ELIZABETH JACKSON: A civil rights advocate says
between Australian Muslims and police has been "poisoned" to the point
where Muslims will be reluctant to offer any help in future terrorism
investigations out of fear for their own safety.
Matt Brown reports.
BROWN: In March last year, the Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy
Network submitted a report to the International Commission of Jurists'
inquiry into the implications of new counter-terrorism laws around the
The report said Muslims feared the Australian legislation
would be used to further disempower and "over police" the Muslim
community. The network's spokesman, Dr Waleed Kadous, says the Mohamed
Haneef case has confirmed those concerns.
WALEED KADOUS: Our feeling is that this will increase the level of
we wrote that proposal, we made some suggestions about what could
happen or ways the laws could be used in unintended or unexpected ways.
And to see them applied in that way in practice is extremely
frustrating. And I think many Muslims will become fearful that they're
MATT BROWN: The fears come after irregularities
were found in the evidence against Mohamed Haneef. The police affidavit
submitted during the bail hearing has at least four differences to what
Haneef said in a police interview.
Dr Waleed Kadous says the
inconsistencies have added to the concerns Muslims have in the way the
case is being run against Haneef. He says any trust that existed in the
relationship between police and Muslims has been damaged.
KADOUS: It makes it harder for Muslims who at this time when we really
need to be cooperating on fighting terrorism, this is going to make it
much harder for someone to put their head above the parapet.
mean, he did try to call the police four times in the UK to see if he
could help them. And we now see how he is treated. So it doesn't lead
to a cooperative environment. It's poisoned cooperation, I think, in a
lot of ways.
MATT BROWN: Dr Kadous says the evidence against
Haneef, which he described as "flimsy at best" will create a sense of
paranoia in the Muslim community, which already feels it's being
singled out under the country's counter-terrorism laws.
WALEED KADOUS: It's every Muslim's fear that this could happen to him.
can imagine being in the same situation Dr Haneef was in, that, you
know, they left a SIM card with a relative before leaving the country
and then something happens a year later. They can imagine borrowing
money from someone and paying the loan back. These are not unusual
And to see him treated in this way, and when Muslims
read the record of interview that's been released� I mean, as a Muslim
myself, I read that and thought, you know, "There but for the grace of
God go I".
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Australian Muslim civil rights advocate Dr Waleed
Kadous ending Matt Brown's report.
Matt Brown, Sydney
AM - ABC , 21 July 2007