Communal Violence in Australia: Hamas Supporter Stabs Bishop in Sydney, Congregation Fights Back

Communal Violence in Australia: Hamas Supporter Stabs Bishop in Sydney, Congregation Fights Back

Reeling from the recent mass stabbings and mass murder in Bondi Junction, western Sydney became the target of a Hamas supporter who stabbed Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel six times as he delivered a sermon at his Christ the Good Shepherd Church in the Fairfield area.

While the Bondi Junction stabbing spree was originally believed to be an Islamist attack as well–the neighborhood is densely inhabited by Jews and is the location for Sydney’s main synagogue, it turned out the attacker there was mentally ill and targeted women.

The stabbing at the Good Shepherd was live-streamed. The bishop fell down as the attacker yelled Islamic catch-phrases, approached the podium and stabbed the surprised clergy man with a large knife.. Parishioners rushed the lectern, subdued the attacker and held him for police. The assailant lost several fingers during the subduction.

As the event was being streamed live, parishioners rushed to the scene from the surrounding area, swelling from 50 of the laity who left the building to 2,000 in a short time. The flash mob clashed with police arriving on the scene, damaging several police vehicles as the police sprayed them with pepper spray, the assailant and two wounded clergy men trapped inside while ambulances stood by.

The Christ the Good Shepherd Church is an Assyrian Church of the East or East Syriac Christian congregation which uses the Syriac Bible or Peshitta with sermons alternating in Syriac (Aramaic) and English. Syriac and East Syriac use distinct alphabets of ancient origin.

The New South Wales police commissioner and the state premier fronted a press conference claiming they had determined this was a terrorist attack, i.e., a violent act based on religion intended to terrify the congregation, live-stream audience and the public, but assiduously avoided mentioning the attacker, a 16-year-old boy, was an Islamist terrorist. They said they deployed forces to “other houses of worship” meaning mosques in the Sydney area in preparation for attacks against Muslims by the general public. Over 50 people were treated during the incident, including those wounded by police.

The Victoria and NSW state police forces until now have protected the alleged rights of pro-Hamas supporters while denying Jews their right to walk about freely and attend public hearings. On October 8, as pro-Hamas protestors chanted “Gas the Jews!” outside the Sydney Opera House, police arrested a Jewish man carrying a rolled-up Israeli flag. The state media organ ABC has consistently move towards greater sympathy for Palestinians and scorn and suspicion towards Israel. Prime minister Anthony Albanese and his right-hand woman foreign minister Penny Wong have taken a hard line against Israel in its war on Hamas, supporting UNWRA despite evidence the staff of this UN Palestinian relief organization took part in the October 7 mass murder in southern Israel. More recently Penny Wong sent a letter to Binyamin Netanyahu basically calling him a liar regarding the accidental nature of the strike which killed aid workers including one Australian this month, and demanding an Australian law enforcement liaison be made part of Israel’s investigation into the incident.

It’s entirely possible the Assyrian Christians expected the police to side with the pro-Palestinians and pro-Hamas crowd once again. Police fears of sectarian violence ignore the fact of on-going violence against Jews and Christians by Australian Hamas activists and extremist Muslim immigrants.

Update: Twitter/X’s Elon Musk has chosen to ignore a “takedown order” from the Anthony Albanese government intended to suppress video footage of the stabbing excerpted from the live-stream of the sermon. Musk has refused to remove posts of the video based on the public’s right to know and freedom of speech. Proponents of censoring the footage claim its free circulation on the internet could cause “irreparable damage” and incite ethnic and/or religious violence. The Australian Labor Party’s demonization of Musk comes amid a week-long push to fight “disinformation” on social media, although the veracity of the video footage is not in dispute. It comes as well after Meta/facebook announced they weren’t going along with Australian attempts to make them pay for reposting Australian news to Australian users, the same fight Meta/facebook apparently won in Canada during wildfire season in the west of the country, when the political class claimed facebook’s failure to repost news cost Canadian lives.

Bishop Emmanuel, the victim of the stabbing, issued a statement supporting Elon Musk and calling for the free circulation of the video, while Australian advocates of censorship shifted their argument away from the idea the video might incite Christian violence against Muslim to the idea the video could inspire Muslims to more violent attacks in Australia.

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