The hostage incident in Sydney has ended. The gunman is dead as is at least one innocent person. There are other wounded as well.
A couple of thoughts to add to the details that are now known. Not knowing Australian law, I don't know why this Iranian immigrant was allowed to remain in the country and/or why he was not in custody on charges of being involved in the murder of his ex-wife. Suffice to say he was well-known to the authorities. His motive, in spite of what some authorities were saying in the past hours after the Shehada flag was displayed in the Lindt cafe window, was clear. He was on an act of jihad. Whether he had hard links to ISIS or was one of the "lone wolves" ISIS has called upon to attack whenever they can in the West ( I am including Australia in the "West" here.) is unknown and perhaps, academic.
In the wake of this incident, some Australians have come forth and offered to escort Muslims around to allay their fears of backlash against Muslims. That is highly commendable. I suspect and hope that it will not be necessary. I know the Australian people are better than that. I don't expect them to lash out at innocent Muslims. Australian does have a highly radicalized Muslim element who have talked about publicly beheading people. The police are investigating that as we speak.
The problem is not really peaceful and tolerant Muslims who are trying to live their lives and are willing to respect others. However, there is a problem with the ideology of Islam far and beyond the manner in which they worship God every day. In the meantime, this incident has surely awakened millions of more people to that reality.