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Monday, 22 September 2014
Page: 9918


Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (11:42): I would like to start by commending the member for the Berowra for putting this motion before the House. I would also like to commend members of the opposition who have also spoken in support of this motion. In doing so, we need to acknowledge the absolute evil that the death cult of ISIS is. For we have two options: one option is that we can just look on from our TV screens and the other option is that we can do what Australia has always done, which is to join international coalitions. Where there is evil in the world, where there are people who threaten freedom, where there are people who threaten democracy and where there are people who threaten liberty, we as a nation join in a coalition with other nations who have the same ideals and the same objectives and we work with those nations with our military forces.

That is what our troops have always done throughout history. Where our nation has committed troops to fight on foreign soil, they have never done so for territory or for conquest. It has always been to bring freedom, to bring peace and to bring prosperity to those foreign lands. Having our troops positioned currently in the United Arab Emirates—where they are ready if needed and in coalition with other nations—to fight that death cult in Iraq is in that same tradition that our military will take forward. Ultimately, the reason why we fight in foreign lands is because our servicemen know that that is the best way to protect the security and peace that we here enjoy in Australia. The best way is to try and extend that same peace, security and freedoms to people elsewhere in the world.

I would also like to commend the motion. The government is providing a further $630 million over four years to boost the counter-terrorism capacity and security of our Australian intelligence organisations. In doing so we need to acknowledge the problem that our security agents face—the radicalisation of youth, mostly Islamic youth, in many of our larger cities. What causes that radicalisation? We know that people who try to recruit people to their death cult, to radicalise those individuals, rely on the message that they are being targeted or being unfairly treated because when the government and our security agencies talk about the raised risk of terrorist threat in this country it is all a beat-up, it is all scaremongering.

That line of debate and that line of thought and public commentary—and we have seen a substantial proportion of it in the media and even by some members of this parliament—actually feeds into the radicalisation of the youth. That dangerous denial of the problems we face feeds into the narrative that actually makes us all less safe. So I ask members of this parliament, members of the media and certain sections of the public who have a scepticism—often a healthy scepticism—about the needs for our security and defence forces to think very carefully before they make comments that this is all a beat-up, that this is all scaremongering and that groups are somehow being targeted, because when they make those public comments it feeds into the radicalisation of those youth and is something that the terrorist recruiters latch onto and use to try to radicalise people to their death cult—and it is a death cult. We have seen Australian citizens, people who were brought up here and went to Australian schools, going to Iraq and becoming suicide bombers. We have seen people who went to public schools in New South Wales recruited and photographed—and they are the most gruesome photographs—with people who have had their heads cut off. So we all have an obligation to make sure we are not engaging in any activity that encourages radicalisation.