By B. Cohen
The man killed by Australian police yesterday after carrying out the siege of a cafe in downtown Sydney was a known anti-Semite who sent abusive letters and messages to members of Australia’s Jewish community.
Man Haron Monis, a 49 year-old self-styled Muslim Sheikh who received political asylum in Australia in 1996, faced multiple indictments in 2011 “of using a postal or similar service to menace, harass or cause offense.”
During Monis’ trial in New South Wales, prosecuting barrister John Agius SC quoted from a letter which the Iranian-born Islamist sent to the family of an Australian Jewish soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.
In the letter, Monis described the soldier as a “dirty animal.”
“Some Jews who blame Hitler for violations of human rights are not much better than him,” the letter continued. “When the body of a murderer of civilians is sent back to Australia, we must not respect the body, such a body does not deserve a respectful ceremony.”
Monis then declared: “A Jewish man who kills innocent Muslims, civilians is not a pig. He’s a thousand times worse. Some people don’t eat the meat of pig but they are dirtier than pig. What’s the point when some people don’t eat pork while their behaviour is worse than dirty animals?”
Lawyers for Monis and his co-accused, Amirah Droudis, who faced charges of aiding and abetting the sending of the letters, dismissed the abuse as a legitimate political exchange. “Insults are a legitimate part of the political discourse,” Droudis’ lawyer told the court.
The letter to the family of the Jewish solider was one of several that Monis mailed to relatives of Australian soldiers who fell in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Before he was killed, Monis was on bail for being an accessory to the murder of his former wife as well as for more than 40 indecent assault charges.