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Greens say engaging in war helps drive extremism at home

Media Release
Christine Milne 12 Sep 2014

The Australian Greens accept the advice of ASIO on threats to Australia but say we cannot ignore the impact of military engagement in Iraq and the Middle East in increasing the risk at home. Back in 2004, Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said Australia was at increased risk because of our involvement in the Iraq war, and Greens Leader Christine Milne says the same applies now.

"We cannot bring Australians together and combat extremism at home by blindly following the USA into yet another Iraq war," said Senator Milne.

"It is not as simple as extremists hating us because of our way of life. They are also fuelled by our past engagement in Iraq with the Coalition of the Willing. Fighting US led Western imperialism is a rallying call for jihadists.

"We cannot ignore the fact that arming sectarian militia and dropping bombs in the Middle East will do absolutely nothing to combat extremism and violence at home in Australia and may make it much worse.

"The Prime Minister calls Iraq and the Middle East a witches brew of complexity and violence. That is why he should focus on bringing Australians together.

"Extremists need vulnerable young people to feel isolated and alienated in order to win them over. We shouldn't make that easier for them. We should focus on strengthening our community ties and policies of inclusion.

"The Prime Minister must focus on making sure all Australians are included in our wonderful multicultural society. The problem isn't Islam or Christianity, it is the discrimination and hatred that drives social isolation and violence."

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