Intolerance of Terror, or the Terror of Intolerance?
Friday, 30 March 2007

Intolerance of Terror, or the Terror of Intolerance? Religious tolerance and the response to terrorism 

Agnes Chong 

UTS Law Review

Vol 8 - Racism, Religious Intolerance and the Law

 

Abstract

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.