By now, you've probably heard that the terrifying sword seized as evidence during the September anti-terrorist raids was actually a toy sword, made of plastic. Yes, a plastic toy, believe it or not.
According to Rachel Olding, writing last Tuesday for SMH:
"It was one of the most frightening, powerful images to emerge from counter-terrorism raids across Sydney last month.And note the detail: the plastic sword of terror was found in a Shiite home, not a Sunni.
"As one man was charged with conspiring to behead a random person in Sydney's CBD, police removed a sword in an evidence bag from a Marsfield home.
"But the owner of the menacing item has revealed that it is actually a plastic decoration common in almost every Shiite Muslim household."
Overseas readers may be LTFAO, and that's understandable. That was the initial reaction here; some Aussies still manage to sort of smile:
"I guess it's a lucky thing the raids only turned up a plastic sword then. What if those 800 cops had found a toy light sabre? The headlines would have screamed 'ISIS develops terrifying Stars Wars capability'. The SAS might have been despatched to Tatooine."However, dear readers, this may not be such a laughing matter, as Fergal Davis, from the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Law School, wrote for The Guardian (Australia):
"The reaction on social media has been one of bemusement. The assumption, which I suspect is true, is that the sword was taken in error. But Australian law is broad enough to potentially criminalise the possession of a plastic sword.Under these provisions a person could be sentenced to between 15 and 25 years.
"There are at least two relevant provisions."
Join the dots: (1) a terrible law, (2) a climate of hysteria fostered by the media, (3) an inept government intent on diverting the public's attention, and (4) a servile opposition.
Now, by all means, keep on laughing.