Amid today’s plethora of media thoughts on terrorism in Australia and the world, The Saturday Age reports social researcher Hugh Mackay rejecting the view of some commentators that youth radicalisation here is something dark that we’ve been overlooking. He believes it’s a ‘a tip-of-the-iceberg situation’ not ‘a bad-apple situation’.
“This should be a call to re-double our commitment to making our communities function the way we want them to, and the way to do that is to be inclusive..
Whether it’s for reason of religion, or race, or culture or poverty, if people feel they are pushed to the margins, that’s trouble. The challenge for all of us is to pull people back from the margins.”
Anne Peters, from Yarrawonga, in northern Victoria, has set up a Facebook page with the message that many non-muslims support muslims in the wider community. She expected to attract maybe a couple of dozen members but has over 6000! One comment:
“I’m not a Muslim, and I don’t necessarily agree with Islam as a religion, but in the face of oppression, discrimination, vilification and bigotry I will proudly stand with all of you in order to make safe our community.”
The Age article cites other factors that encourage radicalisation.
A starting point will be to understand exactly what did happen at Endeavour Hills and to acknowledge that we do have an essentially tolerant and harmonious society. Ahmet Polat, executive director of the Australian Intercultural Society says effective solutions could involve:
The former head of International Counter Terrorism in Special Branch at New Scotland Yard, Nick O’Brien, has written in The Conversation saying:
“It’s in the interests of Islamic State for Muslims in Australia to be attacked or for their mosques to be attacked, because doing so would help divide the Australian community … it’s only a tiny minority of the Muslim community that are ever involved in any kind of extreme action. The vast majority are decent, ordinary people.”
Well done Anne Peters and her Facebook supporters