Australia and Numan Haider: We must be clear on who are the victims

unnamed-9Demonstrators from the Muslim community attend a protest rally against pre-dawn raids in Sydney.

How did Numan Haider, a young man from a well-educated Afghan family, get radicalised by Islamic extremists, begin wrapping himself in the Islamic flag, and get to the stage where he would kill — and die — for that cause in a Melbourne carpark?…

..The family of Numan Haider left Afghanistan to migrate to Australia. Under the Taliban, Afghanistan was a hardline Islamic state. Coming to Australia meant getting away from that.

And Australia was good to the family. They have a very nice house in a good suburb. The children received a good education. The taxpayers of Australia were pretty good to Numan Haider with schooling and services. The family lived in security and freedom — a lot more than Islamic State would ever give to a minority ethnic or religious group.

The standard analysis is that people turn to extremist groups out of hardship, that some kind of discrimination or deprivation forces them into anti-social activity. It is not the recent experience. Nearly all the conspirators in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre had received tertiary education in the West. They did not grow up in refugee camps. They were able to travel and easily assimilate into Western society. It is well known that Osama bin Laden came from an extremely wealthy family and enjoyed a privileged upbringing, including lengthy periods of living in the West…