Canberra police say the attack on the offices of the Australian Christian Lobby overnight was not “politically, religiously or ideologically motivated” and that there is no threat to the public after a man drove a van full of gas cylinders into the lobby group’s Deakin offices.

But of course a sober, measured response will make no difference to the readers of right-wing websites around the world that have picked up the story. It has gone as far as Breitbart, which wrote, “The Australian Christian Lobby describes itself as seeking ‘a compassionate, just and moral society through having the public contributions of the Christian faith reflected in the political life of the nation.'”

It’s also been reported in FaithWire, the Sun and Fox News, which finished its report with a reference to an incident in Beijing and the Berlin Christmas Market attack:

“The Canberra crash comes just hours after a minivan drove into a farmer’s market in Beijing, killing at least four people. The driver had been detained in that episode, and authorities had not yet determined if the minivan driver deliberately aimed for the crowd.

“The Canberra and Beijing incidents also came two days after a truck driven by an Islamic extremist drove into a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12.”

It’s also made it to some more fringe websites, including Townhall and Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children in the US, which asks if the attack could be by jihadists. Comments on the article posted on Breitbart all blame Muslim immigration for the incident, even though nothing is known about the driver except his age.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey