Anthony Albanese rejects ‘selective terrorism’ criticism after Sydney stabbings

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts Jun5,2024
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has rejected a proposition that the “terrorism label” is “being used selectively” after two shocking stabbing attacks in Sydney.
In an exclusive interview with SBS World News, Albanese was asked about concerns over the perceived selective use of the designation following Monday’s knife attack at Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley, western Sydney, which hours after it occurred.
Meanwhile, a separate stabbing rampage on Saturday at was not declared a terrorist incident. Police said the attacker had a history of .

Albanese was also asked if the Bondi Junction mass stabbing should have been classified as misogyny-driven terrorism, given police confirmation the attacker Joel Cauchi — who was shot dead by a police officer — appeared to be targeting women.

The prime minister said it was not the role of politicians to “define these things”.
“My job as prime minister is to give every support to the police and to the security agencies, and that is precisely what I’m doing,” he said.
 “We know that Monday’s incident was ideologically motivated and that has been determined by the security agencies, and I support the police making the declaration that they did.”

Terrorism laws in Australia define terrorism as religiously motivated extremism and ideologically motivated extremism.

A 16-year-old has been arrested over Monday’s incident where was stabbed, and on Thursday night was charged with committing a terrorist act.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for life.
The boy has been refused bail and remains under police guard in hospital. He is expected to appear before a bedside court hearing on Friday.
There was a riot outside the church following the attack. Some 50 police officers were injured during the unrest, with one man arrested so far.
Albanese described the teenager’s actions as “completely unacceptable” and backed Australian Federal Police commissioner Reece Kershaw’s description of rioting crowds outside the church as “un-Australian”.
“I have no problem with using that word at all,” Albanese said.
“I’m a proud Australian and Australian values are about respect and compassion and kindness and thoughtfulness and looking after each other.

“Overwhelmingly, that’s what Australians do.”

Albanese has repeatedly stressed the importance of social cohesion amid the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, and said Australia was “an overwhelmingly a cohesive society … enriched by our multiculturalism”.

Many community groups have raised concerns the labelling of terrorist attacks is adding to anxieties.

Community concerns over ‘inconsistency’

Muslim Women Australia said it was “disappointed by the inconsistency in labelling these incidents”.
“The selective application of labels based on the identity or background of the perpetrators sends a dangerous message and perpetuates harmful stereotypes,” a statement said.

“It creates an environment of uncertainty and distrust, where individuals from marginalised communities, including Muslim women, may feel unfairly targeted or stigmatised.”

The Islamic Council of New South Wales on Tuesday said it was “bewildering” that the Bondi Junction attack was attributed “to be exclusively motivated by the mental health issues of the perpetrator”.
“Yet in stunning contrast, the incident at Christ The Good Shepherd Church, where thankfully nobody was killed, was designated as a terrorist act within hours of the incident,” a statement from the Council read.
Readers seeking support with mental health can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.
More information is available at supports people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “Anthony Albanese rejects ‘selective terrorism’ criticism after Sydney stabbings”
  1. Isn’t it concerning that there seems to be a discrepancy in how incidents are labeled as terrorism or not? Do you think there should be clearer guidelines on this?

  2. Do you think the government needs to reassess the criteria for labeling incidents as terrorism?

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