20 June 2017








SUBJECT: Finsbury Park attack.


BEN FORDHAM, INTERVIEWER: Anne Aly in Canberra now, Anne good morning to you thank you for your time. We’ve seen a series of terror attacks in the UK that have been inspired by Islamic extremists. In the last 24 hours we’ve seen a direct attack on Muslims outside a mosque and there are concerns this is going to be a tit-for-tat battle of attacks on different groups here.

What’s your take on what we’ve seen over the last 24 hours?

ANNE ALY, MEMBER FOR COWAN: Good morning Ben, well I think one of the most disappointing things is hearing this attack being portrayed as some kind of ‘revenge attack’. Terrorism is terrorism and all forms of terrorism have an element of revenge or retribution in them but that doesn’t make them not terrorism. It still makes them terrorism.

The other thing Ben is this isn’t as uncommon as we would think. Just yesterday, on the same day as this attack happened, a young girl, 17 year old Muslim girl in Virginia, in the United States was set upon and beaten to death while on her way back from a mosque, from a place of worship. Last week, in Sweden, a similar attack was attempted with a far-right extremist mowing into a group of Iraqis. Twice, in Sweden. So these attacks aren’t as uncommon as we would think, but they are not as publicised as other forms of terrorist attacks.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, I suppose we could run through lists, couldn’t we, on the other side of the equation too. We’ve seen over the last few years and certainly in recent months, the rise of Islamic-inspired terror attacks too.

I noticed there seems to be a lot of hypocrisy in various quarters on this. There were some people reluctant to call this a terror attack yesterday, and it certainly was. It was obvious from the start that it was a terror attack. But also I notice there’s a Labour MP in the UK, Diane Abbott, who until recently was the Shadow Home Secretary, someone’s pointed out on social media today that she, during Islamic-inspired terror attacks, doesn’t use the word “terror” but yesterday, when it was an attack on Muslims, used the word “terror”. There seems to be hypocrisy on both sides on this.

ALY: Absolutely, on both sides. And this is the thing; I think we need to ensure that we treat all terrorist attacks even-handedly. We report them even-handedly. And even yesterday, I mean I know that there were some calls very early on to call this a terrorist attack, but the fact is that until it is established as a terrorist attack then we need to be mindful of the fact that it could be anything else. Regardless of where the terrorism comes from, regardless of what it’s motivated by, we need to ensure that we apply the same kind of even-handedness to all forms of terrorism. So, you know, I’ve heard the hypocrisy on both sides. I’ve heard people come out and say “well why wasn’t this called a terrorist attack from the very beginning?”, yet when there is a violent a jihadist attack they say “oh hold on, we don’t know that this is a terrorist attack yet”. So we need to be mindful of ensuring that we are the same across the board.

INTERVIEWER: Anne I really appreciate your time, joining us from Canberra this morning. Thank you.

ALY: Thank you, Ben.