Just a week before Easter the French experienced another alarming terrorist attack, this time in Southern France, not far from the Mediterranean coast, and the Spanish border. Five lost their lives, including tragically a 44 year old police officer Arnaud Beltrame who in a gesture of great magnanimity, had exchanged place with a female hostage. Others were seriously injured.
France, with a population nearly three times greater than our own, has long endured many more incidents, and of greater magnitude, than we have in Australia.
From my calculations based on information from Wikipedia, in 15 years since 20 July 2003, and not including this latest one, there have been 33 terrorist attacks in which 259 people have lost their lives, and 899 have been injured.
The most horrific sequence of assaults occurred November 2015 in Paris. It resulted in 130 deaths, and 368 serious injuries.
One might have thought that with such a troubled history of terrorism, the French would have preferred the well-known and popular lawyer leader of the right wing National Front Party, Marine Le Pen, in the ballot at the April-May 2017 French Presidential election for a five year term.
Instead it was the young Centrist, pro-European, moderate leader of the En Marche Party, Emmanuel Macron who easily won the most powerful position in French politics, that of the French President by 66% to 33%.
Australians might well ask themselves, as Immigration policy is canvassed as an election issue in 2018, what is the security risk to us here in Australia? Do we wish to erect aggressive Trumpesque Immigration barriers that drastically cut our humanitarian refugee quota to supposedly protect our privileged standard of living?
Wikipedia derived data on Australian Terrorism in the past decade, documents 10 attacks, with 9 deaths and 15 injuries. It seems like it was only a few months ago but the Martin Place Lindt café siege in which two innocent people lost their lives was in December 2014.
This News article suggests that a further 15 terrorist attacks have been thwarted in a three year period.
The figures show that the threat of death and injury from terrorism in Australia is very low, thanks in large part to the vigilance of our security forces, and the information they receive from peace-loving, law-abiding ethnic minorities.
We need to focus equally on the prevention of domestic violence, a much more formidable problem in our societies.