Australian judge to jury in jihadi’s trial: “Islam is not on trial here”


The fundamental assumption that Islam is benign and that bringing large numbers of Muslims into the country is risk-free and entirely beneficial must not be questioned, even in the trial of a would-be jihad mass murderer who was clearly acting in the name of Islam and in accord with its teachings. The West collectively seems bent on committing suicide.

Adnan Karabegovic

“‘Islam not on trial here,’ judge tells jury as ‘would-be firebomber’ Adnan Karabegovic fronts court,”The Age, May 9, 2016 (thanks to Hugh):

A judge has warned a Supreme Court jury that a man accused of discussing making a bomb to start a bushfire as part of a terrorist plot was the one on trial, not Islam.

Justice John Dixon on Monday said the jury had a duty to decide the case against Adnan Karabegovic on the evidence and nothing more.

“In particular, you should dismiss any feeling of sympathy or prejudice that you may have, whether it is sympathy for or prejudice against the accused or anyone else,” Justice Dixon said.

“Most importantly, religion, particularly Islam, is not on trial here.”

Mr Karabegovic has pleaded not guilty to one count of possessing the al-Qaeda magazine, Inspire, “connected with assistance in a terrorist act”.

Justice Dixon told the jury that Mr Karabegovic was living with his wife in Officer at the time, and the offence he faced involved “an offence of terrorism created by the Commonwealth criminal code”.

He said the Crown case was that between May and September 2012, Mr Karabegovic had had an issue of Inspire downloaded to his computer connected with the preparation of a proposed terrorist act.

“The prosecution will allege a conversation between the accused [Mr Karabegovic] and his brother Nihad reveals the accused was contemplating making an incendiary device which could start a bushfire in Australia,” the judge said.

“The allegation is that Inspire 9 [the magazine] was intended to assist in or be used in preparations for that contemplated terrorist act, as it contained material about fire bombs and bushfires.

“The prosecution will also contend that making an incendiary device which could start a bushfire is a terrorist act because the action was intended to advance a political, religious or ideological cause, namely the pursuit of violent jihad against the enemies of Islam.”

The judge told the jury Australians were fortunate to live in an open and tolerant society and the jurors had to maintain that essential value in our society.

“This is particularly important with a terrorism offence.

“Terrorism is the subject of much political and media discussion, not just here but worldwide.

“This trial is not a part of that discussion and it would be quite wrong and unfair for feelings of sympathy or prejudice flowing from public discussion of terrorism or public discussion of Islam or of the ways of Muslims, to intrude into your decision making.

“No such emotion has any part to play in your decision.”

Justice Dixon said the jury’s task was to identify if Mr Karabegovic was guilty of the offence he had been charged with, nothing more.

“You must put aside, if you have them, any prejudice or misconceptions about Muslims or people who practice the religion of Islam.”…

The prosecutor said Mr Karabegovic attracted police attention in late 2011 when the joint counter-terrorism taskforce was investigating a group of people linked to the Al-Furqan Islamic Information Centre in Springvale.

He said that in January 2012, Mr Karabegovic and two other men drove to an overpass in Malvern and hung up a banner which read, “Get your troops out of Muslim lands you filthy kafir.”

Covert recordings of conversations between Mr Karabegovic and his brother revealed how he wanted to take action instead of just talking, and it was a Muslim’s duty to be prepared to sacrifice their lives for Allah, Mr Rapke said….

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