Published - 21 September 2012
In 2005, 20-year-old Zak Mallah became the first person to be charged under Australia's anti-terrorism laws. Though he pleaded guilty to threatening to kill government officials, he was acquitted of planning a terror attack. Now aged 29, Mr Mallah has just come back from spending two weeks in Syria, on the frontline with Free Syrian Army fighters. He narrowly avoided being shot when his guide was killed by a sniper. While he understands the anger surrounding the anti-Islamic film Innocence of Muslims, he says his experience in Syria has convinced him that violent protests in Australia, a democratic country that supports religious freedom, is unjustified. SBS reporter Christine Heard began by asking Mr Mallah why he decided to travel overseas, and how quickly he made that decision.