The Courier-Mail

Parents are nation’s defenders, leaders say


FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop is the latest minister to call the shooting death of a police worker “politicall­y-motivated” as the Turnbull Government put parents on the “frontline” of national security.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was joined by NSW Premier Mike Baird, police leadership and senior Islamic leaders in a late Saturday phone hook-up that delivered a marked shift in engagement with the Muslim community.

Choosing to describe the attack as politicall­y-motivated rather than religiousl­y-motivated, Mr Turnbull spoke of a close working relationsh­ip being vital in an open approach to the community after complaints of a divisive attitude by former PM Tony Abbott.

Ms Bishop, who is a member of the Cabinet’s national security committee, continued the more moderate rhetoric yesterday as she spoke of the importance of a “holistic approach” and an “ongoing embrace of solutions”.

“We’re certainly reaching out to the leaders of the Muslim community but working with the families at a grassroots, local level,” she told the ABC’s Insiders program.

“It’s the families that will be our front line of defence against radicalise­d young people so we will be working very closely with them.”

Police, politician­s and community members believe parents are perfectly positioned to notice the signs of radicalisa­tion among young people.

Ms Bishop said it was tragic for the whole of Australia and a time to “take stock” when a 15-year-old boy “can be so radicalise­d that he can carry out a politicall­y-motivated killing, or an act of terrorism”.

Islamic Council of Queensland spokesman Ali Kadri said families were crucial in helping to eliminate radicalisa­tion in youths and urged local federal MPs to meet Muslim leaders to help address the problems they were facing.

Mr Kadri said discrimina­tion in the community and anti-terror laws had become “triggers” for wayward youth to become radicalise­d.

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