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Friday, July 29, 2005

Australian Broadcasting Corporation- Friday Forum

"Friday Forum
Reporter: Maxine McKew

MAXINE MCKEW: Our Friday Forum tonight focuses on some of the questions that Muslims in Australia have been asking in the wake of the London bombings. Among them - could the same thing happen here? What are the influences on young Australian Muslims that could lead them to cross the line and take violent action? Australia certainly has its controversial Islamic figures, among them Melbourne-based Sheikh Omran. On this program only a few weeks ago he refused to accept Osama bin Laden's culpability in the New York attacks. Rhetoric of this kind may or may not lead to violent action, but it is certainly frustrating many mainstream Muslims who are sick of seeing their faith hijacked by extremists, and the high profile adopted by some of the country's sheikhs and imams is now activating others who want to see a more representative leadership and discourse. Well, my guests tonight fit into that category. Adem Somyurek is a Victorian State Labor MP who wrote recently that Muslims must say, "Enough is enough." And Irfan Yusuf is a Sydney industrial lawyer who stood as the Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Reid in the 2001 election. Both were brought up within an Islamic tradition, but say that being Muslim is merely part of their identity. Gentlemen, welcome to you. It's good to have you on the program. We seem to be seeing, I think it's fair to say, a level of soul-searching among Muslims in Australia in the wake of London, of a kind that we did not see after the New York and the Madrid attacks. Irsun Yusuf, why do you think that is? "

More:Lateline - 29/07/2005: Friday Forum