Journalist Antoinette Lattouf told Hamish Macdonald that the modern face of terrorism could look like him on Thursday night’s episode of Q+A, and look, she’s not wrong.
Lattouf is a renowned journalist and co-founder and director of Media Diversity Australia, the not-for-profit that compiled a report showing how white Aussie news programs are.
— Antoinette Lattouf (@antoinette_news) April 8, 2021
Other experts on the panel included: Trent Zimmerman (Liberal Member for North Sydney), Anika Wells (Labor Member for Liley), Martyn Iles (Managing Director, Australian Christian Lobby) and Teela Reid ( proud Wiradjuri and Wallwan woman and lawyer).
A young Christian woman in the audience asked the panel about the labelling of terrorism in Australia. Her concern was that white supremacist groups and neo-Nazi groups were being called ‘right-wing extremists’ when they should be called ‘terrorists’.
“Shouldn’t these groups be labelled as terrorists rather than right-wing groups, because they don’t represent the right-wing view?” she asked.
In response, Antoinette Lattouf referenced ASIO’s decision to dump terms like “right-wing extremism” and “Islamic extremism.” Those terms will now be replaced by umbrella categories “ideologically motivated violent extremism” and “religiously motivated extremism.”
She also asked why the government are only making the change now with right-wing extremism on the rise, but were happy to use the label Islamic extremism prior.
Right-wing extremism/white supremacy is now one of the biggest terror threats to the western world, according to new data.
“ASIO came out last year and said their work load the past five years in dealing with white supremacists and neo-Nazis has tripled,” Lattouf said.
“It’s now the number one terror threat in the United States.” Lattouf finished up by pointing out: “Let’s call it what it is… the modern face of modern terrorism in Australia could look like Hamish.”
Deputy director general of intelligence service delivery, Heather Cook, said that “right-wing violent extremism…occupies approximately between 30 and 40% of ASIO’s current caseload in counter-terrorism work … an increase from 10 to 15% prior to 2016.”
So when Lattouf said that the modern face of a terrorist could look like Hamish or Martyn Iles, she was actually bang on the money.