NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
1st January, 1915 : The war came to Broken Hill today when two men opened fire on a crowded picnickers’ train, killing four people before themselves being shot dead. The older man, from India, and the younger Afghan had pulled up their horse-drawn ice-cream cart, flying the Turkish flag, near the railway line and lay in wait, armed with guns and knives. The train, carrying 1,200 people in open carriages, was two miles along the way to nearby Silverton for the annual Miners’ Picnic when the “Turks” struck. Four people died and seven were injured. As doctors arrived at the scene, police pursued the attackers west of Broken Hill, where they killed both of them. There was a desperate determination to leave no work for the hangman. The Moslem gunmen, who lived in the “Afghan” settlement outside the town, regarded the Sultan of Turkey as their religious leader.
Antisthenes the Younger – That much for the old newspaper article. Unfortunately, a hundred years later, we learned nothing. Both murderers were Muslims immigrants from what is today Pakistan, (the Sydney cafe murderer was a Muslim immigrant from Iran) and as Wikipedia assures us, “Though politically and religiously motivated, the men were not members of any sanctioned armed force and the attacks were criminal.”
They had similar respect for Australian laws as their twenty-first century co-religionists: ”Abdullah had arrived in Broken Hill around 1898 and worked as a camel driver. Several days before the killings Mullah Adbullah was convicted by Police Court for slaughtering sheep on premises not licensed for slaughter. It was not his first offence.”
They had the same desire for (and similar problems with) identification: “They also fashioned a home-made Ottoman flag which they flew.” Obviously they also did not wish to be posthumously described as ‘mentally ill’, ‘lone wolves’ or ‘criminals’.
“The attackers were both former camel-drivers working at Broken Hill. They were Badsha Mahommed Gool, an ice-cream vendor, and Mullah Abdullah, a local imam and halal butcher.” Fancy that – a religious person and he never learned that Islam means peace, as all the “experts” know.
“Alma Cowie, aged 17 died instantly. William John Shaw, a foreman in the Sanitary Department, was killed on the train and his daughter Lucy Shaw was injured. Six other people on the train were injured: Mary Kavanagh, George Stokes, Thomas Campbell, Alma Crocker, Rose Crabb and Constable Robert Mills.” One wonders how many victims supported their future murderer by buying his ice-cream.
“Gool and Mullah Abdullah made their way from the train towards the West Camel camp where they lived. On the way they killed Alfred E. Millard who had taken shelter in his hut.”
“ Believing he would be killed, Gool Mahomed left a letter in his waist-belt which stated that he was a subject of the Ottoman Sultan and that, “I must kill you and give my life for my faith, Allāhu Akbar.” Mullah Abdullah said in his last letter that he was dying for his faith and in obedience to the order of the Sultan…”
Nothing to do with Islam then…