It’s not easy to write fiction when true crime with tragic results is to the forefront of news. And this news is very close to home. I have visited Martin Place and know the Lindt Cafe well. My thoughts are with the bereaved loved ones at this time. But I hope, that in due course, we will again confront the challenge of balancing the rights and freedoms of people who are suspected to have committed crimes, against the rights of law abiding citizens to go about their business without being confronted with terror and death. Even those who have escaped with their lives, injured or not, have had an experience none of us would wish to have.
And these murders come with a most cruel irony: that a Sydney barrister also a young mother would be among the victims. I didn’t know her but cannot help thinking she would’ve been committed to social justice (at some level, most lawyers are) and the rights of the man on bail to enjoy the freedom he sought in political asylum.
The actions of this killer do incalculable harm to peace loving Muslims around the world. Equally, there is every likelihood that the case of genuine refugees from countries who seek to adopt Aussie values and culture will be damaged. Australia is a country born of immigrants, many with a convict heritage. They know only too well what it’s like to overcome adversity. As they do so in this time of grief, I hope they will continue to give people ‘a fair go’ and avoid the vigilante actions we’ve seen elsewhere in the world.