Members of the Greens opposed new anti-terrorism amendments in Anti-Terrorism Bill (No. 2) 2004 that give the Federal Police increased powers to detain a person and change the presumption of bail.
During the evening of 17 June and through 18 June, Ms Nettle and Dr Brown strongly opposed the legislation and expressed the effects that it had on the Muslim community.
Ms Nettle in particular mentioned meeting with members of the Muslim community earlier on the 17 June 2004. In
her speech starting at 8:04pm, she says:
"Eight members of the Muslim community from New
South Wales, the ACT and Victoria were talking to me
in my office today about the impact on their community
of this kind of terrorism legislation going forward.
These Muslim community representatives who were in
my office today were telling me that—as I know from
colleagues—there are members of the Muslim community
in Sydney, particularly women, who are afraid
to leave their homes. They are saying to their children,
‘Don’t go to that protest,’ and, ‘Don’t be involved in
that Islamic organisation.’ They do not want to give
money to Islamic community and service organisations
in Sydney because they fear they will be caught in the
scope of the terrorism legislation.
"Many of us here
know that that is not true. They would not be caught
under the scope of this terrorism legislation by picking
up the phone and talking to their friends, going to a
protest or giving money to Islamic community organisations.
But that is the fear that has been created within
the Muslim community as a result of the steamrolling
of terrorism legislation that we are seeing in this parliament.
In the first committee that I sat through on this legislation,
the ASIO legislation, we heard from Islamic
community organisations that they believed this legislation
would be used first on the Islamic community. It
has been. Everyone in this country who has been
caught up under this terrorism legislation, the whole
raft of it that has been brought in, has been Muslim.
"How does one think this makes individuals within the
Muslim community feel when they know that every
individual who has been picked up under this legislation
has been a Muslim? Every organisation which has
been banned and proscribed under the legislation that
has come in has been a Muslim one. That is not even
the case in the United States. But in this country every
single terrorist organisation that has been banned is a
Muslim one and every single person who has been
picked up is from a Muslim organisation.
"There was a young man in my office this afternoon
who was talking to me about the two tiers that the Islamic
community in Sydney sees. A bomb went off
near the Rooty Hill mosque about three weeks ago.
That person was not tried for terrorism offences; that
person was tried under the criminal law.
200 hours of community service. That was a non-
Muslim Anglo member of community. Every Muslim
community individual who has been picked up in similar
circumstances has been tried under terrorism legislation.
No wonder the Muslim community feels that
there are two systems of justice in this country.
are taking tremendous steps to try to combat this within
the community. They are getting information about
what is actually in this legislation because the sense of
fear within the community is enormous. People feel
that they cannot pick up the phone, they cannot go to a
protest, they cannot go out of their houses and they
cannot support their community organisations. That is
the result of terrorism legislation that we are seeing this
government bringing in. And now we see another lot—
legislation that seeks to lock up a young medical student
from the University of New South Wales so that
he cannot become a doctor. He gets locked in super