Anti-terror laws 'could backfire' Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 November 2005


A SENATE inquiry has been warned that proposed new counter-terrorism laws could backfire, and could push susceptible Muslims to fall for radical ideas.


The Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network (AMCRAN) today told the inquiry that recent raids in Sydney and Melbourne showed existing legislation was strong enough to counter the threat of terrorism.

AMCRAN spokesman Dr Waleed Kadous said the proposed laws removed safeguards that protected innocent people.


"It's not within my power to guarantee that the introduction of these laws will not lead to people susceptible to radical ideas falling for them as a consequence of what they see as being railroaded," Mr Kadous told the inquiry.


The Senate Legal Constitutional Legislation Committee is inquiring into the Howard Government's proposed new package of laws to combat terrorism.


Key features of the legislation include control orders to authorise close monitoring of terror suspects, new police powers of preventative detention and updated sedition offences.


Dr Kadous said he did not believe the case had been made to show the new laws would help prevent terrorism.


"From my community's perspective, there is a very serious risk that these measures could backfire," he told the inquiry.

Muslims were likely to feel unfairly targeted by the laws, whether or not that was the government's intention, he said.

"Legislation is not just about law, it's about social messages," Dr Kadous said.


The tough sentences for advocacy crimes and the absence of a three-year sunset clause were among other concerns highlighted by the group.


The inquiry continues., 17 November 2005 

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