Police team up with Islamic Council to combat extremism
QUEENSLAND Police Service has teamed up with the Islamic Council of Queensland to combat terrorism, Islamic radicalisation and right-wing extremism.
Twenty-four Mackay police officers undertook a four-day specialised counter-extremism training course.
A further 35 will take a one-day awareness program in coming days.
Mackay District Police Inspector Ian Houghton said there was "absolutely" no terrorist threat to Mackay and the Whitsundays.
Inspector Houghton said engagement with the Islamic community was an essential ingredient to fight terrorism.
"The Muslim community has made a commitment and is strongly opposed to any forms of extremism and violence," he said.
Islamic Council of Queensland members have spoken at the training sessions to educate officers about Islamic culture.
Spokesman Hamza Vayani was in Mackay yesterday, discussing the community's involvement in the project.
"The partnership between Queensland Police Service and Islamic Council of Queensland has been really productive," he said. "The training that we deliver has been delivered on 15 occasions across the state."
Mr Vayani praised the Queensland Police Service's engagement with the Islamic Council as one of the best in the country.
"Should a scenario eventuate, as a result of this dialogue and interaction, we're well-placed for the Muslim communities in Queensland to engage productively and co-operatively with the Queensland Police," he said.
Mr Vayani said he encouraged Mackay Muslims to engage with the community through events such as mosque open days.
Security and Counter Terrorism Group's Senior Sergeant John Kilburn said the police training also focused on combating anti-Muslim extremism.
"The training provided to police... covers extremists on both sides," he said.
"We look at extreme right-wing issues, we looks at the groups arising around those issues and what potential issues they might generate for the community."