In the last two years (yes, only 2), our authorities declared war on “radicalisation and extremism”, or at least that’s what they wanted us to think.
What we’ve seen so far is lots of noise threatening to crack down on extremists and making a few arrests. Also more than $1 billion of extra funding has been given to security agencies and community programs but so far the only results we can see is that extremism has increased while civil liberties have been taken away from people who are fighting the very extremists the government says it’s fighting!
After two years our government and authorities should prove to us that they are serious in tackling terrorism by showing us beyond doubt what they have achieved so far.
Well, I can easily claim beyond doubt that our government was never serious in fighting extremism and radicalisation. This is very clear since there has been no degree of de-radicalisation.
A few arrests here and there of a few teenagers allegedly plotting some kind of terrorist activities is not what I call a result. Meanwhile extremism among some parts of the community is very high and extremist centres are still allowed to continue preaching hatred.
I need some answers to convince me that authorities are serious in fighting extremism and radicalisation. Below are some of my observations:
- Security agencies were actively engaging and consulting extremist who were at the very source of radicalisation (Muslim leaders and organisations), and totally ignoring the real anti-extremist in the community.
- Funding for community programs aimed to reduce radicalisation was granted mainly to extremist organisations. Instead organisations that had a solid track in fighting extremism were never successful in securing such funds. For example, our organisation known to be in the frontline of the fight against extremism since 2008, was refused $25,000 in funding.
Organisations such as LMA are instead granted millions of dollars every year when in reality they have been the very cause of extremism.
Proof of this is the revelation that the latest teenager who was plotting the next terror attack was actually in a de-radicalisation program.
- In Australia we have 4 Muftis (all of them have limited representation among Muslims), the authorities chose to recognise and promote the most extremist of all. The authorities were in fact sidelining the other more moderate ones.
- Authorities were actively sabotaging anti-terrorism initiatives related to Syria, while allowing so far around 400 Australian extremist to travel and fight in Syria alongside ISIS and other terrorist organisations.
We need to know how our authorities are failing so miserably in the fight against extremism. How is it possible that great numbers of extremists were able to leave Australia to join terror groups overseas while anti extremist activist who wanted to travel on peace missions were stopped. I for one was even banned from entering Lebanon thanks to forged documents sent by Australian authorities,
- The arrest and deportation of a known peace activists (NZ citizen Warren Marriner, as a clear example) while outrageously allowing free movement of extremists between Australia and Syria (authorities admitted that 60 Australian terrorists had returned to Australia after fighting in Syria).
What I mentioned above are not allegations or theories. They are facts and we are working on documenting them.
But even without these facts anyone can easily see that Australia has a big problem with high radicalisation and extremism.
All the facts outlined below are evidence that our authorities are not serious in fighting extremism and radicalisation:
- The constant interception of youth trying to travel to Syria to join terrorist.
- The incessant reports of radical violence in schools.
- The repeat attacks on anti-extremism campaigners.
- The ongoing fundraising events to support terrorist organisations.
- The re-appearance of radical groups such as Al Risalah bookstore for example.
With all the facts I have outlined, we can only come to one sad conclusion: our authorities are on the side of the extremists!
We cannot expect our levels of radicalisation and extremism to come down unless the following measures are taken:
1. Closing down dozen of mosques and religious centres run by extremist.
2. Start consultation with the real anti extremist members of the community and halt all talks with known extremist community/religious leaders.
3. Stop the funding from Gulf countries (mostly Saudi Arabia) to Australian Islamic schools and religious centres.
If these measures are not taken soon, the government and the security agencies will lose the trust of the Australian people.
We can send a strong message to our government with the upcoming elections.
“You will not get our votes until you act on radicalisation and restore public faith in our security agencies.”