Monday, August 18, 2014

Open letter to Tony Abbott: Consulting extremists will not help anti-radicalisation

Dear Hon Tony Abbott, our PM
As a Muslim community leader and long time campaigner against radicalisation of Muslim Community.
As a victim of radical Islam because of my anti-extremism views and activities.
As a long time social justice campaigner.

I am appalled with your government’s invitation of radical groups and “leaders” to consult them of your government’s new initiative to combat radicalisation in our society. I must mention first that this condemnation does not mean that I support these initiatives or the new measures to fight “terrorism”.

I found it very shocking to learn that you had met and planning another meeting with Muslim community “leaders” for many reasons. I will mention just two of them.

Firstly, I and other community members (both active and non-active) are questioning the scientific method/s your government followed to classify people of being “leaders” and others to be non-leaders. From the list of names I read in our media, we note that some of the invited persons have no leadership charisma nor has any followers. Your arbitrary decision to consider these as “leaders” will serve no good target.

Secondly, the list of names we are aware of includes names of extremists who very active in spreading extremism for the last decades.

As we understand that the current round of consultation which has an object to pave the way for new round of Anti-terrorism laws came to deal with the fear in our society of devastating impacts of Australian terrorists’ participation in Syrian conflict. To this point we find it to be very sad that your government is still keen to hear the voice of the “leaders” that were behind the radicalisation of our youth and their consequent participation in terrorist activities in Syria.

Some of the names mentioned in the media of people invited to this consultation round were very active in brainwashing our youth and encouraging them to travel to Syria to fight.

On this instance, we wonder why our organisation was not invited to participate in this round. Our organisation that was on the front line to fight against extremism, sectarian hate and sectarian violence conducted systemically by takfiri groups and their supporters for the last 3 years. Such fight that gained us a wealth of knowledge and expertise about extremism in our society and ways to combat them.

We understand that we disagree with you and your government on almost every political issue, but at least you could hear from us the needs of community members we represent or share thoughts and ideology.

In this letter, I (on behalf of many Australians opposing terrorism both in Syria and in Australia) consider your latest move to invite extremists leaders and/or opportunists who represent no one to be no more than a media stunt in your bid to win you friends to introduce new “anti-terrorism” legislations. Such move that will not win you any support.

Your government’s bid to win extremists’ support will end you up with no support at all. You will not win extremists’ support, as they consider democracy to be a sin that should be destroyed. And I wonder how these extremists will advice you or agree with you on measures that will virtually target them, and their followers....!!!

And on the other hand it will not win you anti-extremists voices you never consulted and never cooperated with to fight the extremists.

We note here that your government’s lack of action for the last year was part of reasons why extremism has flourished in our suburbs. Such lack of actions that was interpreted by extremists to be a green-light for their extremism (and terrorism at some stage). Of course this inaction against extremism that you inherited from previous Labor-Greens government.

At the end of this letter I need to mention that I do not believe that we need more Anti-terrorism laws in this democratic nation. We have enough laws to deal with terrorism. All what our nation needs is a political “Will” to start cracking down on terrorists.

We believe that lacking this political will could have devastating effect, especially if it continues until the majority of our terrorists come back from Syria, Iraq and Libya.