Tonight’s Q&A: We Already Have The Strongest Weapon Against Extremism

Speaking from a red, white and blue stage in Adelaide’s Thebarton theatre, tonight’s Q & A panelists added another considered layer of rhetoric to discussions about terrorism and extremist Islam. 
Special guest panellist and French Ambassador Christophe Lecourtier echoed prominent sentiments on the ‘Us vs. Them’ dynamic, saying a backlash against Islam would be “what terrorists are looking for,” before saying “it’s evil against evil.” 
Shadow Education Minister Kate Ellis said the same. Her assertions that “moderate Muslims are our greatest allies” against extremism were also backed up by security expert Andrew MacLeod, who urged the Western world to adopt the skills and mindset of Muslim migrants in the fight against ISIS.

“We have thousands, no, millions, of people who understand ISIS, who hate ISIS. And we’re turning our back on them…They’re the greatest assets we have in this war, but only if we start seeing them as assets.”

Still, for all of the talk from the panel, the strongest comments against both extremism and xenophobia came from those asking the questions – real Muslims whose families had fled to Australia for safety.

Several times, the panel – no members of which claim the Islamic faith – were faced with real Muslim refugees to Australia, who recounted their stories and gave condolences to Lecourtier for the attacks in Paris. Time and time again, and in ways demonstrative of their wider communities, they stood up against extremism with total sincerity.

After Waleed Aly’s comprehensive takedown of ISIL’s fear-mongering, tonight’s broadcast showed – again – how comprehensively beneficial moderate Islam is in the fight against terror, and how vital it is to stamp out prejudice for the benefit of society. 
Story and Image via ABC.