Talk to Extremists?

John Howard has shut out radical Muslim clerics from his terror summit, prompting warnings from moderate leaders that the long-awaited meeting would further isolate the extremists. The summit was called to address the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Australia, particularly among disillusioned youth, as part of an intensified effort to prevent a terrorist attack on home soil in the wake of the London bombings.

Moderate leaders said yesterday that Mr Howard had made a mistake by cold-shouldering fundamentalist leaders such as Melbourne's Sheik Mohammed Omran, whose congregations were more at risk of becoming radicalised.

Mr Howard said the summit would work on strategies to promote shared values and investigate how Islamic leaders could help prevent intolerance and the promotion of violence. But Mr Butler said the leaders attending the summit had no authority over the more radical religious and community clerics and preachers.

"These people don't have any authority whatsoever over the imams accused of making inflammatory remarks. If they come out of the summit and say 'Hey, imams, stop saying those things', they will just laugh," he said.

Other leading moderates warned that excluding fundamentalists risked marginalising them. Former Federation of Australian Muslim and Youth president Zachariah Matthews said fundamentalists needed to be confronted with debate about their ideas to make them understand how they differed from the rest of Australian society.

But a leading moderate who is attending the summit said including Sheik Omran, and Sheik Abdul Salam Zoud from the Belmore Mosque in Sydney, would lead to the talks becoming bogged down amid accusations and argument. "We don't want those people there. The whole thing will just go haywire. We want something positive out of this," said the moderate, who did not wish to be named.


I have to agree with the Prime Minister, the extremists have to be marginalised and excluded, otherwise its an indication that their hatred has earned them an audience.

Everytime you switch on the TV its the extremist that gets all the air time, when some pathetic coward releases a video promising death and destruction, a tape or e-mail about jihad for whatever obscure reason, we fall over ourselves to broadcast it around the world and then rush off to find our leaders to ask them when are we going to bow down and run from Iraq and elsewhere.

The haters must be given no audience, no airtime, no quarter, no medium to spread their evil. The other day we heard of multiple bombings in Iraq on the same day, they were well timed with the most cruel of intentions, the first two bombs killed as many as possible, then when the first ambulance was approaching the nearest hospital the third bomb goes off to finish off the suffering. And yes its Muslims that are being slaughtered, men, women and children, indifferently murdered, the devil himself would be proud.

This is the evil that these extremists are sanctioning, what is there to debate with them, how much further can you be radicalised, what are we talking about, further marginalising them, have we gone mad with understanding, what the hell do you mean showing them how they differ from Australian society, they don't differ from Australian society, they differ from humanity itself. In America the anti war movement is using the mother of a dead US soldier to push for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the more the terrorists kill, the more we want to bow down and negotiate with them, run away and hide hoping it will go away.

I say we should marginalise, radicalise, exclude, shut out, ostracise, isolate and ok, debate, argue and confront them out of Australia and civilisation.

We should not underestimate the Prime Minister, he knows there is no point talking to them.

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