Welcome to the new Australia

More vigilance required

More vigilance required

Get used to it, because it’s going to be around for a long time.

This new Australia is one in which, at anytime, anywhere, a random Muslim may decide to ‘go Jihad’ and shoot a tourist, behead a random stranger, bomb a plane, blow up a commuter train, suicide bomb a bar, or any number of other atrocities [stab policemen, even], without warning and without regard for the consequences.

There are half a million Muslims in Australia, the overwhelming majority of whom are peaceful and who have integrated well with our Western way of life. However, if even as little as 0.1% of them (1 in a thousand) have sympathies with Islamic State, then we have 500 potential jihadis in our midst.

I have faith in ASIO, the AFP and the other security services that they are already keeping tabs on the majority of these likely targets, but the risk comes from the wealthy, well-educated, nice Lebanese boy next door who has never been in trouble, but who one day turns into a lone wolf and commits a terrorist act in the name of his religion.

Having lived in the UK during the 70s and 80s, I am well acquainted with the restrictions on life that a terrorist threat may impose. During those decades, there was always the threat of mainland attacks by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and we were used to seeing rubbish bins sealed up or removed, suspicion of any unattended bags on public transport, security checks at public buildings etc.

But we got used to it, and life continued. To do otherwise would be a victory for the terrorists.

So be alert – take notice of your surroundings when out in public. Don’t be afraid to ask “Whose bag is this?” if you are suspicious – people will appreciate your vigilance. Involve the police or security services if you have any concerns about a neighbour or friend.

Finally, a note to Muslims: enough already of the victim mentality. We don’t want to hear any more about it, OK? You are not the victims here. Just get onside with the rest of us and help defeat this threat.

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