Why this politician says authorities should take care with the ‘terror’ label

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun3,2024
Authorities need to consult multicultural communities to ensure labelling violent crimes a “terror act” does not alienate people, an independent MP says.
Dai Le, who represents the western Sydney electorate of Fowler, , called for police to be culturally aware of what declaring a terrorism incident could do to a community.
It could stoke fear and increase Islamophobia, Le warned.

“When we talk about a terror act, we just need to be aware of how that language lands in a community like Fowler,” she told ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

SBS News reported last week that some in which teenagers were arrested, hours after they began — and after the media was alerted.
Le questioned how fast it took law enforcement to brand the 15 April stabbing of Assyrian bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel at a church an act of terror, echoing the concerns raised by the Australian National Imams Council.
The council on Friday contrasted the terrorism declaration with authorities’ response to a stabbing massacre at a Sydney shopping centre, which it said was “quickly deemed a mental health issue”.

The Australian Muslim Advocacy Network has called for ‘religiously motivated violent extremism’ to be reclassified as ‘politically-motivated violent extremism’, saying the former was “not a neutral term but is designed to link community panic and fear about terrorism to a whole religion, rather than focusing the public on political motives”.

Le said police and intelligence agencies should engage with multicultural communities to inform their advice.
She added there had to be a strong connection between police and the community to ensure people felt safe.
“Many of our communities who escaped tyrannical regimes … with that word, what it brings on is people are feeling, ‘Oh my God, terror has followed us’. That will make people live on edge,” she said.
“I hope that they know what they’re doing when they label a criminal act with such a label and that they will reassure our community as soon as possible to ensure that people who have escaped terrorism from the Middle East, that they feel they are safe here.”

The disparity in police response was a double standard and affected the perception of law enforcement and the judicial process within the community, Australian National Imams Council’s Ramia Abdo Sultan said on Friday.

The teenager accused of attacking the bishop was charged with committing a terrorist act.
Five other teens allegedly linked to the 16-year-old were charged last week.
The arrests of the boys, all under the age of 17, followed an investigation into a group allegedly adhering to religiously motivated violent extremist ideology.

Police will allege the group was planning a future event, NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said.

It was concerning some of the teenagers arrested had images of beheadings on their phones, she said.
“Those images have been circulating for years now unfortunately, but it does concern us greatly where we’ve got young people with those images on their phone,” she told Sky News on Sunday.
Queensland man Joel Cauchi, 40, on 13 April before being shot dead by police.
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Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Why this politician says authorities should take care with the ‘terror’ label”
  1. Dai Le makes a valid point about the importance of carefully considering the usage of the ‘terror’ label in violent crime cases. It’s vital for authorities to understand the impact such language can have on communities like Fowler, to avoid fueling fear and prejudice. Collaboration with multicultural communities is key to ensuring a balanced and sensitive approach.

  2. When we talk about a terror act, we just need to be aware of how that language lands in a community like Fowler.

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