Education is key in fight against terror
MEMBERS of the Central Queensland Islamic community believe education is the key to preventing radicalisation.
Binil Kattiparambil, the secretary of the Islamic Society of Central Queensland, spoke to The Morning Bulletin after reports a Toowoomba teenager was suspected of joining the ranks of the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front in Syria.
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Oliver Bridgeman, 18, attended a Toowoomba Mosque occasionally and it is believed he was radicalised over the internet.
Mr Kattiparambil said the Islamic community in Central Queensland had no fears of something similar happening locally.
"In Central Queensland we know all the youth ... well and there's no one who's got that sort of mentality," he said.
He said events like the Islamic Society of Central Queensland Mosque Open Day were designed to create better understanding of the faith and fight against radicalisation.
"Education for Muslims and non-Muslims is the key to everything," he said.
"It is the key to peace, it is the key to harmony."
Assistant Commissioner Mike Condon told media at the open day that the radicalisation of young Australian teenagers was a concern for police and other law enforcement agencies.
He said it was important for the community to present the "alternate narrative".
"Those young people who are being radicalised are only hearing one side of the story and unfortunately, they embrace that story and they travel overseas and they engage in conduct that won't be tolerated here in Australia," he said.
"The alternate narrative is important and that's the message that's being sent here today, that we work together as one community and we're all about a peaceful community."