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a threat-free Australia? « Previous | |Next »
July 2, 2007

I heard on World Today the beginnings of a playing politics with the terrorist threat in Australia in the light of the events in Britain--- ie., an al-Qaida linked terrorist cell is suspected of attempting to commit mass murder using car bombs in London and Glasgow. A Howard government-funded research report reveals that 3,000 young Muslims in Sydney alone could be at risk of radicalisation by extremist elements both here and abroad, which could push them to commit terrorist attacks. 3,000 huh. That's pretty precise isn't it?

Note the revelations are about "could be" and "could push" not what is.

The report referred to a Mr Kara-Ali who was given a $200,000 grant by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in June last year to investigate the radicalisation of young Muslims in Sydney's southwest. Kara-Ali says:

We're finding out that per capita we've got a huge number of young Muslims (vulnerable to radicalisation) compared to other countries where there's a bigger community but yet relatively the same number of extremist youth.I believe in Sydney alone there's about 2000 and 3000 young Muslims vulnerable to being radicalised. There are ideological sleeper cells waiting to be completely radicalised. Because radicalisation ... is to act upon your extremist teachings."

Note the "vulnerable" to and "waiting to be" in addition to the "could be" and "could push." It's all about possibilities and what might be's. There is no evidence that this "might be" is actually happening. " Extremist " in this case refers to the Wahabi movement whilst "young Muslims" refers to Sunnis.

The impression given by the media report was that Australia has become a "prime country" for hardliners pushing extremist Islamic ideologies. I notice that the PM was quick off the mark---what is happening in Great Britain is a reminder to all of us about the threat of terrorism and that we must remain vigilant. No suprises there, but note the slipped in equation: ---pushing ideology equals car bombing terrorists. Pretty swift.The supporting argument for the equation of pushing ideology and car bombing terrorists is lacking.

Of course, this has nothing to do Iraq does it? Things are going according to plan in Iraq. These home-grown Islamic extremists just hate us and our values don't they?

Now it's only a matter of time before some Coalition politician stirs the fear pot by remarking that Australia is in danger of losing the battle against terrorists unless mainstream Australian society forcefully confronts the Islamist threat and the loopy civil liberty and multicultural appeasers are pushed into the background. Why so? Well at its core, Islamist fundamentalism---nay Islam--- is irreconcilable with western values and our Christian Judaic heritage. Islam must be confronted.

As usual Murdoch's Australian leads the way to a threat free Australia:

Islamists in Sydney and London, Glasgow and Gaza, Baghdad, Beirut and Bali are not all working together, but they are all driven by one goal -- to destroy the West and impose a global Islamist government. Australia cannot afford to be complacent about the threat it faces.....the war against terror is not a territorial battle. It is a battle against an anger-ridden ideology, a threat not only to Islam and Muslims but to the entire world.... vigilance alone will not defeat the threat we face. Governments, Muslim leaders and the wider community each have a part to play in breaking the link between religion and extremist ideology. Radical sheiks who have hijacked a noble faith and turned it into a violent rallying cry must be silenced. There is no place for their teachings in this country.

Free speech is a luxury that cannot afforded in a liberal democracy. Does that mean censorship is the linchpin of any fully functioning democracy?

Tim Dunlop at Blogocracy has some interesting comments

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:23 AM | | Comments (7)
Comments

Comments

Frank,
re your Predicting radicalization post: the methodology of the research sure is suspect. Social science research it ain't. Moreover iy is not clear that Kara-Ali has the qualifications in demography, sociology and/or anthropology to carry out his research? Surely this kind of fieldwork can only be carried out by persons with qualifications. Kara-Ali’s qualifications are mainly in engineering, with a Graduate Diploma in Educational Leadership.

It looks increasingly like an Australian beatup to make us feel alarmed.

Frank,
re your Quantifying the Risks post. Your commnets that 3,000 members of “ideological sleeper cells” represent 19.1% of the population of young Muslim males in NSW shows the claim to be implausible.

I see that Janet Albrechstion in the Australian is close to hysterics:

In the past two decades, free speech - that most critical of Western values - has been fed through the postmodern sausage-maker called political correctness. The result is a bizarre product where Muslims are deemed too precious to be prodded by the sharper ends of free speech, by words that challenge a set of ideas, their religion. But Muslims are free not just to tell us we are wrong but to demand death to Western infidels.

And then this:
In that cosy, tolerance-laden environment political Islam thrived. Moral relativism and multiculturalism became Trojan horses for a weird Western death wish. Terrorist organisations banned in other countries set up their headquarters in Britain. Radical clerics exiled by countries such as Saudi Arabia made their home in Britain. British streets hosted demonstrations for those preaching death to Westerners. Local mosques and even universities bred home-grown jihadists. Bombs exploded. Britons died.

The West has adopted the path of least resistance - appeasement in her view.The more the West's confidence waned, tiptoeing around for fear of causing offence, the more audacious became those who despised the West.

The ninemsn poll for today the 4th July is "Do you feel that a terrorist attack is imminent in Australia? Yes 21,532 No 19,886

Les,
I'm sure the Murdoch Press will endeavour to increase the numbers with their beatups about the enemy within---evil homegrown Muslim terrorists theatening our Australian way of life.

The media arm of the Coalition will do its job to keep the Coalition base fearful and alarmed, especially in Queensland, by mixing in a bit of xenophobia. Howard will polarize the country to take stands that satisfy his conservative base.

I'm sure that those in the Coalition bubble have actually started to believe their own media’s hype; that in following their own Pied Piper they are somehow following the will of the American people.

So your not worried then?

Les,
where's the evidence that supports the view of the Pied Piper about the enemy within or that moral relativism and multiculturalism became Trojan horses for a weird Western death wish.

Even the Australian admits that:

Mohammed Asif Ali, a junior doctor at the Gold Coast Hospital, was told he was free to go about his business after facing hours of questioning on Tuesday over his relationship with colleague Mohamed Haneef, who was arrested late on Monday. As dozens of reporters from Australia and Britain camped outside his home, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty yesterday insisted there was no proven connection between Dr Ali and the attacks.

He has had nothing to do with the allegations that are bouncing around about sleeper cells.

Gregory Pemberton in yesterdays Australian says that :

Australia should be ready for a higher risk of terrorist attack later this year following the weekend car-bomb attacks executed or defeated in Britain, the detaining of two men in Brisbane yesterday and issuing of search warrants following advice from Scotland Yard.

Jumping the gun isn't it. He even says that the risk may well happen were Kevin Rudd to win. Terrorists could be keen to send a message to the new leader of another member of the coalition of the willing to rethink Australia's policies in Iraq and Afghanistan if not elsewhere as well.

Pemberton even argues that the Vietmanese fighting the Americans in Vietnam in the 1970s were terrorists. It's crazy man thinking.