Faheem Khalid Lodhi was found to be guilty of planning a terrorist attack in this country. His plan was to blow up the electricity grid. He was sentenced in the New South Wales Supreme Court (I use the capital 'c' somewhat loosely!) to 20 years' jail. It is the toughest penalty ever handed down for a terrorism offence in Australia but I believe it still isn't enough.
Lodhi was found guilty in June of three of four terrorism-related charges. Lodhi, originally from Pakistan, migrated to this country in 1998 for 'a better life'. Makes one wonder what his view of what 'a better life' is, doesn't it? And it most definitely makes me wonder why John Howard's plan for new immigration laws was disbanded last week. Those who were against Howard's plan should now look to themselves for the answers! I hope they can live with their consciences. We must have control over who enters our country...and enter they try and do under many disguises. And will do, again and again and again! Wake up, Australia!
We must also look at the ruling by a Melbourne Appeals Court that, one, Jack Thomas, (aka 'Jihad Jack') should have his conviction quashed. Muslim convert, Thomas had been found guilty in February of accepting $5,000 and a plane ticket from an al-Qaeda agent in Pakistan and was sentenced in March to spend five years behind bars (the prison kind...not the pub kind!). Now, we all know, surely...al-Qaeda just hands out cash incentives to all who travel to Pakistan...you must know also there is a huge, increasingly buoyant tourist industry in Pakistan....not! Excuse my sarcasm, but I'm finding it difficult to control!
As one journalist has so succinctly written: "The rights of the community not to die at the hands of terrorists are just as important as the rights of terrorists to have every legal nicety observed in its purest form."
Those amongst us, including Labor's Kevin Rudd, who were so quick in jumping up and down in condemning Indonesia for not permanently keeping Abu Bakar Bahir in jail must tell the rest of us poor ignorant souls their plans to reform Australia's legal system.
Our misguided, mis-informed civil libertarians, including the Greens, will join in with those jumping up and down, no doubt...but let them jump...the exercise will be good for them!
Australia's legal system has to be reformed to deal with terrorism and reformed immediately. There is no time to waste. Special terrorism courts have to be introduced. And, leniency must not be part of the equation.
Don't be fooled. We live in a strange, violent time fueled by hate...hate fundamentalist muslims feel towards the 'West'....we, in Australia, are part of the "West"...never forget that...but also, be proud that we are.