Navy brass on alert as Muslim officer hit social storm

Navy brass on alert as Muslim officer hit social storm, by Ean Higgins.


Captain Mona Shindy is a respected 26-year veteran of the navy, until recently the head of its ­Guided Missile Frigate Program, and now Vice Admiral Tim Barrett’s strategic adviser on Islamic affairs. She tweeted some incend­iary social media posts lat last year.

Emails between senior officers, released under Freedom of Inform­ation laws, reveal they considered whether Captain Mona Shindy should be sacked, with a legal assessment comparing her case to another in which a ­reserve officer had been expelled from the service for speaking out. …

The tweets included remarks mirroring claims of Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed after the Paris terror attacks in November, in which he said factors such as Western foreign policy in the Middle East, the media and lack of ­opportunity were fuelling Islamic extremism. Captain Shindy mocked Tony Abbott after the leadership coup in September by pointing to pro-Muslim statements by Malcolm Turnbull, and tweeting: “Looking forward to a #PM that unites #auspol & #OZ”. …

The emails show that apart from having her official ­Defence Twitter account closed down, and being “counselled”, Captain Shindy has been cosseted by ­Defence spin doctors in her role as Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year, so that on the speaking circuit her message can be, in Vice-Admiral Barrett’s words, “cleared and controlled”.

Different rules applied to different folks, for political reasons. The reserve officer expelled for speaking out is believed to be Major Bernard Gaynor Jnr, a conservative Catholic with six children:


Whew, they found an acceptable reason for discriminating:

Major Gaynor won a wrongful dismissal case, which Defence is appealing. The assessment says that in both cases, “Defence determined that public comments were being made and social media used that was not in accord with ­Defence Policy” and the officers were ordered to stop making them.

But it says a key difference is that while the unnamed officer “did not desist from making further comments”, Captain Shindy “has ceased making inappropriate public comments”. The assessment concluded that no further action against her was required.

Captain Shindy, not fully integrated into Australian society as evidenced by her headdress, is one of the warriors defending Australia and is on the speaking circuit, while Major Gaynor is out. What member of the armed forces couldn’t see the message in that?