The Daily Telegraph
October 16 2015
REMARKABLY, there are some who downplay the threat of terrorism by judging the size of that threat by what they estimate to be a very small number of successful assaults. Sydney Liberal MP Fiona Scott, for example, said over the weekend that Australia has “had 100 years, more than a century of relationships with our Islamic communities where it’s lived quite peacefully, and one little incident over 100 years has been what we have had”.
Scott later claimed she wasn’t referring to the recent terrorist murder of police accountant Curtis Cheng, or the deadly Martin Place siege, or the attempted murder of two police officers in Melbourne.
Rather, Scott claimed that her “one little incident” was the murder of four Australians in Broken Hill in 1915.
Liberal Party's Affirmative Action Village Idiot at Large Fiona Scott "‘one little incident over 100 years’ involving Islamic community"
The Liberal MP then declared in parliament on Wednesday night that her comment had not been presented accurately. “Perhaps in 20/20 hindsight I could have chosen my words slightly better,” she said, in one of parliament’s more obvious understatements. “I am sorry if people have taken my words out of context.”
Scott is wrong about being taken out of context and wrong to dismiss the scale of the terrorist threat, which is far better measured by the number of attacks that have been prevented by police. That preventive work continues, day in and day out, due to the vital necessity of curbing the terrorist menace.
The Daily Telegraph reports today that a court order identifies nearly 20 young Islamic extremists as being part of a Western Sydney group willing to commit murder or die for Islamic State. “They are in frequent communication, often in relation to matters reflecting their shared Islamist ideology,” the control order explains. “They continue to express support for the terrorist organisation, the Islamic State, or their desire to become a martyr, or to commit jihad.”
Horrifyingly, one of the group is just 12 years old. Another is 18-year-old Raban Alou, who was charged yesterday with terrorism offences over allegedly supplying the gun to Curtis Cheng’s killer, 15-year-old Farhad Jabar.
This represents thorough and effective police work against a threat that is now expanding to reach a new generation of potential terrorists. “We’re shocked that a 12-year-old is on the police radar for these type of matters,” Australian Federal Police boss Andrew Colvin told the ABC. “The problem is getting worse for Australia, not better.”
Hopefully Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s anti-terrorism summit will further clarify the extent of the problem and also point to possible solutions.
“This is a real homegrown threat,” the Prime Minister said. “And it appals all Australians and it appals all Muslim Australians.”
Turnbull is correct, but it is also a fact that Islamic extremism has an undeniably religious element, however twisted that element may be. Any serious response by authorities should not avoid or downplay this.