Melbourne’s Petite, Shy, Honours-Student Terrorist

Melbourne’s Petite, Shy, Honours-Student Terrorist, by Daniel Pipes.

Why did Australian authorities allow Momena Shoma into the country after Turkey, and perhaps Tunisia and the United States as well, rejected her visa application? They did, alas, and the international student’s host almost paid with his life when ‘sudden jihadi syndrome’ saw her plunge a knife into his throat.

A petite, pretty twenty-four-year-old Bangladeshi named Momena Shoma (left) arrived in Melbourne on February 1, 2018, to study linguistics on an excellence scholarship at La Trobe University. Describing herself as “an introvert and very shy in nature”, she spoke of an ambition to become a university instructor. Coming from an affluent and secular Dhaka family which considered her “brilliant”, Momena had been an A student at some of the capital’s elite English-language educational institutions: Loreto School, Mastermind School and North South University (NSU). She graduated from NSU with an honours degree in English language and literature in 2016, then enrolled for a master’s degree at NSU before switching to La Trobe.

Like many newly-arrived foreign students, Momena turned to the Australian Homestay Network (AHN), “Australia’s largest and leading homestay provider”, to find a family with which to board. She quickly settled in a home in Bundoora, near the university.

What could be more innocent? Anyone worrying about her being dangerous because of her Muslim faith would have been called out for racism, chauvinism, xenophobia, bigotry and (that most dreadful of accusations) “Islamophobia”. That she wore a burka (the black full-body Islamic covering) only made such suspicions the more heinous. …

Yet look what happened:

On February 9, after two days with the Singaravelus, Momena struck. At 4.25 p.m., with Maha out of the house and Roger napping on a mattress in the lounge with his child in his arms, Momena, wearing her burka, used her stolen knife to stab her host in the neck. But the under-five-foot woman lacked the strength to cut the much larger Roger’s jugular vein, getting the knife only superficially into his neck—enough to make him bleed “like a fountain” but not enough to do him fatal damage.

In his words: “I thought I was dreaming as I felt a sharp pain on my neck. I woke up and started screaming.” He tried to pull the knife out as Momena leaned over him and pushed it in, yelling all the while, “Allahu Akbar!” He noted that “her eyes were so intense”. …

Roger eventually prevailed and pulled the blade out, he rang  his neighbor to help:

Mustafa, seventy-six, a retired security guard of Macedonian origins, and his wife Safia, watched over a sullen and immobile Momena for twenty minutes as she awaited arrest, slumped against the wall of the room where her attack had taken place. The neighbours recount her saying that “It was a mission and that she had to do what she had to do.”

Good fundamentalist, doing as Islam instructs:

To the police, she calmly elaborated that she had come to Australia not to study but to kill “in the name of God”. She expected that a knife stab to the neck “would be fatal”. Seeing herself as a foot soldier of Islamic State (ISIS), Momena had planned the attack; indeed, before leaving Dhaka, she had told her younger sister Asmaul Husna, twenty-two, of her murderous plan. …

Momena acknowledged bearing no personal grudge against Roger (who had spoken barely fifty words to her) but attacked him out of a sense of duty to “trigger the West”: meaning, to spur non-Muslims to attack Muslims, possibly leading to the chaos that brings on the End of Days. …

By all accounts, Momena fitted into the normal Muslim life of her elite family. Her father, Mohammad Moniruzzaman, a chartered accountant, is senior vice-president and a board member of Janata Insurance. Her uncle, Mohammed Abdul Aziz, is dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Dhaka. …

She withdrew into a world defined by Islam only in 2012, her first year at NSU. No more music or movies for her; she demanded her family get rid of its television set and nagged women to cover themselves. Paraphrasing an Australian police report, the ABC found that Momena “felt like a prisoner in her own house”, being the only family member to have become a Salafi Muslim. “She began following online preachers, including notorious Yemeni preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, and looking at Islamic State videos.”

Might there be a pattern to this? Some clues that would have alerted us beforehand?

Here’s the global score for the last 17 years, of the 1,400 years since unreformable Islam was born of 7th century Arab culture:

Not compatible with the West. Undermining the high-trust culture that allowed the West to flourish. Our elites remain willfully blind.

Western elites live in areas with few Muslim immigrants, and certainly not the ones with those who have not adapted to Western ways. Western immigration policies would be very different if the immigrants predominately settled in the wealthy areas where our opinion-forming elites live.

hat-tip Stephen Neil