Peter Khalil, the Federal Member for Wills spoke on ABC Radio World Today program on Tuesday morning. Mr Khalil said members of the Islamic community in his electorate are already working extremely hard to combat radicalisation.
“There is a degree of frustration there, I think, that they’re constantly called upon to do more. They are doing a lot and I see this first-hand in my work with many of the communities in my electorate,” said Mr Khalil.
“They’re doing everything they can because it’s about their struggle as much as our struggle. We’re actually in this together.”
Mr Khalil said the debate over whether the Bourke Street terrorist acted as a result of radicalisation or mental illness misses the point.
“Radicalisation works on vulnerable people. In many respects, they’re the shock troops. Those that have that latent anger, or problems or weaknesses. They are manipulated, they are brought into this perverted definition of Islam and this minority, and then used as the shock troops to conduct that violence”
“As a society we’re all responsible for making sure the conditions are right for young people not to fall into the trap of radicalisation and that includes providing them with pathways [like] education, making sure they have a way to feel part of being Australian.”
The Federal electorate of Wills has a Muslim population of 9.5%, compared with a Victorian average of 3.3% and a national average of 2.6% according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The full ABC Radio segment including Mr Khalil’s interview is available here.