Sleeping through it?
By Rob Taylor
CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia has a bigger portion of Muslim youths at risk of turning to radical Islam than any other Western nation, with up to 3,000 in “ideological sleeper cells” in Sydney alone, a government-backed study said on Monday.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 youths, or about 1 percent of Sydney’s 200,000-strong Muslim population, had already been targeted by radical Islamic teachers, with some at risk of making the jump to militancy, the research said.
“The radical teaching base here is relatively stronger than you might expect it to be in the UK, the Middle East or the U.S.,” study author Mustapha Kara-Ali told Reuters.
“The youth community here is vulnerable and could be acted upon for recruitment and further radicalization.”
Australia has around 340,000 Muslims, or around 1.6 percent of the 21 million population.
But the percentage of radicalized Muslim youths was bigger than the United States or the UK, where the ideological pool was of similar size, but off a 1.6 million base, Kara-Ali said.
Kara-Ali, a member of Prime Minister John Howard’s Muslim advisory board, said it was far harder for radicals to spread an extremist message in other countries, where moderate groups were well placed to resist their message.
“The Muslim community is relatively new in Australia. Given that, there isn’t an established moderate Islamic order with deep roots in the community and the extremists are exploiting this,” he said.
Australia, a close U.S. ally, has never experienced a militant attack on home soil, although more than 20 people have been arrested and accused of terrorism-related offences.
‘Tiny minority of extremists’- update and denial from those who have sworn to protect us:
IT is impossible to know how many Muslim extremists are in Australia, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty says.
* Well, there are 350 000 Muslims in Australia. Would you say that at least half of them believes in Muhammad and the Koran and that the world must be islamic, or are you afraid to ask, Mr. Keelty?
A government-backed study has shown that Australia has a higher proportion of Muslim youths at risk of turning to radical Islam than any other Western nation.
Between 2000 and 3000 youths, or about 1 per cent of Sydney’s 200,000-strong Muslim population, had already been targeted by radical Islamic teachers, with some at risk of making the jump to militancy, the research said.
But Mr Keelty said no one had a firm figure on the number of extremists.
* Perhaps you should dig a little deeper, Mr. Keelty…
“I think there’s a danger if you start throwing around figures because it gives people the impression that there’s a finite number of people involved in this and it gives people the feeling that we know what everyone in the world is doing,” Mr Keelty said.
* Can’t have any danger. Avoid danger. Avoid, Mr. Keelty…
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the Government had been working hard to ensure no group in the community was marginalised to the point they wanted to turn to terrorism.
* Smart move. They could be accusing US for causing terrorism. Smart!
“We need to be engaged, we need to work with people, we are a community that has evidenced over a long period of time that we can bond people together from many different backgrounds, many different cultures, many different religions,” he said.
That worked well in most instances, he said.
* Yes. But it NEVER worked with Islam.
“What we are dealing with are minorities, sometimes marginalised even within their own population,” he said.
* That’s what you would like to to believe, Mr. Ruddock.
“It would be naive to believe that Australia is not impacted by a small group of people who may have some evil intent but we know of no particular planning of which we can point to which suggests that our threat levels should be changed.”
* Right. You would tell us if it was otherwise, right?
There are between 400 and 500 radical Islamic mosques in the United States, a private undercover organization has just disclosed.
David Gaubatz, the director of counterintelligence and counterterrorism for the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) told Insight Magazine, “Our initial investigation has concluded there are between 400 to 500 radical Islamic centers in the U.S.
This Islamic center in Falls Church, Virginia, a suburb outside of Washington D.C., has been identified as an extremist anti-US mosque.
In those places, they preach an extreme version of Islam that says America and the West is the enemy. They espouse violence, hatred and the need for terrorism.”
A former senior U.S. intelligence official, Gaubatz now works for the national non-profit group Mapping Sharia, which is devoted to investigating the 2,300 Islamic centers in the U.S. for Muslim extremist activity and supported by SANE.