Australia is in shock after the arrest of 2 terrorist in Bankstown yesterday. Media and authorities are wasting time discussing details of little importance. Names, ages and motives of the perpetrators are of really little concern. The fundamental question that should be asked, especially if we want to prevent more plots and attacks, is: who radicalized them and who recruited them?
We now know that one of the teenagers was known to the authorities for his violent actions and extreme views. Why is no one asking the right questions? Where was he radicalised and by who? Who recruited him? Was he undergoing a de-radicalisation program and which one?
Once we know the answer to all these questions we can take the steps needed to stop the recruiting and brainwashing of others.
Two years of government funded de-radicalisation programs, costing tax payers millions of dollars, has achieved little or nothing. An evaluation on such programs is urgently needed.
I was the first to raise concerns over how the authorities’ were handling extremism. With such concerns in mind I helped draft a letter and collected many signatures from different anti-extremism experts and campaigners. We wanted to alert authorities they were on the wrong path in dealing with radicalisation and terrorist issues.
The letter explained how the authorities were consulting with the wrong people. We expressed our concerns about the de-radicalisation funding and how it would be spent on the wrong organisations.
The course taken by our authorities soon after, was both dangerous and disappointing.
Suddenly authorities and media started to promote extremist and terrorist sympathisers as the champions of de-radicalisation. They gave a voice to extremists like Shady Al Sulieman, Jamal Rifi, Keysar Trad and the so-called Australian Mufti.
These are the same people who actively participated in spreading extremism and radicalisation in Australia, through their active role in supporting terrorists in Syria.
We also tried to explain to the authorities and media that supporting terrorism in Syria would actually cause radicalisation and terrorism back home.
All real experts on the matter know too well that all radicalisation and terrorism in Australia is directly and indirectly inspired by the terrorism in Syria.
Not only our letter and various warnings were ignored, suddenly I became number one enemy. For this reason authorities refused to consult us and support our anti radical efforts. This is why Multicultural NSW refused to grant us even the small sum of $5,000 but continued to grant millions of dollars to the extremist organisations.
The media who consider persons such as Jamal Rifi and Keysar Trad to be champions of peace, should explain to us how they reached such conclusion.
The government also needs to explain their strange policy in engaging extremist and inviting them to Iftars and private consultations.
Multicultural NSW and the Attorney-General’s office, should issue a detailed media release outlining where the hundreds of millions of dollars of de-radicalisation programs were spent and what did they achieve.
Multicultural NSW needs to send us (Social Justice Network) a letter explaining the reason why our $5000 request for a grant was rejected.
Instead, Multicultural NSW granted $750,000 to an extreme organisation which often broadcasted lectures by number 1 Al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar Al Awlaki who was later killed by a US drone.
If our authorities and media don’t change their approach soon, I am afraid we will face difficult times. Next time we could have someone’s head roll in the street of Bankstown or Lakemba beheaded by another brainwashed teenager.