'We won't stop terrorist attacks by blaming Islam'

ALI Kadri believes we will never be able to stop extremists committing acts of terror in the name of Islam until we are able to work out the real reason behind their actions.

The Islamic Council of Queensland vice-president and spokesman who features in new documentary series, The Mosque Next Door, said rhetoric was not the answer, and neither was Australia's National Security Hotline which he called a "dob-in line against Muslims".

"In my experience of working with individuals who may be radicalised or are radicalised, I believe that trying to just blame Islam or trying to deal with this in a more strictly police manner is not working, it's alienating people..." Mr Kadri said.

"Better engagements and social cohesion are solutions for lone wolf attacks, but not a lot of people are sold on it because it doesn't politically benefit anyone."


Islamic Council of Queensland vice-president and spokesman Ali Kadri features in The Mosque Next Door on SBS.
Islamic Council of Queensland vice-president and spokesman Ali Kadri features in The Mosque Next Door on SBS. Supplied

Mr Kadri works to dispel myths about his faith and said since he moved to Australia 14 years ago as a 20-year-old student, he had noticed an increase in people's fear toward Muslims.

"There's two extremes. People are either becoming extremely defensive of Muslims or they're becoming extremely aggressive against Muslims..." he said.

"A message for the wider community is that people need to try and understand that political realities, while Islam is used in those, are a results of political situations rather than a religious situation.

"There's no underlying religious text or reasons why people go out and kill people. They may use it or misuse it to justify political violence, hence the worst thing you could do is blame all the Muslims for the things some Muslims do."


Passionate cricket fan Imam Uzair in The Mosque Next Door.
Passionate cricket fan Imam Uzair in The Mosque Next Door. SBS

While The Mosque Next Door tackles tough topics such as terrorism and discrimination faced by those of the Muslim faith, it also captures what everyday life is really like in the Muslim community of Brisbane's Holland Park Mosque.

Cameras were given 24-7 access to the mosque and its followers for a year and filmed everything from a blooming romance to leader Imam Uzair's passion for cricket and the mosque's MCG (Muslim Cricket Ground).

"When you have a show like this, your life is pretty much open for everybody to see, to be a part of and they can see the human side of things..." Mr Kadri said.

"I just want people to watch the program and not think of the characters as Muslims but as human beings, just like them.

"We opened our lives and opened our doors so that we could build bridges and if someone is willing to walk one step toward us, we are willing to run hundreds towards them."

Part one of the The Mosque Next Door airs tonight at 8.30pm on SBS.


Topics:  holland park mosque islam islamic council of queensland lone wolf attacks sbs

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