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The London Bombing Fallout: Negotiating Public Anxiety and Political Gain

Lawson, Dave E. (2005) The London Bombing Fallout: Negotiating Public Anxiety and Political Gain. In Social Change in the 21st Century Conference, 28 October 2005, QUT Carseldine, Brisbane.

Abstract

The principle question informing this paper is: how will the West in general, and Britain and Australia in particular, deal with the ever increasing threat of terrorist strikes, and simultaneously support increasing Muslim populations within their national borders? The question prompts an examination of the increasing tensions both within Islamic countries and countries such as Britain and Australia. Britain has recently experienced a new phenomenon of ‘home-grown’ terror suspects releasing renewed public anxiety and calls for tolerance by Prime Minister Blair. At the same time, the government is considering a project meant to tackle mass social and political disaffection amongst the UK’s 1.6 million Muslims. Its aim is more narrowly conceived, however, with its primary purpose seen as curbing the influence of Islamic fundamentalism. The problem of alarmingly high levels of social and political alienation amongst British Muslims is a key indicator of potential recruitment by radical clerics. The aim of the government is to isolate Islamic fundamentalists, while co-opting what are defined as more moderate Muslim elements from within the clergy and the Muslim political elite, in a classic struggle of divide-and-rule. The aim of this paper is to examine this strategy for its utility in achieving social harmony between British Muslims and easing public concern and antagonism towards Muslims. The broad principles of the model will be applied to Australian conditions and comparisons will be made with the most recent moves by the Australian government to reduce the threat of extremist activity and quell public anxiety.

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ID Code: 3495
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: terrorism, legislation, Islam, Australian Muslims, counter, terrorism
ISBN: 1741071089
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Race and Ethnic Relations (160803)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Dave E. Lawson
Deposited On: 08 Feb 2006
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 22:30

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