One Nation Senator Brian Burston has taken the initiative of writing to school principals around the nation warning them of the risk of young teenagers being radicalised by Islam and extremist leaders to commit terrorist acts in Australia. He also attached with his letter a brochure titled Islam exposed.
His warning is well placed give that Australian teenagers have already become foreign fighters for Islamic State in the Middle East. In 2015 Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi was killed carrying out a suicide bombing in Iraq. There was also Sydney teenager Abdullah Elmir who came to prominence when appearing in an Islamic State propaganda video as the ginger Jihadi, he was also later killed in a bombing raid in Syria in late 2015.
The danger of impressable young people being groomed by Islamic terrorist groups has been a problem for all western nations. Counterterrorism expert Greg Barton descrived how this recruitment works as “not some sort of passive, magnetic pull, it’s an individual coming up and befriending them, so kids from very safe backgrounds, from non-Muslim backgrounds, can become victims”.
Given this very real phenomena Burston is simply wanting to make sure our educators aware of it so they are able to spot any signs of radicalisation in their student bodies. But of course, because he is from One Nation and believes that the Islamic faith is the root cause of this problem he has been condemned by the usual suspects for taking such preventative measures.
John Blaxland a security and intelligence expert claimed that Burton’s warning “is exactly what Daesh and Isis want to happen,” and it was “feeding into what they are doing, which is getting a vicious feedback loop happening”. So, we shouldn’t engage in counter-terrorism at all because that’s what ISIS wants?
Greens New South Wales MLC Mehreen Faruqi herself a Muslim made the claim that “Most people would be horrified to know that their taxpayer money was being used to target one particular religious community, and spreading hatred, bigotry and fear of Muslims”. Is she saying that terrorism then has nothing to do with Islam and we should never mention any link?
It is amazing that such a reasonable course of action from Burston to counter radicalisation in our schools draws such strong condemnation so quickly and how any mention of the role of Islam in terrorism is considered hate speech.
Brian Burston has proven himself the quiet achiever of One Nation in the Senate. He has served the party loyally for over 20 years and never caused embarrassment to it or Pauline Hanson and has been a team player.
Let us hope other politicians and counter-terrorism figures have a more mature response to Burston’s initiative and that educators take his letter and brochure very seriously and play their part in countering Islamic radicalisation in our schools.