MEDIA RELEASE: Muslim Community Unites to Condemn 'Anti-Terrorism' Legislation
Sydney 14 June 2004 - Leading Muslim organisations have united to issue an open letter to all of Australia’s Federal Ministers of Parliament and Senators. The letter calls on parliamentarians not to pass the current amendments to the anti-terrorism legislation that are to go before the house in the next few sitting days. It also takes issue with the treatment of Muslims under the legislation.
The letter, signed by more than 25 Muslim organisations, outlines the effects of the anti-terrorism legislation on the Muslim community.
"We believe that the anti-terrorism legislation enacted in this country has unfairly targeted Muslims: only Muslims have been arrested and only organisations linked to Muslims have been listed as proscribed terrorist organisations. In every other country where such laws have been implemented, they have sought to protect their citizens against all forms of terrorism – whether by Muslims or non-Muslims," the letter states.
The letter begins by condemning terrorism in general, and states that the Muslim community of Australia do not support terrorism in any way. The letter also criticises the government for the treatment of people arrested under anti-terrorism legislation. Of Izhar Ul Haque, the 21-year old medical student, the letter says: “Even though the Crown has conceded in a court of law that he has never posed a threat to Australia, Australians or indeed anyone, he has been treated in a manner that would never be accepted were he not a Muslim and were his charges not linked to ‘terrorism’".
For further information, contact:
Sydney: Dr Waleed Kadous 0403 440 586
Melbourne: Amir Butler 0412 044 429
The media release is available in PDF here; and the letter itself is also available in PDF here.