Now is not the time to overreact | The Jackal

5 Sept 2021

Now is not the time to overreact

ISIS Terrorist - Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen
We all agree that the attack on innocent people at LynnMall on Friday was a cowardly and despicable act. Six people were seriously injured, with three still remaining in a critical condition at Auckland City Hospital.

However, this is not the time for a knee jerk reaction by the public or Government. This is not the time to blame ethnic minorities or religious beliefs, because they played no role in the radicalisation of the now deceased terrorist. Likewise, this is not the time to close our borders to refugees or those looking for a safe place to raise their families.

This is also not the time to propose laws that would remove citizenship, or the time to give the Police or judiciary more powers to surveil or convict individuals, other than the Counter-Terrorism Legislation amendments that have already been proposed.

Here is one of the amendments that may have prevented this atrocious crime:

5A Carrying out and facilitating terrorist acts

Carrying out includes preparations, credible threats, and attempts

(1) For the purposes of this Act, a terrorist act is carried out if any 1 or more of the following occurs:

(a) planning or other preparations to carry out the act, whether it is actually carried out or not:

(b) a credible threat to carry out the act, whether it is actually carried out or not:

(c) an attempt to carry out the act:

(d) the carrying out of the act.


Being that these amendments are currently before the House of Representatives, perhaps if the National Party wasn’t always trying to ‘gum up the works’ of Parliament, the Government may have amended the legislation in time to have prevented this despicable attack. Maybe if Judith Collins had got the legislation right in 2013, we wouldn’t be in this situation either. Possibly, if instead of trying to rehabilitate this deluded individual, the judge had sentenced Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen in July to more jail time, the outcome might have been different. Maybe if the Police had used the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act to have him properly assessed and treated; he wouldn’t have felt compelled to try and kill innocent people.

Hindsight is indeed a great thing, and in this regard the PM should feel vindicated for her legislative changes following the Christchurch mosque shootings. In my opinion, this is where the semi-automatic and assault rifle ban has been proven effective. Imagine what would have occurred at LynnMall had this lone wolf had access to military style weapons. However this is also not the time to ban over the counter knife or scissor sales. Clearly somebody who has become radicalised to this extent won’t be deterred by such pointless measures.

The problem isn’t only a failure of our current systems. The problem is that no matter how well we prepare or work to counter terrorism, certain people will continue to become radicalised by online disinformation.

The key therefore is to further develop systems that firstly inhibit people’s access to objectionable terrorism inducing material, and secondly ensure that people are educated enough to be able to determine fact from fiction.

New Zealand doesn’t need to respond by inhibiting access to everyday items or further limiting people’s privacy or freedoms. Instead, Aotearoa would be better served by trying to de-radicalise those who’ve become mislead by hateful online material. We would be better served by making sure that individuals aren’t isolated to an extent whereby exposure to terrorist propaganda can take root in the first place. 

The best response is therefore one of inclusiveness. In this regard the Government should increase the refugee quota to help those trying to escape situations that are the breeding ground for terrorism, situations that New Zealand, like many other western countries, has to a degree been complicit in creating. This would go some way to deescalating terrorism by reducing the reasons some people hold for hating Westerners. Although this isn't politically convenient at the moment, the benefits to this long-term approach far exceed any risks, which are currently painfully apparent.

However, despite the rawness of the situation, this is not the time to allow segregationists to seize the narrative. Instead, we should look to increase and enhance the broadcasting of our multicultural and diverse communities. Because without inclusiveness, it is far more likely that more individuals will feel isolated and thus be more prone to radicalisation…consequently making it more likely that similar terrorist attacks will occur again in New Zealand.