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Muslims 'Fear Proposed New ASIO Laws'


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#1 Webmaster

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Posted 23 October 2002 - 07:26 PM

Muslims 'fear proposed new ASIO laws'
http://news.ninemsn....story_30788.asp
May 1, 2002

Muslim Australians would be more vulnerable to interrogation and harassment if ASIO was given extra powers, the NSW Supreme Islamic Council said on Wednesday.
Council president Gabor Elgafi told a federal parliamentary inquiry into proposed new anti-terrorist laws that the community would subjected to treatment similar to what it had fled.

The laws would allow ASIO to detain and interrogate citizens, who could then be sent to jail for five years if they refused to answer questions.

Journalists, doctors and even priests could be jailed for refusing to divulge information about a terrorist suspect.

Mr Elgafi questioned the need for the extra powers while ASIO had the continued cooperation of the Muslim community and when Australia was not a terrorist threat.

The community was living the daily effects of being under suspicion since the September 11 attacks.

Anyone who looked Muslim was subjected to harassment by both ASIO and police and intense scrutiny at airports, he said.

Raids had occurred on Muslim homes with one woman being forced to lie down with a machine gun pointed at her by federal police, he said.

"She was by herself at home," Mr Elgafi said.

"The whole world is looking at Muslims now as a threat ... we are portrayed as terrorists."

Mr Elgafi said his son, who is a doctor, was strip-searched had his bag emptied twice over a two-hour period after returning from overseas.

"The new legislation ... will introduce laws that these people escaped from," he told the hearing.

"This is a third world country control.

"You get somebody, you throw them in a room and you belt the hell out of them until he talks - we don't want that here.

"Are we just doing it to please some other power in the world or are we doing it for our own security?

The Muslim community was also extremely concerned about the powers which would allow children as young as 10 to be strip-searched.

Under Islamic law, it was illegal for women to be stripped although Mr Elgafi suggested a female Muslim doctor could undertake the search.

The committee urged the council to make a complaint to the Inspector-General if they were had concerns about ASIO's actions or alleged unlawful behaviour.

The International Commission of Jurists also opposed the new laws, sparking a debate in the hearing.

Commission chairman Steve Mark and Australian commission councillor Rodney Lewis said they could not support the legislation.

"I don't support this legislation simply because it goes too far," Mr Mark said.

The committee expressed dismay that the council would not offer alternatives.

"We know that you don't support the legislation, but we have got to find a balance and we need you to be a part of that," said committee member Senator Sandy.

============================================

ASIO Admits Children Face Strip Search

By: Cynthia Banham
The Sydney Morning Herald (May 1 2002)
http://www.smh.com.a...9441370053.html

People could be detained indefinitely without charge or access to a lawyer under the Federal Government's anti-terrorism legislation, ASIO and the Attorney-General's Department admitted yesterday.
And the new laws would also allow children as young as 10 to be strip-searched, they said.

In theory, people could be held for indefinite periods under the proposed legislation as there was no limit on how many times a 48-hour warrant could be renewed, Keith Holland, a department official, told a parliamentary committee.

The laws would allow ASIO officers to detain and interrogate citizens who could then be sent to jail for five years if they refuse to answer questions.

It emerged that journalists, doctors and even priests could be jailed for refusing to divulge information about a terrorist suspect.

The director-general of ASIO, Dennis Richardson, denied the laws would turn the intelligence organisation into a secret police.

He argued that the laws "could prove crucial in preventing a terrorist attack", but admitted there were gaps in the legislation.

He said the option of having a pool of specially cleared lawyers to advise detainees had "not been entertained" when the bill was drafted. The Government has argued against allowing people the right to a lawyer in case the lawyer tips off terrorist associates of the detainee that ASIO is aware of their activities.

When asked about the absence of a time frame for dealing with detainees, Mr Richardson conceded there could be "a gap".

Under questioning from the Labor Senator Robert Ray, the ASIO and department officials also admitted that children aged 10 could be strip-searched.

The president of the Law Council, Tony Abbott, said the bill offended fundamental civil rights.

The former Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Michael Rozenes, who also gave evidence for the Law Council, said the legislation was a "gross departure from every standard that currently governs the way in which we legislate for criminal and other conduct".

He said the legislation was not aimed at finding evidence against the actual terrorist suspect, so much as people with information about them.

"So this is a novel proposition that you can take a person [when] he or she is not the subject of charge or suspicion, have their liberty removed from them, put them into indefinite custody and not have them have the ability of being advised by lawyers of whether they should speak or not speak.

"There ought to be judicial supervision of the process which we do not have, there ought to be legal advice available to the detainee which we do not have, and there ought to be a privilege against self-incrimination."
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#2 OMJ

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Posted 30 October 2002 - 08:37 PM

[size=18]ASIO Raids Sydney, Perth Homes
ABC NEWS Online (30 October 2002)
http://www.abc.net.a...030203809_1.htm

A second Sydney home has been raided as the Federal Government escalates its clampdown on suspected terrorists in Australia.

The raid coincided with two in Perth earlier today as Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) agents try to close in on the outlawed group Jemaah Islamiah (JI).

ASIO officers have spent four hours searching a home in Belmore in south-western Sydney.

He is the father of 30-year-old Jaya Fadly Basri, whose own home was raided on Sunday night.

The family's lawyer, Stephen Hopper, says he is concerned about ASIO targeting the family.

"The whole family was at home, they had basically been held prisoner by ASIO from about 8:30 (AEDT) in the morning till about 1.00 (AEDT) this afternoon," he said.

"They've got nothing to do with JI or any terrorist group. They are a very peaceful and humble family and I believe they are vicitms of persecution."

Mr Hopper says computers and documents were confiscated during both raids.

He says the family is considering legal action against the Government.

In Perth this morning, two homes were also raided by officers with guns and combat gear.

A witness says she was shocked by the combat gear and guns used by officers.

"I was terrified and I wasn't even involved," she said.

No Targeting

The Federal Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, denies the Muslim community is being singled out.

"The operation is directed only at individuals who may have some knowledge of JI in Australia," he said.

Mr Williams says any complaints about heavy-handedness during the operations can be directed to the Ombudsman.

"The Australian public expects to be protected by the authorities. We are doing what is necessary in the interests of the Australian community."

Federal Opposition leader Simon Crean says he has no concerns.

"On any of the information I've got now, [it was] not unjustified," he said.

"We are dealing with a very serious threat to our security, it's on our doorstep. If the authorities have the evidence, they should act."

Shock

One of the men whose Perth home was raided by federal police and ASIO this morning says his family is in shock.

Jan Herbert says armed officers broke into his home on Spencer Road, Thornlie and confiscated family videos and computer equipment.

He said the officers also held a gun to his head.

Mr Herbert says he moved to Perth from Jakarta in 1989 and last attended a lecture by militant Indonesian cleric, Abu Bakar Bashir, in Sydney in 1997.

They also questioned him about the Bali bombings, which he says he knows nothing about.

"My body is Indonesian but I am Australian," he said.

"So if you feel sad, I feel sad Australia."
======================================

Police Storm Perth Family's Home
http://www.news.com....5389706,00.html
30 October 2002

A DAWN raid on a Perth Muslim family was part of a wider investigation into the possible presence of Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in Australia, Attorney-General Daryl Williams said today.

But Mr Williams refused to give details about the ASIO raid, in the Perth suburb of Thornlie.
ABC radio reported that at 5.15am (WST) today, police armed with sub-machine guns and wearing helmets, balaclavas and bulletproof vests stormed the home of a Perth Muslim family, recently arrived from Indonesia.

"I can confirm that ASIO is presently conducting operations. The ... operations are as part of a wider and ongoing investigation, into the possible presence of Jemaah Islamiah in Australia," Mr Williams told reporters in Perth.

"The operation is only directed at individuals who may have some knowledge of JI in Australia, and was not directed at the Islamic community." Mr Williams said the Australian public expected to be protected by the authorities.

"We are doing what is necessary in the interests of the Australian community, and it will be done under proper legal means, and it will be done under well established, strict procedures," he said.

A neighbour identified only as Helena told the ABC that up to eight uniformed police officers had smashed down the doors of her neighbour's home at dawn today.

"It was very loud and very unpleasant," she said. The ABC said police would not confirm if the raid was linked to a raid in Sydney on the home of a Muslim man with suspected links to the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah.

"There was six or eight uniformed police officers with the black helmets, the black balaclavas, the black flak jackets ... like it was from a movie scene, sub-machine guns off their shoulders," Helena said.

"They'd obviously just broken into the house and they were looking around." Helena said her neighbours were Indonesian Muslims who had lived in Australia for about a decade. They were quiet, very religious and never caused any trouble, she said.

"I know these people - I have eaten at their house, my children play with their children. "The husband is a perfectly polite, well-adjusted, pleasant, happy kind of guy. The wife is very pleasant and nice and happy.

"If anybody is out there with the idea of causing any kind of terrorist trouble, they are going to have some kind of screw loose, even if it is some kind of religious mania, and these people are not like that."

Mr Williams said ASIO used established commonwealth laws to raid the Thornlie property, and said if people thought the raid was heavy handed there were avenues of complaint through the Federal Police.

The Perth raid comes after 10 heavily-armed ASIO and Australian Federal Police agents raided the home of a suspected member of JI at Lakemba in Sydney's south-west on Sunday.

The Attorney-General refused to comment on an ABC radio report that an intelligence report had warned that Australian, Portuguese and US interests in East Timor could be subject to terrorist attacks by JI.
=========================================

Dawn Raid on Muslims Part of JI Operation: Williams
The Sydney Morning Herald (30 October 2002)
http://www.smh.com.a...5683460846.html

A dawn raid on a Perth Muslim family was part of a wider investigation into the possible presence of Jemaah Islamiah in Australia, Attorney-General Daryl Williams said today.

But Mr Williams refused to give details about the ASIO raid, in the Perth suburb of Thornlie.

The ABC has reported that at 5.15am (WST) today, police armed with sub-machine guns and wearing helmets, balaclavas and bulletproof vests stormed the home of a Perth Muslim family, recently arrived from Indonesia.

"I can confirm that ASIO is presently conducting operations. The ... operations are as part of a wider and ongoing investigation, into the possible presence of Jemaah Islamiah in Australia," Mr Williams told reporters in Perth.

"The operation is only directed at individuals who may have some knowledge of JI in Australia, and was not directed at the Islamic community."

Mr Williams said the Australian public expected to be protected by the authorities.

"We are doing what is necessary in the interests of the Australian community, and it will be done under proper legal means, and it will be done under well established, strict procedures," he said.

"I don't propose to comment on any particular aspects of the operations."

Mr Williams said ASIO used established commonwealth laws to raid the Thornlie property, and said if people thought the raid was heavy handed there were avenues of complaint through the Federal Police.

The Perth raid comes after 10 heavily-armed ASIO and Australian Federal Police agents raided the home of a suspected member of JI at Lakemba in Sydney's south-west on Sunday.

The Attorney-General refused to comment on an ABC radio report that an intelligence report had warned that Australian, Portuguese and US interests in East Timor could be subject to terrorist attacks by JI.

"I don't comment on matters of security concern," Mr Williams said. AAP
===============================================

Support For Raids in Canberra
PM (ABC Radio)
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/s715168.htm
30 October 2002

While supporters of ASIO's suspects are outspoken in defence of the people having their homes searched, the intelligence agency and the federal police are keeping quiet on what they are looking for and why.

However in Canberra, there is bipartisan support for the Asio and Federal police raids.

When asked if the use of guns and batons was justified in the raids, the Labor leader, Simon Crean, argued that the authorities had to act.

But he has not backed down from attacking the Government over the deportation of a Saudi Arabian man last year, arguing the man should have been detained in Australia for questioning over his Al Qaeda links.

The row continues to rage over whether that particular case was bungled.
================================================
Muslim Family Fears Police Persecution
The AGE (30 October 2002)
http://www.theage.co...5683464321.html

A man whose home was raided by armed federal agents who suspected he belonged to a terrorist group today said he feared authorities would persecute him and his family.

Heavily-armed ASIO and Australian Federal Police officers raided the Sydney home of Jaya Fadly Basri, 30, his wife Zahri, and their three young children on Sunday night.

The raid and a subsequent five-hour search of the home, in Sydney's south-west, was triggered by suspicions Mr Basri was a member of the now-outlawed Jemaah Islamiah (JI) group.

Mr Basri today said he had no connection whatsoever with any terrorist group, saying he had not even heard of JI until after the October 12 Bali bombings.

He said that during police questioning on Sunday night, he was pressed quite hard on any knowledge he may have of JI and was reminded of the penalties of being linked to terrorism.

Australia officially listed JI as a terrorist organisation on Sunday, under new counter terrorism laws.

Anyone belonging to JI, or found training, funding or recruiting members now faces up to 25 years in jail.

The move follows the United Nations' decision last week to put JI on its list of groups and people whose assets should be frozen because of suspected links with Osama bin Laden or his al-Qaeda network.

JI has been linked to al-Qaeda network and is suspected of involvement in the Bali bombings.

Mr Basri today told Sydney reporters he feared he and his family may be persecuted by Australian authorities.

"This is my concern because how come they (are) really easy to suspect someone," he said.

"I know what the consequences are ... I make clear to you I have not supported any terrorism activities or organisations."

Mr Basri was not arrested during Sunday night's raid.

His lawyer Stephen Hopper said efforts would be made to establish whether the raid met all legal requirements.

The Basri family is Muslim of Indonesian origin, coming to live in Australia about ten years ago. AAP
================================================

Family Considers Legal Action Over Raid
PM (ABC Radio)
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/s715153.htm
30 October 2002

As Jaya Fadli Basri was talking to the media about Sunday's raid, the home of his father in the nearby Sydney suburb of Belmore was being raided.

Early this afternoon, lawyer Stephen Hopper was accompanying the Basri family to Belmore, when they stumbled over a raid that had begun 5 hours earlier.

Stephen Hopper says he is disgusted with ASIO's tactics and that the Basri family is seeking further legal advice about whether they can challenged the warrant in the Federal Court.

Retired Security Head Claims Raids Justified
PM (ABC Radio)
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/s715167.htm
30 October 2002

A retired Assistant Commissioner and former head of Olympic Security says the raids by the intelligence services are appropriate.

Paul McKinnon says while the raids appear at face value to be sensational, in past times they were routine.

He says that even though no arrests have been made from any of the raids over the past year that does not mean charges will not be laid at a future date.
===============================================

Muslim Australians Scared of New Laws
By: Patricia Karvelas, Kevin Meade & Bernard Lane
The Australian (29 October 2002)
http://www.theaustra...5381832,00.html

AUSTRALIAN Muslim leaders fear the innocent may be caught up in the security campaign against regional extremist group Jemaah Islamiah.

The federal Government yesterday declared the group a terrorist organisation under new security legislation.
NSW Supreme Islamic Council president Gabr Elgafi said he believed the declaration might be a political manoeuvre to justify prosecutions of innocent Australian Muslims.

"We have a fear that something could happen and I hope we don't end up like the Americans, locking people in a camp," he said.

Mr Elgafi feared he might express a view contrary to the Government's and be "labelled as a terrorist".

Under new counter-terrorism laws, anyone who belongs to a declared terrorist organisation – or is involved with its leadership, recruitment, training or funding – faces a maximum 25 years in prison.

Federal Attorney-General Daryl Williams said overseas terrorist organisations had supporters in Australia, while security experts have said that JI has a small presence in the country.

Mr Elgafi disagreed: "I don't know if he can justify the statement that there are people involved with JI. To say there are Muslims here involved in this organisation is quite a statement."

In Brisbane, the chairman of the Islamic Information Centre of Queensland, Imaam Yusuf Peer, said he did not know of any Muslim extremists in the state.

"We condemn all acts of terrorism," he said. "Islam is a peaceful religion."

One of Sydney's leading Muslim clerics, Imam Amim Hady, who, three weeks before the Bali bombings dined at the home of Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged spiritual leader of JI, said that he was not concerned that he might be linked with JI.

"There's a difference between met and linked, so I am not worried about it," he said.

"It is a matter for ASIO to decide."

He had faith that no Muslims would be unfairly targeted by ASIO.

"I have not come to know any single person who is a member of JI, so there will be no reason for them to talk to us," he said.

Keysar Trad, from the Lebanese Muslim Association, said: "We have not seen any evidence of any connection at all" between JI and Australian Muslims. Asked whether he feared innocent Muslims would be targeted, Mr Trad said: "I have no problem with the security organisations being vigilant, but vigilance should not be changed into a witch-hunt."

In Melbourne, Bilal Cleland, the human rights co-ordinator of the Islamic Council of Victoria, said he hoped the anti-terrorism laws would protect his community from harassment.

Mr Cleland said there had been some seemingly organised attacks against Muslims that could also be regarded as terrorism.

"We would like to know that terror laws are used against people who are politically motivated against Muslims," he said.

"If they don't protect us, it looks like the laws are against Islam.

"We hope that the law is aimed at violent criminals and not on people who speak loudly on certain themes.
================================================
SEE ALSO:
[b]7.30 Report: "ASIO Raids Continue"

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/s716146.htm
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#3 OMJ

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Posted 02 November 2002 - 04:37 PM

Kicking Down Doors
The Daily Telegraph (1 November 2002)
http://www.dailytele...5397793,00.html

WHO are the families at the centre of this week's ASIO raids? BEN ENGLISH and RACHEL MORRIS report.

They say they are just normal new Australian families, as removed from terrorism as everyone else. Civil libertarians say they are victims of heavy-handed security forces responding to a paranoid climate post-Bali.
But Australia's top spy says his officers wouldn't have raided homes in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne based simply on allegations their occupants attended lectures by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) founder and radical preacher Abu Bakar Bashir.

So just who are the families whose homes were raided these past few days?

Ali Basri is familiar to Australian immigration officials. The father of Jaya Basri, whose Lakemba unit was raided on Sunday, moved to Australia on December 19, 1986.

The former Jakarta businessman's temporary entry permit expired on June 19 the following year.

His reapplication was refused and ended up before the Immigration Review Tribunal in 1993, where as part of his case he argued his return to Indonesia would cause he and his family "extreme hardship".

It appears Ali Basri came under the influence of Roselands-based "teacher" Shaher Halaby, who acted as sponsor for his application and also addressed the tribunal about his "special" student.

Mr Halaby told the tribunal the instruction he had been giving Mr Basri had been of a "primary type in terms of providing instruction in relation to Islamic beliefs".

Tribunal notes say: "Mr Halaby's evidence is Mr Basri is a very special student and he has developed a particular relationship with him that he would put above the normal perceptions and interests that he would have in students, particularly given his interests in spreading the Islamic faith through Mr Basri and others of Indonesian background.

"Mr Basri gave evidence of his pupilage with Mr Halaby and the very strong relationship he has with Mr Halaby which extends past a relationship of student and teacher."

Ali Basri has since become an Australian citizen after finally winning his battle with the authorities. His son and wife both hope to secure permanent residency.

Yesterday, through his lawyer, he confirmed he had attended "two or three" lectures by Bashir in the late 1990s.

He is currently working as a mechanic and has travelled to Indonesia on holidays twice since coming to Australia.

Islamic community representatives draw a blank when asked about Halaby, who also has an office in Punchbowl, but the Basri family solicitor Stephen Hopper said he was "just a teacher".

Mr Basri lives in Belmore with his wife, two sons, daughter and son-in-law and their two children. His other son and fellow target Jaya is a screenprinter and admits to having attended at least one lecture by Bashir on one of his Australian tours.

Jaya Basri arrived in Australia in 1994 after studying Asian history at a Bali university. Articulate and quietly spoken, he has built a life for himself, living in a modest red brick Lakemba flat with wife Zahra, toddler Aiysha and baby Mohammed.

A committed Muslim, he prays five times a day and uses his laptop and other computing equipment to design and print a small newsletter on Islam for his fellow Indonesian worshippers at the Tempe mosque.

This week he admitted to downloading news items about Bashir and Indonesian events from the Muslim News website.

Attorney-General Daryl Williams approved the search warrant for Ali Basri's home on Tuesday night. He must sign off on all ASIO search warrants.

ASIO agents removed 48 bags of material from Jaya Basri's home and even more from the home of his father.

Meanwhile, 5000km west of the Lakemba raid, another family raided by ASIO is considering suing the Federal Government.

The Suparta family, who moved to Australia from Indonesia 14 years ago, were still in shock yesterday after tactical response group officers in riot gear armed with machine-guns burst into their Perth home at 5am on Thursday.

The heavily-armed officers broke down the family's front door and smashed windows to gain entry to their Thornlie home.

Yulyani Suparta, 17, said she had been unable to sleep since the raid.

She said her family – father David, mother Tiannio, and her brother, 10, and sisters, aged six and four (Yulyani did not want to give their names) – were ordered to the floor, where they stayed for half an hour.

She said an officer put his foot on her father's head and told him not to move.

"They pointed guns at us, all of them had guns pointing at us. They told us to keep quiet," Yulyani said.

"We just cannot believe it's happened. I find it very disturbing that the Government thinks we're part of this group [Jemaah Islamiyah]. It's ridiculous."

Yulyani said the officers stayed in their home for more than seven hours, taking family videos, papers, and her computer with all her school assignments.

She said her father had attended two or three lectures by Bashir but there was nothing sinister about it: "He was just there to watch and listen."

ASIO officers also raided the house of another Muslim man, Jan Herbert, whose original name was Taufik Abdat, in the same Thornlie street. Mr Herbert had also attended lectures by Bashir.

In a rare move, ASIO Director-General Dennis Richardson defended the tactics.

He said such searches would be the subject of widespread public discussion and it was reasonable that ASIO come under scrutiny.

He also implied that there was as yet unrevealed evidence about terrorist activity in Australia.

"Self evidently, we could not legally conduct an entry and a search on the basis that someone had merely attended a lecture by a cleric who was visiting the country," he said.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Muslims Condemn 'Heavy-Handed' Tactics
The AGE (1 November 2002) http://www.theage.co...6026979308.html

Heavily armed and masked police allegedly pointed guns at four children, one as young as four, during a raid on the home of a Perth Muslim family said to have links with terror group Jemaah Islamiah.

The family's oldest daughter, Yulyani Suparta, 17, said the family had been in bed asleep when federal agents and armed police in riot gear burst into their home early on Wednesday morning.

"We heard this loud bang and we all woke up," Ms Suparta said. "All of a sudden our door broke down and all these policemen with big handguns screamed at us to get down.

"One of them pushed me and told me to get down on the floor. He pointed the gun at my face."

While police from the West Australian Tactical Response Group forced a handcuffed Mr Suparta to lie face down on the floor, the rest of his family were herded into another room and watched at gunpoint.

ASIO agents and Australian Federal Police officers then spent hours searching their home and questioning them. Computers, a printer, scanner, documents and family videos were taken away.

Ms Suparta said the younger children - aged four, six and 10 - had been traumatised by their ordeal.

"I just feel sorry for my little sisters and brother," she said. "They had to see everything with the guns and they are very quiet now.

"Who wouldn't be scared if you are sleeping and then all of a sudden somebody raids your house, knocks down your window and doors and comes in with big handguns."

The Supartas are among several Muslim families with suspected terrorist links whose homes have been raided by federal agents in the past few days.

Civil liberties groups and Muslim leaders yesterday condemned the force used in the raids as heavy-handed and a possible violation of citizens' rights.

Liberty Victoria vice-president Greg Connellan said it was inexcusable to point guns at children, and those involved should be disciplined. He said the raids also violated freedom of association and expression.

New South Wales Council of Civil Liberties president Cameron Murphy said that on the surface the raids looked like a campaign of harassment.

"If these people are supposed to be terrorists then they should be charged and brought before a court of law," Mr Murphy said. "The fact that there have been so many raids and that no one has been charged suggests that there is no evidence. It suggests that it is a fishing exercise or a publicity stunt."

Mr Murphy said there had been more than 30 similar raids in the past year, most of them in New South Wales, and they appeared to have been based on flimsy evidence. He said ASIO had relied on speculation, innuendo, rumour and conduct taken out of context.

Raids had been conducted on the homes of ordinary citizens who, it seemed, had attracted suspicion for doing nothing more than attending Islamic faith meetings, he said.

The Australian Council for Civil Liberties said it would lodge formal complaints about the raids.

Muslim leaders said the raids had outraged their communities and caused hysteria and fear that anyone in the community could be targeted.

The human rights coordinator for the Islamic Council of Victoria, Bilal Cleland, accused ASIO of using "jackboot tactics" and warned that Muslim communities could now lose confidence in the intelligence organisation.

Several observers said they feared the raids would incite some members of the Muslim community to acts of violence.

The Imam of Preston Mosque, Sheik Fehmi Naji, said many Muslims were angry about accusations against their community.

"Sometimes we worry about some amongst our people who become so angry about this sort of thing, and might do some act which we won't be happy about," Sheik Fehmi said.

"How would I control the temper of people who are hearing things which are next door to them? They're very passive people and very good people and they've been treated very badly," he said.

A visiting professor of Middle Eastern history, Youssef Choueiri, in Melbourne for a conference, said the tension might even spark further terrorist action.

"If it's not handled very carefully; if your information is not 100 per cent right; if you do things the wrong way; if you do not respect the positions and cultures and customs of the other party, you are liable to create the wrong impression and a negative reaction," said Mr Choueiri, from Britain's University of Exeter.

"And if you have one cell, in the next few weeks you may actually help to breed 10 cells as a result of this particular raid."

The chairman of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Yasser Soliman, said Muslims knew that ASIO had a job to do and acknowledged that fighting terrorism was a community affair.

"But if people are going to be treated this way because they are Muslim, because they attended a lecture... it raises questions about civil rights," he said.

Ms Suparta, whose family has lived in Australia for 14 years, insisted her family had no links to terrorists. "We are Australian citizens and we are just like any other families in Australia," she said. "We lead normal lives."
- West Australian, staff reporters
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PM Vows ASIO Raids Will Continue
ABC Online (1 Nov 2002)

http://abc.net.au/ne...101094839_1.htm

Prime Minister John Howard says security agencies will continue raids on the homes of people suspected of supporting Jemaah Islamiah (JI), despite strong criticism from Indonesia and civil liberties groups.

Mr Howard has denied claims the Australian Federal Police and ASIO raids have been heavy-handed and breached international conventions.

Officers have raided homes in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne in what the Government says is part of a legitimate investigation JI.

Indonesia's Foreign Ministry has complained to the Australian embassy in Jakarta about the raids.

But the Indonesian administration has described the raids as heavy-handed and in breach of international norms.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry in Jakarta says Australia should have informed it about the raids.

It has also suggested the operations breached human rights and could damage Indonesia's attempts to move against extremists on its own soil.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Marty Natalegawa says the operations, given widespread coverage in the Indonesian press, were not helpful.

"Obviously the manner by which this process has taken place adds to our concern - the reported heavy-handed manner of the operation," Mr Natalegawa said.

He says Indonesia, through the Australian embassy in Jakarta, has "reiterated the obligation of the Australian Government to at least inform the Indonesian embassy in Australia whenever a legal case is being initiated against one of its nationals".

The Indonesian vice-consul to Melbourne, Kama Pradipta, added: "The international convention of rules state that we require further notice prior to the investigations, prior to the Government taking any legal steps towards foreign nationals.

"In this case we were never informed by the authorities concerned," Mr Pradipta said.

But Mr Howard has told Southern Cross radio he does not want to overreact to Indonesia's complaint.

"We have done what any country in our situation would have to do [and] we'll naturally respond to any Indonesian concerns," Mr Howard said.

"But what we have done is in accordance with Australian law and is in accordance with international law.

"There were reasons for those raids and I defend 100 per cent what ASIO has done," he said.

Relations
Meanwhile, Indonesian Vice-President Hamzah Haz says the raids could hurt Jakarta's relations with its southern neighbour.

Asked by reporters whether such raids would worsen ties, Mr Haz said "yes" and added: "We also hope that Australia will maintain close relations." He did not elaborate.

Mr Haz is from a Muslim party and does not always speak for the Indonesian Government.

Downer

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says the Government is justified in being what he has termed "a little ruthless" in cracking down on terrorist suspects in Australia, provided it acts within the law.

Mr Downer made the comments in London, where he has been holding talks with his British counterpart, Jack Straw, and Defence Minister Geoff Hoon.

Mr Downer told an audience at Chatham House the weakest part of the campaign against terror is in tracing and stopping the financing of terrorist groups and he has called for more decisive action.

Like British Prime Minister Tony Blair, he says Muslim terrorists have perverted the message of Islam and the majority of Muslims in a country like Indonesia are moderate.

But he is unapologetic about police raids on a number of Muslim houses around Australia.

He says where the Government has information about possible terrorist links, it might even be "a little ruthless" but provided its actions are within the law, the Australian public would expect nothing less.

Federal Attorney-General Daryl Williams denies the raids are targeting Muslims.

"We are not targeting any community group, we are not targeting any religion and we're definitely not targeting the Islamic community," he said.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ASIO Raids Continue
The 7:30 Report (ABC TV)
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/s716146.htm
31 October 2002

KERRY O'BRIEN: For the fifth day, ASIO agents and federal police have continued their series of dramatic raids on suspected sympathisers of the radical Muslim group, Jemaah Islamiah, which is under investigation for links to the Bali bombings. Today's raids reportedly took place in Melbourne's northern suburbs. While the government refused to provide any detail, it did confirm the security operation was continuing. Although the head of ASIO publicly defended the need for the raids today -- and indeed said there would be plenty more -- they have already upset some Muslim community leaders.

Mark Bannerman reports.

MARK BANNERMAN, REPORTER: Yesterday it was Sydney and Perth.

Today, the suburbs of Melbourne became the focus of ASIO's anti-terrorist attention.

This is unprecedented action from our security forces.

And in Canberra the Director-General of ASIO made it clear Australians had better get used to it.

DENNIS RICHARDSON, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, ASIO: There has inevitably been a further lowering of the risk tolerance threshold.

That means, all agencies will be responding to more information more often and there is likely to be more alerts.

Some of these alerts will be generalised in nature.

And, because of that, will be frustrating to all concerned.

MARK BANNERMAN: For others, though, this is more than mere frustration.

Yesterday when police and ASIO descended on this house in Perth, only Jan Herbert says they broke into his home and held a gun to his head.

REPORTER: Do you know anybody who was involved in the Bali bombings?

Or did you know anything about it at all?

JAN HERBERT: They asked same thing.

But I said I don't know anything about Bali or something because I am Indonesian, my body Indonesian, but I'm Australian.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Just a few hundred yards away, yet another house was being raided, again guns were drawn.

YULAYANI SUPARTA: They took my dad and handcuffed him and put him on the floor.

After that, one of the policeman actually, um, put his foot on my dad's ear telling him not to move.

And then, um, they did that to my mum -- they pushed my mum telling her don't move.

MARK BANNERMAN: Others found themselves guilty by association.

This morning a national newspaper reported ASIO was investigating this Muslim school in Perth.

In fact, they had raided the home of a religious teacher who works at the school.

UMAR ABDULLAH, SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR: Our understanding is that the AFP and other relevant authorities visited his house yesterday.

Our understanding is that he was not there, which we find very disturbing.

He recently went overseas to visit his mother, who was ill.

REPORTER: He is a religious teacher I understand here at the school.

Is he somebody who could be in any way involved with what's called terrorism?

UMAR ABDULLAH: Bluntly, from my knowledge of this man and, you know, the way that I've got to know him over the years, the answer is no.

MARK BANNERMAN: To say the least the Arab community is concerned.

DR TREVOR BATROUNEY, SOCIAL RESEARCHER, RMIT: It's a heavy-handed approach and one that is going to presumably attract media attention.

Um, and not always send the right message.

PAULA ABOOD, COMMUNITY CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT WORKER: We don't need to be carrying on with these sort of Big Brother tactics.

These bovver boy type-tactics.

PROFESSOR YOUSSEF CHOUEIRI, MIDDLE EASTERN HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER: I sense that perhaps there is this sense of panic in the security forces in Australia that, before something happens, they have to find out whether there is something that is about to happen.

And sometimes it leads to unforeseen effects as a result of this panicky and studied and hurried reaction.

MARK BANNERMAN: So what is ASIO looking for?

And is there a common thread between Jaya Basri in Sydney and those raided in Perth?

At this point the linking factor seems to be this man -- Abu Bakar Bashir, named as the head of Jemaah Islamiah in South-East Asia.

He has also been accused of leading a group with plans to blow up the Australian High Commission in Singapore.

WONG KAN SENG, HOME AFFAIRS MINISTER, SINGAPORE GOVT: From the information given to us by those who are detained in Singapore, they said that Abu Bakar Bashir is to admit that he is the chief of the group and some even took the baya'a, the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakar Bashir.

MARK BANNERMAN: It now appears since 1992 Bashir has come to Australia at least 12 occasions.

It's also clear that each of the people raided, including Jan Herbert in Perth, have met him.

REPORTER: And how long ago did you meet him?

JAN HERBERT: Very long ago.

REPORTER: When you lived in Sydney?

MARK BANNERMAN: But does simply going to a meeting and listening to a speech justify an ASIO raid?

For Muslims the answer is no.

DR TREVOR BATROUNEY, SOCIAL RESEARCHER, RMIT: Well I can understand that, at this time, security agencies find that they need to search out people they suspect.

But I must admit Australia does seem to have a tradition of blundering in -- and not always giving the sufficient thought or preparation.

MARK BANNERMAN: The head of ASIO rejected such accusations, indeed today he suggested this was far more than guilt by association.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: Self-evidently, we could not legally conduct an entry and search on the basis that someone had merely attended a lecture by a cleric who was visiting the country.

That is simply a matter of law.

MARK BANNERMAN: This is a high-stakes game.

Perhaps no-one summed up the dilemma better than NSW Premier Bob Carr, asked if he approved of the raids he had this to say.

BOB CARR, NSW PREMIER: I'm not criticising the raids.

I think if I am relieved that someone with alleged JI links is being monitored by Federal Police and ASIO.

MARK BANNERMAN: But he concedes there is a danger.

If the raids prove fruitless and simply alienate the Islamic community.

BOB CARR: I do believe we've got to work hard at seeing that the Islamic community, law abiding members of the Islamic community, don't feel victimised, don't feel that we've all turned on them because that will force their young people especially into being isolated and paranoid and then they can be recruited.

It's likely they'd be recruited, possible they'll be recruited by extremist groups.
===============================================

Raid Targets 'were Bashir front men'
By: Patricia Karvelas, Ian Gerard & Colleen Egan
THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN (2 November 2002)
http://www.theaustra...5407301,00.html

THREE of the Muslim men targeted by ASIO raids in Perth and Sydney this week were the state-based spiritual leaders spreading Abu Bakar Bashir's teachings, sources have claimed.

However, all three Indonesian Muslim men deny any membership of Jemaah Islamiah or involvement in terrorism.

The Weekend Australian has learnt that Perth twin brothers Abdul Rahim Ayub and Abdur Ahaman Ayub, and Sydney man Ali Basri, hold the link between the Muslim cleric and his Australian followers.

It emerged yesterday that another raid took place on Wednesday morning on the home of Bakar Muklis, an Indonesian Muslim who lives in the southwestern Sydney suburb of Lakemba.

Mr Muklis said he had been questioned about an Indonesian cleric, Fuad Alhazimi, who stayed at his home for two months earlier this year. Alhazimi has since gone to Jordan.

Sources in Perth claim Mr Abdul Ayub and Mr Abdur Ayub have 20 to 30 followers, and that Mr Basri has "hundreds" of supporters in Sydney and Melbourne.

Mr Abdur Ayub is said to be a well-trained soldier who fought against Soviet forces for five years in Afghanistan. Mr Abdul Ayub, whose Perth house was raided on Wednesday morning, has worked at an Islamic school in the southern suburb of Bentley for about three years and is believed to be currently in Indonesia. The Weekend Australian understands the two Perth men have given lectures echoing the teachings of Mr Bashir, usually at a group member's house, while women and children listen via speakers in a separate room.

Mr Basri, whose home in the Sydney suburb of Belmore was raided on Wednesday, is the father of Jaya Basri and attended Mr Bashir's lectures in the 1990s.

Jaya Basri, whose home was raided on Sunday night, produces an Indonesian Muslim newsletter that has printed articles about Mr Bashir in the past. Jaya Basri, 30, said yesterday his father could not be a spiritual leader as he was not an expert on the teachings of Mr Bashir.

"He's a student in my classes, I have more knowledge about this than my father," Mr Basri said.

"You can test him about his knowledge of Islam."

A Sydney man whose home was raided on Thursday has claimed to be Mr Bashir's driver on two of the cleric's visits in the 1990s.

Nur Hakim said he attended and videotaped Mr Bashir's lectures and distributed copies to other followers.

But the father of four from Brookvale on Sydney's northern beaches denies knowing who organised Mr Bashir's visit. "Mr Bashir's like a father to me because he always teaches me, he always teaches me about religion and about family," Mr Hakim said.

"I didn't think he was a terrorist, and until now I never believed he was a terrorist. He never talked about terrorism, he never talked about violence. He talked about family and about belief in God and belief in family."

Speaking through his 20-year-old son, Riz, Mr Hakim said Mr Bashir had personally requested he drive him on another occasion because "he liked the way I drove".

Mr Hakim said his wife offered ASIO and federal police officers Indonesian sweets and drinks, but was turned down.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[size=0]Website Creators Fear Spooks Are Watching
By: Deborah Cameron, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 Novemrber 2002)
http://www.smh.com.a...6027034404.html

Ahmed Kilani is waiting for the phone to ring. Will the call be about his orange juice franchise or will it be ASIO? His business partner, Sam DeFrancesco, an Italian Muslim with a faintly ginger beard, already thinks their website and its email traffic are being watched.

On the computer behind them, IslamicSydney.com flickers with the news of the week. The raids and the reaction, particularly the Muslim side.
Mr Kilani, 32, and Mr DeFrancesco, 35, started the site as a guide to Sydney for Olympic Games visitors. They can scarcely believe how the tone has changed.

"Think back to the Olympics when we talked about being an open society where every culture was welcome and compare it with the stance we are taking now," Mr Kilani said.

They talk seriously about contacting ASIO themselves - their own pre-emptive strike - to talk about the "acceptable limits" for discussion on the website. They worry that the independent outlet, which they update overnight at their homes, may be viewed with suspicion.

Their wives are nervous. The climate has changed since the Bali bombings, and too many friends have been harassed in the street. Paranoid or realistic? They are not sure anymore.

Mr Kilani said: "Sometimes we put an alternative political viewpoint [on the site] but is that going to be deemed as sympathising or going against a law? There is a big difference between showing an alternative viewpoint and supporting a terrorist act."

Mr DeFrancesco said: "I would rather be proactive than have ASIO come to my door. It is something that we never thought of when we started the site." Both men were born and raised in Sydney. Mr DeFrancesco, an information technology specialist, was a Christian who converted to Islam in 1994. Mr Kilani was raised a Muslim and is in the closing stages of buying a franchise for a fresh juice bar.

As avid readers of international newspapers, they are as likely to put up on the website an article from The Christian Science Monitor on Middle East politics as a chilling account of Russian in Chechnya.

Traffic on their site has steadily increased - up to several thousand visitors each month - and while they suspect the United States military and ASIO click on, the majority of visitors are Australian Muslims, probably looking for restaurants suitable for a halal dinner.

Both believe their faith needs to be better understood. "This is a crucial issue for Australia," Mr Kilani said. "Geographically, Australia sits below the biggest Muslim country in the world. "Islam has been politicised by the refugee issue, by the gang rapes, September 11 and the Bali bombing. Unfortunately, a lot of people are speaking out of ignorance without knowing what Muslims believe." They want to encourage debate and see it as part of the frank Australian character. "It is not incompatible to be a Muslim and to be an Australian," Mr DeFrancesco said.
Mr Kilani added: "We need a clash of dialogue not a clash of civilisations."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[size=18]Abbott Urges Australians to Embrace Muslim Community

ABC NEWS ONLINE (31 October 2002)
http://www.abc.net.a...1oct2002-99.htm

A Federal Government Minister has warned Australians any persecution of Muslims will only provide greater strength to terrorist networks.

The Workplace Relations Minister, Tony Abbott, has delivered the Playford Memorial Lecture in Adelaide focussing on the Bali bombings.

He says Australia and other Western nations should be seeking closer ties with Islamic countries.

Mr Abbott says it is important Australians do not jump to simplistic conclusions about Islam.

"I think it is very important that we don't do anything to become Al Qaeda recruiting agents and generalisations about Islam have that tendency," he said.
===================================================================
[i][size=18]SEE ALSO:

AM (ABC Radio): "Federal Police and ASIO raid Lakemba house"

http://www.abc.net.au/am/s714477.htm

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: "Muslims in 'shock' After ASIO Raids"
http://smh.com.au/ar...6026983046.html

SMH: "Muslim Leaders Speak Out"
http://www.smh.com.a...6027036139.html

The AUSTRALIAN: "How Terror Took Root in Our Cities"
http://www.theaustra...5407432,00.html

SMH: "Targeted man was Abu Bakar's driver"
http://www.smh.com.a...6027036080.html

The AGE: "Bashir's secret trips to Victoria"
http://www.theage.co...6027036986.html

PM: "Sydney man speaks out on ASIO raid "
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/s715146.htm

PM: "ASIO raid in Perth"
http://www.abc.net.au/pm/s715142.htm

DAILY TELEGRAPH: "Angry Muslims May Sue ASIO"
http://www.dailytele...5399969,00.html

THE AGE: "Police accused of 'Rambo' raids in Melbourne"
http://www.theage.co...6026975528.html

THE HERALD-SUN: "ASIO accused of Rambo tactics"
http://www.heraldsun...5400188,00.html

ABC ONLINE: "Student Pleads For Return of Computer after ASIO Raid"
http://www.abc.net.a...101071315_1.htm

THE AGE: "We Have Evidence, say Security Chief"
http://www.theage.co...6026979302.html

Dennis Richardson: "Sleuth work crucial to survival"
http://www.theaustra...5398520,00.html

DAILY TELEGRAPH:"PM Fears Terrorists Cells Will Launch Attacks"
http://www.dailytele...5405870,00.html

The West Australian: “Armed Raids: ASIO hits back”
http://www.thewest.c...e-sto77273.html

ABC ONLINE: "Administrator defends teacher after ASIO raid"
http://www.abc.net.a...-1nov2002-4.htm

REUTERS: "Australia defends raids for JI "sleepers""
http://www.alertnet....sdesk/SYD100201

NEWS ONLINE: "JI leader's 'false' entry to Australia"
http://www.news.com....5408388,00.html

THE AGE: "PM '100%' Behind ASIO Raids"
http://www.theage.co...6027023477.html

AM: “More ASIO Raids Expected”
http://www.abc.net.au/am/s715335.htm

LATELINE: "Concerns over proposed anti-terrorism unit"
http://www.abc.net.a...ine/s717109.htm

LATELINE: "ASIO raids vs Australian-Indonesian relations"
(An interview with ANU's Dr Greg Feeley & Alan Dupont)
http://www.abc.net.a...ine/s717114.htm

ABC: “Indonesian vice-consul claims raids breached conventions”
http://www.abc.net.a...-1nov2002-8.htm

The 7:30 REPORT: “Scotland Yard chief Shares Information with Australian Counterparts”
(An Interview with Scotland Yard's Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Peter Clarke)
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/s716145.htm

THE CANBERRA TIMES Editorial: "ASIO Raids: a Judgment Call"
http://canberra.your...174&y=2002&m=11

THE AUSTRALIAN Editorial: "ASIO raids the price of vigilance"
http://www.theaustra...5398642,00.html

The SYDNEY MORNING HERALD Editorial: "ASIO raids a test of purpose"
http://www.smh.com.a...6026977565.html

THE AGE Editorial: "Defending freedom on two fronts"
http://www.theage.co...6026977244.html

THE COURIER MAIL Editorial: "Raids show the price of terror "
http://www.courierma...5398641,00.html

ALAN RAMSEY: "All the way with LB ... er ... ASIO"
http://www.smh.com.a...6027034363.html

Michelle Grattan: "ASIO walking a tightrope"
http://www.theage.co...6027089862.html

[b]MIKE CARLTON: "This melodrama can get right up your nose"

http://www.smh.com.a...6027034570.html

[b]ISLAMONLINE: "Australia to Use Aid to Replace Islamic Schools With State Education"

http://www.islamonli...article67.shtml

[b]Liz Porter: "Learning another tongue takes more than lip service"

http://www.theage.co...6027086060.html
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#4 OMJ

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Posted 03 November 2002 - 04:44 AM

Muslims Damn Fanatics
By: Larry Schwartz, The Sunday AGE (3 November 3 2002) http://www.theage.co...6027087623.html

Leaders of Australia's 300,000-strong Muslim community are banding together to publicly condemn terrorist attacks by religious extremists in their first united stand on the issue.

The formal statement, which is in the final stages of drafting, will warn extremist groups that they are wrong to think they are acting in the name of the broader Muslim community.

The official head of Victoria's 90,000-strong Muslim community and one of the prime movers behind the initiative said the statement would effectively tell extremists "what you're doing, you're doing on your own".

"Whoever they are (and whatever they do), it is not in our name," said Yasser Soliman, president of the Islamic Council of Victoria. "We condemn it and never can condone it."

While not naming specific individuals involved in terrorism, extremist organisations or governments, the condemnation was "inclusive". "We stand away from all the actions of all extremists from all backgrounds," Mr Soliman said.

"Despite what they claim, none of their actions were on our behalf or in the name of Islam as we understand it or in the name of the God that we worship, or any other for that matter, because no religion teaches to kill innocent people and the aggressive violence that has taken place."

But Mr Soliman said highly publicised ASIO and police raids on Muslims in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth last week had left people "confused, scared and stunned" and risked undermining goodwill between Muslims and the wider community.

"There's confusion and there's concern," he said. "We don't need more people to be afraid of Muslims." He said ASIO had so far visited at least five Muslims of Indonesian descent in Victoria.

Unlike the highly publicised raids seen elsewhere in Australia, where police carried sub-machineguns and used sledgehammers to break windows and doors, the ASIO officers in Victoria had simply rung door bells or knocked on front doors. The targets of the visits had cooperated during searches, Mr Soliman said.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer yesterday telephoned his Indonesian counterpart Hassan Wirayuda following growing criticism in Jakarta over the handling of the raids.

"I think the Indonesian Foreign Minister was very clear in his message," he told ABC radio. "And that is that he understands that Australians should be investigating people who may have links with Jemaah Islamiah..."

Indonesian police were due to start questioning the alleged leader of Jemaah Islamiah, militant Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, yesterday over a series of Christian church bombings and a plot to kill President Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Police investigating the October 12 Bali nightclub bombings yesterday released a man arrested earlier because he looked similar to a composite sketch of one of the suspects. The man, arrested on Thursday on Flores, was mentally ill and had nothing to do with the attack, police said.

Mr Soliman said although the final wording had not been decided, "a large proportion" of leaders representing Muslims in Australia had already agreed to the Victorian-initiative to draft the statement condemning actions including the Bali bombing as contrary to Islam.

"We've been accused of not standing up so many times against violence and terrorism and this and that," Mr Soliman said.

He said Australian Muslims were eager to prevent terrorist activities and as likely as others to report suspicious behaviour to authorities as had happened in Preston when the community reported a Saudi national and suspected al Qaeda member.

Mr Soliman believed there were other instances where Muslims alerted authorities to "suspicious characters". ===========================================================
Islamic Leaders Plead For Fair Go
By: Gerard McManus & Christine
The Sunday Herald-Sun ( 3 November 2002)
http://www.smh.com.a...6027036139.html

ISLAMIC leaders have accused security forces of being un-Australian and of using the tactics of overseas authoritarian regimes during raids in Melbourne this week.

In a joint statement from the Board of Imams of Victoria and the Islamic Council of Victoria, the groups condemned the "heavy-handed" raids by ASIO and the police this week and called on them to give Muslims a "fair go".

They also warned that "excessive force" used could have a negative impact on Australian society.

"It is legitimate for security forces to conduct an investigation on anyone who is a suspect," Islamic council president Sheikh Fehmi Naji el-Imam said.

But he added: "This is certainly un-Australian and resembles tactics of foreign authoritarian regimes."

The Islamic leaders stopped short of lodging a formal complaint with the Federal Government over the searches.

Sheikh el-Imam said people were worried about tactics used by the security services.

"Not only Muslims are concerned. The majority of Australians are disturbed their fellow citizens are not getting a fair go," he said.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Indonesia understood Australia needed to investigate people with links to Jemaah Islamiyah.

The Indonesian Foreign Minister, Hassan Wirayuda, and Mr Downer spoke yesterday about the ASIO raids.

"I think the Indonesian Foreign Minister understands that Australians should be investigating people who may have links with Jemaah Islamiyah," he said.

His comments came as the clean-up of the Bali bombsite began.

Australian and Indonesian police declared it no longer a crime scene.

Bulldozers were expected to move in within days, but only after locals conduct religious ceremonies to cleanse the area.

Balinese authorities say the ceremonies are a vital part of the clean-up, because distressed locals believe ghosts of the dead inhabit the streets around the bombsite.

Meanwhile, reports yesterday claimed the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Bakar Bashir, now under arrest in Indonesia, came to Australia under a false name. It is also believed Bashir's associate, Abdullah Sungkar, co-founder of the notorious Ngruki Islamic boarding school, used the false name Abdul Halim.

Meanwhile, Australian police are focusing on a profile of the bombers drawn from evidence at the scene.

Chillingly, that evidence points to highly trained terrorists with a great deal of practice at making bombs.

AFP head of the Bali investigation Graham Ashton said it appeared the terrorists had custom-made a bomb intended to cause maximum human carnage.

"The assessment really is that you'd have to have this above-average knowledge," Mr Ashton said.

"You don't get that in first-time manufacture."
=============================================
Muslim Leaders Speak Out
By: Brigid Delane - The Sydney Morning Herald (2 November 2002)http://www.smh.com.a...6027036139.html

Muslim leaders react to the ASIO raids:

Ali Roude, chairman of Islamic Council of NSW: We are not opposed to any Australian resident being required to assist ASIO and other government agencies in defending Australia at any time. However, this must be achieved within the rule of law and using no more force than necessary to secure the required outcome. I believe that the raids have not been appropriate or reasonable responses to any threats stated to date. Young families have been overwhelmed by the force and violence of the raids. Many Australian Muslims fled war, bloodshed and violence to build a secure life here. To stop that chaos erupting on our shores must be the priority and we will work with whoever asks us to keep Australia safe. However, for authorities to storm into homes and lives in this fashion brings those traumas and fears into our own living rooms.

Stepan Kerkyasharian, chairman of Community Relations Commission:
These [police raids] are uncharted waters. We have international terrorists and we have to make sure that our security people have the support of the community. With raids occurring during Ramadan, the issue is when will terrorists strike? Should ASIO take time off? When do you stop being on guard when the world is facing the threat of terrorism? ASIO has been given the responsibility to protect us.


Keysar Trad, spokesman for Lebanese Muslim Association: Ramadan is a month of spirituality and there are certain times that are particularly sensitive, such as when they sit together to eat. But there are other times when it is okay to answer inquiries, as long as people are allowed to observe their ritual. I received comments from neighbours that they were concerned how the raids were carried out. More discretion would have been nice.
====================================================

The 14-Year-Old who Wouldn't Let ASIO In
By: Candace Sutton & Frank Walker
The Sun-Herald (November 3 2002)
http://www.smh.com.a...6027086369.html

Fourteen-year-old Mariam Muklis was home alone when a dozen armed ASIO and Federal Police officers demanded to be let in during a morning raid.

The girl was terrified as agents surrounded the family's Lakemba, south-west Sydney house and prepared to force their way in through the front door.

"Mum and dad had already left and my brother had gone to school 10 minutes earlier," Mariam said. "I saw all these big men outside the front door and going up the back."

It was 8am on Wednesday and Mariam didn't go to school until 8.20am.

"These men were whispering to each other on the front porch," Mariam said. "They pressed the doorbell but I was too scared to answer it. I didn't know who they were. They didn't say 'police' or anything like that.

"I looked for a place to hide. I rang my dad on his mobile but he was driving a school bus and couldn't come."

Her 17-year-old brother Yusuf had forgotten something for school. When he got back to the house he saw the agents about to break down the front door.

"They showed me badges and a piece of paper they said was a search warrant and demanded to be let in," Yusuf said.

"They were really hostile. They had guns in holsters on their hips. I said I didn't have a key and I would have to call my mum. I called her on my mobile, but they stopped me and told me I had to speak in English not Indonesian. I was scared, wondering what was going on."

The agents then saw a curtain move and Mariam peer out to see her brother.

"They shouted, 'There's someone inside. Open the door now', really excited. I said it's my sister. I talked to her through the door and got her to open it. They pushed us aside and rushed into the house. We had to stay outside while they searched the house," Yusuf said.

Their mother Ummu Hanifah returned about half-an-hour later and agents showed her the search warrant. Mr Bakar Muklis, 55, arrived home about midday and was questioned by ASIO agents.

"Why they come when the adults are not home?" Mr Muklis said. "My daughter was terrified. Why do they do this to a little girl?"

Mariam said she was scared. "I thought someone was going to rob the house. Now I feel somebody is watching me over my shoulder all the time. I thought Australia was a safe country. Now I am scared."

Mr Muklis had been interviewed by ASIO 12 months ago because he knows Mamdouh Habib, who is being held by the US in Guantanamo Bay as a suspected terrorist.

"My son and his son went to school together and we know each other," Mr Muklis said. "That is all."

Like all the other Indonesians raided over the past week, Mr Muklis attended sermons given in Sydney in the 1990s by Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, spiritual leader of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist group believed to be responsible for the Bali bombings.

"I only went to hear him speak. That is all I did. I have never heard of Jemaah Islamiah," Mr Muklis said.

ASIO took away computers, mobile phones and dozens of bags full of videos and papers from the Muklis home.

It was the same in almost a dozen raids across Australia last week and all those raided had one common link - they had had dealings with Abu Bakar during his visits to Sydney.

One man had Abu Bakar to his Sydney home for lunch. Another chauffeured the suspected Bali bomb mastermind around the suburbs and videotaped his speeches.

Both men were members of a devoted band of Abu Bakar's Sydney supporters.

The group that sponsored the Jemaah Islamiah founder and feted him as a special guest while he delivered passionate political speeches to Sydney followers was based at the Dee Why mosque, the oldest Muslim place of worship serving the Indonesian community.
=========================================================

Anger in Turkish Community Over Terrorism Slur
By: Larry Schwartz, The Sunday AGE ( 3 November 2002)
http://www.theage.co...6027087092.html

An asthma grants program, sale of a 1998 Toyota sedan and grand opening specials at Aytul's hair salon are detailed behind glass on the noticeboard at the Northern Cyprus Turkish Community of Victoria Community Centre.

Inside the hall in Ballarat Road, Sunshine, about 60 people are expressing outrage at media allegations that two men in the small crowd were members of a group linked to terrorism.

"The Turkish community is against terrorism, full stop," spokeswoman Fatma Faruk told a news conference, " . . . totally against it."

Mrs Faruk said media reports on the two ALP electorate officers, Hakki Suleyman and Gurkan Capar, and the organisation UHH (Ulusal Halk Hareketi or National People's Movement) contained "unsupported allegations, falsehoods and innuendos".

She dismissed reports that UHH's parent body had been involved in car bombings, violence and death threats in northern Cyprus and intimidation of Cypriots in at least three countries.

She cited a letter received by the community from Elizabeth Jensen, director of the Victorian Office of Multicultural Affairs, dated last Thursday, that said a preliminary police investigation into UHH had established that it was not listed as a proscribed terrorist organisation, there were no security concerns regarding it and Victoria Police had no interest in the two men "at the present time".

Mrs Faruk said that contrary to allegations, leading Turkish Cypriots in northern Cyprus did not consider UHH dangerous, and there had been "no report to the authorities overseas or in Australia of any wrongdoing or activity that is violent or illegal . . . "

Mrs Faruk said: "We as Australians have and will continue to condemn any terrorist acts in Australia and the world. We share the pain of terrorism like all Australians today and into the future."

Near her, 11-year-old Cheriham Zaydan and Huseyin Araosmanoglu, 13, held a poster with a sepia print of the Turkish soldier and statesman Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, quoting his desire for peace.

Timucin Ibrahim said he was concerned about the impact of such a slur on children among the more than 40,000 Turkish Victorians. Dervis Mustafa said he was just 13 when his father was killed in Cyprus in 1964. "We are against terrorism," he said. "That is why we are here (in Australia)."

One of the men cited by the media, Mr Capar, said he could not comment on the allegations but was concerned about the community that had one of the highest rates of unemployment and disabilities.

"If the general community is interested in the issues of the Turkish community," Mr Capar said, "let's be discussing other things."

===============================================

Website Creators Fear Spooks Are Watching
By: Deborah Cameron, The Sydney Morning Herald (2 Novemrber 2002)
http://www.smh.com.a...6027034404.html

Ahmed Kilani is waiting for the phone to ring. Will the call be about his orange juice franchise or will it be ASIO? His business partner, Sam DeFrancesco, an Italian Muslim with a faintly ginger beard, already thinks their website and its email traffic are being watched.

On the computer behind them, IslamicSydney.com flickers with the news of the week. The raids and the reaction, particularly the Muslim side. Mr Kilani, 32, and Mr DeFrancesco, 35, started the site as a guide to Sydney for Olympic Games visitors. They can scarcely believe how the tone has changed.

"Think back to the Olympics when we talked about being an open society where every culture was welcome and compare it with the stance we are taking now," Mr Kilani said.

They talk seriously about contacting ASIO themselves - their own pre-emptive strike - to talk about the "acceptable limits" for discussion on the website. They worry that the independent outlet, which they update overnight at their homes, may be viewed with suspicion.

Their wives are nervous. The climate has changed since the Bali bombings, and too many friends have been harassed in the street. Paranoid or realistic? They are not sure anymore.

Mr Kilani said: "Sometimes we put an alternative political viewpoint [on the site] but is that going to be deemed as sympathising or going against a law? There is a big difference between showing an alternative viewpoint and supporting a terrorist act."

Mr DeFrancesco said: "I would rather be proactive than have ASIO come to my door. It is something that we never thought of when we started the site." Both men were born and raised in Sydney. Mr DeFrancesco, an information technology specialist, was a Christian who converted to Islam in 1994. Mr Kilani was raised a Muslim and is in the closing stages of buying a franchise for a fresh juice bar.

As avid readers of international newspapers, they are as likely to put up on the website an article from The Christian Science Monitor on Middle East politics as a chilling account of Russian in Chechnya.

Traffic on their site has steadily increased - up to several thousand visitors each month - and while they suspect the United States military and ASIO click on, the majority of visitors are Australian Muslims, probably looking for restaurants suitable for a halal dinner.

Both believe their faith needs to be better understood. "This is a crucial issue for Australia," Mr Kilani said. "Geographically, Australia sits below the biggest Muslim country in the world. "Islam has been politicised by the refugee issue, by the gang rapes, September 11 and the Bali bombing. Unfortunately, a lot of people are speaking out of ignorance without knowing what Muslims believe."

They want to encourage debate and see it as part of the frank Australian character. "It is not incompatible to be a Muslim and to be an Australian," Mr DeFrancesco said. Mr Kilani added: "We need a clash of dialogue not a clash of civilisations."

======================================================

Administrator Defends Teacher After ASIO Raid
ABC NEWS Online (1 November 2002)
http://www.abc.net.a...-1nov2002-4.htm

A religious studies teacher at an Islamic school in Perth was one of the people targeted in raids by ASIO and the Australian Federal Police this week.

Al-Hidayah School administrator Umar Abdullah has confirmed the raid on the house of teacher and board member, Abdurrahim Ayoub.

Mr Abdullah says Mr Ayoub is of the highest character and has never given any indication of being involved in any activities of concern.

He says Mr Ayoub is in Indonesia visiting his sick mother and was not at home at the time of the raid but his wife and six children were.

"I'm not concerned about Abdurrahim Ayoub - I'm not concerned about him, what type of person he is," Mr Abdullah said.

"I'm concerned that authorities went there when he wasn't there and frightened the living daylights out of his wife and kids," he said.
==================================================

ASIO Terrorist Raids Continue
SBS World News Bulletin (1 November 2002)
http://www.theworldn...ranscript=16519

The Islamic community is stepping up its protests against the methods being used by ASIO and the Federal Police in the hunt for supporters of the outlawed group, Jemaah Islamiah, in Australia. Islamic officials in Victoria have complained about what they call "strong-arm tactics" used against Muslim families in Melbourne. And lawyers for a Sydney family targeted last night have also criticised ASIO for overstepping the mark. Despite the criticism, PM John Howard says he backs the tactics 100%.

At Melbourne's Preston mosque, the congregation was told Islamic officials in Victoria will make the strongest possible protest over the conduct of the ASIO-Federal Police raids.

SHEIKH FEHMI NAJI EL-IMAM, VICTORIAN BOARD OF IMAMS: Why should you bash, why should you frighten children aged four years old, six years old, ten years old Why should you frighten women in this way? There is no need for it at all.

But the forceful tactics employed by investigators are condoned by PM John Howard.

JOHN HOWARD, PM: When you are carrying out an investigation and when you have a warrant to do it, you are entitled to anticipate that you could meet hostility, you could meet resistance and in those circumstances, I defend everything ASIO has done.

While the Islamic community says it recognises the need for the investigation, it disputes the manner is which the raids are being carried out.

SHEIKH FEHMI NAJI EL-IMAM: There are our ladies - our woman - who have to be covered - and not to be seen by anybody else so any man have no right to go inside the house where the woman are not prepared to be covering herself at all.

For this Indonesian Muslim family in Sydney, the ASIO raid on their Brookvale home came unannounced early yesterday and lasted seven hours. It involved a dozen officers with handguns. Nurhakim Muhammed had contact with Jemaah Islamiah spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir in the '90s when he attended his Sydney lectures. As to the need for the raids, Mr Muhammed is understanding as he claims he is no supporter of terrorism.

RIZ MUHAMMED, SON: He's not angry. He knows why they're actually doing it you know, to protect the Australians.

Lawyers, however, believe the authorities may have overstepped their mark.

STEPHEN HOPPER, LAWYER: We're also getting advice on whether it is actually legal to detain people for seven hours for a search warrant. The warrant's for a search and enter. I didn't think it was for a temporary detention of people.

The Federal Police say the level of force depends on intelligence from state and territory special operations groups.

COMMISSIONER MICK KEELTY, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE: This is not aimed at the Islamic community in Australia. This is specific targeted intelligence for a specific purpose. The Federal Police say more raids are certain.
======================================================================

ASIO Accused of Rambo Tactics
By: Mark Dunn, Ian Mcphedran & Jim Dickins
The Herald-Sun ( 1 November 2002)
http://www.heraldsun...5400188,00.html

ASIO raided homes across Melbourne yesterday hunting Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists but facing accusations of using Rambo-style tactics.

ASIO warrants were executed at several Melbourne properties and 20 throughout Australia in the search for JI terror cells. As the search and seizures continued, with agents taking computers, documents and even family videos, it was revealed:

THE Commonwealth Bank suspects terrorists are using Australian accounts under false names to fund their activities.

ASIO chief Dennis Richardson warned of the inevitability of further terror attacks and said al-Qaeda was definitely involved in the Bali atrocity.

AUSTRALIA'S deputy chief medical officer John Mathews said preparations to respond to chemical, biological or nuclear attacks on Australia were well under way.

FAMILIES targeted by ASIO are considering suing the Government for the trauma caused during armed raids in which children as young as four had machineguns allegedly trained on them.

A MYSTERY Indonesian cleric Imam Samudra implicated in a series of church bombings in 2000, has emerged as a major suspect along with al-Qaeda leader Hambali in the Bali bomb blasts, according to police.

CBA security chief John Guerts said Australian institutions have already frozen the assets of one group alleged to have terrorist links and many others were suspect.

Mr Guerts said the bank had noticed a huge increase in identity fraud over the plast 18 months, mainly in "certain areas of Sydney".

"We can't help but think it's related to terrorism," he said. He said CBA was working with police and closing down fake accounts as soon as they were discovered.

Islamic Council of Victoria president Yasser Soliman said he had received reports an Indonesian man and a Turk had been arrested as part of the ASIO raids at homes in Burwood, Brunswick, Bundoora, Preston and Noble Park.

But the searches, believed to be carried out by unarmed agents, appeared less aggressive than those in Perth and Sydney where WA and NSW special operations police stormed homes in pre-dawn raids.

Attorney-General Daryl Williams and ASIO chief Dennis Richardson were blamed for the heavy-handed tactics, which saw balaclava-clad officers thrust their machineguns in childrens' faces and force them to lie face down on the floor.

The police, working under ASIO warrants issued by Mr Williams, smashed their way into the homes to retrieve computers and family video tapes and, in one instance, detain a man for overstaying his visa.

Yulyani Suparta, 17, whose home in Perth was raided, said she and her three siblings, aged as young as four, were traumatised. "We heard windows breaking, including my bedroom window, we were all sleeping when these men with sub-machineguns came barging in our house," she said.

"They pushed my dad on to the floor, they handcuffed him and one of the police officers stepped on his ear and told him not to move, he cannot hear properly out of that ear. They grabbed my mum, they told us to get on the floor and pointed guns at us, I was really scared."

Although present at JI leader Abu Bakar Bashir speeches and in another case writing about the cleric in a Sydney newsletter, family members denied any links to terrorism. "We have no links at all to JI or any other group," Yulyani said.

ASIO boss Mr Richard son defended the raids and passed the buck to police. "Where there is legitimate concern about the presence of weapons -- legally held or not -- state police do have their own operational procedures," Mr Richardson said.

"But we will not decide against action on the grounds that it might constitute a bad 'look', that is not our job.

"It can sometimes be a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't."

Australian Arabic Council chairman Roland Jabbour was seeking to clarify whether raids in Preston and Broadmeadows used tactics similar to those in NSW and WA.

"We don't know why they've taken this Rambo-style approach," Mr Jabbour said.

"We find it totally unnecessary -- terrorising women and children."

Academic Dr Samina Yasmeen, senior lecturer in Islam at the University of Western Australia, described the armed raids as "disgusting".

She agreed authorities needed to investigate terror suspects. "But the manner in which it was done, getting young kids to lie on the floor and not telling them for a long time why they were there, it was over-reaction," Dr Yasmeen said.
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#5 Methinks

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Posted 27 November 2002 - 02:31 AM

Wed, Nov 27 2002 1:47 AM AEDT

Terrorism laws branded anti-Muslim

The Federal Government's plans to give the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) extra powers to combat terrorism have been roundly criticised on the final day of a Senate Committee's public hearing yesterday.

The Islamic Federation's Amjad Mehboob says Australian Muslims would be the first victims of the new laws.

"Australia must not go down the path of having a secret police force, where individuals, including children, can be detained without being charged and without legal representation or the knowledge of their family members on the basis of mere suspicion that they may have some information," he said.

The International Commission of Jurists has warned that anti-terrorist laws are being devised in an atmosphere of hysteria.

New South Wales Supreme Court Justice John Dowd says rights fundamental to the Australian society are being taken away during the current hysterical climate.

Justice Dowd particularly criticised the Terrorism Police Powers Bill proposed for New South Wales, claiming the law will target Australian Muslims.

"Since we don't have rampant Baptists and Anglicans out there attacking us in the streets, it is patently clear that this is aimed at Muslims," he said.

"It is a thinly veiled weapon that is causing a great deal of concern amongst a lot of loyal Muslim Australians."

Earlier, the Association of Criminal Defence Lawyers (ACDL) said it is most concerned about the plan to detain people for up to 48-hours without a lawyer, and the possibility of rolling over the detention for up to a week.

ACDL spokesman Phillip Boulton says the principles of Australia's criminal justice system do not tolerate preventative detention.

"If there is to be detention for questioning then there ought to be in the act, strict time limits specified," he said.

"It should be known in advance for how long the person is likely to be held for questioning."

Source: ABC News Online
http://www.abc.net.a...127000408_1.htm
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#6

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Posted 15 January 2003 - 03:59 PM

Probably a reason why ASIO & AFP conduct their operations in the manner that they do.

http://news.bbc.co.u...and/2659133.stm

#7 Nasser

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Posted 16 January 2003 - 06:05 AM

It is very scary.

The problem isn't with the law itself, but rather the open scope of the law that allows vast potential for miss use. Miss use can then easily escalate into blatant enfringement of human rights. Such laws unfortunately once put into action, stay there and will be very difficult to take away. It is concieveable one day, a hitler type figure comes into power and uses these laws to enforce his own agenda, while all the time using rhetoric to claim and make people believe that it is necessary!

I do not know of the details leading up to the raids above, but the fact that they are allowed under merely a suspicion! and how can one define a suspicion? it is very believable that the raids were unjustified and in fact an infringement on human rights.

The problem is, a suspicion can be anything. I may not like the way you look and hence be suspicious of you, and enforce the above laws. Or I may just not be familiar with your culture, hence something you do is suspicious to me, and therefore I decide to detain you. I saw you go into a hardware store and buy some wire, and you muslim, hence you must be making a bomb and I will detain you! Like where is the line drawn? The problem is, with this law there are no lines!

Lets take it yet another step....

18 year-old muslim girl seen buying a remote device. Some hormone charged agent finds her quite pretty. So they detain her under suspicion that the remote device is being bought for her father to make a bomb. They then have the right to strip-search her. Of course it is not sexual abuse because they had a suspicion. Under this law they also are unaccountable for their actions, so regardless of what happens, as long as they merely strip-search her, they are beyond persecution. Also they can detain her for as long as they wish. So, lets assume they do go quite beyond anything that can reasonably defined as a strip-search (which is quite a loose term and may involve many inappropriate actions), then how can they then be called for account? Since there is no third person, it will always only be her word against theirs, and whos word do you think wil be taken?
The problem is, under this law they can't be called to account. Also, if they wanted to keep her quiet, all they must do is detain her for as long as they wish, threaten her with further detention if she whispers a word, and so be it.
The problem is, this is all LEGAL under the above proposed law, since it is open to interpretation what alot of the terms mean. The balckmail of course wouldn't be legal, but who is there to stop it? Its their word against hers, and when they are beyond persecution, whos word do you think they will take? This on top of the fact just as in rape cases, most women would not report it out of fear or shame.

This law just gives too much power for my liking.

peace
nasser
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#8 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 08:37 PM

Behind the Veil
Editorial: The Daily Telegraph ( 20 May 2005)

It is absurd and offensive to suggest – as only the ill-informed and prejudiced would do – that all Muslims are terrorists.

That is demonstrably not that case; not here, not anywhere.

But sadly, the converse – all terrorists are Muslims – is far closer to the truth. That too, is of course, strictly inaccurate. But the inescapable reality is, many of the people suspected of involvement in terrorism, and many who have actually been convicted of terrorist activity have claimed to be Muslims.

ASIO Chief Dennis Richardson put the position plainly yesterday at a federal parliamentary inquiry into security legislation.

He said that if there was a perception in the Muslim community that terrorism laws were "100 per cent directed at Muslims", such a perception would be understandable.

"The biggest security challenge we face at the moment is in respect of people who hide within Islam, and who seek to justify what they do in the name of Islam," Mr Richardson said.

It's a security challenge, as Mr Richardson says. But it's also a problem for the Muslim community – and a problem which they are best placed to tackle.

If terrorists can find hiding places within Muslim communities – as Mr Richardson implies – it is up to law-abiding members of those communities to drive them out.

In short, if Muslims feel persecuted because they are unfairly associated with the evil actions of terrorist infiltrators, their only course is to do all they can to aid official efforts to track the terrorists down.

Demonstrating that, Muslims show Islam in its true and peaceful light.
=================================================

No Need to Extend ASIO's Detention Powers: Professor

Posted Image

A prominent legal academic has told a Senate inquiry that the Federal Government should not extend ASIO's powers to detain people suspected of being involved in terrorism.

The director of the Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law, George Williams, says while he agrees the intelligence organisation must be able to question suspects, he does not believe it should be allowed to hold them in custody for several days.

The head of ASIO wants the Government to extend the organisation's powers of detention, which lapse in July next year.

But Professor Williams says Australia's existing criminal laws enable ASIO to keep suspects in custody, and it is not necessary to extend its powers of detention.

"I'm just not confident about how it might be used over three, 10, 20 years," he said.

"It's an awfully big step to take, to say that a power that is not couched in terms of last resort will be used wisely and appropriately by any government or any director of ASIO in the future.

"I think the history of many nations demonstrates the wisdom of not putting such a power in people's hands for a long period of time."
==================================

Muslims In ASIO Sights

THE nation's spy master agrees with Muslim leaders that there is a perception Muslims are singled out by tough new laws and he makes no apology for it.

ASIO chief Dennis Richardson said yesterday the laws were aimed at Islamic extremists who would seek to harm Australia or Australians.

Appearing before the powerful Joint Parliamentary Committee responsible for spy agencies, he said most ASIO targets were people claiming to be Muslim.

"The biggest security challenge we face at the moment (is) in respect of people who hide within Islam and who seek to justify what they do in the name of Islam," Mr Richardson said.

"That being the case, it is inevitable that most of our targets today will be people who claim to be Muslims, and therefore might reside in Australian Muslim communities."

Responding to the suggestion there was a perception the anti-terrorism laws singled out Muslims, the outgoing spy chief agreed.

"I think that would be probably an accurate statement," he said. "Indeed, I think, that there should be such a perception is understandable."

Mr Richardson said ASIO spent a lot of time reassuring Muslim communities they were not the target of attention.

He said ASIO had sought to reassure people that individuals and groups were their target, not communities.

Mr Richardson leaves ASIO next month to become Australia's ambassador in Washington after eight years at the top of the nation's domestic spy agency.

In what could be his final appearance before the oversight committee, he yesterday called for the removal of a "sunset" clause that requires parliament to review ASIO's power to question and detain terrorist suspects.

"We propose that the questioning and detention powers become a permanent part of the suite of counter-terrorism laws enacted by the parliament over the past three years or so," he said.

"Laws must be in place before terrorists strike as it is virtually impossible to play legislative catch-up after an actual attack or after an identified threat has emerged."

Australia remained a terrorist target and, he reminded the committee, Australian interests had been attacked at home and overseas by terrorists
========================================

ASIO Wants Terrorism Interrogation Powers to Stay

ELEANOR HALL: Australia's counter-terrorism agency is today pushing for its tough interrogation powers to be extended indefinitely. ASIO's Director-General Dennis Richardson has called for the removal of the sunset clause on the agency's authority to carry out questioning and detention of terrorist suspects.

The new interrogation powers were introduced two years ago and Mr Richardson has been telling a Parliamentary hearing today that he thinks they should become a permanent feature of Australia's counter-terrorism laws.

The ASIO head says Australia remains a target of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah and that unless the powers remain in force, many Australians who've trained with terrorist groups will never face court.

From Canberra, Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: Two days after being named as Australia's new Ambassador to Washington, ASIO boss Dennis Richardson has appeared before a Parliamentary inquiry, defending the counter-terrorism agency's broad questioning and detention powers.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: If we go through this year without an actual attack or a disrupted attack against Australia or Australian interests, it'll be the first year in the last six that that has happened.

KIM LANDERS: And he's told the hearing the terrorism environment is unlikely to change.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: It is a long-term generational threat. It is inevitable that we will have, looking out, further attacks. We know that we remain a target of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah. We know that because their leaders tell us.

KIM LANDERS: In the last two years ASIO has used its questioning powers eight times. It's never used the detention powers, nor has it invoked the right to strip search suspects.

But Dennis Richardson says the powers have been useful.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: The use of the questioning warrant was critical in the Brigitte investigation. That is an example of where there was actual planning being undertaken for a terrorist attack in Australia, and the questioning regime materially assisted in understanding what lay behind that threat.

KIM LANDERS: However the ASIO Director-General acknowledges that most Australians who've trained overseas as terrorists will never face trial.

DENNIS RICHARDSON: It is virtually impossible to play legislative catch-up after an actual attack or after an identified threat has emerged. Indeed, that is one of the reasons, but by no means the only reason, why the great majority of people in this country who have trained with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups will never be held to legal account for their actions.

KIM LANDERS: When Federal Parliament passed ASIO's new questioning and detention powers in 2003 it imposed a three-year sunset clause. ASIO is arguing that should be removed and the powers made permanent.

During this morning's hearing, Liberal Senator Alan Ferguson has questioned how Australia's powers compare to other countries.

ALAN FERGUSON: Why do you think it's necessary for us to have these laws and those comparable countries – I think the UK is one of them – doesn't?

DENNIS RICHARDSON: Well, I think you need to look at the suite of legislation that is available to governments. For instance, the United States doesn't have a power of this kind – that didn't prevent the United States putting some 1,100 people in custody following September 11 as, quote, "material witnesses", unquote, or potential material witnesses – and some of those people remained in custody in the United States for over 12 months.

We have nothing comparable to that and I'm not suggesting we should. In the UK, there is a power to detain – there's a power to detain for up to seven days and that resides with the police, and the decision making for that detention is at a much lower level in their system than what the decision making is here in Australia.

ELEANOR HALL: ASIO chief Dennis Richardson ending that report from Kim Landers in Canberra.
======================================

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===============================

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"So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for you must gain mastery if U are true in faith." (The Holy Qur'an - 3:139)

"Sufficient is death as a counsel." (Saydinah Umar RA)

#9 Sam

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 09:08 PM

But sadly, the converse – all terrorists are Muslims – is far closer to the truth. That too, is of course, strictly inaccurate. But the inescapable reality is, many of the people suspected of involvement in terrorism, and many who have actually been convicted of terrorist activity have claimed to be Muslims.

If this statement outwardly appears "closer to the truth", then it is only because the media and governments have defined "terrorist" as such. For example, consider two incidents, one involving a Muslim, and one involving a non-muslim. Even though the cases may be of a similar nature, there will be greater chance the Muslim act will be referred to in terms of "terrorism", whereby the other will not. For example, you'll find that Timothy McVeigh is more likely to be referred to as belonging to a "militia group", rather than a terrorist organisation, even though he perpetrated what was probably the second largest act of terrorism on American soil. In other words, the statement "all terrorists are Muslims" is true, and only true, when non-muslims are excluded from the definition, and this is a logical absurdity.

salaams
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#10 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 09:50 PM

Can Journos and Editorialist be sent back to school to delearn the security-conscience Alphabet?! ;) :roll: :angry:

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"So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for you must gain mastery if U are true in faith." (The Holy Qur'an - 3:139)

"Sufficient is death as a counsel." (Saydinah Umar RA)

#11 Terry taylor

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 06:25 AM

Muslims 'fear proposed new ASIO laws'
http://news.ninemsn....story_30788.asp
May 1, 2002
Muslim Australians would be more vulnerable to interrogation and harassment if ASIO was given extra powers, the NSW Supreme Islamic Council said on Wednesday.
Council president Gabor Elgafi told a federal parliamentary inquiry into proposed new anti-terrorist laws that the community would subjected to treatment similar to what it had fled.
The laws would allow ASIO to detain and interrogate citizens, who could then be sent to jail for five years if they refused to answer questions.
Journalists, doctors and even priests could be jailed for refusing to divulge information about a terrorist suspect.
Mr Elgafi questioned the need for the extra powers while ASIO had the continued cooperation of the Muslim community and when Australia was not a terrorist threat.
The community was living the daily effects of being under suspicion since the September 11 attacks.
Anyone who looked Muslim was subjected to harassment by both ASIO and police and intense scrutiny at airports, he said.
Raids had occurred on Muslim homes with one woman being forced to lie down with a machine gun pointed at her by federal police, he said.
"She was by herself at home," Mr Elgafi said.
"The whole world is looking at Muslims now as a threat ... we are portrayed as terrorists."
Mr Elgafi said his son, who is a doctor, was strip-searched had his bag emptied twice over a two-hour period after returning from overseas.
"The new legislation ... will introduce laws that these people escaped from," he told the hearing.
"This is a third world country control.
"You get somebody, you throw them in a room and you belt the hell out of them until he talks - we don't want that here.
"Are we just doing it to please some other power in the world or are we doing it for our own security?
The Muslim community was also extremely concerned about the powers which would allow children as young as 10 to be strip-searched.
Under Islamic law, it was illegal for women to be stripped although Mr Elgafi suggested a female Muslim doctor could undertake the search.
The committee urged the council to make a complaint to the Inspector-General if they were had concerns about ASIO's actions or alleged unlawful behaviour.
The International Commission of Jurists also opposed the new laws, sparking a debate in the hearing.
Commission chairman Steve Mark and Australian commission councillor Rodney Lewis said they could not support the legislation.
"I don't support this legislation simply because it goes too far," Mr Mark said.
The committee expressed dismay that the council would not offer alternatives.
"We know that you don't support the legislation, but we have got to find a balance and we need you to be a part of that," said committee member Senator Sandy.
============================================
ASIO Admits Children Face Strip Search
By: Cynthia Banham
The Sydney Morning Herald (May 1 2002)
http://www.smh.com.a...9441370053.html
People could be detained indefinitely without charge or access to a lawyer under the Federal Government's anti-terrorism legislation, ASIO and the Attorney-General's Department admitted yesterday.
And the new laws would also allow children as young as 10 to be strip-searched, they said.
In theory, people could be held for indefinite periods under the proposed legislation as there was no limit on how many times a 48-hour warrant could be renewed, Keith Holland, a department official, told a parliamentary committee.
The laws would allow ASIO officers to detain and interrogate citizens who could then be sent to jail for five years if they refuse to answer questions.
It emerged that journalists, doctors and even priests could be jailed for refusing to divulge information about a terrorist suspect.
The director-general of ASIO, Dennis Richardson, denied the laws would turn the intelligence organisation into a secret police.
He argued that the laws "could prove crucial in preventing a terrorist attack", but admitted there were gaps in the legislation.
He said the option of having a pool of specially cleared lawyers to advise detainees had "not been entertained" when the bill was drafted. The Government has argued against allowing people the right to a lawyer in case the lawyer tips off terrorist associates of the detainee that ASIO is aware of their activities.
When asked about the absence of a time frame for dealing with detainees, Mr Richardson conceded there could be "a gap".
Under questioning from the Labor Senator Robert Ray, the ASIO and department officials also admitted that children aged 10 could be strip-searched.
The president of the Law Council, Tony Abbott, said the bill offended fundamental civil rights.
The former Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Michael Rozenes, who also gave evidence for the Law Council, said the legislation was a "gross departure from every standard that currently governs the way in which we legislate for criminal and other conduct".
He said the legislation was not aimed at finding evidence against the actual terrorist suspect, so much as people with information about them.
"So this is a novel proposition that you can take a person [when] he or she is not the subject of charge or suspicion, have their liberty removed from them, put them into indefinite custody and not have them have the ability of being advised by lawyers of whether they should speak or not speak.
"There ought to be judicial supervision of the process which we do not have, there ought to be legal advice available to the detainee which we do not have, and there ought to be a privilege against self-incrimination."

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#12 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 03:18 PM

Call to Curtail ASIO's Anti-Terrorism Powers

A federal committee reviewing the agency's special powers is told they threaten Australians' rights.

The Islamic community, lawyers, civil libertarians and academics yesterday warned that ASIO's powers to detain and question terrorism suspects were draconian and called for them to be discontinued or wound back.

Under special anti-terrorism powers, the national intelligence agency is allowed to hold people in secret for up to seven days and interview them for up to 48 hours without charging them.

The detainees have no right to silence, can be detained even if not suspected of a crime and must prove they do not have the information ASIO is looking for, or face possible imprisonment.

Since the anti-terrorism powers were introduced 18 months ago, eight people have been questioned under them but none have been detained.

The Federal Government wants the powers, which are due to lapse in July next year, to be retained, but human rights groups say they should be discontinued or curbed.

A federal parliamentary committee reviewing the powers in Melbourne yesterday was told by several community groups that ASIO's questioning and detention powers should be wound back, as they threatened the rights of Australians.

Islamic Council spokesman Waleed Aly later told reporters that the powers were so broad, vague and coercive that they were a threat to traditional Australian values and ought to be repealed, or at least amended.

"Our major concern is that this is legislation that goes to the heart of the values within the Australian community," he said.

"I think when you have a secret organisation with incredibly coercive powers, draconian powers, and you have unclear legislation which confers those powers, you then have a situation of major moral concern."

Amnesty International director Nicole Bieske told reporters that ASIO's powers were of deep concern as they reversed the onus of proof and created a system of detention without charge.

"We are also concerned by limitations on access to lawyers and it is our position that the legislation should be allowed to lapse," she said.

Law Institute of Victoria representative Rob Stary told the committee the powers were extraordinary and there was no need for them. "We note that ASIO's powers to detain and question are not limited to those suspected of involvement in terrorist activities or links to terrorist organisations," he said.

"This means that any person with information relating to terrorism activities could be the subject of a detention and questioning warrant sought by ASIO."

He said the Law Institute was also concerned at the marginalised role of lawyers before and during detention and questioning and, in particular, the removal of the right to silence.

"This is a fundamental principle of the justice system," he said. "The Law Institute of Victoria does not support the creation of two justice systems under which a person will be answerable for a criminal offence under one system and a terrorist offence under another system."

Source
==================

FURTHER READING
Lest the Sun Set On Our Basic rights

ASIO Could Become Our Secret Police

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 06:51 PM

http://www.smh.com.a...7910243503.html

Push to end secret ASIO detentions
By Marian Wilkinson National Security Editor
June 7, 2005

ASIO's powers to question and detain terrorism suspects in secret was criticised yesterday as the Islamic community, lawyers and media organisations expressed concerns that the laws breached human rights and curbed press freedom.

A parliamentary committee reviewing the powers under the ASIO Act heard complaints that suspects detained for questioning for 48 hours faced five years' jail if they told their wives, employers or the media the reason for their detention.

Such ASIO warrants can remain secret for up to two years. Anyone, including a journalist or editor, disclosing "operational information" about the warrants also faces the five-year jail term.

The powers are due to lapse in July next year. The Government wants them retained, but human rights groups want them to be discontinued or amended.

"The ASIO legislation represents a significant inroad into the long, hard-fought [struggle] for human rights," the president of the Law Council, John North, told the committee hearing.

"It allows people to be detained for questioning over extended periods well in excess of those permitted by criminal law."

People suspected of involvement in terrorism or of having knowledge about terrorist acts can be detained. Detainees have no right to silence.

Coalition and Labor MPs on the committee challenged yesterday's witnesses to cite examples where ASIO had abused the powers. Senator Robert Ray said the power to detain suspects for up to seven days had not been used at all and the power to question suspects for 48 hours had been invoked only eight times since 2003.

The chairman of the Islamic Council of NSW, Ali Roude, said ASIO had used the powers to intimidate Muslims into co-operating with "voluntary" questioning for fear they would be subject to mandatory detention.

If someone was told to "have a cup of coffee" with ASIO and they preferred not to, Mr Roude said, they were told there were powers that could compel them to answer or they could lose their passport.

Waleed Kadous, of the Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network, urged the parliamentarians to amend the laws if they were not prepared to drop them.

Suspects taken into questioning should be allowed to tell their wives or husbands the reason for the detention without facing jail and to seek help from community organisations, he said.

The outgoing head of ASIO, Dennis Richardson, had urged the committee to make the powers permanent.

Last month he told the committee: "Effective laws must be in place before terrorists strike, as it is virtually impossible to play legislative catch-up after an actual attack or after an identified threat has emerged."

Bruce Wolpe, of John Fairfax, publisher of The Sydney Morning Herald, joined the Press Council of Australia and the journalists' union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, in criticising the secrecy provisions in the laws.

BRAVE NEW WORLD

- Under powers granted in July 2003 ASIO can detain suspects for up to seven days.

- A suspect cannot tell a wife or husband about their detention.

- The powers are due to lapse next year, but ASIO wants them continued.





Calls to wind back ASIO powers

Date: 06/06/05
By Sonya Neufeld and Paul Osborne

ASIO's tough powers to detain and question terrorism suspects are a breach of basic human rights, the Law Council of Australia has told an inquiry.

A parliamentary committee took evidence in Sydney in its inquiry into the new powers recently granted by federal parliament to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

ASIO has the power to detain people for up to 168 hours under warrant and can detain children as young as 16 if it is likely they will commit or have committed a terrorist offence.

People can be detained even if not suspected of criminal behaviour but are believed to have useful information on terrorist activity.

A range of safeguards are in place, including parliamentary review, to ensure civil rights are protected.

But Law Council president John North told the inquiry the anti-terror powers put human rights at risk.

"It allows people to be detained for questioning over extended periods well in excess of those permitted by criminal law," Mr North said.

"In a modern democratic society, that is a grave infringement of our human rights."

The Law Council said even though ASIO's powers had only been used a few times, there was a danger they could be misused in the wrong hands.

"If parliament is hell-bent on entrenching these excessive powers, they should remove the clause in the legislation that allows ASIO to go further than the existing criminal law," Mr North said.

In 2003-2004, ASIO obtained three warrants, questioning unnamed persons for periods of 15 hours 57 minutes, 10 hours 32 minutes, and 42 hours 36 minutes.

Mr North recommended the powers be handed over to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) which he said is more equipped than ASIO to deal with the legislation.

The Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network said in its submission the definition of terrorism was too broad and could cover freedom movements.

The network called for the detention and questioning powers to be allowed to lapse in July next year.

"This legislation gives ASIO, other government agencies and the executive arm of government broad discretionary scope, enabling them to target specific communities or groups ... for example, by religion or race," the network's submission said.

The journalists' union, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, told the inquiry the ASIO laws breached press freedom.

"Journalists have faced renewed pressure to reveal the identities of their sources," the union's submission said.

"They have also confronted increased restrictions relating to matters of national security."

Copyright © 2005 AAP





ASIO laws 'frighten' Muslims

ABC News
Last Update: Monday, June 6, 2005. 6:45pm (AEST)



The Islamic Council of New South Wales has warned that ASIO's powers to detain and question terrorism suspects are creating a climate of fear in the Muslim community.

The national security agency is allowed to hold people for up to seven days and interview them for up to 48 hours without charging them with a crime.

Only eight people have so far been questioned under the powers since they were put in place 18 months ago and none have been detained.

But the council's deputy chairman, Ali Roude, has told a joint parliamentary committee reviewing the laws that his community is frightened of being targeted by ASIO officers.

"We want to live in a country where I feel proud to be Australian, belong to this land, where I have rights like any other persons," he said.

"Not always targeted, not always seen as a possible threat to Australia's security, which is the feeling at the moment."
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#14 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 23 June 2005 - 09:50 PM

Leading Muslims Fear For Rights in Raids

Leading Muslims say raids on four Melbourne homes as part of an investigation of Islamic extremists are adding to fears that anti-terrorism laws are targeting the Islamic community.

Victoria's top Islamic body said the legislation made it impossible to assess whether yesterday's ASIO raids were justified - unless someone was charged.

Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Waleed Aly said he was surprised to learn of the raids this morning.

While he had no knowledge of the investigation, Mr Aly said it was no secret that there were extremists in every part of society, including the Muslim community.

"If ASIO had legitimate reason to suspect there was going to be a terrorist attack, that is not only something the Islamic Council of Victoria condemns, but I think every Australian would be thankful that they've managed to prevent it," he told theage.com.au

"What concerns me is I'm not in a position to make any sort of informed comment. The problem is this whole matter is suspicion on suspicion on suspicion."

Under laws introduced after the September 11 terrorist attacks, people interviewed by ASIO are prevented from speaking about how, or why, they are being investigated.

A Federal parliamentary committee is reviewing whether the powers - including the right to hold people for up to seven days without charge even if they are not suspected of a crime - should be retained once current legislation lapses in July next year.

"Muslims don't have a problem with the idea that another Muslim who is actually guilty of a crime is raided," Mr Aly said.

"What we do fear is that because it is so secretive, we don't know if any of these raids are justified. We don't know if it is innocent people whose civil liberties are just being trampled on.

"There is a fear, I think, of the actions ASIO might take against innocent people. And because Muslims feel particularly targeted by the legislation, the fear I think is most acute in them."

He said he was unaware of suggestions there were extremists in East Brunswick, site of one of the raids.

"The thing about Brunswick is it's an incredibly diverse suburb," he said.

"There could be all sorts of people there. If there were people engaging in illegal activity there I'm sure they would make it their business to make sure the council wouldn't know."

Former council president and community leader Yasser Soliman said he was unaware of the raids before today.

He said politicians, police and the media had a responsibility to distinguish between law-abiding Muslims and extremists.

"It's likely that some of the information that ASIO has access to would have come from the Islamic community, who would be just as concerned about safety and security issues (as the rest of the community)," he said

Source
=======================

No Arrests From Terrorism Raids: Ruddock


Counter-terrorism raids on four Melbourne homes were aimed at obtaining information and will not result in arrests, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has said.

ASIO officers carrying search warrants and backed by armed police raided the homes after an investigation revealed Islamic extremists were planning to attack landmarks in Sydney and Melbourne, according to News Ltd reports.

Surveillance officers said the cell had loose links with a radical Islamic group in Sydney.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Mick Keelty on Thursday confirmed the raids had taken place following months of investigation by ASIO, the AFP, and NSW and Victoria police, but refused to comment further.

Mr Ruddock said no arrests were imminent.

"These were essentially search warrants and they are about obtaining access to information and they don't lead to arrests," Mr Ruddock told reporters in Canberra.

"In fact, there's no provision in security legislation other than for those who've failed to appear in relation to questioning warrants for arrests in security matters."

He would not comment further on the investigation, the raids, or what information may have been gathered in executing them. But he said there was no forced entry.

"In relation to the operations that have been undertaken in Melbourne they were undertaken without any breach of the peace," he said.

"There was no forced entry."

Mr Ruddock also said the raids did not present a need for greater powers for ASIO.

"I've made it clear that out counter-terrorism laws remain an unfinished canvas, but there are no particular matters that have been brought to my attention at this point in time that require any further expansion of powers other than the range of matters that we've been dealing with and debating during this session," he said.

If people had any complaints about the raids, they could take them up with the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, he said.

ASIO currently has the power to detain people for up to 168 hours under warrant and can detain children as young as 16 if it is thought likely they will commit or have committed a terrorist offence.

People can be detained even if not suspected of criminal behaviour but are believed to have useful information on terrorist activities.

But there are a range of safeguards in place, including a sunset clause and review of its powers by parliament, to ensure civil rights are protected.

Since the attack on New York in September, 2001, the government has waged a successful campaign to strengthen the laws.

©AAP 2005
===============

ALSO SEE
Concern At Terrorism Bill

Terrorism Laws: ASIO, the Police and You

Secret Police Searches in the Pipeline

(OZ) MUSLIM COMMUNITY WATCH: "Jihad on the Bookshelf"

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#15 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 05:50 PM


Liberties Rest in the Hands of the Vigilant


The fragile protection of human rights in Australia faces a new danger, writes George Williams*

THE threat of a terrorist attack has changed Australian law in ways that were unimaginable four years ago. Before September 11, 2001, we had no federal law on terrorism. Today, that law criminalises terrorists and their associates, bans organisations and provides for people who might know something about terrorism to be detained at the behest of ASIO for up to a week.

While the law needed to be changed, the draconian nature of some of the measures adopted cannot be justified.

The Government's website (www.nationalsecurity.gov.au) says "there is presently no known specific threat to Australia" and contains a four-level alert system (low, medium, high and extreme) that assesses Australia as being at a medium level, which has been the case since September 2001.

This assessment is at odds with community beliefs. One Newspoll conducted in April last year found that 68 per cent of adults agreed that terrorists would "strike before too long" and that a terrorist attack in Australia is inevitable. Options open up if people believe an attack is on its way. This is why the unthinkable in terms of law reform has become possible.

Two important lessons can be learnt from how Australia has responded to the war on terrorism. First, despite is detractors, Parliament can play an important role in achieving the right balance between national security and human rights. Even given the stringent nature of some of the laws we now have, the original proposals were far worse. We did not end up with those original bills because they sparked a well-organised campaign led by a range of community and legal groups. Their concerns fed into the robust scrutiny provided by the two parliamentary committees that examined the bills and produced bipartisan reports recommending substantial changes.

Second, the ability of Parliament to protect our human rights at a time of community fear of a terrorist attack is limited and indeed insufficient. Even after a long and difficult parliamentary process that produced important changes and compromises, many aspects of the new laws go far beyond what can be justified.

These include the imposition of a five-year jail term for speaking about or reporting the detention of a person by ASIO, including where that person has been mistreated. Another example is that non-suspect Australians can be detained for one week, whereas suspects can only be held for 24 hours before being charged. Indeed, it even seems possible that the three-year sunset clause will be removed and these exceptional powers made a permanent part of the law.

A reason for these outcomes is that, even though our political system has many strengths, it also has a key weakness: human rights lack legitimacy in political debate. When they are needed most, they can be simply absent. This can be because human rights are not generally part of our law. Unlike every other democratic nation, Australia must search for answers to fundamental questions about civil liberties and national security without the benefit of a bill of rights.

As other nations have shown, a bill of rights is not an impenetrable barrier to bad laws. However, it can be especially important when, as after September 11, new laws are made and old laws amended with great haste. At such a time, legal systems, and the principles that underlie them, such as the rule of law and the liberty of the individual, can come under considerable strain.

A bill of rights can remind governments and communities of a society's values and of the principles that might otherwise be compromised at a time of grief and fear. After new laws have been made, it can also allow courts to assess the changes against human rights principles. This can provide a final check on laws that, with the benefit of hindsight, ought not have been passed.

Unfortunately, the limited capacity of our political system to protect rights is about to be lessened and our lack of a bill of rights further exposed. On July 1 the Federal Government will gain control of the Senate, the first time a government has controlled both houses for a quarter of a century.

Unless individuals in the governing parties take a stand, Australians will be left vulnerable to the sorts of laws that were rejected in the months after the September 11 attacks.

*George Williams is the director of the Gilbert+Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of NSW. This is an extract from his Fulbright Public Lecture delivered last night at the University of Melbourne.

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#16 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 05:56 PM

No Known Terror Threat: Carr

There is no current known terrorist threat to NSW with a reassuring level of cooperation between state and federal authorities, Premier Bob Carr says.

Mr Carr was briefed today by police following counter-terrorism raids in Melbourne that uncovered links to a radical Sydney Islamic group.

ASIO and police raided four homes after an investigation revealed radical Islamic extremists were planning to attack prominent landmarks.

Mr Carr today refused to reveal specific details of his briefing.

NSW Opposition leader John Brogden said security at the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge should be upgraded to include 24-hour patrols by armed police officers.

"I don't think unarmed security guards are an effective deterrent to people who have it in their mind to damage or destroy buildings like the Opera House and structures like the Harbour Bridge," Mr Brogden told reporters.

It was common practice in other countries, including Israel, for armed officers to patrol important sites, he said.

But Mr Carr said he was satisfied with security levels at landmark Sydney sites and around the state's critical infrastructure.

"The attention that we've given to both private and publicly owned critical infrastructure is considerable but your best investment is in good surveillance," he said.

Mr Carr said he was satisfied NSW police and federal authorities were cooperating to prevent terrorist attacks and there was no current threat in NSW.

"There is a reassuring level of cooperation here between the state authorities and the federal authorities, there is no current known threat in NSW," he told reporters.

A NSW Police spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm security had been heightened around the Sydney Opera House or Harbour Bridge.

A spokesman for Police Minister Carl Scully was also unable to confirm security protection for the city's landmarks.

AAP (Weblink)
============

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#17 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 09:26 PM

Cleric Backs Family

A prominet Muslim cleric has defended his community against claims that Islamic radicals were planning terrorists attacks in Melbourne.

His comments came after four Melbourne houses were raided on Wednesday, including the home of a Brunswick East family.

The family visits the fundamentalist Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa'ah mosque, led by Sheik Mohammed Omran.

The sheik said yesterday he knew the family, but not well. "I don't believe they have anything whatsoever to do with any action against Australia or Australians," he said.

The family remained secluded at the house for much of yesterday.

"I'm really sorry but I really can't talk to anyone," a young woman said through the door. "Honestly, I'm sorry, no comment. Please understand."

The patriarch of the Lebanese family attended Friday prayer service, where Sheik Omran said he noticed the man because he had no legs.

"He uses artificial legs and has two sticks, so when he comes inside he takes them off because he can't do the prayer with his artificial legs," Sheik Omran said.

It is believed the man has at least two sons, in their 20s, one son about 12 and a daughter.

"This is a normal family and I didn't see any unusual activity or anything like that to feel that they have something to be concerned about," the sheik said. He conceded he did not know if members of the family were extremists, but denied they were involved in terrorism.

"I don't believe there's anyone from our community think about that," Sheik Omran said.

"That's a guarantee. I gave that to ASIO, too."

Islamic Council of Victoria executive committee member Waleed Aly said the organisation felt "a little bit in the dark" about the raids.

"That's the main problem with the legislation that regulates ASIO. We have so little information for what went on or the basis for what went on," Mr Aly said.
===================================

SEE ALSO

Terror Links Run Deep

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#18 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 05:38 PM

AFP 'targeted' Muslim Convert Over Library Books

A Melbourne university student says the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has questioned him because he borrowed library books about terrorism and suicide bombings.

The Muslim convert, known as Abraham, says he was targeted by investigators while borrowing the books for PhD research at Monash University into the role of Islam in martyrdom.

Abraham says the AFP drew an unfair link between his Muslim name and his topic of study.

"Obviously, they've had access to my library records," he said.

"I don't know if the phone has been bugged. I don't know if they are watching my movements.

"They are drawing a linkage between a person with a non-English speaking name and saying 'okay, well this is suspicious activity'."

Abraham says there are dozens of students studying similar subjects but he is the only one who has been interviewed, despite espousing a moderate approach to Islam.

"I think it's unjustified and unfair and it also sends a message, unfortunately, to the Muslim community that if they're dealing with the Australian Federal Police authorities that possibly they could be targeted," Abraham said.

"Quite ironic is my study's involved in obviously preventing these actions [terrorism] from occurring.

"They're drawing a linkage with that and saying, 'okay, well you might be a terrorist'."

'Repeal terrorism laws'

The president of Liberty Victoria, Brian Walters SC, is outraged by Abraham's story.

"I think this is extremely serious - it suggests that our AFP and ASIO security police are operating as 'thought police' and undermining academic independence which is so important to a free and democratic society," Mr Walters said.

Mr Walters believes the AFP owes Abraham an apology.

He says the Federal Government should repeal its terrorism laws and take a calmer approach to protecting Australian society.

"I think we should be really concerned about the disruption to our society that these terror laws are creating," Mr Walters said.

"We should be alarmed, not just alert. This is the stuff of Kafka-esque nightmare.

"We do not want a situation where police are vetting the thoughts that we undertake, vetting research and doing so in an environment that cannot be justified."

Students warned

Abraham's lecturer, David Wright-Neville, has told his other students that they may also be open to scrutiny by the authorities.

"It's happened to one and I think that all students, if they're going to be studying this subject, need to be made aware that based on the experience of last week that they might also be targeted by the authorities," Dr Wright-Neville said.

He says students have a right to go about their studies without scrutiny from the police.

He says if a member of the university community was perceived as a terrorist risk, the authorities would be informed.

"I think the authorities need to be comfortable in the knowledge that any academic or any member of the university ... who had any suspicions about any student - and I must say I never have - would obviously work cooperatively with the authorities," Dr Wright-Neville said.
======================

ALSO SEE
Terrorism Threat Justifies Cutting Civil Liberties: Ruddock

Religio-Racial Profiling, Anti-muslim Style

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#19 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 01:33 PM

Backlash As Police Move In

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#20 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 09:10 PM

New Anti-Terrorism Legislation

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#21 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 13 September 2005 - 12:31 PM

Research Shows Growing Alienation In Young Muslims ...

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#22 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 09:24 AM

More Police Power 'Could Boost Terror'

Australia risks promoting, rather than reducing, terrorism if increased police powers and security measures are seen as directed exclusively against Islamic groups, research shows.

Initial findings of a joint Monash University-Victoria Police research project pointed to growing unease among Islamic people over responses by government to terrorism.

Islamic community leaders suggest in the report that national authorities such as the federal police and ASIO lack strong links with Muslim communities and are not trusted as much as state police, who have a history of contact with them.

"Interviews with mainly Islamic community leaders suggested widespread unease with the popular view that terrorism is a religiously motivated phenomenon," said researchers David Wright-Neville of Monash University and Hussein Tahiri of the Victoria Police.

The report, the result of research financed by the Australian Research Council and the Victoria Police, is undergoing a peer review in readiness for publication in an international criminology journal.

Dr Wright-Neville told The Age Australia was in danger of repeating the mistakes of European countries that had isolated and alienated Muslims.

The report said research from Europe, the Middle East and south Asia indicated that even if feelings of marginalisation from mainstream society were accidental, policies that added to those feelings might worsen the risk of terrorism rather than lessen them.

The research found that Muslims objected to Canberra saying "Islamist terrorism" was the most significant threat of terrorist violence to Australia.

Several had asked why IRA violence was not described as "Catholic terrorism," or why the shooting of a fertility clinic guard by an anti-abortion activist was not called "Christian terrorism".

"There is clearly a fear that the use of the term 'Islamic terrorism' risks inflaming anti-Muslim sentiment within Victorian society more widely, and in so doing forcing Muslims to seek protection from wider community activities," the report said.

"Several community leaders have expressed doubts as to whether the federal authorities have the community credibility needed to deal with sensitive counter-terrorism issues.

"Compared to the Victoria Police, federal agencies are sometimes perceived as lacking the trust that can only be developed over many years of co-operation." But it adds that Victorian police are seen as only marginal actors in counter-terrorism, which is dominated by federal authorities.

"There is a concern that (federal authorities) don't have the history and cultural understandings that the state police have built up over time," Dr Wright-Neville said.

The director of the Sydney-based Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations, Kuranda Seyit, said many conservative young Muslims felt they were under attack.

He said the fact that the Sydney media were told in advance of last month's arrests was a major concern, and the raids should have been conducted in ways that did not traumatise entire families.

■ Government MPs last night agreed to pass tough new terror laws after Prime Minister John Howard agreed to several minor amendments.

The controversial sedition section remains, with some wording changes to lessen the likelihood of it being used to stifle free speech and fair comment. It will include some protection for publishers who act in good faith and adds a requirement that sedition include an intention to achieve change by force or violence.

The Monash University-Victoria Police report pointed to research that found resorting to terrorism was the result of a gradual separation from, and disillusionment with conventional society.

It said that Muslim Victorians had actively helped police until recently.
============================================

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#23 Mowlana Vector

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 09:52 AM

World of Fear and Loathing

Young Australian Muslims want to live without the accusing stares, abuse and jokes about being terrorists, writes Richard Kerbaj

Posted Image
High visibility: Psychology graduate Suelaima Samman
says being pressured to blend in only isolates Muslims.
She says she is now 'desensitised to the insults'.
(Picture: Graham Crouch)


Suelaima Samman, 21, has become desensitised to the verbal abuse she receives from strangers for wearing hijab in public. Adam Bayram, 28, is uncomfortable with telling people he's Muslim because he dreads being labelled a terrorist, as he often is by workmates, ostensibly in jest.

And Linda, 21, who didn't want her surname published for fear of being chastised by family friends for her religious views, refuses to publicly declare she's Muslim to avoid answering insulting questions, such as: "Oh, so does that mean you believe in killing yourself so you can go to heaven?"

This is the reality faced by many of the 100,000 Australian-born Muslims - almost 90,000 of whom are younger than 24 - and the 200,000 other Muslims living in Australia since Islamic extremists declared a holy war on the West.

The experiences, fears and hopes of these young Australians will be at the forefront of tomorrow's inaugural Muslim youth summit in Sydney. The summit, organised after Prime Minister John Howard's Muslim leaders meeting in August, will provide 70 Muslims, ages 12 to 29 and from various cultural backgrounds, the opportunity to express their concerns about living in Australia.

Hosted by the Australian Multicultural Foundation in collaboration with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, the eight-hour summit at Mascot will include participants from every state and territory.

"Participation in the summit is aimed at increasing the understanding of the needs, issues and concerns of Muslim youth to the benefit of the wider Australian community," says B. (Hass) Dillal, executive director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, a non-government organisation.

Fadi Rahman, one of the founders of an Islamic youth centre in Lidcombe, Sydney, says there's a lack of communication between the older immigrant leaders and their Australian-born offspring and says it is time for Muslim leaders to make way for a new generation to be heard. "We all share the same wish but the second generation has a different way of doing things. We value them very much but we think it's time for us to carry on," he says.

Before September 11, 2001, students, professionals and blue-collar workers interviewed during the past week say they would have happily declared themselves as proud young Muslim Australians. They considered themselves Australian first, of Egyptian, Lebanese or Turkish descent, and Muslim. Today, almost without exception, these young Australians - lawyers, wharfies, students, graphic designers - shy away from publicly declaring their religion.

Most of Bayram's workmates at a wharf in Melbourne's inner west, where he stevedores and operates a crane, are Anglo-Saxons. While the 28-year-old considers himself a Muslim and occasionally prays, he is much likelier to be having a beer with his mates on Friday after work than praying at the mosque. His workmates, however, mock his beliefs, and align him with Muslim extremists.

"I've got mates at work, for instance, and they'll joke about it, saying, 'Adam, you're going to blow us up,"' he says. "I just laugh it off."

Bayram doesn't distinguish between the Australian Muslim community and mainstream Australia. He was reared by a Christian Anglo-Saxon mother and a Turkish Muslim father to accept all religions and cultures. Although he attended a Catholic high school and was a member of the choir, he occasionally went to the mosque for Friday sermons. His spiked black hair and dark brown eyes betray his heritage and he is often asked about his background when people meet him for the first time.

"I tell them I was born here and my mother is Australian," he says. "If they pursue further, I tell them I have a Turkish background and I'm a Muslim."

Linda, a freelance oil painter and graphic designer, ignores snide remarks directed towards Islam rather than confront them.

"It upsets me that people only [acknowledge] the terrorists and the extremists instead of what Islam is all about," says Linda, who was reared by parents of Lebanese heritage. "All you hear about is the terrorists' association with the religion."

Nazeem Hussain, a science and law student at Melbourne's Deakin University, agrees. "If you talk about Muslims [with] non-Muslims ... generally the concept of terrorism will pop up," he says.

Hussain, 20, of Sri Lankan background, says Muslim extremists don't reflect the true nature of the religion they claim to follow.

"In every faith there [are] extremists, [but] you don't focus on them [because] that's not a true indication of the faith," he says. Hussain says Islam is a peaceful religion that does not condone the killing of innocent people.

Peter Lilly, a fifth-generation Australian who converted to Islam 18 months ago, puts his new-found religion before his country. "First and foremost I would identify myself as a Muslim before anything else; it's the most important thing for me," says the 19-year-old, who prays five times a day, has adopted the Arabic name Mu'ath (which means "protected by God"), and has memorised sections of the Koran but struggles to grow facial hair to reflect his complete devotion.

"I'm not a very hairy person," Lilly says. "Even before I was a Muslim I didn't like not being able to grow a beard."

Reared by non-religious parents, he says he converted to Islam four weeks after reading the Koran and discovering that the message inscribed in the text reinforced his belief in the existence of one God. But even Lilly, who looks Anglo-Saxon and doesn't dress in traditional robes, has to deal with misconceptions about Islam. He says when his mother tells her friends about his conversion, "they start saying: 'It oppresses women and Muslims are violent.' And that upsets my mum and she thinks I'm going to get vilified."

Samman, a psychology graduate from Bankstown in Sydney's southwest, gets vilified daily. She attended a Muslim high school and began wearing hijab at 14. She defines herself as an Australian and says Muslims who wear traditional Islamic clothes should not feel pressured into changing their dress to blend in.

Samman, whose parents are Lebanese, says such pressure leads only to more feelings of isolation within the Islamic community.

However she believes putting up with stares and insults from strangers on a daily basis is a small price to pay. "You sort of get desensitised to the insults," she says. "I mean, even with the stares, I don't really notice [them] any more, so it's no big deal."

Islamic extremists aren't solely to blame for tainting the image of Islam, she says. "First of all we have our own sort of community to blame as well," Samman says. "We have to look at ourselves and reflect on what our community is doing to better our image."

But it perturbs her that the entire Muslim community is compelled to condemn extreme views expressed by radicals.

"I guess we have to because we are expected to. [We] can't stay silent ... but [at the] same time it gets frustrating when you're continuously seen as defending your views and defending who you are and defending your rights to live in this country."

Waleed Aly, 27, from the Islamic Council of Victoria, says minimising extremism within the Muslim community is the responsibility of the Australian Muslim community and mainstream Australia.

"The key is for everyone in wider Australia and Muslim Australia to recognise that we're in this together," says the lawyer of Egyptian background, who has become the public face of Islam in Victoria.

"And look, I think as far as Muslim Australia is concerned, it's probably been doing everything that's asked of it. It's already been, for years now, providing intelligence to a lot of enforcement agencies."

Aly says Muslims who are drawn to extremist groups because they feel isolated from the wider community need guidance to help "feel included within society".

Samman wants to belong. "It's hard because you feel like you want to be a part of this community, you want to fit in, you want to be accepted, but you stick out. [And when] people say: 'Go back to your own country', if I go back to Lebanon, I'm not really going to feel at home. And Australia is my home. I feel that I couldn't call any other place home except Australia."

YOUNG HAVE THEIR SAY ON MUSLIM LIFE

* Saturday's National Summit for Young Australian Muslims in Sydney is run and funded by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs to the tune of $80,000 to cover catering, accommodation and flights.

* It will be attended by 70 young people aged 12 to 29 from across the country. They will discuss identity, community, education, belonging, personal relationships, employment, citizenship and family matters.

* They were chosen to represent diverse ethnic backgrounds, ages, levels of religiosity and new and emerging Muslim communities based on their communication and leadership skills and the contribution they have made to their Muslim and wider communities.

* The summit aims to identify initiatives to help young Muslims build self-esteem, become successful and develop a communication plan to combat negative perceptions.

* Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs John Cobb and parliamentary secretary for children and youth affairs Sussan Ley will make speeches.
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Life in the Shadows

The fear aroused by the anti-terrorism campaign has made Australia's Muslims feel unwelcome in their own country, wites Robert Wainwright.

Posted Image
"They think Lakemba is a dangerous place" … business at Mohammed Ayouby's
fruit shop in Haldon Street has halved this year.(Photo: Robert Pearce)


On the surface at least, Lakemba's main shopping strip exudes the colour and intrigue of its cultural cocktail. Haldon Street's halal butchers, and pizza and coffee shops sit opposite an Indian supermarket and Asian seafood store. Restaurants offer cuisine from Lebanon, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and India.

The boutique Mouri Al Houda, specialising in Islamic robes, plies its trade next door to the Kim Hung Vietnamese haberdashery and within sight of the flowing western ball gowns in the windows of the Constance Boutique. There's an Iraqi barber and a North African braiding and beauty parlour. The list goes on; a thriving hub of multiculturalism.

But look closely at the posters taped to walls and power poles and you begin to understand the frustration and recrimination around here. Public rallies are not organised to protest about unwanted roads, aircraft noise or council facilities. The theme, invariably, is human rights, using words such as "hatred", "demonising", "intimidation" and "polarisation", and pleading for "justice and respect".

In September a local park was filled with protesters against the victimisation of Muslims, not overseas but in Sydney. In October there was a forum on the repression created by the war on terrorism, and another, organised by a group called Sisters of the Muslim Community, on protecting the right of women to wear the hijab. In November there were two more - one at Belmore Park to defend Muslims and civil liberties and another to debate the new anti-terrorism bill.

It is three weeks since a state and federal police operation arrested seven men in pre-dawn raids across several nearby suburbs. In Haldon Street there is an expectation of more bad publicity next week when the accused men appear in court on bail applications.

No one argues that strong police action and perhaps stronger laws are needed to root out terrorists, but the fallout from what many believe were stage-managed raids and ill-considered legislation has been debilitating for those in the neighbourhoods where most of the arrested men and their families were known.

Mohammed Ayouby and his wife, Mona, own the Lakemba Fruit Bowl in the heart of Haldon Street. The sign above the door still shows a seven-digit phone number, indicating its long-term place in the local streetscape.

Like most of his neighbours, Ayouby is hesitant and cynical about the media and how his community has been represented amid the hysteria over terrorism. He doesn't want to say anything negative. After all, patronage at his spacious, though modest, shop has fallen 50 per cent this year, basically because his customers are afraid to shop in Haldon Street.

"They think Lakemba is a dangerous place. They read the papers and watch television and fear that we are all bad people. It's simply not true but what can we do?" he says. "People are afraid to talk about what is going on. They are afraid to talk in groups because someone might be watching. They are afraid of what the new [anti-terrorism] laws mean."

It is a busy time of year for Abeer Taiba. Over the coming weeks, thousands of Australian Muslims will make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which takes place during the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. A steady flow of customers find their way to the Al-Madinnah Travel Agency even though it is off the main street and upstairs in a small arcade.

Tears well as she tells of the impact of the suspicion that has descended on the Muslim community. She knows of a family of eight - relatives of one of the men recently arrested - who packed up and left Australia last week with plans never to return. "They have return tickets but they don't want to use them if they can resettle. It has got too hard for them here. They are being watched [by authorities] and warned that it is only a matter of time before there will be more arrests."

Others have also been affected. One woman wants to go home to Lebanon for a holiday but cannot because her husband had his passport confiscated. Another man, Swiss with a South African wife, had his passport confiscated three days before an overseas trip and implored Taiba to help him get a refund. There are many other stories, she says. So why are these people having their passports confiscated? She shrugs and rolls her eyes. "Probably because they pray at the wrong mosque."

There is suspicion here that police are being fed information, or misinformation, by elements among the Muslims. It only adds to the insecurity, the feeling that Lakemba's residents are in a cage to be watched and feared.

Tarik Ahmed knows what it is like to be questioned. He was investigated a few months after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US because a company he ran at the time, Hayaam Educational and Tourism Centre, had been approached to provide training opportunities, including flying instruction, by applicants from the Middle East. The stigma is impossible to remove: "I was the first. It went all over the world. Relatives even rang from New York to tell me they had seen my name in the papers."

He says there are strong rumours that there is a list of 800 Muslims who will be systematically investigated once the new anti-terrorism laws are passed. It is unclear where the information comes from, but, right or wrong, it adds to the pall.

Dr Jamal Rifi operates his general practice from a house on nearby Belmore Road. A former member of both the Community Relations Commission and the NSW Medical Board, he describes the anti-terrorism laws as a necessary evil: "Little of it is necessary and the larger part is evil," he quips without a hint of a smile. "It represents a fundamental change in the Muslim way of life in Australia. The sedition laws will make it virtually impossible for religious leaders to preach without every word being scrutinised. In fact, I would advise them not to preach at all."

At a community level, the laws will hinder, rather than help, co-operation: "People already talk about not buying cleaning detergent in large bottles. I was invited to a wedding the other day; the father of the bride joked that [ASIO head] Paul O'Sullivan was being invited so he could watch from the front row rather than through a pair of binoculars. There is fear and suspicion in the community now. It's sad because we have opened up our communities in recent years; opened up our mosques to show others who we are. These laws will force us to revert back to a wall of silence.

"What is the logic of hiding the name of a terrorism suspect and his connections? It will make an arrest a badge of honour rather than something of shame, which is a big factor in our culture."

The largest Muslim community organisation in Australia is the Lebanese Muslim Association. It manages three mosques, has a hand in most projects and organises two street festivals each year in Haldon Street. Its president, Ahmed Kamaleddine, says that even without new laws, the seeds of public mistrust and suspicion have been sown. He says he has been stopped repeatedly and asked for identification, even searched by staff inside Sydney Airport on his way back from a recent overseas trip.

"You don't get asked once; you get asked repeatedly. They seem surprised when I give them an Australian passport. I was with my 14-year-old son and when he asked why it happened so often I had to tell him the truth; it's racial profiling."

Michael Hawatt operates a housing loans business from an upstairs office on Haldon Street. He is also a Canterbury councillor and hears the refrains of concern. "Where is the protection for people in this legislation? If you keep pushing people to the edge then we will end up with a situation like Paris."

Many also fear the impact of publicity outside Sydney. Muslims on camping, fishing or hunting trips, for example, will be viewed with suspicion. "There are many impacts on our lives which either haven't been considered, or they have simply been ignored. How do you think people feel when their own country treats them as outsiders just because they are Muslims. Many are asking where they actually belong."
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"So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for you must gain mastery if U are true in faith." (The Holy Qur'an - 3:139)

"Sufficient is death as a counsel." (Saydinah Umar RA)

#24 Mowlana Vector

Mowlana Vector

    That which is known to God, why hide it from His creatures?!

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 11:26 PM

Thousands Flood Streets to Protest Anti-Terror Laws

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"So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for you must gain mastery if U are true in faith." (The Holy Qur'an - 3:139)

"Sufficient is death as a counsel." (Saydinah Umar RA)

#25 Mowlana Vector

Mowlana Vector

    That which is known to God, why hide it from His creatures?!

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:58 PM

AMCRAN: New Anti-Terror Laws - What They Mean for Muslim Communities?

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"So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: for you must gain mastery if U are true in faith." (The Holy Qur'an - 3:139)

"Sufficient is death as a counsel." (Saydinah Umar RA)



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