The Many Faces of Terrorism



Since the bombing of the World Trade Centre and related attacks on September 11 2001 barely a day passes without “terrorism” capturing the headlines. Those of us living in relatively stable societies view terrorism almost exclusively as acts of violence by individuals or non government organisations for religious, political or ideological ends — and with intent to cause disproportionate fear and societal disruption.

But what happens when similar tactics are employed by the State? When is one an act of ‘terror’ and another an act of peacekeeping, war or national defence?

Our panel of experts examine the many faces of global terrorism and the moral issues that surround it. What is terrorism and who are the terrorists? How does history, culture, government and the media influence and shape our understanding of it? And how do we best respond ensuring that the trade-off between counterterrorism and fundamental human rights such as privacy, liberty and security, isn’t too great?

Integrity 20’16 Program



Human rights activist and lawyer ANNA NEISTAT has spent many years on the frontline, exposing and documenting human rights abuses. She has conducted more than 60 investigations in conflict areas including Afghanistan, Chechnya, China, Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe. Anna recently returned from Nauru, where she spent a week examining Australia’s offshore immigration system…more Anna Neistat (Russia)

Senior Director of Research, Amnesty International

“one of the 30 most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I.” — Encyclopedia of Journalism
A former ABC News and CBS News 60 Minutes producer, he founded the award-winning, nonprofit Center for Public Integrity (1989) and its International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (1997), the first global network of premier investigative reporters to develop and publish online multimedia exposés across borders…more

“In the moments just after the United States suffered its greatest trauma in 60 years, George W. Bush uttered some of the most profound words of his presidency. They were meant to rally and unite Americans and remind the world that U.S. values were unshakable.

“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America,” he said. “These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” “… Charles Lewis: Did the 9/11 attacks irrevocably shatter American civil liberties? 

Charles Lewis (US)

Professor of Journalism, American University School of Communication

Raimond Gaita is one of Australia’s most highly regarded philosophers, distinct ethical voices, and influential public intellectuals.

He is Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Law School and The Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne and Professor Emeritus of Moral Philosophy at King’s College London. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities…more

Raimond Gaita (Australia)

Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Law School and The Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne

Sarah Chayes is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and award-winning former National Public Radio (NPR) correspondent.

She is author of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, is an international authority on corruption and its implications.

Before joining Carnegie, she served as special assistant to the top U.S. military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. She participated in Cabinet-level decision-making on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Arab Spring, traveling with Mullen frequently to these regions. He tapped Chayes for the job after her work as special advisor to two commanders of the international troops in Afghanistan (ISAF). She contributed her unique knowledge of the Afghan south to the ISAF command.

It was a sense of historic opportunity that prompted Chayes to renounce her journalism career in early 2002, after covering the fall of the Taliban for National Public Radio, and to remain in Afghanistan to help rebuild the country… more

Sarah Chayes (US)

Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Scott Stephens is Editor of the ABC’s Religion and Ethics website, and specialist commentator on religion and ethics for ABC radio and television. He is also co-host (with Waleed Aly) of The Minefield on Radio National, and frequent guest presenter of The Philosopher’s Zone. He presented two series of the critically acclaimed Life’s Big Questions program on ABC1, and has guest presented Conversations with Richard Fidler on ABC local radio.

Scott has published widely on moral philosophy, theology and political theory. He was the co-editor and translator of two volumes of the selected writings of Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, Interrogating the Real and The Universal Exception. He is currently editing a volume of the occasional writings of Khaled Abou El Fadl on the fate of the Arab Spring and the future of political Islam, and is completing a book on whether public ethics can survive in a media age…more

CHAIR: Scott Stephens (Australia)

Co-host, The Minefield and Editor, Religion and Ethics online, ABC