Practical initiatives to prevent radicalism and violence were the focus of a two-day symposium held in Brisbane recently.
The High Commission of Canada, in partnership with the Griffith Criminology Institute, and supported by the Queensland Police Service, organised a Canada-Australia Symposium on the Radicalisation of Youth at Griffith University’s South Bank campus.
The event brought together a wide range of experts and interested parties including representatives from the Canadian RCMP, the Australian Federal Police, the Queensland Police Service, Queensland and federal government and diplomats, academics, practitioners and community leaders.
A special panel including the heads of mission from Canada, Belgium, Pakistan and the UK for the first time shared the challenges and approaches to youth radicalisation from their respective countries.
The High Commissioner for Canada to Australia, His Excellency Mr Paul Maddison, said the aim of the Symposium was to better understand and develop practical responses to the radicalisation of youth.
“By investigating this issue from the points of view of both our countries, we can draw on a larger pool of knowledge and practical experience in this area.”
Griffith University researchers Professor Mohamad Abdalla and Associate Professor Halim Rane presented research on how the media frames perceptions of radicalism, as well as the Muslim’s community’s perceptions of it’s causes.
Canadian academic Jocelyn Belanger highlighted how an individual’s perception of insignificance and alienation can contribute to embracing violent extremism.
Keynote speaker Mr Paul Gurski, President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting, Canada presented on Al Quaeda-inspired violent extremism and radicalisation across Canada and the world.