Intolerance of Terror, or the Terror of Intolerance? Religious tolerance and the response to terrorism
UTS Law Review
Vol 8 - Racism, Religious Intolerance and the Law
Australia’s anti-terror laws represent an unprecedented
shift in the civil liberties of all Australians, but they have had a
disproportionate effect on religious tolerance and freedom, particularly of
Muslims. These effects eventuate from a
conceptual flaw in the way that the legislation formulates the relationship
between terrorism and religion, particularly in confusing fundamentalism and
terrorism, as well as an assumption that the response to terrorism is primarily
a legal one, and not social or political in nature. As a result, there are
increased limitations on the freedom of association, freedom of speech, and
other civil liberties of Muslims in the community, who may already experience
greater susceptibility to racial or religious profiling. A more productive
approach to combating terrorism would place the legal response in a more
inclusive social and political one, and one that is compatible with the
principles of religious tolerance.
Anti-Terror Laws and the Muslim Community: Where Does Terror End and Security Begin?
"Agnes Chong chronicles the manner in which Muslim communities in
Australia are being targeted in racialised/religionised regimes of
security. As an advocate working for Australian Muslim Civil Rights
Advocacy Network, Chong points out the chasm between governmental
rhetoric, which insists that the anti-terrorism legislation does not
target Islamic groups, and the embodied ways in which Muslim
communities are targeted. Chong describes how Muslim communities are
terrorised as a result of the anti-terror campaigns in Australia.
Chong's chronicling of the effects of the anti-terror laws on Muslim
communities, therefore, necessitate an accounting of the manner in
which words like terror and insecurity apply unevenly and
differentially in racial and religious terms."
- Extracted from Introduction by thematic journal editor Dr Goldie Osuri Regimes of Terror: Contesting the War on Terror