Australian government links 'alternative music' to terrorism

Anti-radicalisation booklet uses green activist as example of violent extremism, sparking widespread ridicule

Austalia Terrorism
(Image credit: Australian Government )

The Australian government has come under fire for releasing an anti-radicalisation handbook which links environmental activism and 'alternative music' to violent extremism.

The booklet is intended to be distributed throughout schools in Australia in an effort to educate teachers and parents on the warning signs of radicalisation, the country's anti-terror minister said.

Michael Keenan said the government was "deeply concerned" about young Australians being lured into extremism. "The first step is to help schools understand what radicalisation is and what it is not," he told The Guardian.

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One case study focused on a woman called Karen who grew up in a "loving home" but quickly became radicalised after getting involved in the "alternative music scene, student politics and left-wing activism".

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This led Karen to become an environment activist, attending protests at logging camps and mining sites in the forest. "Her family were confused and disappointed," the study says. Karen later severed all ties with the group but "struggled to recover, define her identity and her role in society".

This particular case study sparked a wave of ridicule on social media, with the hashtag #FreeKaren trending on Twitter across Australia.

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One of the experts quoted extensively in the booklet has since distanced himself from the report, saying the research was never intended to be distributed in schools, the Guardian says.

The guidance has also attracted the ire of environmental groups, with the Australian Green Party calling on the government to "recall and recycle" the booklet.

"Australians who care about our incredible natural environment should be congratulated, not silenced, abandoned and demonised as they have been by this Liberal government," a spokesperson said.

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