This morning I woke to the terrible news that in Sydney, a hostage siege had ended with the murder of two hostages and the death of the assailant. Initially the assailant was thought to be linked to a terrorist cell, it has since been discovered that he was acting alone; he was a lone wolf but nonetheless a terrorist.
The Age Newspaper in Melbourne today wrote:
Man Haron Monis, a self-styled sheikh shot dead by police in the early hours of Tuesday morning, was before the courts on two separate and serious matters: more than 40 sexual assault charges involving seven alleged victims; and as an accessory to the murder of his former wife.
This morning the question that many are asking is, “Why was this man free on bail?”
My heart aches for the families of those involved in this tragedy. Today three children and a husband have lost a mother and wife, parents have lost their loving son. My heart aches for the Muslim community in Australia; Man Haron Monis is not a reflection of any Muslim that I know.
Yesterday, in light of this incident, a Muslim woman removed her headscarf during her commute on public transport. A fellow passenger urged her to put it back on and offered to accompany her. A movement began. #Illridewithyou is a way for Australians to express their solidarity and find their voice to speak out against racism.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post titled Eleven wishes for my teenage son. Reflecting on this post I realise that I have forgotten my ultimate wish for him as he enters manhood. In hindsight my list was casual and superfluous.
And so, it is with great sadness that today I must add one more item to my list:
That my children will never experience war or terror in their lifetime.