As you might expect from my use of the word brouhaha, this is another of those examples where I find myself on the opposite side of the fence to the Government. I actually don't understand the angst involved, but the Government's response simply reinforces that sense of fear that I referred to in my post
Saturday Morning Musings - Triggs, terrorism and the decline of freedom. There I said in part:
My problem is a simple one. I am frightened. I am not especially frightened by the risk of terrorism in this country. I accept that it's real, but in proportional terms it's far less than my chances of being bitten by a snake. I don't argue that we should wipe out every snake in the country to reduce that risk. It's my Government that frightens me.
I have no faith that these growing powers won't be misused by this or future governments of any persuasion. I have no faith that there won't be victims, people who may have to fight sometimes vainly for justice against the law. How could I have faith? History including recent history is not encouraging.
Spotter referred to this piece setting out the views of Ricky Muir, while Legal Eagle wrote:
"As far as I'm concerned, it was foolish of Q&A to give Zaky Mallah a platform. Yes, he's entitled to freedom of speech, just as anyone is. That's not my problem with his appearance.
My problem is rather that a NSWSC judge said in sentencing remarks in 2006 that he seemed to have some kind of psychological attention seeking disorder which led him to do crazy things to get media attention, and that media outlets should not give him attention. The judge's conclusion was (as I read it) that Mallah himself was a danger to no one but himself. (See here www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2005/358.html). Paragraphs  -  are apposite:
31 The evidence which the Prisoner gave during the trial was, in many respects, self contradictory, illogical, bizarre and downright foolish. His credibility remains very much in issue, particularly in so far as he gave the impression, at times, of saying virtually anything that came to his mind, and demonstrated himself capable of deception and manipulation of others.
32 Paradoxically, however, I am of the view that herein lies the answer to the question whether his threats were genuine or simply the product of a fertile imagination which had been allowed, or perhaps more accurately encouraged, by the media attention which he received, to run wild.
33 It does seem to me to have been regrettable that some sections of the media took up the Prisoner as a person of interest, and gave him an entirely underserved and unnecessary exposure, particularly if it be the fact, as he has claimed, that he was paid for his cooperation.
34 Had real fears been entertained as to his potential dangerousness, then the preferable course surely would have been to pass any relevant information concerning him, to the appropriate policing and security agencies. Had he been dismissed as an attention seeker, of no moment, then there surely would have been no occasion to give him the extensive public exposure which he obviously enjoyed and indeed craved.
So, yeah, I've got no issue with an audience member on Q&A airing unpopular views (although if I were a Muslim, I'd be pretty annoyed by someone like him claiming to speak for me). But Mallah appears to have psychological issues which are exacerbated by media outlets courting him. ALL of them (including the newspapers, pundits and television stations baying against him) should have ignored him. Instead they did exactly what he wanted.
P.S. I share your fear about giving government too much power. I can all too easily see how it can be misused".