Promoting Muslims’ solidarity with police and willingness to report terrorism threats: The importance of procedural justice

Prof. Kristina Murphy1, Mr Mohammed Ali1

1Griffith University, Mt Gravatt, Australia

Muslim-Australians are crucial in Australia’s fight against Islamic-inspired terrorism. As police cannot be omnipresent, they rely heavily on members of the Muslim community to come forth and report concerns about radicalised individuals or impending terror threats in the community. Understanding when and why Muslims cooperate willingly in police counter-terrorism efforts is therefore important. Group-based identity theories propose that people feel morally obligated to cooperate with members of their own ‘in-group’. The problem is that many Muslims distrust police and hold an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ view of police. In this paper we explore factors that shape Muslims’ willingness to cooperate with police in counter-terrorism. Specifically, we consider whether procedural justice policing can foster Muslims’ willingness to report terror threats to police by enhancing their identification with police and their identification with Australia.  Using survey data from 503 Muslims living in Sydney, we demonstrate that when police are perceived to be procedurally just this enhances Muslims’ identification with police and identification with Australia. Importantly, we find that identification with police and identification with Australia both mediate the relationship between procedural justice and willingness to report terror threats to police, but the identification with police pathway is much stronger. That is, procedural justice fosters cooperation with police in counter-terrorism because it enhances Muslims’ identification and sense of solidarity with police. The implications of our findings for procedural justice theory and police practice will be discussed.


Kristina Murphy is a Professor and ARC Future Fellow at the Griffith Criminology Institute at Griffith University.  Kristina’s research integrates social psychological theory with criminology theories to understand why people defy or comply with authorities and their rules and regulations. Kristina is widely recognised for her research on procedural justice.  Her recent research centres on the role of procedural justice policing in fostering immigrant and ethnic minorities’ trust in police, and how it can be used effectively in the fight against terrorism.


Dec 08 2021