Martin Place gunman compared himself to Assange

Police respond to the siege caused by gunman Man Haron Monis
Police respond to the siege caused by gunman Man Haron Monis

 

MARTIN Place gunman Man Haron Monis's personal website told the story of a man living on a knife's edge in the months leading up to his attack.

The self-proclaimed Muslim cleric and activist's website was taken down shortly after his identity became known, but archived snapshots reveal he claimed to be "continuously under attack and false accusation" by the Australian Government and media.

Presumably written by Monis in third-person, a personal profile on the site says his perceived persecution started after his "political letter campaign from 2007" - dispatches to the families of dead Australian soldiers in which he accused their sons, husbands and brothers of being child-killers, criminals and murderers.

"His children have been taken away from him by the Australian government and he is not allowed to visit or even call them," the profile stated.

Man Monis, also known as Sheik Haron leaves the Downing Centre Local Court in central Sydney in 2010.
Man Monis, also known as Sheik Haron leaves the Downing Centre Local Court in central Sydney in 2010.

Monis claimed charges against him for allegedly being an accessory to his wife's murder, and dozens of sexual and indecent assault charges, were "political cases against this Muslim activist, not real criminal ones".

He likened himself to besieged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who remains in asylum at the Embassy of Ecuador in London while Swedish authorities try to lay rape and sexual assault charges against him.

"Since the Australian government cannot tolerate Sheikh Haron's activity, (it) is trying to damage his image by these false accusations, and also for putting pressure on him to stop his activity and keep him silent," the profile stated.

"But God willing, Man Haron Monis will not stop his political activity against oppression and also he does not care if his image will be damaged amongst the community as he believes it is not important what people think about him but it is important that Allah (swt) to be happy with him…"

Monis signed off on the screed with the claim he was not a member of any organisation or party, but opposed oppression and the Western invasion of Muslim countries.
 

An open letter from Monis to Prime Minister Tony Abbott was published in November, 2013, after the announcement of Australia's ending military presence in Afghanistan.

"You spoke emotionally about the 40 Australians who died in the war," he addressed Mr Abbott.

"As for the tens of thousands of Afghans who died because of the western invasion, they were not deemed worthy of mention because, as reflected in the actions of western policy-makers more strongly than their words, the people of 'third-world' countries are not of equal worth."

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) and his wife Margaret lay wreaths at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district on December 16, 2014. Sydneysiders including tearful office workers and Muslim women in hijabs laid flowers at the scene of the deadly siege, in an outpouring of grief and shock that this could happen in their easy-going city. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS
Prime Minister Tony Abbott (L) and his wife Margaret lay wreaths at a makeshift memorial near the scene of a fatal siege in the heart of Sydney's financial district on December 16, 2014. Sydneysiders including tearful office workers and Muslim women in hijabs laid flowers at the scene of the deadly siege, in an outpouring of grief and shock that this could happen in their easy-going city. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS PETER PARKS

 

The letter was much more coherent than his later posts, but still told the story of a man convinced he was acting in the interest of peace by writing letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers.

"Since the message of my letters to the Australian authorities couldn't be heard, I wrote letters to the families of some of the deceased and I requested them to voice their opposition to this war," he wrote.

"Although those families like the majority of Australians were fed up with the wrong foreign policy of the government, but for some reasons they could not speak out against the government.

"The media and politicians found this as a good opportunity to try hard to convince the public that Sheikh Haron's letters were 'offensive'."
 

He signed off the letter by calling for a debate between him and the government, saying that if his views were proven wrong he would promise to support the Australian Government's foreign policy for the rest of his life.

"However, if it is proven in our debate that the government's policy has endangered Australia, if it is proven that the government has made Australia unsafe, if it is proven that Australia and Australians will be attacked*, in that case, I expect you to change Australia's policy."

*Bold formatting was included in Monis's original letter

 

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