CAIRO - Australian leaders are lamenting lack of action in tackling the root causes of disaffection and anger among young Muslims in the country.
There are too many things happening on paper and nothing on the ground with people, community leader Jamal Rifi told The Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday, February 10.
They're all talk and no action.
Violence marred Muslim protests against a US-made film defaming Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) in September.
At least 17 people and six policemen were injured when a march against the film degenerated into violence after protestors clashed with police.
In response, Muslim leaders have pledged to engage with youth to tackle the root causes of their anger.
However, nothing has been done.
Rifi said the Lebanese Muslim Association, which spearheaded a historic coalition of leaders following the protest, has done absolutely nothing.
Samir Dandan, the head of the Lebanese Muslim Association, admitted that insufficient efforts have been done to engage with disaffected young Muslims.
He said a research and discussions have been conducted into the causes of the violent protests, but a lack of resources prevented more being done.
Dandan promised to place greater focus on developing specific programs which could affect positive change amongst the youth.
He, however, could not name any programs that have been developed since the protest.
Community leaders complain that failure to tackle the root causes of anger among young Muslims further pushes them underground.
There is absolutely nothing stopping it happening again, Rifi said.
But this time they will probably be more careful not to look at the cameras and not to come in the daylight.
Some Muslim leaders have admitted their limited ability to tackle the causes of disaffection among youth.
Their spectrum of influence is limited mainly to a few Lebanese Muslims, said Kuranda Seyit, director of the Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations.
It's too small to really count.
Security academic Clive Williams opines that establishing recreational venues for young Muslims could be a way to help tackle their anger.
It is important to have recreational facilities where young Muslim people can meet and socialize and for them to be able to convey their thoughts and concerns to community policing officers.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
In post 9/11-era, Australian Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.A recent governmental report revealed that Muslims are facing deep-seated Islamophobia and race-based treatment like never before.