This afternoon we are all united in fear and concern about the Sydney Siege (live coverage of the Sydney Siege can be found on SBS here). I was hesitant to write about it, but after one of my editors came to me in fear to advise one of her pieces on this site has been picked up and she is receiving death threats for 'supporting terrorism' because she believes in freedom of faith, I knew I had to say something.
My message is simple: Do not let them win.
Racism, religious persecution and hatred are the objective of the enemy.
The enemy is not those who share a faith, a race or a background with those who commit acts of terrorism any more than it is someone who shares the same coffee order.
The enemy is no more your Islamic neighbour than it is an innocent hostage currently fearing for their life in the Lindt cafe.
We are a strong people, a proud people. We are a multi-cultural society, and it is our ability to pull together in times of crisis that make us who we are. Not so long ago our country made the international news for pulling together to rescue a trapped man from between a station and a train; let us remember that moment as we consider how to react today.
We are one, but we are many, and from all the lands on earth we come. We share a dream and sing with one voice.
The words so many of us have come to consider a secondary national anthem.
By condemning the acts of the many by the acts of the few, we are no better than those who persecute us.
Do not let this one gunman cause us to react with haste, to react with violence, to react with unkindness or to react with religious or racist persecution. Do not let this one gunman be an entry way for our government to implement acts we would not normally endorse.
Fear is a great motivator. Fear is what brought many a dictator to power. Fear is what many use to motivate, to divide, and to conquer.
I say again: do not let them win.
We are better than this.
Our thoughts are with those who are involved in this incident. Our thoughts are with those in the Lindt cafe, the police force, all the families and bystanders involved. We are so grateful for our amazing people in blue, and we are keeping you all in our hearts.
Image from News.com.au