If Wikipedia is accurate, Ms Silma Ihram, from the Australian Muslim Women's Association, has been round the block a bit as far as choosing a faith is concerned:
'Silma Ihram was born Anne Frances Beaumont, to a middle-class agnostic family,and grew up in the suburb of Balgowlah, on Sydney's Northern Beaches....
Despite the Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist influences from her up-bringing, Ihram ended up with the Baptists who she found to be "very inspirational." She then moved to an Islander church in North Queensland, and studied theology by correspondence from the Baptist sector. Ihram became a born-again Christian in 1968, and participated in missionary work with the Children's Special Service Mission (CSSM) in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
In 1976, during an extended trip to Indonesia, Ihram had a "personal revelation that I had to become a Muslim" and converted to Islam, changing her name to Silma Ihram. come a Muslim" and converted to Islam, changing her name to Silma Ihram. She was followed soon after by her Irish Catholic husband.... '"The long history of Islam is ... working with other faiths," she told the ABC in a breakfast time interview live from Sydney's Martin Place, in front of the pile of floral tributes to the victims of this week's tragedy at the hands of Man Haron Monis (pictured).
To a highly receptive and sympathetic Michael Rowland, co-anchor of the ABC's Breakfast show, the articulate Ms Ihram declared that while Muslim community leaders laid wreathes the previous day, they do not acknowledge that the gunman's action's had anything to do with Islam, and that "the reluctance in sometimes doing this" is because it would be seen as a confirmation on their part that such terrible acts are connected with Islam.
See the video here
But the idea of Muslim victimhood, so keenly pushed by the ABC's Rowland, has been roundly condemned by the always worth reading Australian columnist Andrew Bolt.
That courageous realist of Aussie columnists, Andrew Bolt, has a typically astute column out today in the Murdoch papers for which he writes, inter alia:
'.... Must we always feign this surprise when a terrorist is found to be – gasp – Muslim? Surely we can drop this absurd game given 21 of the 21 people jailed for terrorism offences here in the past couple of decades were all Muslim, as are 19 of the 20 proscribed terrorist groups in Australia.
Surely we’re entitled to conclude something specific to Islam seems to license violence, given we have just as many Buddhists here as Muslims, yet not one Buddhist has killed here for his faith....
The ideology Monis followed was inspired in large part by Islamic scriptures that urge believers to “kill the polytheists wherever you find them” and exhorts “so when you meet those who disbelieve (in battle), strike (their) necks”.
We’re told, as always, that those who take seriously such passages in the Koran and Hadith are a tiny, unrepresentative minority.
But wait. The Sydney Morning Herald reports Monis had more than 14,000 “likes” on Facebook and a Muslim community leader asked by counterterrorism authorities to find the ISIS flag Monis demanded said: “I found plenty of people who had one, but they didn’t want to give them up.”
So why this denial about Islam – and specifically about its role in this attack?
For the authorities it is about public order. They fear reprisals against Muslims and also do not wish to alienate the overwhelming majority of peaceful Muslims here whose help they need against radicals.
For the Left more generally, to admit the latent threat in Islam would be to question disastrous Leftist programs that have left this country more exposed to political violence – particularly our too-lax immigration programs, multiculturalism and the much-rorted “refugee” programs that let in Monis in 1996. It is also to seem unkind.
But the denial, the racism of the anti-racists, it all must end.
The elements are shocking, true. But Islam contains a strong streak of violence and intolerance of other creeds. Mass immigration from the Middle East has left us in greater danger than before. Muslim leaders were recklessly slow to help fight extremism in their doctrine and their followers, including the mad.
And by screaming “racist” rather than allow debate, our academics, commentators and politicians deafened us to the warnings until it was too late.Be sure to read the entire article here for he does address the issue of Monis's perceived madness.
Statement from the Executive Council of Australian Jewry:
ECAJ Statement on events at Martin Place, Sydney on 15 December 2014
The Australian Jewish community is shocked and appalled by the terrifying taking of hostages at Martin Place on December 15 and ensuing events, and is deeply saddened by the news that the incident has ended with the deaths of two innocent people, Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson.
We pray for their souls and share in the sorrow, grief and revulsion caused by the heinous crime which claimed their lives. May their families be granted strength at this time of great pain and may the survivors be healed fully, both physically and emotionally.
We pay tribute to the NSW police and supporting federal agencies for their dedication, professionalism and absolute commitment to the preservation of innocent life. Australians are fortunate to be served by people of their dedication and calibre.
The perpetrator of the crime was a lone disturbed individual with a criminal history who cloaked his personal grievances in Islam and Islamist ideology. His evil actions must not be allowed to sow discord in our tolerant, multicultural society, or to weaken the resolve of our government to fight those who seek to inflict terror on innocent people at home and abroad. On the contrary, we have every confidence that this terrible tragedy will unite Australians and harden our nation’s commitment to fighting violent extremism and incitement to ensure that this sort of tragedy is never visited upon our society again.