After the first terrorist attack on Australian soil in December 2014, our authorities admitted we could be facing a problem of radicalisation and possible terrorism.
Journalists who in the past ignored such problems started contacting me and telling me that I was right in saying all along about our growing extremism in our suburbs. For the past 3 years I had voiced my concerns about the growing number of radicalised Muslims.
For the first time in many years, local politicians had started praising my work and my ideas. Even liberal politician Greg Laundy had asked me to visit him at his office to discuss such issues.
At the time, Social Justice Network was carrying out a de-radicalisation program called “Together We Live”. We were bringing together people from different backgrounds and religious beliefs to discuss the sectarian tensions arising in our suburbs. The meetings were held at people’s homes where we would discuss various issues over coffee.
Encouraged by the positive message from our authorities and media, we decided to take our project “Together We Live” to the next level.
State and federal government announced an increase in funding for de-radicalisation programs. The government allocated 8 million dollars.
Social Justice Network decided to apply for a sum of $25,000. This would allow us to increase our meetings taking minutes to document and publish recommendations. We were sure we would be granted the money since we are a well recognised organisation fighting against extremism and have experts on radicalisation.
Our application was rejected! We were shocked to receive a letter from Multicultural NSW rejecting our application on the grounds that we didn’t provide a financial statement.
A financial statement is required from organisations that have previously received public funding. Our organisation never received any public funding which meant we were not required to lodge a financial statement.
It appears that our rejection was merely a political one.
We were taken aback when we found out that Multicultural NSW granted 8 million dollars to organisations that some of them played a vital role in spreading radical Islam and to organisations who knew nothing about extremism.
A grant of $750,000 was given to the Lebanese Muslim Association. This organisation is known for holding radical Islamic ideology. This organisation was at the centre of many extreme “fatwas” including forbidding Muslims to wish Christians Merry Christmas and happy Easter.
The organisation allowed known extreme preachers to deliver extreme ceremonies in its mosque (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/alqaeda-at-city-mosque-20100414-se8g.html) .
We applied again, this time only for $5000. Surely after finding out the list of all the extremist organisations that got hundreds of thousands in grants, our small amount would be approved.
This time Multicultural NSW didn’t reject our application. It just chose to ignore it in violation of procedures of official dealings.
On one hand we have our authorities publicly question the increased levels of radicalisation in Australia. On the other hand we have Multicultural NSW granting millions to the organisations guilty of spreading extremism.
Multicultural NSW participated in spreading extremism by granting millions of dollars to extreme organisations. One of the individuals arrested over a terror plot was going through a de-radicalisation program (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/boy-16-arrested-over-anzac-day-terror-plot-was-in-deradicalisation-program-20160426-goexwm.html ), most likely administered by Multicultural NSW.
Do we stand a chance of defeating terrorism? I doubt it.
When an organisation like ours that has been fighting extremism for years is refused a $5,000 grant but at the same time extreme organisations are granted 8 million dollars, one needs to ask whose side the authorities are on.
More on authorities support for extremists on our Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YEKMmEajEo&feature=youtu.be) or my blog: www.jamaldaoud.blogspot.com