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LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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Long jail sentence for would-be Muslim terrorist in Australia
The 20-year jail sentence imposed on Faheem Khalid Lodhi sends important signals to all sorts of Australians. For a start, it is a welcome wake-up call for those who refuse to accept we are all on the front line in the war on terror. Lodhi planned an attack on the electricity grid, to wreak havoc on a country that he professed to call home.
His conviction also sends a clear message that individuals in our midst with murder on their minds cannot use the legal system as a shelter from the consequences of planning or committing evil acts. Certainly, self-confessed al-Qa'ida footsoldier "Jihad" Jack Thomas was acquitted of terror offences last week because of police errors in the way he was interviewed. But Lodhi is now convicted, and sentenced to two decades in prison.
The job of the police and the courts is to justly protect us from the mad and the bad. And this sentence shows how it can be done according to law. Lodhi's imprisonment may not deter the most adamant of the enemies of all Australians from taking his place. But some may consider his fate and think again before they plot against us. Lodhi will rot in prison for 20 years, knowing that Australians of all and no faiths despise him for what he planned. Their contempt is a message he deserves to hear loudly and often and for many, many years.
There is also a message for other Australians in Lodhi's conviction and sentence. Despite years of mass murders by Islamic terrorists all over the world, there are still some who say the war on terror is a political contrivance designed to frighten us all. They should consider the judgment of Justice Anthony Whealy in sentencing Lodhi when he warned that even though the plan was amateurish and ill-conceived, it could have caused death and damage.
It is an essential argument. From Bali to London, mass murderers have demonstrated it does not take any special ability to kill innocent people and to shatter the social cohesion and trust that democracies depend on. "Australia has, to this time, not been a country where fundamentalist and extreme views have exposed our citizens to death and destruction within the sanctuary of our shores. One has only to think of the consequences on the national psyche of a tragedy such as the Port Arthur massacre to realise how a major terrorist bombing would impact on the security, the stability and wellbeing of the citizens of this country," Justice Whealy said.
Nor was Lodhi acting to address any grievance that could ever be addressed in a democracy. As Justice Whealy put it: "The extremist views, which he must in truth be taken to have espoused, are not representative of the true nature of his Islamic religion. Rather, they are a distortion of it." In his duplicity and his intent, Faheem Lodhi is our enemy. His conviction will not end the danger of attack, but in removing the risk from a bad man, and reminding us all of the dangers we face, it is a victory in the war on terror we needed.
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By JR on Friday, August 25, 2006
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