CANBERRA – The Australian Federal Police announced organizing a three-day Islamic awareness workshop for its officers as a part of a national push to educate staff about “Islamic culture” and the “history of Islam.”
“The program is provided to members where it’s relevant to their role and designed to educate them about Islamic culture and the history of Islam, including the current international conflicts and areas of interest,” an AFP spokeswoman told The Australian on Monday, The Daily Mail reported.
Nevertheless, the workshop plan seems to be disproportionately focused on terrorism and not triggered by cultural tolerance as the spokeswoman announced that the “AFP will hire an external service provider to run an additional training across Australia in order to manage the rise of religious extremism.
“It also covers engagement with other law-enforcement partners, community members and groups,” the spokeswoman added.
The security official redressed that “AFP maintains close relations with the Australian Islamic community leaders. Besides, we work with other security agencies in combating extremism and radicalization of young Australians.”
She further explained that “the program has been delivered over many years by academic and cultural leaders within the community and, like many other cultural initiatives within the AFP and commonwealth government, ensures that AFP members are culturally aware and sensitive to the issues of the communities to which the AFP provides a service.”
Islam in Australia is a minority religion where according to the 2016 Australian Census the number of Australian Muslims was 604,200 people making 2.6% of the total population of the country.
Even though, this small percentage is an increase by over 15% of the previous population share which was 2.2% in the 2011 Census.
The Australian Muslim community is also notably known for being extremely diverse ethnically and linguistically.