[These crazy white women who have been promoted into positions of power all across the Western world, including European countries … are BAD NEWS. Anders Breivik WAS RIGHT! Look at this bloody witch in Australia. Stupid fool. These white women are insane. Jan]
Labor shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally says ‘there is easy slippage between mainstream ideas and rightwing extremist views,’ and Australia should do more to deter terrorism. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP
Tech companies should “disrupt and deter” people attempting to search for rightwing extremist content and Australia should join its Five Eyes allies in proscribing some far-right groups as terrorist organisations, according to Kristina Keneally.
Labor’s shadow home affairs minister will make the comments at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s 2020 counter-terrorism dialogue on Thursday, warning Australia has not had a “serious national conversation” about the Australian rightwing extremist who carried out the Christchurch mosque shootings.
The Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation has increased its focus on extreme rightwing terrorism since the March 2019 attacks, but Keneally warns Australia is yet to discuss the extent to which the perpetrator’s “radicalisation has its roots in Australian rightwing extremist groups”.
In an advanced copy of the speech, seen by Guardian Australia, Keneally says we must “ask how ideas in Australian mainstream society encouraged him”.
Keneally argues that rightwing groups draw on “generally positive notions” that have broader support such as patriotism, pro-family or ethnic pride.
Although there is “nothing wrong” with those qualities, Keneally argues they are “being used by extremists and other actors to subvert people to darker, racist, anti-immigrant, nationalistic and fascist views”.
“There is easy slippage between mainstream ideas and rightwing extremist views. The fringe becomes normalised and generally positive notions about country and family become divisive constructs.”
Keneally notes the fact all of Australia’s Five Eyes partners – Canada, the United Kingdom, the USA and New Zealand – have proscribed some rightwing extremist groups as terrorist organisations. “Australia has not listed any. We are the odd one out.”
Keneally notes last week New Zealand proscribed Brenton Tarrant – as an individual – a “terrorist entity” which makes it illegal for people to participate in or support his activities.
Keneally argues proscription of rightwing extremist groups would be “symbolic, but it would be more than just symbolic”. It would recognise that as “some experts suggest … in our increasingly networked world, any practical distinction between domestic and international terrorism has almost gone completely”.
“Movements do not exist in isolation, but rather link and take inspiration from each other and from individuals within movements.”
Keneally targets the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, for his handling of rightwing extremism and also notes that some Australian parliamentarians have joined and promoted rightwing social media platforms.
In response to Asio warnings about rightwing extremism, Dutton complained that “leftwing terrorism” also be dealt with, later clarifying that he applied that label to Islamic terrorism and “anybody in between”.
“You can use leftwing to describe everybody from the left to the right,” he told the ABC in February.
Keneally cites Dutton’s claims that rightwing extremists are found on the “dark web” and were hard to track down as another error.
“Rightwing extremists are hiding in plain sight, on Facebook and other common use social media platforms,” she says. Covid-19 may even be “accelerating the problem, with more people at home, without work, in front of screens, and ripe for propaganda, recruitment and radicalisation”.
Keneally says people “in the know” use code words such as “boogaloo” to denote a race-based civil war.
“Both Twitter and Facebook have removed accounts and content relating to right wing extremists in recent months, but no doubt there is more than can be done to identify when people are searching for certain words or phrases to disrupt and deter them.”
Keneally calls on Australia to do more to understand why “some people – especially some young men – are attracted to rightwing propaganda” suggesting this will take an examination of education, skills, employment and opportunity.
“We must make a start. At a national level, we must begin the effort, the war, if you will, on right wing extremist hate, and the violence it begets.”
Keneally renews Labor’s calls for a federally funded anti-racism campaign after the last was launched by the Gillard government in 2012 and expired in 2018.