Paris attacks designed to polarize: expert

ACU political sociologist Dr Joshua Roose told ABC radio yesterday that the Paris attacks were designed to polarise the Muslim world and divide it between the West and the Muslim world.

Dr Roose, who is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society (IRPS) and focuses on Islam in western contexts and political Islam, said the attacks were designed to project strength and impress potential recruits, with the sites struck at the heart of western culture in Paris.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

He told ABC Radio’s Jonathan Green said the future attacks could be expected to target cultural and historic sites. And said they aim to do this locally and globally.

Dr Roose currently sits on the Attorney-General’s Department’s National Panel of Experts for Countering Violent Extremism.

He said the attacks will benefit the far right in mobilising their supporters against entire Muslim communities, with them targeting every Muslim. And this is what IS would like to see occur.

Dr Roose said Muslim communities needed to be engaged and worked with in order to avoid young men within them to reject wider society, and buy into the jihadist narrative.

He said most of the Australian Muslim community was disgusted by such behaviour, as well as the behaviour of Islamic State and other radical groups around the world.

And only a fraction of a fraction of the community was attracted to this behaviour, and these groups have usually been kicked out of mosques and the wider community.

Dr Roose told ABC that these people need to be engaged before this point. He said society needs to emphasise its broader humanity in engaging the Muslim community.

He said multiculturalism works, which should be emphasised.

Dr Roose has written numerous peer-reviewed articles about these subjects in key journals. He received his PhD from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute in 2012 for his dissertation Muslim Men as Political Actors in Australia.

Roose is a visiting research scholar at the East Asian Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School and has been a visiting scholar at New York University and the City University of New York.

He is the Legal Theory Section Associate Editor for the Wiley Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Social Theory, due for release in 2015 and is the Secretary of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).

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