Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rollins and Morrissey: Terrorist Threats?

American punk rocker, writer, and stand-up comedian Henry Rollins was recently informed he was reported to Australia’s National Security Hotline as a “possible threat.” The National Security Hotline was set up by the Australian government to receive information on possible terrorist activity and encourages the public to report suspicious activity that may warrant further investigation by Australia’s national security agencies.

So, what exactly set off the alarm bells that caused Henry Rollins to be reported to a terror hotline? It turns out the culprit was the book Henry Rollins was reading while on a flight in Australia during his recent Big Day Out tour. According to a letter Rollins received from the National Security Hotline: “The person who sat next to you on the flight from New Zealand does not agree with your politics or choice of reading and so nominated you as a possible threat.”

The book in question is Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid. Rashid is a Pakistani journalist and best-selling author who has covered Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia for the past 25 years as a correspondent for such dangerous, ultra-radical publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Telegraph.

Rollins was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts with Australia’s terrorist hotline: “Please tell your government and everyone in your office to go fuck themselves. Tell them twice. If your boss is looking for something to do, you can tell him I suggest he go fuck himself.”

Former Smiths singer and British solo artist Morrissey was also hauled in by the FBI over his criticism of the US and Britain. Morrissey is opposed to the Iraq war and called Bush a “terrorist.” No wonder Morrissey feels that freedom of speech is just an illusion. He added: “You can’t really speak your mind and if you do, you’re investigated.”