A civil rights organisation says an increasing number of Muslims are
being interviewed by ASIO, causing the Islamic community to feel
Waleed Kadous, from the Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy
Network, was among thousands of people who gathered in Sydney today to
celebrate the end of Ramadan.
He says he has talked to many Muslims who are feeling isolated and disconnected from the rest of the community.
Mr Kadous says because of events overseas, people are stereotyping all Muslims.
He also says there is concern in the community about the Federal Government's proposed counter-terrorism laws.
"Our information from some of the people we spoken to today is that ASIO is talking to a lot of people," he said.
"They find this intimidating at times and they feel like again they're
being targeted because of their religious affiliation and their choice
to practice Islam."
The Minister for Multicultural Affairs, John Cobb, says the Government
will do what it can to protect Muslims from harassment and racism.
Mr Cobb says he understands that the community is under pressure at the moment.
"There are Muslims who express concern about security laws just as
there people in the wider community who express concern about security
laws," he said.
"But the overwhelming vast majority of Australians are totally behind
the Commonwealth and the state governments on security in exactly the
same way the vast and overwhelmingly majority of Australia's Muslims
are behind the Commonwealth and the state governments on security laws."