Teach about terror

IN the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels, Iraq and Pakistan, WA terrorism researcher Anne Aly says Australian kids might have questions and teachers must be ready to answer them.

Dr Aly says most young people who get involved in extremist organisations like ISIS or Al Qaeda are Muslim kids with questions about who they are and what terrorism is achieving. Most were born shortly before or after 911.

If questions aren’t answered properly by adults and educators, kids will seek answers online, putting them at risk of getting sucked into net-savvy, radical and violent groups.

“However, if those questions are answered in a safe and rational way, we can prevent the negative influence of those organisations,” Dr Aly told the Voice.

• Dr Anne Aly

• Dr Anne Aly

She says teachers should be talking about terrorism in school curricula.

“Those extremist groups influence people by telling them the others are different and stating their moral superiority.

“Therefore, since they are superior it is okay to kill the others as it is the only way to achieve their goals.

“We provide moral dilemmas to kids and examine their responses to violence, and we provide them with alternative ways to express themselves. Like through political participation.”

Dr Aly says it’s not about teaching educators about a different way of doing things but how they can include positive activities to prevent violence, instead of looking for which kids have been “radicalised”.


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