In the last few months there has been a constant stream of comments on this page from individuals professing to understand the Terrorism threat here in Australia. Frankly these responses are less than simplistic and at AML we now delete them. Comments based on ignorance add nothing to the conversation. For the purposes of perspective we reprint an interesting article from ABC News first published on the 10th of July, 2017.
“Australia, your misplaced fear is giving terrorists exactly what they want”
– written by Mehdi Hassan (See below)
At AML Risk Management we do not accept complacency. But to treat all immigrants as potential terrorists is just a nonsense – its ineffective and foolhardy.
This week sees the staging of the biggest outdoor Sports Event in Australia (quite possible the world) with the AFL Grand Final. Up to 100,000 people will pack into the MCG at Jolimont for that ‘one day in September’. For many Australians attending the AFL Grand Final is a ‘right of passage’.
The security level is very high. There are bag searches and metal detection at all entrances. Visually this is a strong deterrent for would be ‘terrorists’. It is simply not an ‘easy’ target. The crowd has cameras watching it from all possible anges
However the reality day to day is that in large cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, there are myriad opportunities for those who would do harm. AML Risk Management provide real risk mitigation at a number of highly attended events such as the Royal Melbourne Show and the Caulfield Racetrack (Melbourne Racing Club).
The first step in mitigating risk is acknowledging reality. In doing so it’s possible to fully focus on what the real potential security issues are and intervene on those who would do us harm.
Take the time to read the article. Ultimately having a clear understanding provides a safer environment for all. Accurate intelligence ensures that effective prevention is both strategically well placed and in the end, remains effective.
Australia, your misplaced fear is giving terrorists exactly what they want
What are Australians so afraid of? Why has fear started to paralyse your once-confident and uber-relaxed nation?
A recent ANU poll revealed that almost half of you (45 per cent) are now concerned that you or one of your family members could become the victim of a future terrorist attack, while more than half of you (56 per cent) think your government could do much more to prevent such an attack. Another poll found almost half of you (49 per cent) even support a Trump-esque ban on all Muslim immigration.
What is going on in a country that prides itself on a fair go for all?
Are you really so petrified by the possibility of a domestic terror attack?
Have you forgotten that yours is an island nation? That the Bali bombings back in October 2002 may have resulted in the tragic deaths of 88 Australians but there have been zero mass-casualty terror attacks on Australian soil since September 11, 2001?
Australia is not France. Nor is it the UK. Terrorism is a real and present danger, of course, yet terrorist attacks have claimed the lives of just five people in your country over the past two decades. That’s five too many but put that number in context, as Professor Greg Austin, an international security expert at the University of NSW, did last October: “More Australians have died at the hands of police (lawfully or unlawfully) in 10 years (50 at least from 2006 to 2015) or from domestic violence in just two years (more than 318 in 2014 and 2015) than from terrorist attacks in Australia in the last 20 years.”
Got that? You are also much more likely, as an Australian in Australia, to be killed falling out of bed in the morning than by a terrorist during the day. To borrow a phrase from the Aussie vernacular — fair dinkum!
Perceptions miss the mark
Take it from this Pom journalist who has reported on the Eurozone crisis, the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump — whether it’s terrorism, crime or the state of the economy, you Aussies have less to worry about than most other Western nations.
Despite recent terror-inspired stabbings and deaths, the threat of “homegrown” extremism has been overstated. As even your government has conceded, “only a very small proportion of the population supports the use of violence to try to achieve ideological, religious or political goals.” Yes, about 100 Australian Muslims are believed to be fighting for Islamic State in Syria, which is 100 too many, but that’s a tiny fraction of the Australian Muslim community of 600,000-odd. (Incidentally, the proportion of your population that is Muslim is nine times smaller than many of you seem to think it is.)
The threat posed by bearded, dark-skinned foreigners has been equally overstated. Why do Muslim refugees, arriving by the boatload from war-torn Syria and Iraq, keep so many of you up at night? The truth is the security threat posed by such men, women and, yes, don’t forget children, is truly miniscule.
Don’t take my word for it: Duncan Lewis, the head of your national security agency, the ASIO, has said he has “absolutely no evidence to suggest there’s a connection between refugees and terrorism.”
Or as your deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, so memorably put it, there is as much a link between refugees and terrorism as there is “between testicles and terrorism.”
The model is working
The truth is that Australia should be the envy of the Western world. Yes, your country has an ugly — and in many ways, unresolved — history of racism and discrimination, both towards non-white immigrants and Aboriginal peoples. Yes, your government has failed, in the words of Human Rights Watch, to “respect international standards for asylum seekers and refugees”. Yes, you have a growing number of nativist politicians vying to be Australia’s Donald Trump, from Pauline Hanson to Jacqui Lambie.
Yet integration, by and large, is working in Australia, despite it having one of the highest foreign-born populations (28 per cent) in the West. In an era in which conservative leaders from Britain to France to Germany have been falling over one another to declare multiculturalism outdated or even dead, your current conservative government deserves praise for issuing a recent official statement declaring your country “the most successful multicultural society in the world”. “Australia,” wrote Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the foreword, “is an immigration nation …embracing its diversity.”
It is your remarkable and admirable diversity which the terrorists seek to disrupt and undermine; groups such as Islamic State do not hide the fact that their goal is to sow fear and division. Their little helpers in the West — the Trumps, the Le Pens, the Hansons, with their “Muslim bans” and obsession with “sharia” law — are, wittingly or unwittingly, bolstering their message.
Don’t believe me? Listen to the French journalist and former Islamic State hostage Nicolas Henin, who says the group is “heartened by every sign of overreaction, of division, of fear, of racism, of xenophobia … Central to their world view is the belief that communities cannot live together with Muslims, and every day their antennae will be tuned towards finding supporting evidence.”
Islamist terrorists and Islamophobic politicians both want the same thing: for you to be filled with fear, suspicion, hate, anger.
So Australians, don’t give them what they want. Don’t be afraid. Be defiant. Don’t be frustrated. Be proud. Your nation could be a model for the rest of the West; a beacon of both immigration and integration. A nation that refuses to be cowed either by terrorist attacks or by those who would exploit terrorist attacks for partisan gain.
Many of us across the West are cheering you on. As the legendary American cartoonist Charles M Schulz put it, “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.”