My name is John Abdul. It must be hard for Sunnis at the moment mate. How can we help?

The fight against Islamic State is a battle for young minds

Governments around the world are trying to come to terms with the fact that their nationals – and young people in particular – are leaving to join extremist groups such as Islamic State.

The battleground against radicalisation is waged in the mind. It is here that persuasive arguments and passionate discussion appeal to the hero inside us to rise up and do something, be someone or make history.Foreign policy often provides a fertile bed of manure in which the seeds of radicalisation can grow.

What is the Australia’s foreign policy on Iraq? Those seeking to radicalise others will be able to summarise it in a single sentence. The more negative the policy is perceived to be, the less human the government or even the Australian people are perceived to be. Abbot is insisting it’s humanitarian. 6 Hornet fighters are hardly gonig to drop aid. 600 SAS troops ,our top killers, to load these fighter planes and train locals hardly seems believeable.

Radicalisation involves getting us to focus on the negative experiences we have had and the negative experiences of those we love or feel we  should love.These things happen to us because some enemy wants them to, chooses them to and allows them to.It focuses on the difference between us and them and emphasises the wrongs that they do. Australia is going to help kill Sunnis no matter who they are. They don’t care, want to distinguish or want to understand anything about the history of what’s occurred on the ground. Yesterdays raids reinforced that perception. What’s more with lazy media frenzy . Was there anyone report from the families of the raided?

Isis recruiters  lay the blame for each of the killings squarely with British and American foreign policy. The more human we can make the enemy, the less we will feel separated from them to us IS is the ‘devil cult’. Only when we stop seeing the opposition as completely different to us, can we start to be reconciled with them.The British government, on behalf of the taxpayer, donated £11.4bn in aid  with £600m set aside for the Syrian crisis alone. These kinds of figures provide useful ammunition in the battle of the mind. The apparent enemy becomes less hostile and more human. What has Australia done other than offer war cries  and identify our selves as the enemies. Does Abbott understand over 100,000 Sunnis were killed since Bush ousted Saddam. Mothers , fathers children families he created a bitter sectarian power vacuum and gave birth to ISIS. It can’t be stopped with bombs.

Some young people see no opportunity to get involved and make a difference other than by joining the jihad. It’s positive that young people are passionate about inequality, just not that they see violence as the only way to address it.  We need ways ways to counteract the messages being sent to young people by those who wish to indoctrinate them.

“If, in order to defeat the beast, we become the beast; then the beast has won”.

It’s not easy to rid people of firmly held prejudices but a consistent and reasonable argument is a better way to start than threats about removing passports or prison sentences. Todays effort just pushes young people away. 800 to lay alleged charges on one 22 year old is farcical. Why with all the media didn’t we hear the other side of the story? The families side how lazy and complicit was the media.

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