ABC under fire for terrorism showdown 135



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When is a terrorist a terrorist? Is it a kid making “stupid mistakes” or a madman who thinks he alone has the right to purge the world of people he doesn’t like?

These were some of the questions raised on a heated session of the ABC’s Q&A last night.

Is Dylann Roof, the young man alleged to be behind the Charleston shooting a terrorist?

What about Man Haron Monis, who held 17 people hostage in a café at Martin Place last year – is he a terrorist or just crazy?

Twitter had a lot to say on the topic, with one viewer, a barrister and human rights activist, pointing out that the stuff of legend could be interpreted as terrorism today:

Under today’s laws would the 1854 rebellion of gold miners of Ballarat be considered terrorism? The rebellion resulted in the deaths of at least 27 people, the majority of whom were rebels.

In the Q&A audience last night was the first man to be charged under the anti-terrorism laws that came into effect post-September 11.

Zacky Mallah posed this question to government frontbencher Steve Ciobo, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Foreign Affairs Minister:

“As the first man in Australia to be charged with terrorism under the harsh Liberal Howard government in 2003, I was subject to solitary confinement, a 22-hour lockdown, dressed in most times in an orange overall and treated like a convicted terrorist while under the presumption of innocence.

“I had done and said some stupid things, including threatening to kidnap and kill, but in 2005 I was acquitted of those terrorism charges.

“What would have happened if my case had been decided by the minister himself and not the courts?”

The minister said he was unsure of all the details of the case but was under the impression Mr Mallah had been found not guilty of planning a terrorist act on a technicality.

“But I’m happy to look you straight in the eye and say that I’d be pleased to be part of the Government that would say that you were out of the country. I would sleep very soundly at night with that point of view,” said the minister.

According to the ABC, Mr Mallah was found not guilty of preparing a suicide attack on a Commonwealth building but pleaded guilty to threatening to kill ASIO officials. Mr Mallah later tweeted, “I would pay to see that Minister dumped on ISIS territory in Iraq”. Others took to social media to complain that the ABC had gone too far.


Tell us, do you think Q&A was right to pit an acquitted terrorist against a government minister?  

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. that is because the ABC is run by the greens/ labor.

    8 REPLY
    • These Politicians run to get on the show, and The ABC does not control what comes out of their mouths..they have two choices, either sound fair and reasonable, or not

    • It is a debate show Colin the whole point of debate is to get differing opinions. The questions are chosen to draw people into debate. The ABC isn’t supporting any opinion on the show but following this young man’s comments the commentator did say the comments were totally out of order. Try actually watching the show. To get angry with some of the comments and opinions is normal, not listening is ignorance.

    • What a stupid statement Colin Gibbons……run by the Greens and Labour indeed. The ABC merely plays Devil’s Advocate and asks questions of all currents governments and opposition that we, the public, want answered.

    • As for the show Q&A, it is one of the best on t.v. Some of the panelists are good, others not so good, but overall it is a great programme.

    • It is widely known that the Audience and questions are pre selected. Can’t believe this dreadful man was allowed in the audience. Tony Jones has gone too far this time.

  2. I watched the show as always and the thing that really struck me with this incident in the show, The Minister,Steve Ciobo , told this man that is he would remove his citizenship, this man was aquitted by a court of law, I think this will be an example of what is to come if this law is passed. We need to be vigilant that people are treated fairly. I would suggest a panel, made up of Asio, The Police Barristers and Judges to judge these cases before any decision is made to remove anyone citizenship. No we don’t want these people back who are terrorist but we need to make doubly sure that they are terrorists before any action is taken

    6 REPLY
  3. I watched it and the young man started off with a couple of good points, but he lost all credibility when he let the “angry young man” out. According to the Liberal politician he wasn’t convicted of terrorism because the law was not in place at the time he committed the offence and he could not be convicted retrospectively. Had there been a law in place he probably would have been found guilty. He was a young man acting the tough guy on Q&A. I would probably agree with the Lib politician that this young man should be out of the country but to confront this young man like this was a bit reminiscent of the bully in the school yard.

    7 REPLY
    • Barbara I agree with your comments, except for the last sentence. There was no bullying of that young man, the Lib merely voiced his opinion and made no apology for doing so, and I fully agreed with his comments.

    • Actually they have raised him to turn out with this attitude as so many others are being raised with the same mentality he presented last night.

    • Many of these kids live in families who just want to get on with life in Australia they are not necessarily responsible for the attitudes of their children. As young people get to their teens it is not uncommon to take up causes, or get angry. They aren’t necessarily indoctrinated from birth they are teenagers looking for a ’cause’ and a meaning for their live. I demonstrated against the Vietnam war in my early teens but a few years later actually joined the army. Maturity might leave some of these angry young Muslims embarrassed at the attitudes they had in their youth. Some never change attitude as they feel they belong, or get to live their sadistic fantasies those are the real enemy.

    • Bullying ? A potential terrorist ? A joke . Bet a different tune would be played if he got away with hurting someone . They don’t like it here , get out , go frighten some other poor country . We are to lenient with some people .

  4. Under today’s laws he would have been goaled but, he was acquitted by a court of law and its bit late crying about it now, he has been on streets for years

  5. If this man was thought to be a genuine terrorist, why didn’t the Howard Government contest the courts decision at the time? After all these years it probably to late to revisit the case

  6. This is a angry young man. We all get angry sometimes and come out with things like I will kill you, saying and doing is a different thing.

  7. Do we really need to hear from these criminals? I think not. RATINGS…..all they do is stir more nastiness and hatred. You only have to look at some of these comments with the total lack of respect shown to any who do not subscribe to their beliefs.

    5 REPLY
    • Max Tivey it is a free country and we are all entitled to an opinion and vote for whom we please so we all need to respect each other’s opinion. Your statement is silly and childish, not to mention churlish. No, I am not a Lib supporter either.

  8. I think after reading the above article I would look Mallah in the eye and say goodbye, he got off on a technicality, and then he later twitted that he would dump the minister among Isis. Good (Australian)?

  9. We were talking about a show last night I thought?? How come all of a sudden it becomes a slinging match about who you vote for? Surely anyone is able to make a comment without it becoming a “leftie” or “right” comment? I thought we were suppose to be adults? Obviously not!

    2 REPLY
    • I agree, I can’t even comment without fibbing because I went to bed at 8.30pm, I am sick, but I will watch the rerun

    • Every question is being answered on here now by what party you vote for. No one ever answers “The Question “

  10. The abc is a bloody joke time they got real people in to do a real job

    5 REPLY

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