Page 3966 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

It is an understatement to say there is no simple answer to the question of terrorism. What we do know is that recruits to groups like Islamic state are mostly young, angry men in search of identity and community. History teaches us that future terrorist recruits can be best protected from radicalisation by living with strong community connections and economic opportunities. It may sound difficult to accept at a time like this, but a long-term strategy to reduce terrorism comes through economic development, not more bombs.This attack on Paris highlights many things. One is that the wave of immigrants rushing into Europe right now is fleeing a murderous regime willing to kill all who oppose it. It is estimated that Islamic state have killed 100,000 Muslims in the past two years. It is also estimated that the war on terror has killed between one million and two million Muslims since 9/11. Given the lack of media and observer access to the region, these numbers are only a best estimate.

Islamic state use Islam as a justification and a rallying cry, but not as a philosophical basis for their actions. They are trying to progress a political agenda wrapped in a religious cloak. In the face of such terror attacks as those in Paris and elsewhere, we must be vigilant not to demonise Muslims. In addition to our deep sympathy for the physical victims of terror, we must also remember the political victims of this campaign.

Keep in mind that terrorists often have the goal of increasing polarisation, and of drawing countries into wars of attrition and escalation. As more countries move more forces into the battle, it will only lead to more violence and more death. As Martin Luther King famously said:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Our thoughts are with the French people as they struggle to resist darkness and hate at this horrible time. I join my colleagues in the Assembly in sending our best regards to the people of the French nation.


Ministerial responses

The Clerk: The following responses to petitions have been lodged by ministers:

By Mr Gentleman, Minister for Planning, dated 5 November 2015, in response to a petition lodged by Mrs Dunne on 5 August 2015 concerning the Riverview development site in west Belconnen.

By Ms Berry, Minister for Housing, dated 5 November 2015, in response to a petition lodged by Mr Doszpot on 6 August 2015 concerning a development application for a multi-unit development for Housing ACT in Narrabundah.

The terms of the responses will be recorded in Hansard.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video