Tony Abbott To Spend $13 Million To Stop Muslim Youths In Australia From Becoming Jihadists

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | August 26, 2014 11:10 AM EST

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is apparently trying to use education and jobs to keep the Islamist population in the country on track. Australian government is going spend over $13 million on young Muslims who are potential jihadists.

REUTERS/Mark Dadswell
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers remarks at a national memorial service for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne August 7, 2014. Australia held a national day of mourning on Thursday for its citizens killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine last month, even as Russia said it was ratcheting up its response to Western sanctions imposed over the disaster.

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The money will be spent on employment programmes, youth activities and education of Australian youth who, being Muslims, are at risk of getting influenced by radical Islamist ideologies. "We will develop activities to address radicalisation and increase awareness of the dangers of involvement with extremists in foreign conflicts," Abbott said, "The best defence against radicalisation is well-informed and well-equipped families, communities and institutions."

Abbott earlier said that the decision to spend such an enormous amount was meant for fighting terrorism Down Under. He said that the move was likely to prevent his countrymen from joining terror activities overseas. The exclusive amount is a part of the $630 million which the Aussie government has set aside to counter terrorism. The programmes which the money will be spent on are apparently designed after consulting with the Muslim community in the country. The government programmes may include healthcare, education, mentoring, counselling and youth diversion events.

Abbott was earlier criticised by the Muslim community in Australia for "racist caricatures of Muslims as backwards, prone to violence and inherently problematic." The comment was made in connection with Abbott anti-terrorism laws which Muslim leaders in the country had strongly disapproved. Abbott argued that there were around 100 pro-terrorism figures present in Australia. About 60 Australian citizens have also been allegedly involved in terror-related activities in Middle-Eastern countries. Their activities allegedly included being involved with internationally recognised militant organisations like the Islamic State.

Interestingly, Abbott is about to complete his first year as the prime minister of Australia in a couple of weeks. So far, his performance at the helm has been termed as "mediocre" by several experts who believe that Abbott needs a dramatic turnaround in the next two weeks to recover from a relatively "poor performance" as the national leader of Australia.

According to Mark Kenny of the Sydney Morning Herald, Abbott has only "two weeks to fix 12 months." Abbott's ministers got engaged in "highly controversial policies" to form "the backbone of the budget," he wrote.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Mark Dadswell / )
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott delivers remarks at a national memorial service for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne August 7, 2014. Australia held a national day of mourning on Thursday for its citizens killed in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine last month, even as Russia said it was ratcheting up its response to Western sanctions imposed over the disaster.
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