Numan Haider: The Good Muslim Who Wasn’t A Muslim But Just A Single Lad Looking For Love
WHO was Nudam Haider, the teenager shot dead in Australia? Was he primarily a nutcase, a Muslim or a lovelorn teenager?
Haider, whose family arrived in Australia from Afghanistan about 10 years ago, was a conscientious boy until a couple of years ago, when he began associating with people who held radical Islamist views.
Haider’s parents grew worried as he began staying out late at night and would not return home for extended periods. He had been associating with a radical Islamic group called Al-Furqan, though it is understood he had recently moved away from the group.
Based in Springvale, in Melbourne’s south-east, associates of Al-Furqan were the targets of terrorism raids by Victoria Police and the Australian Federal Police in 2012.
The Guardian reports on Haider’s niceness:
Abdul Numan Haider was quiet, gentle and softly spoken, friend says. Youth camp mate says teen terrorism suspect shot dead by police in Melbourne seemed to be looking for answers…
At a Muslim youth camp in Victoria early last year, Abdul Numan Haider attended every lecture, enthusiastically took part in sport and tried his best at camp quizzes. He had to be woken up for dawn prayer but he never complained.
Haider’s cabin mate spent nine days with him and remembers him as “quiet, very gentle, very softly spoken”. The camp catered for young people of all backgrounds, many from disadvantaged families. The theme last year was “The Prophet”.
And then the paper gets confused:
The man, who prefers to remain anonymous, says he remembers, too, that Haider seemed to be looking for answers, and asking questions. He was curious, trying to work out his place in the world, and in Australia, as a young Muslim man.
“I didn’t think he was very learned about the religion. His knowledge was basic, he was not well informed,” he said. “I do remember he was the most gentle, quiet, loving person in the camp.”
To which the paper adds:
For those who knew Haider, what he is alleged to have done is unfathomable. He was a “skinny small boy”, a devout Muslim who prayed at the Hallam mosque in Narre Warren, among other places.
And more confusion:
One man, Mustafa, demanded to see the CCTV footage. Several asked why the police had not shot Haider in the leg rather than killed him. Another said that the cancellation of passports had led to distrust of police and intelligence agencies.
Police and politicians were anxious to calm everyone down and went out of their way to emphasise that what happened on Tuesday night was not about religion or ethnicity, but about allegations about the actions of an individual.
They are nervous about Islamic anger and equally anxious about anti-Muslim sentiment spilling out of control.
Eh? They say it’s not about race but it is about race and religion?
“Victoria police will not tolerate any act of racism and intolerance,” said [Victoria’s police commissioner, Ken] Lay. “Extreme behaviour has nothing whatsoever to do with faith”.
Go that? The Guardian hasn’t. Because it then notes:
The man who shared a cabin with Haider tried to explain the complexity of what many Muslims are feeling. “There’s always a sense of misplacement and doubt over whether you belong,” he said.
The Daily Mail hears from another source:
Firebrand Islamic preacher Mohammed Junaid Thorne has described the 18-year-old man shot dead last night as a ‘wonderful, practicing (sic) brother’ who was ‘murdered by authorities’.
The Age reports on what Haider was up to:
Police suspect the 18-year-old man shot dead outside the Endeavour Hills police stationed planned to behead officers and post the images online. Numan Haider used a small knife to attack an Australian Federal Police officer and a Victorian policeman before he was shot dead with a single shot.
When Haider was searched he was found to be carrying a larger knife and an Islamic State flag.
Police believe the plan was to follow instructions from the international terror group Islamic State and behead the officers, cover the bodies in the flag and then take photos to post via the internet.
The attack was planned?
Counter-terrorism officers met Haider outside Endeavour Hills police station in Melbourne’s southeast about 7.45pm after the teen told police he felt uneasy about taking in the station’s foyer. He greeted the officers with a handshake before stabbing an AFP agent in the neck, abdomen and upper body. He then stabbed a Victoria Police officer twice in the arm.
Islamic Council of Victoria secretary Graith Krayem said:
“I heard and I saw the press conference with the police last night and I’m a little disappointed. I think it was a little too pre-emptive. The police have come out very clearly and almost have said it’s all the young man’s fault,” he told radio station 3AW.
The Victorian police officer, aged in his late 30s, was stabbed in the arm. It is understood the Victorian policeman was attacked first before the teenager turned on the federal police officer. The AFP officer, a 43-year-old married man with two children, underwent surgery on Tuesday night for, in particular, wounds to his abdomen. He was stabbed to the neck, stomach and head. The Victorian officer, a leading senior constable, sustained slashes across his harm. He will undergo surgery on Wednesday. Though both are in a stable condition, “we should be under no illusions of the seriousness of their injuries”, acting Commissioner Colvin said
Thta was before the police shot Haider, obviously (well, it is to most):
The Herald Sun said Nudam Haider did it for love:
Romance had ended for teen shot dead by police Numan Haider at Endeavour Hills police station…
One man, who knew Haider, said the two recently had lunch and Haider told him about his divorce and the stress he was under as a result of being investigated for involvement in terrorism activities.
“It (the divorce) was a huge factor in his life. They were living apart. He was very upset,” the man said.
He said Haider seemed “angry and frustrated”.
“He seemed angry about his passport being taken and he wanted to know why.
“He kept getting harassed by police officers and ASIO. He said he was annoyed by them, they kept chasing him and pulling him over and harassing his family.
“They always were knocking on his door, asking questions about him.”
And Daniel Flitter in the SMHerald knows what’s needed:
There is no doubt extremists with a demented but potent ideology are exploiting people inside Australia’s Muslim community. The ferocity of Islamist violence, seen in Iraq and Syria and urged to be replicated here, is frightening to behold. Yet faith in authority is sorely tested when politicians make unnecessary and ill-judged remarks that serve only to alienate.
Senator Jacqui Lambie’s recent contribution is a standout in stupidity. Some loud and incendiary voices claiming to speak for the Muslim community don’t help either, and the media certainly shares blame. Frankly, the whole country can afford a little calm perspective. What happened on Tuesday night was a crime, which needs to be properly investigated.
Such are the facts…