An AUT diversity expert says requiring people to pass a "specific nation-building" course before granting permanent residency or citizenship is one way to counter terrorism on our shores.
Professor of Diversity Edwina Pio has released a paper titled "Diffusing Destructive Devotions: Deploying Counter Terrorism" days after a terrorist attack last Friday at Auckland's LynnMall left several people still fighting for their lives.
Pio's research found lone terrorists to be dangerous and hard to combat when compared to group-based terrorists.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the Islamic State supporter Ahamed Aathil Mohamed Samsudeen, a 32-year-old born in Sri Lanka, who stabbed seven people in the Countdown supermarket before he was shot dead as a "lone wolf terrorist".
She has vowed to toughen anti-terror laws following the knife attack in Auckland by Samsudeen who was under police surveillance.
Pio said lone terrorists tend to be isolated individuals "who are silent until they plan and execute their attack".
"They are dangerous and hard to combat, with ties to extremists, groups, or wider movements," she said.
"Compared to group-based terrorists, lone wolves may suffer from personality disorders or psychological problems yet they may engage in sophisticated and structured planning in the lead-up to and execution of violent extremist activities."
Pio said "high-impact policies" were needed to counter terrorism to accentuate and incentivise diversity narratives through acknowledging and promoting inclusivity, and creating "rationally compassionate disruptors" through a focus on kindness for social cohesion.
Her paper also suggested a need to legislate for specific nation-building content courses to be passed before the granting of permanent residency and citizenship.
"Deterring terrorism relies on legislative strategies and the certain, severe and swift implementation of punishment which is publicised to the general public," she said.
"However, this may have a backlash effect of increasing criminal behaviour and research has been mixed."
Zain Ali, a scholar of Islamic Studies at the University of Auckland, said the suggestions made in Pio's paper needed further thought and discussion.
"These need further discussion, especially legislating a nation-building test as a requirement for citizenship or residency.
"What kind of course would this be, what would these courses cover - how about children, the elderly and those who struggle with literacy," Ali said.
Meanwhile Ali is organising an event this Saturday, September 11, calling on people to light a candle at their front gate at 6.30pm to show solidarity with victims of the LynnMall terror attack.
The event he is calling "Standing for Peace" has the support of the local Jewish community and Tim Pratt, the University of Auckland's Christian chaplain.
"We are shocked and heartbroken by the horrific attacks ... our thoughts are with the victims and their families," said Ali, a Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of
Participants are encouraged to light a candle at home, and if weather permits, stand with their candles at the front gate.
Meanwhile, the Sikh Gurudwaras has issued a statement calling on the community to wear their kirpan - a small dagger and religious symbol of self-reliance - where it is not visible to the public.
"In light of the recent terrorist attack ... where a sharp knife was used as a weapon, we as a community must understand that under the current circumstances baptised Sikhs' article of faith, the kirpan, can be easily mistaken as a weapon in [the] public domain," it said.
"This can escalate into a national issue where community image can be tarnished and baptised Sikhs, in particular our elders, can be subjected to unnecessary harassment and interrogation leading to unpleasant incidents relating to wearing their article of faith on the outside of their clothes."
Sikhs are asked to keep their kirpan inside their clothes so that they are not visible in the immediate future.