SYDNEY AUSTRALIA is only five hours away from Wellington where I live, probably four hours or less from Auckland where Fourth Brother and his family live. So understandably, it is a big deal in New Zealand. Witness the special news coverage in all the major TV channels here.
But there is a deeper, more sinister symbol behind the hostage crisis today. Yes, there have been threats and actual incidents of terrorism from fundamentalists, Islam-oriented or otherwise. But to my recollection this is the first actual situation where lives and well-being are held hostage in the so-called First World, for sure the first in Australasia which as far as I know is a bastion of democracy, pluralism and free speech.
It sounds dramatic, but a Pandora’s box has been opened. If it can happen in Sydney, it can happen anywhere in Australia. And therefore anywhere in the Western world.
Fundamentalist terrorism and extremism is at the gates of Main Street, the Free World. We pray for peace and tolerance everywhere.