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The Sydney Mall Attacker Is an Australian Citizen, neither Jewish nor Muslim

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
17th April 2024
The Sydney Mall Attacker Is an Australian Citizen, neither Jewish nor Muslim
The attacker is Joel Cauchi, an Australian Christian (YouTube)

The Claim

Video of the Islamist terrorist running around the shopping mall in Sydney trying to stab people.

Emerging story

Recently, social media accounts have been circulating a sensational story about the perpetrator of the Sydney Mall incident on Saturday, April 13. Some claim he is an Israeli Jew named Benjamin Cohen, while others argue he is Muslim.

the Sydney Mall incident

Misbarโ€™s Analysis

Misbar investigated the circulating claim and found it to be misleading. The Sydney attacker is an Australian Christian, debunking claims that he is either Benjamin Cohen, a Jew, or a Muslim.

Sydney Stabbing Attack

The stabbing incident occurred at the Westfield Bondi Junction Shopping Centre in Australia on Saturday, April 13. Tragically, it resulted in the deaths of five women and one man, with at least 12 others injured, including an infant.

The assailant was killed at the scene by a pursuing officer in the shopping mall.

Australian police officially identified the attacker on April 14 as Joel Cauchi, a 40-year-old Christian Australian man from Queensland.

Sydney Stabbing Attack
Sydney Stabbing Attack

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Anthony Cooke stated, 'We know that the offender in the matter suffers from mental health issues.' He further added, 'We are continuing to work through the profiling of the offender, but very clearly to us at this stage, it would appear that this is related to the mental health of the individual involved.' This was corroborated by a statement from his family, noting that their son has struggled with mental health issues since he was a teenager.

Joel Cauchi

Authorities have clarified that they will refrain from describing the incident as an act of terrorism because they do not believe there are ideological motivations behind the attack. However, they are investigating whether the attacker deliberately targeted women.

Rumors Swirl About Identity of Sydney Mall Attacker

Amidst the circulation of claims, misleading reports suggesting the attacker was Muslim have emerged, potentially exacerbating hostility towards Muslims. British presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer shared a post on the day of the incident that received nine million views, claiming the attacker was an Islamic terrorist and hinting at Britain being the next target, following Australia and France.

British presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer

On the following day, Julia shared another post acknowledging that her initial claim was false.

British presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer

The Australian Muslim Advocacy Network (AMAN) has expressed concern, stating, "Speculation that the attacker was Muslim or Palestinian emerged within minutes," which led to a surge in anti-Muslim sentiment in comments across leading Australian media outlets.

It is worth mentioning that among the victims was Faraz Tahir, a 30-year-old Pakistani Muslim security guard who tragically lost his life while defending citizens during the attack. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Australia mourned his passing, affirming that "he was a beloved member known for his dedication and kindness."

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