Fighting Extremism is Up to All of US

Posted on July 17, 2007


Saeed Saeed, Canberra Times

FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer recently addressed the opening ceremony of the Peace and Harmony Interfaith Conference in Sydney. He ended with a plea to Australia’s Muslim leaders and community members to take the lead in eradicating the community’s extremist fringe. ”You might feel that it is not your problem,” Downer said. ”But you are uniquely placed to counter their narrative.” Mr Downer’s comments, no matter how well intentioned, are part of the greater narrative that the current Government advocates, ”Muslim extremists are the Muslims’ problem, not ours”. The fault with this view is that it transfers ownership of this challenge from the elected leaders to a minority group who simply don’t have the resources to deal with such a global crisis.

Contrary to popular perception, it is the vast majority of Australia’s Muslims who suffer the most from the views of Muslim extremists. The latter have taken a leaf out of the Government’s book for they also specialise in driving wedges between Muslim communities to suit their own agendas. Further similarities can also be found in their use of the media, as they also promote the ”us versus them” approach that most politicians and newsrooms relish. [more]

Please click here to go to the Canberra Times where the complete article is located.