Barbarizing Civilisation

Sunday, 20 February 2011 16:30 Cassandra Jihad - Barbarisation of Host Societies

Australia by and large is a civilised country, with the rule of law ensuring freedom and equality for all. Yes, I know we have disadvantaged and marginalized people. Yes, we also have binge drinking and anti-social behaviour, but hey, no society is a rose garden.

Recently though, our life-affirming, creative civilization has come under threat from the promotion of Islam, not only by Muslims, but by many in our society, often in insidious ways.

It is obvious to most that adherence to Islam has undesirable consequences. Just take the tragic example of the 2 year old stabbed to death because her mother had defied her husband’s prohibition against leaving their apartment. Take also the gang rape by the “Bendigo 7” (maybe described as the “Magnificent 7” by aficionados of raping Aussie girls).

2What is truly appalling is not just the sheer cruelty of these acts, but that they are theologically sanctioned. Yet many are making excuses for such barbarity.

I was reminded of this when reading Dan Zaremba’s article on Sirin Bayram, “who wanted to have a separate live from her husband Omar and so he decided to "divorce" her on his own terms.” Omar killed his wife by stabbing her five times.

Her crime? She wanted to sell the house, and with her share of the proceeds, buy a place elsewhere and start a new life. Now that’s civilized. That’s what divorcing couples do, split the proceeds and get on with their lives.

Everyone is entitled to a defence lawyer, and Philip Dunn, QC, had to advocate for Omar. But lawyers also have a duty to the Court and to societal norms not to trivialise murder by dreaming up silly excuses. For example, Dunn said his client:

“had been living in a "pressure cooker" environment where something "silly and stupid could lead to a very bad error of judgment".

Sorry, but murdering your wife is not ‘silly and stupid’, nor is it ‘a very bad error of judgment’. It is a very serious criminal offence, punishable with life imprisonment.

The couple had been living separate lives, sleeping in separate rooms, so it was a marriage in name only. Yet when Mrs Bayram told her husband she wanted to sell the family home to buy a property, he decided to kill her.

Dunn pointed out his client had no prior convictions, and had called police and confessed to the murder. Fair enough, but it is still murder.

The comment "He is otherwise a hard-working member of our community" hardly seems a mitigating factor. Ivan Milat might also have worked for a living, but how does this excuse his crimes?

But the prize for the most fatuous remark should go to Justice Betty King,  who believed Bayram was "very, very unlikely to ever offend again".

Now how on earth did she arrive at this belief? If Bayram follows the qur’an, he may indeed kill again should the next wife disobey him.

Yet King has faith that he is at low risk of re-offending.

Sorry, but a judge should be impartial and pass sentence according to the severity of the crime, tempered by any mitigating circumstances such as a guilty plea. There is no room for wishful thinking or mushy sentimentality in a court of law.