Auspost CEO calls on employers to hire more young Muslims

by Chloe Taylor09 Oct 2015
Australia Post’s chief executive has called upon companies to offer trainee schemes to young Muslims as a way of countering the enticement of extremism.

Ahmed Fahour told a Melbourne audience yesterday that the past 18 months had been “really hard to endure” due to the increasing prominence of Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East.

He said that the extremist organisation was neither “Islamic nor a state”, adding that its “twisted ideology” was tearing families apart “both, here, in Australia, and in nations right across the globe.”

He also warned that right wing “pockets of intolerance” had used the internet to suggest that Islam and the West are incompatible, referring to debates over banning headscarves, protesting proposed Mosque constructions, and opposition to Halal food.

Fahour claimed that being in a job was the best way of preventing people from feeling alienated, revealing that he had recently spoken at a business conference about the benefits of considering social cohesion during the hiring process.

“I said to the CEOs sitting around the room, think long and hard, that when the next CV comes in front of you that has the name ‘Mohammed’ or ‘Abdul’ or something like that, and you knocked it back, what role have you played in these people's social exclusion,” he said.

He added that job offered teenagers and young adults a door to social inclusion.

“That is true for young people across all of our minority communities, whether they be gay, African refugees, or Muslim Australians,” Fahour said.

He also warned that IS should not be underestimated.

“They have grown from a small local group of hard-core jihadists – and disseminated their barbaric ideology to a global audience,” he said.

“In the process, they have tapped into a sense of alienation – or exclusion – that exists in isolated pockets of every society.”

“They use social media skilfully, to connect these disaffected voices to one another. In the process, they give these alienated individuals a sense of belonging.

“And that desire to belong to something – anything – makes these individuals blind to the utter senselessness of their unifying cause.”

Fahour also praised social media users for utilising platforms like Twitter to express tolerance.

“[The ‘I’ll ride with you’ hashtag] went viral on Twitter here in Australia and across social media platforms globally,” he said.

“It was a rare example of the forces of harmony and pluralism deploying social media to counter the voices of intolerance.

“In an instant, it restored a sense of belonging amongst Australian Muslims. It reinforced my sense of citizenship. It filled me with an overwhelming sense of pride in our nation.”

Do you agree with Fahour’s suggestion? Take our poll here


  • by Anon 9/10/2015 11:12:15 AM

    What a joke. hiring more muslims is not going to combat Islamic extremism. People have choices in life and there are those who choose to become Islamic extremists whether they are employed or well educated or not. Look at Mohammed Atta one of terrorists from 9/11. His mother was a Dr and his father a Lawyer. he was well educated, born with a silver spoon in his mouth and very wealthy. He chose to become a terrorist so the CEO of Auspost is talking rubbish!

  • by KOD 9/10/2015 11:35:39 AM

    Why wait until young muslims commence work. Why not start by having them attend state schools like the majority of kids and not having them attend a madrass where the key learning is that "your are different" and not to trust the infidels. And what ever you do never become one.
    Schools. The great sausage factory that has served us so well in the past (and now bypassed by the Islamic community)where you go in one end a muslim, a jew, a catholic or whatever. And you come our one of us.

    Time to get real.
    No prize for guessing that Ahmed Fahour is a muslim and using a "murder" by a muslim to promote greater benefits for muslims.

    To hear our brave Labour leaders refer to the murder in Parramatta as "an incident" is clear evidence that there is a fear of losing votes or offending the muslim community for calling it what it is - a MURDER. It would appear even our leaders do not have courage anymore.

    If you want to know where we are heading then if you were listening you will have heard the significant change in language and direction from the British PM and Government about the negative impact of immigration upon social cohesion and a struggling infrastructure.

  • by 9/10/2015 11:37:49 AM

    Very powerful article - clearly he's a highly intelligent man.

    I still think that moderate islam are here to blame - they're sitting on the sideline. They need to be the voice - they need to explain to the west why those disfranchised young people are unhappy - why are they upset with the west - why they feel excluded and at the same time, they need to explain to those misguided young people that this is their country too... and this country is 100% better than those countries they keep trying support - we have 100% better freedom of speech and social justice and respect to human rights. in short, moderate islam need to speak out a lot more - they need to get involved and speak out to both sides and narrow the divide between the two.

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