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Counter-Terrorism White Paper

The Counter-Terrorism White paper is a major disappointment. While acknowledging the serious on-going terrorist threat, it fails to identify the main cause of the problem – Islamic extremism. Indeed there is no discussion of Islamism and only a very brief reference to the Muslim religion.

By contrast, the attached is a presentation I gave today to a Probus group on “Islam in Australia” spells out the realities that must be faced if we are to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks within Australia.

The presentation argues that the threat from Islamic extremists is the most serious facing Western countries, including Australia.  It examines why this is so; the continued terrorist acts in Western countries; the potential for much more serious acts (including nuclear); the concern regarding the US President’s attitude towards Islam; and the recent expressions of such concern by possible Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, that (inter alia) under Obama “the rights of terrorists have been more important than protecting the lives of Americans”.

It examines terrorist acts in Australia and changes made to try to reduce/ prevent those; notes the failure of Prime Minister Rudd to examine the Islamic threat  in his National Security statement in December 2008; the long delay in issuing the long promised Counter-Terrorism White Paper; the apparent “softening” in government policy reflected in the Discussion Paper on National Security Legislation issued in August 2009; and the security concerns inherent in the existing excessively large immigration policy.

Various measure are suggested to reduce the risk to Australia from terrorist acts, including the adoption of a Prevent strategy and the appointment of a Minister for Counter-Terrorism (as in the UK), the exemption of religious texts from anti-discrimination legislation and a strengthening of police and intelligence agencies powers.

Des Moore
(Life Member, Australian Strategic Policy Institute)

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