Downtown Sydney was shut down as police and a radical Islamic gunman spent the day in a tense standoff. An estimated 15-30 hostages were held in cafe at the Martin Place pedestrian mall. The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Daily Telegraph, The Australian and ABC News live-blogged the drama. So did Channel 7, whose news studio is across the street from the Lindt Cafe. Shortly after this roundup was published, police stormed the building after a number of hostages managed to flee the cafe. The number of casualties and the gunman’s fate weren’t clear.
The gunman was identified as a radical Muslim “cleric,” Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee who assumed the title “Sheik Haron” and has a criminal history.
Australia’s Jewish institutions were in lockdown.
There’s one teachable moment with a lot of myths and rumors floating around the internet: Thumbs up to the Sydney Morning Herald for separating fact from fiction. You don’t have to be in Sydney to benefit from my 5 Tips For Sorting Through the News and Sharing Responsibly on Social Media.
In Sydney, many Muslim leaders have united to condemn the actions of the person responsible for today. It is just a shame they did not show such vocal condemnation when some people of their faith chose to launch terror wars against Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world in September that the fight against Islamic terrorism is not solely Israel’s. “It’s not just our fight, it’s your fight,” he said. “Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow. “
Well, tomorrow has arrived.
Featured image: CC BY flickr/Jon S; Sydney CC BY-NC-SA flickr/James_W_Thompson, flag CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Steve Jacobsen