Culture

Waleed Aly On Why Hate And Fear Is The Worst Response To Paris Attacks: “You’re Helping ISIL. They’ve Told Us That.”

"They want you to fear them. They want you to get angry ... They have told us that."

By now, it’s the same old sad story. A terror attack plays out globally. Agony, grief and anger are widespread. ISIL takes credit. Public officials rush to cast blame. Muslims are vilified. Hate speech and ignorance take over. Mistakes are made.

Written by Walkley-nominated duo Waleed Aly and Tom Whitty, a new monologue which aired on The Project this evening highlights the dangerous inconsistencies between how we respond to terrorism, and how we can really fight it. As Aly notes, every time a terrorist attack is directly attributed to ISIL’s central control, every time the threat, power and size of ISIL is overblown, and every time Muslim people around the world are alienated as a result, we are playing directly into the hands of the enemy. “They want you to fear them. They want you to get angry,” Waleed says, of ISIL. “They want to start World War III; a global war between Muslims and everyone else.”

“If they can make Muslims the enemy of the West, then Muslims in France, England, America and here in Australia will have nowhere to turn, but to ISIL.”

“We’re all feeling a million raging emotions right now,” he says. “I’m angry at these terrorists. I’m sickened by the violence. I’m crushed for the families that have been left behind. But you know what? I won’t be manipulated. We all need to come together. I know how that sounds. It’s a cliché. But it’s also true, because it’s exactly what ISIL doesn’t want.

“If you are a member of parliament (or has-been member of parliament), preaching hate at a time when what we actually need is more love, you’re helping ISIL. They’ve told us that. If you’re a Muslim leader telling your community they have no place here, or a non-Muslim basically saying the same thing, you’re helping ISIL. They have told us that.  Or if you’re just someone with a Facebook or Twitter account firing off misguided missives of hate, you’re just helping ISIL. They’ve told us that. And I’m pretty sure that, right now, none of us wants to help these bastards.”