“They want us to be Afraid” Developing a Metric for the Fear of Terrorism

Document Type



Aly, A. & Balnaves, M.(2008)“They want us to be Afraid”: Developing a metric for the fear of terrorism. The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, Volume 6, (6), pp.113-122


There is a range of scales to measure different psychological and behavioural responses in the research literature. However, there is no summative measure for community fear. In this paper the authors report on a major national survey of Australian Muslims and the broader community that creates a metric, or barometer, to measure fear among communities in Australia after 9/11. The paper will also report on major qualitative research investigating community responses to the media and political discourses on terrorism and fear. These quantitative and qualitative data provide a picture Australian Muslim communities under siege. The findings reported in the paper are a part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) project on the responses of Muslim communities to media reporting on terror.