Articles on Terrorism

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Air strikes in Syria are the latest phase of the war against Islamic State, each stage involving a fresh set of moral judgements. EPA/US Air Force

Moral dilemmas of war against Islamic State lack easy answers

Every generation in recent memory has had seminal historical conflicts which demand that lessons must be learnt. The baby boomers had the Vietnam war. Their parents: the second world war. And our generation…
Photographs sometimes mean what they can be shown to mean. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Terrorism, truth and trust – how dramaturgy informs real life

Drama and its core principles are to be found in theatres while the real world goes on outside, right? Wrong. And recent events bear this out. Dramaturgy is the art of managing events in time for the benefit…
Displaced Iraqis have found refuge in the Kurdish capital, Erbil, only to be threatened by advancing Islamic State fighters until international military forces intervened. EPA/Mohamed Messara

Taking on the terrorist threat in Iraq: the view from Kurdistan

To those of us living in Australia, conflict can seem surreal and distant. Yes, we see it on the television, but it is hard to imagine the chaos and horror that accompanies war and conflict. It is not…
Modelling how to be a tolerant and welcoming Australian starts in the classroom. AAP

Becoming a tolerant Australian starts in the classroom

Yesterday morning on ABC 720 Perth, presenter Geoff Hutchison took a talkback call from an Imam, Yahya Ibrahim, who told the listeners he is deputy principal of a local Islamic school and a chaplain at…
When a mosque is spray-painted with the word ‘Evil’ following last week’s raids, it’s a sign the community is getting the wrong message from the anti-terrorism campaign. AAP/Matt Jacob

Responsible rhetoric is a crucial part of the anti-terror armoury

While Australia has rightly joined the international fight to bring down Islamic State (IS) terrorists, at home its anti-terror campaign is fuelling more problems. For example, following high-profile anti-terror…
Shutterstock/Oleg Zabielin

Australian nightmares: the rise of a police state

Possibly the most lamentable outcome of the raised tension and insecurity that has accompanied the theatre of terrorism in Australia is the decline in our political culture, which will last for as many…
The new laws would make it easier for authorities to prevent people fighting in foreign conflicts, as happened to this man arrested in December for allegedly attempting to travel to Syria. AAP/Australian Federal Police

Bill targets foreign fighters before departure and after return

The Abbott government has today introduced the second tranche of its national security amendments – the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 – into the Senate. As its name…
Hear no evil? Many politicians have labelled Islamic State ‘evil’, but what does that really mean? See-no-hear-no-speak-no-evil monkeys/Shuttterstock

Unique evil, death cults and War on Terror: do these labels help?

Our time, this decade even, has shown us that man’s capacity for evil knows no limits. – Then United Nations’ Secretary-General Kofi Annan, 1997 Over the past few weeks leading up to the US-led bombing…
Australian Federal Police officers have taken over Parliament House Security after ‘chatter’ about possible terrorist attack. AAP/Stefan Postles

Man shot dead after stabbing counter-terrorism police officers

An 18-year old man has been shot dead and two counter-terrorism police officers hospitalised with stab wounds after an incident…
The term ‘medieval’ is being used by politicians to denote others who do not observe modern ‘civilised’ rules and to whom these rules also do not apply. Flickr/Nuno Martins

‘Medieval’ makes a comeback in modern politics: what’s going on?

According to Hansard, in the parliament of John Howard’s first term of government the adjective “medieval” was used eight times. In the following term, however, it cropped up 46 times. What happened? Why…
Australian Federal Police officers outside Parliament House in Canberra today. The AFP is set to take over Parliament House security after ‘chatter’ about a possible terrorist attack. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Parliament ramps up security, only months after scaling it back

Liberal senator Bill Heffernan has had the last laugh on the serious question of security at Australia’s Parliament. Earlier this year, security was slackened in a bid to save A$400,000. MPs’ staff and…
Australian women of different faiths gathered at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque last month in a show of community solidarity. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Terrorists can be defeated by fighting fear with co-operation

From anarchists in the 1920s and radical leftists in the 1960s, to fringe, extreme-right Christian bombers or gunmen in the United States in recent decades, or radical Islamists such as Islamic State today…
There are now around half a million Muslim Australians, who are sometimes blamed for the actions of a tiny minority. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Mosques, Muslims and myths: overcoming fear in our suburbs

Since Australians woke to the news of yesterday morning’s counter-terrorism raids in Sydney, Brisbane and Logan, talkback radio and the TV news have filled with talk of “home-grown terrorism” and “enemies…
Police outside one of the Sydney homes raided earlier today, which has prompted warnings against an anti-Muslim backlash. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Islamic State wants Australians to attack Muslims: terror expert

It’s in the interests of Islamic State for Muslims in Australia to be attacked or for their mosques to be attacked, because doing so would help divide the Australian community. But we should be very clear…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, with Air Chief Marshal Mark Binski, announces Australia will send 600 military personnel to the Middle East. AAP

Q&A: How Australia has moved faster to fight Islamic State

How much has Australia committed to fighting Islamic State? Australia has pledged 600 military personnel and up to eight Super Hornets, which is expected to cost up to $500 million per year. There has…

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