Events of the past decade have shown that small groups of militant extremist Muslims have a remarkable ability to create havoc in much of the world: killing, suicide bombing and destruction in the name of Islam.

That the number of these militant extremists is small is not a good reason for the majority of Muslims to remain silent.

The ideology of these small groups has become widespread at a global level and unless the silent majority in Muslim societies wakes up to the threat these militant extremists pose to their societies, their religion and to the world, there is a danger that militant extremism could become the norm in some Muslim societies.

Countering the ideology of militant extremists from 9/11 to the recent Jakarta bombings, Muslim religious leaders, theologians, academics, journalists and others have labelled such actions as anti-Islamic.

Australia, home to about 400,000 Muslims, has become a target of militant extremists, as a series of arrests this week has demonstrated. The law-abiding silent majority of Muslim Australians faces a particularly important task, now more than ever: to counter the threat of militant extremism and the hate-filled ideology of the extremists, and to save the younger generation of Muslims from this ideology.

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