Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Black and white flag

By Junaid Cheema - posted Wednesday, 17 December 2014

There are no words to describe the senseless loss of life in the Lindt Cafe, the deep sorrow will remain with us, as a reminder of the pain on that day. Our way of life is under attack there is very little doubt about that, but by whom?

Was the culprit an Iranian cleric, precisely the type of individual organisations like "IS" and "Al Qaeda" would rush to behead or just a fake sheik with an extra marital affair? Was the culprit a product of hate preachers on both sides, or just a publicity hungry pawn in wider global game?

Was the culprit just another convicted felon with political motive, slipping through the radar as the hunt continued for the realterrorists or just another psychologically disturbed individual, like the one in the Adelaide Siege of 2011. In a world with infinite shades of grey is a black and white flag all that we can see?


Siege Mentality

The "siege" has been lifted, but the "siege mentality" remains. Fear and mistrust of the other escalates to an all time high. Victims of the siege pick up pieces of their shattered lives. Beards, skin colour and clothing become more confronting than ever. The bigots are emboldened and abuse anything in sight including my six month pregnant wife. Preachers of hate on both sides climb on to their soap boxes and shout "I told you so!" asking us to pick sides, in a world with infinite shades of grey.

So "Which side are you on?" they demand. I may have spent my entire life serving the public and working for charity but my loyalty to this country is once again being questioned. So do I succumb to the temptation of the lower part of the brain and allow for an amygdala hijack , for rage to flow from the recent memory of my distressed six month pregant wife calling me at work to describe the shell of a man who abused her?

It matters not that my wife does not wear a headscarf, just the fact that at the moment of the harassment she had a shawl over her head as she was remembering God, in the same tradition as the Blessed Virgin Mary the holiest of women in both Christianity and Islam. It matters not that my wife has spent her entire young adult life dedicated to charity including being recognised for her tireless volunteering efforts in the Commonwealth games.

No, it matters not to the bigots.

So do I allow the amygdala hijack to take place and let rage flow? No... then the terrorists would win and yes the terrorists are on both sides. No I am not a victim and I will not hand victory to the bigots.


Picking Sides

So which side am I on? Like many Australians I'm caught in the middle terrorised by both sides. We are witnessing psychological warfare at its extreme. As the deranged individual terrorised those at the cafe with a gun, this terror entered our collective psyche through another weapon. The airwaves did their professional best to bring this terror home – "Death cult! Shahada! Sharia! Jihadist! Islamist!" mixed with repetitive scenes of escaped hostages running for their lives as eery music played in the background, overlaid with a black flag proclaiming the first tenant of Islam, hypnotising the viewer into a trance-like state of terror.

The escaped hostages must have confirmed that the deranged individual was a lone gunmen. So one is left wondering, why was the camera the only weapon that took clean shots at the lone gunmen again and again as the prolonged event continued?

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

619 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Junaid Cheema is an IT Executive, writer and community worker. He has written a number of articles for political journals introducing new paradigms provoking thought and passion. Junaid also volunteers his time on the board of a Victorian based not for profit, promoting foster care for disadvantaged children.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Junaid Cheema

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Photo of Junaid Cheema
Article Tools
Comment 619 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy