is written in the blood of its victims.

They don't tolerate the presence of other religions at all.

They will tell you that the word Islam means peace. That's a lie. It means literally submission and demands it of everyone.

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In a rare moment of patriotic pride, I wept when I read of the sanity of my fellow Australians who went out of their way to support those who would be ostracised in some other countries because of what one insane man did.

You don't need guns to love.

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My local, small town newspaper here in Virginia reports that Australians are rallying to offer to accompany Muslims in religious dress, such as veiled women, to show solidarity and support against possible backlash. How extraordinarily humane!

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The enclaves are easy to explain.

People move for economic reasons. They want western money/standards of living, but they are in the middle of an alien culture when they get to the west. All immigrant communities 'enclavise', but for muslims it's a bit harder since they stand out more for reasons of skin color and dress etc.

So when the Poles enclavise in Chicago, or the Greeks enclavise in Toronto, all you get is a new ethnic food hotspot and nobody pays much attention.

Muslim enclaves stand out more to the host nation AND to each other. So they don't see Poles and Greeks and Germans when they look out at a city. They just see an ocean of white with black islands. So they are left feeling more isolated than a white/christian immigrant would.

Hindus, Sikhs and East Asians are also enclavising more for that reason. (most of what I'm saying is based on my time in Toronto, NY and Miami. Others may have different experiences)

But yes, there's no contradiction in them wanting to be IN the west but not be PART of the west.

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Besides the gunman, two people died in the siege. One of them was Tori Johnson, the manager of the store where the seige took place. Unconfirmed stories indicate he died trying to wrestle the shotgun off the gunman. I'd seen a couple of news reports that used the phrase 'life partner' in relation to Tori, so I did some searching and found this quote:

Deborah Thomas, a family friend of Mr Johnson's, wrote on social media: "Tori Johnson loved partner of Thomas, son of Ken, siblings Jamie & Rhada. RIP you beautiful boy. We seek comfort in your heroic actions."

Thinking about it, I agree with how the media is covering this. Tori is being mourned as a victim of a senseless act of violence. The fact that he was gay isn't relevant, but I thought it appropriate that we here, at a gay-focused site, should acknowledge that one of the two victims was gay.

Equally sad, the other victim was a mother of three children.

My heart goes out to the families of both.

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The scourge of Islam, those we know as the Taliban, are back on the front pages with the senseless attack on the school in Pakistan. 132 children killed, 9 of the school staff as well. This is not the action of peaceful religious believers, just fanatics.

Many in Pakistan question why these men would attack a school and not some military target. I would suggest it is because education is not something they understand. Each of the seven attackers were wearing suicide vests so there is no doubt what their objective was. Now they will rot in the ground, what little is left of them, because Allah is a lie and there is no heaven filled with virgins.

For far to long Pakistan has tried to appease these Islamic militants and this is what it gets them. Osama Bin Laden lived comfortably just down the road from a military base, and Pakistan's government denied any knowledge of his existence there. So when you live your life in shit the stink finally comes back to haunt you.

These 141 deaths could have been avoided but the Pakistan government was too weak to care...and need I remind you these idiots have nuclear weapons. It's only a matter of time before those weapons fall into the hands of the fanatics who pretend peaceful devotion in Allah's name...we should d be very afraid.

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Chris, I think you simplify these things too much.

To begin with, the Taliban attacked a school that catered to the children of the military. To them, this was a military strike, not just a blow against education in a general sense.

Their spokesman told the BBC that it was a specific retaliation for an operation carried out by the Pakistan military to drive Taliban from a particular region (undertaken at US urging). n.b. I do however think the Taliban hate Education in a general sense, I just think it's important to understand the specifics of this attack to see the large picture of how the Taliban is LOSING the overall fight.

So the second thing that becomes apparent is that you cannot just say that Pakistan has not been acting.

Don't forget also that Benazir Bhutto was killed for opposing the Taliban. How much would YOU push against armed militants who were this ruthless if they were operating in your country? Would you oppose them publicly knowing they would bomb you? Most people have simpler concerns like work, family and health. And in Pakistan, an already poor country, that incentive to go on a crusade is even less. It's not appeasement. It's survival.

An important thing to remember is that the Pakistan government has never really 'governed' the areas the Taliban control. At no point in history has ANYONE governed these areas. It's called the Northwest Frontier Province for a reason. Imagine blaming the US president for things being done by settlers and Native tribes in the old West frontier of the USA... It would make no sense to expect the US cavalry to police those places.

You also equate the Taliban with Islam. That's a grave mistake. Yes, there are many violent muslims, but you must consider the percentages in anything like this. Seven attackers. 141 muslim families in grief. But the 141 muslims who suffer don't seem to represent 'Islam' in your mind and the mere seven attackers do?

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Steven: Well said.

I always appreciate hearing perspectives outside my own typical American one. My perspective is usually generated by CNN or MSNBC or Fox News (sometimes the Daily Show because that Stewart guy really nails it sometimes), where I can get a quick, easy to digest (and then immediately forget because there's a sale on downtown) sound bite followed by two or three Americans just like me (usually they are older, white haired gentlemen with degrees from war colleges and stuff. They must know a lot because they are Professors or Members of the Board somewhere, so they must be smart).

Then I compare what they all said, and since they mostly agree on the high points (in this story, those would be 1. Islam is uncivilized 2. Obama and/or Congress should do something about it and C. Islam is. ....what's that burning? Did someone burn the garlic bread again? Oh and 3. Thank God it's happening over THERE and not HERE. - I am free to parrot what they said, and not have to do any math at all. It's very freeing.

I wish every American citizen was required to take a class in "Middle Eastern". I wish that class was two months long, three times a week, two hours a session. Covering all the major sects, how they relate to the civic governments and the countries they occupy. How many of those sects can equate to a Native American tribe in how their members relate to it, and to the governments of their respective countries (whose boundaries were created by Westerners, much like reservations were created in the us and Canada). It should cover how those civic, imposed governments are almost completely nonfunctional when a citizen has to choose between fighting for their sect/tribe and fighting for their "country" (there's a really great essay out there by an American who spent a lot of time trying to get the Iraqi military to function for the government, when all the soldiers were stealing the equipment and sending it home to the tribe, because their warlord said it was okay).

It should cover the concepts that Islamic law, and by extension Sharia law, exists most strongly where there are very real vacuums where legislation and justice systems should be, but aren't, because the governments just...don't exist (or are seen as a joke by the residents). The only law in the land, as it were, is Islamic. And that runs through every facet of life there (very much how religion played a huge role in early American life - you got your justice from the congregation, in the absence of a judge).

"Middle Eastern" is a complicated subject. We Americans don't have time to learn hard, tricky things like this, we have shopping to do, and TV to watch. It's full of gray areas, and hard things to think about.

Sorry for the rant, but it's so frustrating to see (not just here) really simplified concepts applied to really complicated subjects, and everyone just nodding their heads because no one wants to see the tough stuff underneath.

I mourn for those kids, and I mourn for their families. I really do believe the Taliban needs a good strong response to this - along the lines of wiping out the entire sect and erasing their names from history. Children as military targets. The mind reels.

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