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Islamism is the most important issue we face
letters published in The Australian, 3 November 2010

In analysing efforts to combat extremist Islamism in Australia, Sally Neighbour reports Attorney General McClelland as acknowledging that Australia “has been very slow to get involved” (“Battle of ideas to curb terror”, Features,2/11).

This despite well over 20 terrorist convictions including one that involved an Islamic group planning a Mumbai-style attack with a cache of weapons that has “disappeared”. Yet Australia and the Western world now face a new major threat to life from groups or individuals who have extremist Islamic beliefs. This threat is the most important issue we face.

In the current Quadrant I argue that the response needs to extend beyond military or police action and involve government and community leaders in a defence of our culture and identification of fundamental faults in Islamic extremism. Other action should include the creation of a Minister for Security or Counter-Terrorism and a major upgrading of security checks on immigrants. Analysis of ASIO reports suggest that, despite increased funding and staffing, its activities also need considerable further expansion.

Des Moore, South Yarra, Vic.

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