Ben Fordham talks sense on terror

Comment from Peter Saxon

“I think there’s a conversation to be had in media rooms and newsrooms right around Australia and the world… about giving these people what they want. If these people want to go around killing people in the name of religion or anything else why are we satisfying their needs?”  Ben Fordham 2GB. Friday, July 29, 2016

Warfare 101 dictates that you find out what the enemy wants and deny him.

According to people who study these things deeply, what ISIS or Daesh want, here in Australia, is to drive a wedge between the Muslim community and the rest of us. While they are yet to claim victory on that front, sadly, momentum seems to be flowing their way. 

BTW, I prefer to use the term Daesh instead of ISIS because they dislike it so much – apparently it sounds similar to the word for “shit” in Arabic.

It is in Daesh interests that so called “moderate” Muslims as well as Shia Muslims (moderate or not) feel that they are unwanted in Australia and that they will be viewed with suspicion no matter what they say or do.

Mistrust builds mistrust and creates a climate in which more youth become more susceptible to radicalisation and thereby the threat to society is increased. And as every Police Commissioner and counter-terrorism cop will tell you, the best weapon they have in preventing Islamist attacks is the information they glean from the Muslim community itself.

I realise that some on the “right” side of politics will label me a leftist apologist and appeaser, just for my comments above. If so, it illustrates the broader success that Daesh is having in Australia. It is they who are benefiting most from the so called “debate” about Muslims and terror.

Like most big questions such as Climate Change, Same Sex Marriage or Border Protection, there’s no real debate. There are only entrenched positions on the left and the right of the political divide. In general, the media sees its role as reflecting the views of its audience and is therefore happy to amplify those positions and feed them back to their core .

The first question we should be debating is whether we, as a society, are interested in protecting ourselves from the global threat of Islamic terrorism or are we more intent on using the airwaves to hurl insults at our fellow Australians? The two are pretty much mutually exclusive.

In light of all of the above, I was impressed by a segment on Ben Fordham’s Drive show last Friday on 2GB where he spoke to Dr Clarke Jones a radicalisation and terrorism expert from ANU.

Fordham’s premise is that many terrorists, whether or not they self-identify as aligned with Daesh, seek self glorification. Therefore we should not name them and devote air-time to delving into their backgrounds and ideology. In other words, we should deny them the attention they seek. 

Finally! A sensible argument, not a political one. Thank you Ben.

You can listen to the full 7:27 minute segment here.

But wait. By denying them, a microscopic section of our audience, the attention they seek, are we not denying the vast majority of our listeners the information to which they are entitled? If so, would that not amount to censorship?

As Ben Fordham says, “There’s a conversation to be had in media rooms and newsrooms right around Australia and the world.”

You are invited to start that conversation by leaving your comments below.



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