Friday, March 24, 2017

London terrorist attack: another reason why we need a Royal Commission on radicalisation

Despite being on high alert, the UK authorities were not able to stop the deadly terrorist attack in London yesterday. This event should have a great impact on how our authorities deal with local radicalisation.

In the UK (same as in Australia), the government together with authorities and opposition, acknowledged there was a problem with radicalisation but chose not to take any action against it. Some sections of the media and politicians even used this radicalisation to stir up division and more Islamophobia in our society.

In the last few years, in Australia, there has been no debate on where the source of this sudden “discovered” high radicalisation came from. We saw both the minister and shadow minister of education claim they had no prior knowledge of the high radicalisation in our public (and Islamic) schools. When in fact, myself and many of my friends, knew about this high radicalisation.

We had grave concerns when we witnessed our media, together with our politicians, support terrorism in Syria under the false banner of supporting the “Syrian revolution". It is a fact that every terror attack both in Australia and around the world, has been perpetrated by supporters of the so called Syrian revolution or by terrorists returned after participating in the Syrian revolution.

After all the terrorist attacks on home soil and the heightened alert, still to this day, our authorities have not taken any practical steps towards de-radicalisation. Extreme centres are still allowed to preach hate, mosques managed by extremists remain open, extreme Imams haven’t been deported and funding to extreme organisations is still active.

So far all we have seen from our authorities is the arrest of a few radicals just before they commit terror attacks or immediately after they have committed one. We have seen plenty of rhetoric without any meaningful action.

This lack of actions from our authorities towards radicalisation is due partly to the fact that extremist have become a very powerful lobby in this country. No government, no major party and no politician can take meaningful steps against the source of radicalisation. The radicals have infiltrated our political system, media and education system.

We believe that the only solution is to form a royal commission to reveal who allowed the radicalisation to infiltrate in our system at all levels. A royal commission, with its power to grant immunity and protection for witnesses and experts, will have a better chance to explore and reveal the reality of this sudden-discovered high radicalisation.

A royal commission can:

• Investigate how radicals infiltrated political parties and parachuted their preferred candidates on parties in safe seats.
• Investigate how terrorists were able to easily travel without passports to join the fight in Syria.
• Reveal how the authorities were actively engaging in bullying campaigns to silence anti-extremism campaigners to the point of conspiring with foreign authorities (in my case to ban me from entering Lebanon).
• Reveal how Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries were able to infiltrate our universities, schools, media and political parties.
• Explain how Australia found itself populated by thousands of hardcore radicals who are working very hard to kill our citizens and spread chaos in our beautiful country.
• Investigate how our media, especially state-funded ones, were actively spreading radicalisation by falsely reporting on what was happening in other countries, especially Syria and Libya.
• Explore how government departments are funding extremist organisations with millions of dollars and discover the extent of radicalisation achieved with such funds.

A royal commission will be able to give answers and recommendations.

A royal commission is our only hope to find out what went wrong and how to correct past mistakes. Without assertive de-radicalisation steps, we are dealing with symptoms and not with the real cause.

Without a royal commission and its findings, radicals and their foreign financiers will continue their infiltration of our political system, media and schools.

They will have enough money to build more mosques, centres and schools to continue radicalising our youth.

A royal commission is the only meaningful step to stop the blame game between the minister for education and the shadow minister on what is happening in our public schools.

We will mount a campaign demanding a royal commission to start a meaningful de-radicalisation plan. Such plan is vital not only to prevent terrorist attacks in Australia, but it is also important to start a campaign to restore faith in our authorities and the system.

We need to restore security and social harmony in our community and the only way to achieve this is through a royal commission.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

When Pauline Hanson refused to meet with us to discuss radicalisation..

Pauline Hanson's latest comments about Islam and Muslims are further evidence that she is another lying politician who cannot be trusted.

Pauline Hanson deafened our ears for the last decade talking about extremism and radicalisation. Yet when we contacted her office several times offering to combine efforts in fighting against radicalisation, she just ignored our calls.

Since her election last July, we sent her two letters inviting her for a meeting to discuss radicalisation and extremism. We contacted her on 25 July 2016 and 15 February 2017. On both occasions, we received no reply (attached are the letters we sent)

Hanson’s main campaign election platform was to fight extremism. So when she refuses to meet one of the strongest voices fighting extremism, what does this tell you? Simple, it was just a mere empty election promise only to gain votes!

Pauline Hanson wants to show herself as a politician promoting transparency, clean politics and national security. So far what we are seeing from her is just more divisive rhetoric. As yet we have not seen any of her election promises in action.

Ms Hanson's empty racist and Islamophobic rhetoric will not benefit anyone in the community. Her racist and divisive rhetoric will not prevent terrorist attacks. It will not help in de-radicalisation efforts. And definitely will not help our national security.

Her divisive rhetoric will not improve housing affordability and employment security. And of course it will not repair social division and will not improve social harmony.

We would like here to publicly challenge Ms Hanson to show her true colour: if you are against extremism, let us work together. But if you want to use extremism for cheap electoral gains, we will be the first to fight against your destructive agendas and platforms.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Why I support the ban on face coverings

The debate on whether to ban the face covering has reached a point where there is talk of introducing a private members’ bill to ban it.

First and foremost I want to mention that as a Muslim, I support the bill.

Should the bill be designed only to help improve national security and to prevent terrorist attacks, then most Muslims would welcome the ban.

My concern is that members who introduced and support the ban have done so, to inflame islamophobia for electoral gains.

The reason I support the ban is as follows:

• Under the current circumstances of high extremism and high security scare of terrorist attacks on home soil, the ban could help in preventing security scare and calm fear in the community. It will help security agencies monitor extremists and might prevent attacks.

• Contrary to claims made by extremists, the burqa and the niqab are not part of the original teachings of Islam.

• There is no doubt that wearing the burqa or the niqab is an indication of extreme conservative ideology. Almost all terrorists arrested and convicted of terrorism-related charges believe so and have their female family members wearing this kind of face covering.

Having said this, I do believe the ban itself won’t bring security to this nation nor it will reduce the chance of terrorist attacks. This ban should be part of a wide-range strategy to fight extremism.

Politicians who are using the ban to stir islamophobia will in fact achieve the opposite. This ban and the growing islamophobia that accompany the debate will be used by extreme organisations to lure more youth into the rhetoric of hate. This will serve as golden opportunity for extreme organisations to recruit more terrorists.

What is more concerning is that political parties are talking tough on fighting extremism but their actions show quite the opposite.

For the last 3 years, major political parties were talking tough on fighting extremism, but were sending the opposite message by siding with terrorist organisations in Syria.

Even various local governments and major political parties are still to this day, strengthening their ties with local extreme organisations by increasing funding and inviting these organisations to all kind of consultations and events. At the same time, genuine and fierce anti-extremist organisations and individuals are still ignored and deprived of any funding.

While I and many other Muslims support the ban, we would be however reluctant to publicly support it for the above mentioned reasons. We are concerned the ban, together with other rhetoric, is designed to stir more Islamophobia in the society. With no clear de-radicalisation plan, the effect of our support to such ban will have many negative impacts.

I and many in the community welcome any engagement with any political party or group to discuss the effectiveness of such move on de-radicalising of our youth. We also are very open to cooperate with these politicians to combine efforts to fight against extremism.

The majority of Muslims in Australia have a deep feeling of belonging to this nation and share a deep fear of possible terrorist attacks. Many Muslims, including myself, were victims of attacks by extremists. We need to deal with this issue with a lot of sensitivity and not stir up more Islamophobia.

Politics of mere populism will not make Australia immune to terror attacks, quite the contrary. The same policies in France resulted in more terrorism and insecurity.