I know it a unfolding event so it is very hard to comment on anything, but would you say that the current situation may have some impact on Australia’s Islamist scene?
Sam Mullins, Professor of Counterterrorism, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
As you say there is so little reliable information at present that I wouldn’t want to speculate about the specific situation or its impact. In general terms, acts of terrorism (which this may or may not be) can sometimes inspire likeminded others to pursue acts of violence as well. They can also raise the levels of fear and mistrust in society. However, it tends to lead to increased vigiliance from security services and the general public, which makes it more difficult for violent extremists to commit criminal acts. The good news in the current situation is that NSW Police are very capable professionals and also that Australia’s Muslim community has already condemned the hostage-taking. Whatever negative repercussions there may be, I believe that Australians as a whole will stand together against violent extremism and terrorism.
Rodger Shanahan, Nonresident Fellow, Lowy Institute for International Policy
It is too early to tell as too little is known about the gunman or his motives. The broader community is showing great support for multiculturalism in order to mitigate any problems from the situation. If it is resolved peacefully without anyone being hurt I don’t think there will be much of a backlash. The police obviously know quite a bit regarding the person in the shop, however they are maintaining very good operational security.