Since September 11, there have been nine terror attacks on Australian soil, with the more recent attack in Bourke Street, Melbourne, plus the October 2002 Bali bombing of Australians. Dozens of terrorist acts have been foiled by the work of our security agencies. ASIO is said to have more than 400 would-be jihadists under surveillance here in Australia.
Anyone who thinks Australia can be complacent about the threat of radical Islamic terrorism is deluding themselves. The first priority of government must be the protection of its people.
Extremism of any kind is dangerous to the cohesiveness and harmony of our society.
Too often in Australia, anti-terrorism policy is based on a ‘be-nice’ approach. It is said we cannot afford to upset the Muslim community. It is said there is no link between refugees and terrorist acts, even though several of the Islamic terrorists came here as refugees.
In this critical area of government responsibility, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation believes it is better to Be-Realistic than to Be-Nice. No government has ever solved a problem by pretending it did not exist, or by watering down its seriousness.
One Nation recognises that while not all Muslims are terrorists, the vast majority of terrorists are acting in the name of radical Islam. Many Islamic communities have come to Australia and made a peaceful, positive contribution. For others, the opposite has been true.
The pattern of terrorist arrests in Australia points to a severe problem in certain communities, such as in the Western Sydney suburbs of Wiley Park, Lakemba and Punchbowl.
One Nation’s anti-terrorism policy targets these extremist elements. They are damaging the reputation of Muslim communities elsewhere, people who are doing the right thing.
All Australians have a clear and strong interest in defeating radical Islamic terrorism.
In government, One Nation will implement the following 10-point policy:
Introduce a Travel Ban (similar to the Trump administration in the United States) on countries that are known sources of radicalism coming into Australia. The ASIO and Federal Police have extensive data on the country-of-origin of potential jihadists. This information should be used for national security purposes. In other parts of the immigration system, when rorts and problems are identified from certain countries, the tap is turned off. This logic should be applied to the war on terror.
Integration into the broader community is vital. Much of the Islamic extremism contributing to terrorism comes from enclave suburbs. The Federal Government must break up this enclave effect, with a blitz on social security rorting and the introduction of mandatory welfare-to-work programs.
One Nation supports a policy of zero-tolerance of radicalisation in schools. Too often these problems are ignored or rationalised away as ‘cultural sensitivities’. Radicalised schools must be closed down and the offending students placed in juvenile detention.
The Federal Government has a role to play in urging Islamic leaders to modernise their faith. A literal reliance on the ancient words of the Koran is a recipe for demonising gays, non-submissive women and non-believers. This adds to the likelihood of terrorism via the radicalisation of confused, alienated youth. It is insufficient to say that the meaning and application of the ancient text can never change. Just as other religions have tried to move with the times, to apply the principles of the Enlightenment to their traditional beliefs, Islam must do the same.
Our governments, Federal and State, should have zero tolerance for all forms of religious intolerance. Any funding of religious-based organisations should be conditional on those groups declaring and practising their commitment to the values of pluralism, liberalism and democracy. Religious intolerance has become a breeding ground for radical Islamic terrorism. Now more than ever, we should expect all Australians to actively embrace and defend the virtues of Western civilisation.
Racial intolerance also adds to the threat of terrorism. The terrorists say they want to kill white people and wipe out Western civilisation. The rise of anti-white racism in the Australian media is providing succour to these extremists. One Nation will introduce a penalties regime for anti-white racism, on equal standing with other forms of racism.
One Nation is also concerned about government funding of radical Islamic politics, dressed up as ‘arts and culture’. Too many arts funding bodies are supporting groups like the Bankstown Poetry Slam in Western Sydney, which is a forum for hateful Islamic ranting. One Nation will abolish all such funding.
We will ensure ASIO and the Federal Police have the powers and resources needed to do their job properly. They have a strong track record in foiling terrorist plots, and the Federal Government needs to support them at 100 per cent capability level.
One Nation supports gun licensing laws as a sensible public safety measure. Given the ongoing threat of domestic terrorism, gun access must be limited to genuine, law-abiding Australian citizens, including recreational shooters, farmers, police and military. We support greater resourcing of Australia’s borders to prevent illegal gun importation.
Australia needs to guard against foreign policies that make international terrorism worse. The 2003 invasion of Iraq, for instance, turned that country into terrorism-central, giving rise to the evil of ISIS. Australia’s role in the international war on terror must be carefully targeted and strategic, always serving our best national interests.