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Thursday, January 1, 2015

From Broken Hill to Martin Place: Individual Jihad Comes to Australia, 1915 to 2015

This blog post has moved. You can access it here.


  1. Excellent piece. Thank you for reminding us of our own past so easily swept under the leftist carpet.

  2. well done, great perspective

  3. Well said, this is not something that should make us despise Muslims but on the other hand should cause us to want to understand the ethos of Islam that can produce such acts. This will not be simple.

    I think though that merely understanding the past will not help with some of the current manifestations of Jihad which seem to be triggered by less than universally agreed reasons than the Broken Hill example. This will make this a very difficult issue to come to understand but one we must not shrink from.

    Again thanks and well put.

    Ray (WA)

  4. I picked up the article under the same title on ICJS, and although historically true, drawing a connection between the two, could very well place the seed that all Muslims are sleepers or at least potential, and not the mindset of Jewish leaders here in Australia at least who have rallied support due to the recent Martin Place massacre, we need to be responsible.
    The Prime Mnister Tony Abbott weould have a field day with his well kown fear tactics and vulnerable members of society.

    1. Dear Lynn, you are, I would gently suggest, writing out of pure fear. I am for my part concerned about the consequences of hiding the truth. I hope it comforts you that in countless places in my writings and speaking I reject the idea that all Muslims are 'sleepers' or that all promote the kind of agenda I criticize. I just received an abusive email from someone because I also did this in the article you criticise here. Why assume that acknowledging the truth about jihad must inevitably turn us all into bigots. That is a very depressing and despairing - and phobic - position to take. Why would you NOT want to understand the reasons for such attacks. Are you so indifferent to the suffering and death of others that you would not wish to understand, and wish to suppress the truth? Have you no compassion for the vulnerability of those who were killed in these attacks, and indeed the many many thousands being killed by similarly ideological attacks in other less fortunate parts of the world. Do you really wish to impose silence about such things? That is such a huge price to pay for the sake of keeping your personal distance from someone you dislike, like Tony Abbott.

    2. Writing out of fear you suggest, you couldn't be more wrong, I'm a Catholic if that's helpful.
      It is the fear of others becoming fearful that concerns me as with Tony Abbott.
      The connection you made with the Ahfghanistani Muslims of the day I thought waranteed a little more foresight, that's all.

    3. Hi Lynne, as I explained in the article, they were called 'Afghans' but were in fact from all over the ME and South Asia. Hence I put the label in scare quotes. This is not about Afghanis.

  5. Word waranteed should've read warranted, sorry.

  6. No it isn't about Afghans or Afghanis it's about Muslims Middle East and South Asia of yesterday and today, you made the connection either way.

  7. Excellent article. Thank you for all this very accurate research.

  8. Good article, well put.
    I am however wondering why we should want, in any way, to understand this sort of behavior other than for what it is?
    These people kill other people because they are compelled to by religious dogma on the basis that their death is better than life, especially if they die in Jihad.
    I would suggest that this sort of doctrine is completely opposed culturally and morally to the western point of view, and should not be tolerated at all in a western society.
    Just a thought.

  9. Hi Mark.

    Thanks for the fine article, which I am presently translating into Danish for use on my website But I have run into a problem with the reference to Bostom's The Legacy of Jihad, p. 216 ff. It is not right. On that page one find the beginning of chapter 22 entitled "Risala-yi Sawa'iq al-Yahud".

    Chapter 23 p. 221 entitled "1915 Ottoman Fatwa" is more like it, and is an excerpt from a fatwa probably written by Sheikh Shawish entitled "Aljihad". It contains some of the things you write about. But then again, I cannot find your quotations.

    So, please help me solve my small problem. Can you give me a better reference or perhaps a link to your source or someting like that?

    I have translated a lot of stuff from all over the internet and never asked permission. Hope you don't get angry. A list of seven Durie-translations can be seen here: The original texts are also presented. Don't get angry - I am a Christian too.

    Best regards and thanks

    Leif Kristiansen
    a.k.a. Bombadillo

    1. Dear Leif - Thanks for this. I have corrected this issue - see the blog post. Can you also please contact me via Mark

  10. One thing that is mostly overlooked, there are "hight context" and "low context" societies. The West has difficulties understanding the "high" ones.

  11. Really interesting and thought provoking article. For many years I have thought that cultural differences are in fact really difficult to understand and come to terms with. Too many people of the 'western' culture believe that everyone in the world has the same basic belief systems ie, love for family, value of individual freedom and a collective responsibility, etc. But in my experience this is simply not true. It would be nice if everyone in the world were 'wired' the same way but journalists and social commentators do not accept that the fundamental beliefs of people in different cultures can be so different from our own understanding. We can speak the same language but our unspoken language can be completely foreign to each other. Accepting and acknowledging this does not make one racist or a bigot. Social media and a more global community, actually highlights these differences and thank you for trying to explain that people aren't all fundamentally the same. A simple concept but unfortunately too difficult for the hashtag generation to comprehend or even contemplate.

  12. Understanding Islamic Theology:
    I had only heard about the reward for martyrs of 72 virgins. But there is a more important reward: 70 members of the a martyr's family can get into paradise. This is the strongest guarantee of getting into paradise for women, from what I can tell.

    I found this out listening to a program on CSPAN Book TV, link at the end.

    @1:08:19 min Question: You also thought it important when you went to Somalia, that your son, who was then 6 or 7, I guess, should think highly of you, because you had gone and done your religious duty, so that was an important factor for you too, right?

    Storm: Of course, that’s another thing. You have your huge status in your family. You’re respected for being a
    Mujahedeen, holy warrior. There are no one, even scholars, if you don’t fight Jihad, you can never reach the level of Islamic Fighter, and that’s how noble they are. You are guaranteed paradise. You can take 70 members of your family with you to
    paradise. So, that’s something very, very severe, very huge.

    01:24:38 minutes long. Book: "Agent Storm: My Life Inside al Qaeda and the CIA" By Paul Cruickshank; Tim Lister; Morten Storm

    It's worth the time to listen to his story.

    1. That is correct - a martyr's prayers for his family are considered to be especially powerful. So when someone dies as a martyr, it can happen that the extended family rejoice greatly.

  13. Hi Mark, great article about something I was previously unaware of.

    Forgive me if I'm wrong but I think I found a small mistake in this passage:
    In both cases, attackers were mobilized in response to a global call to jihad: in 1915 issued by the Ottoman Caliphate; in 1914 issued by Islamic State.

    Is the last sentence perhaps meant to be: "in 2014 issued by Islamic State." ??

    Anyway, I appreciate your blogging about these issues. Thanks :)

  14. Superb stuff. Please keep telling the truth in love. Our Western world needs to keep hearing intelligent and informed commentary. Elsewhere it is difficult to find reliable commentary in the media since it is so shackled by political correctness and blind wishful thinking that doesn't want to be confused by the facts. That means clarity about confusing matters is precisely what is needed.

    Your comment in one of the replies: "Why assume that acknowledging the truth about jihad must inevitably turn us all into bigots." is particularly important and something consistently misunderstood and caricatured.

    So, thank you. Keep up the great work!

  15. With the more recent arrests for the pair of pipe smoking would be beheaders - it is time for all Oz readers to get on the phone and ring the federal MPs and Senators in their state demanding the Commonwealth government take immediate action to stop this threat dead in its tracks!

    The government approach needed now is to Detect, Detain and Deport:
    Detect - those who hold or support Jihadist beliefs/actions.
    Detain - those detected so they are no longer a current threat to Oz.
    Deport - those detained so they will never be a threat to Oz again.

    Both Coalition and Labor politicians will be anxious for your support at the moment - the Coalition because they're worried they'll lose the next election if polls continue as they are; and Labor because they're starting to think they might win the next election if the polls continue as they are.

    Let them all know, calmly and politely, that your vote and the votes of your family and friends is entirely dependent on their active support for this approach. Also advise that whether you support Abbott normally or not, you totally agree with him reading in Parliament the words used by these treasonous scum in their video because it made clear the religious inspiration for their murderous ideas - no more false denials about the religious motivation behind these types of attacks!

    100 years ago, when two jihadists in Broken Hill opened fire in 1915 on innocent men, women and children travelling to the town's picnic and shot some dead, Australians were outraged. Within a short period of time Oz politicians had acted and all enemy aliens within Australia were interred for the duration of the war - there was no talk of radical extremists then, or attempts at re-education. No, the government acted to prevent further jihadist attacks and none occurred in Australia during WW1 or since (until a few years ago)..

    Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    Act now, get on the phone and remind all your politicians that their number one job, before the economy or their own ideological approach to government, is to ensure you and your family are safe.

    Any politician who says you should just put up with it and keep worrying about whether you or your loved ones will be beheaded deserves to be voted out at the next election.

  16. Excellent article Mark - particularly in noting the point that both had been in trouble with the law.
    I have seen Muslims apparently "comfortable" with Australian life, become enraged when crossed by police or Government officials over a minor matter that affronts their pride.
    I think these, or offensive aspects such as nudity, TV programs or Gay Pride parades can provide the impetus to destroy what they see as a rotten society


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