The Federal Opposition has called on political leaders to stop equating Islam with terrorism, saying the support of Australia’s Muslim community is critical to fighting extremism. Seeking to differentiate Labor from the Government on national security, homeland security spokesman Arch Bevis called for “responsible leadership” in tackling fundamentalism.
He said Australia’s Muslim community was the country’s greatest asset in fighting terrorism, pointing out that Australian Muslims had provided essential information that prevented attacks in the past. “We are in real danger of losing that support as political leaders, community leaders and the media opt for simplistic and ultimately harmful characterisations that juxtapose ‘terrorist’ with ‘Muslim’,” Mr Bevis said.
For an alternative Australian view see ASSIST news service, 4 October 2007