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Wednesday, 15 October 2003
Page: 21590

Mr HATTON (12:03 PM) —This is a hard and bitter anniversary that we are speaking to, as it was a hard and bitter day on 12 October 2002 when 88 Australians had their lives ripped from them—some almost instantaneously, others after a period of intense pain and intense suffering. Yet others survived, moving through a year of pain, suffering and trauma and of adjustment to a reality that they could never have expected would come to them, and viewing the world in an entirely different way because they—as suffering, innocent individuals—had been in a certain place, at a certain time, enjoying themselves in a holiday atmosphere, as hundreds of millions of people do every year worldwide in holiday places.

Not one of those 88 Australians who died could ever have expected that doing what they did in Bali—that is, going to the beach, going to the shops, eating, drinking, enjoying themselves and going to a bar at night—could have meant that they would suffer the ultimate penalty for being an Australian and someone from a Western civilisation. Effectively, they are the only things that mark them out from all the other hundreds of millions of holiday-makers worldwide. All of those people who suffered burns, hurt and grief could not, in the same manner, have expected that they would be marked out in that way.

The local Balinese saw many people die or suffer, and their local economy went close to being completely destroyed, dependent as it is on international tourism. It is still suffering enormously from the consequences of what happened 12 months ago. Their community is predominantly Hindu and it exists in an archipelago of islands comprising a series of faiths, predominantly Islam but also animism and Christianity. Throughout Indonesia there are people of Chinese origin practising Confucianism as well. The local Balinese could hardly have envisioned that they would be the targets of an act which was entirely premeditated to do the greatest amount of damage possible to people who were not members of the military. They were not at war with those people who sought to rip their lives away or injure and maim them so that they would carry scars, both physical and mental, for the rest of their lives. Those people were determined to make war on civilians in the name of one of the world's great religions—a name they had taken effectively in vain. They sought to draw a fundamental distinction within Islam between those who were believers in the general Indonesian practise of a relaxed, open, tolerant, Indonesian informed Islam and those who believe in the rabid nature of al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah.

Those two fundamentalist terrorist organisations have at their base a warped and twisted Islamic philosophy directed towards the overthrow of Islamic governments in the Middle East in the first place. When al-Qaeda found that too hard, they then looked for countries with large Muslim populations where a civil government was in place—one informed with Western values and constructs, and democratic means, purposes and institutions. They sought to strike them down in as harsh a way as possible, not by attacking the military, the centres of power or the fundamental institutional base directly, but by attacking the poor people who happened to be holidaying on an island that provides a great deal of overseas income, not just to the island of Bali itself but to Indonesia as a whole. These people were victims of the terrorist mentality of two groups, one of which splayed off from the central core of al-Qaeda and is trained, nurtured, certified, encouraged, fostered and funded by al-Qaeda to do its best to spread their fundamentalist, warped approach to life, living and philosophy throughout the South-East Asian region.

We know that 2,000 or 3,000 people have been taught by or see themselves aligned to the Jemaah Islamiah organisation. Throughout the trials of the people who were responsible for perpetrating the massacres in Bali, we have seen not one skerrick of remorse for what they have done to their own citizens or to all those people who perished—the 88 Australians or the 202 people worldwide. Not one of all those people who were maimed and went through such enormous torture was shown one skerrick of concern as individual human beings of flesh, blood, feeling and concern. These two groups are driven by what has driven other fundamentalist groups in the past—whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu; any religious or non-religious group—to perpetrate outrages against others that they had decided to demonise. They are people who sought power effectively for its own sake. There is case after case in the history of this world where, in seeking power, they then sought to impose their world view and their approach on the populations that they took power over. We know that some populations, having been taken over, were forced into a situation where they either submitted or gave their neck to the sword. They had to become apostates and agree to give up the religion of their birth, training and calling or they were killed. Historically, the results were pretty direct once these people did what they did. The same fervid belief in their own rightness is displayed by the people in Jemaah Islamiah and al-Qaeda. Their perceptions of the world, their notions of what is right and wrong, their depictions of what they think Islam should be and what Christianity is and what they think is the perfect way to conduct oneself, they seek to impose on every other person on the planet.

It being too hard to bring down the governments of Saudi Arabia and the other governments in the Middle East, they have gone for what they consider to be softer targets in the West. We know what they did in New York with the twin towers, in Washington, over the skies of Pittsburgh, the Pentagon and the attempt on Capitol Hill. I think that in the twin towers tragedy 3,000 people lost their lives as a result of what they perpetrated. These people are intent on a terrorising war against Western civilisation and its individual citizens simply because they exist and will not bend to the fundamentalist radical notions and particular view of the world that these people seek not only to perpetrate and inculcate in people at large but also to enforce by sword, by explosive device or by machine gun. Every one of the Australians that died, that had their lives so suddenly ripped from them, and that we commemorate here one year later, and all of those that were maimed, have to be the centrepiece of our thoughts, because what came to them came without their wish or their will. What came to them could have come to every one of us if we had happened to have been in that place in their stead. It could happen to us at any time because the attack on Bali presages what could happen on this continent, as we know it has happened in the United States. It presages further action in Africa. It presages further action in Europe or anywhere in the developed world. For these groups, part of the crime of the developed world is that it is developed and that it assists developing countries to develop. They want to go back to a medieval period—in fact, that might be too advanced for them—to the period of the Dark Ages—

Mr Cadman —The 14th century.

Mr HATTON —They may want to go even further back than the 14th century, to the period of the darkest ages of man, where life and liberty were held in very little account, where a person's subjection to an ideal was counted as a greater thing than the individual capacity of that person. They want to subject people to an iron heel and an iron rule that is entirely intolerant.

This is a great task that faces us. We must recommit ourselves, in memory of those people who have suffered through no fault of their own, to ensure that the groups that did this do not win and do not continue to propagate their false ideology throughout the Asian region and worldwide. We must ensure they do not come into a situation where they can perpetrate these outrages at will, either here in continental Australia or anywhere else in the world. Our citizens are citizens of the advanced Western civilisation which these groups seek to destroy. These groups want to impose on what would then be subject peoples a suzerainty that would have at its base a fractured, broken and brittle idea of what life should be—one that would crush the life out of those people that they seek to destroy.

Given the very warped nature of what they are about, our solid determination to continue to deal with them is all-important. If we do not do that, we betray the memory of those people who died on 12 October in Bali, those people who died in New York, those people who died in the Pentagon, and those people who have suffered through a whole series of events—the USS Cole, and interventions in Africa where al-Qaeda has acted. That is why it is my view that the intervention in Iraq was misguided. As I said 12 months ago, we must direct the war on terror to its very core, to finding Osama bin Laden, who is probably still in the upper regions of Afghanistan near the Pakistani border. We must direct it to finding him and bringing him to justice. We must ensure that not only he but Sheikh Mohammad and the rest of the group who have organised and perpetrated these terrors—which have so quickly taken away the lives of some people and maimed and destroyed the lives of others—are the chief target. I have no problem whatsoever with the death penalty being dealt out to those people who perpetrated these savage outrages against our people and others who lost their lives in Bali on 12 October. We must prosecute, in their name, the attack on these organisations—to finality. (Time expired)