Issue 2, Volume 10 July / September 2018 - Jumada Oula/Rajab 1424H
 
Home
Cover Story:
Usurpation of Iraq
Editorial:
The Muslim Nation does not concede to defeat
Local Affairs:
ASIO on the loose
Political Affairs :
The Road Map: A Fresh conspiracy targeting the Intifadah
Media Release:
Four Corners Missed the Target
Insight :
Clash of the Religions
Interview :
Hamas leader Dr. Abdel Aziz Al Rantisi
Fiqh :
Regulations regarding the Newborn
Readers Contribution:

Home Education

MSAs furthering the unity of Muslims Students

Internet :
Islam-Q&A : Answering your questions

 ASIO on the loose

 

By Dawood Yusuf....

Greens Leader Brown described Labor Party’s support to enable the Howard’s Government’s controversial ASIO Bill as a ‘historic sell-out’. Both the Australian Democrats and the Greens opposed the bill, but without Labor they did not have the numbers to stop it becoming law. Attorney-General Daryl Williams said the agreement between the Coalition and Labor was a big win for community safety. But is it?

Lawyers, community and religious organisations had also opposed the ASIO Bill, arguing on the ground that it was a serious threat to human rights, with potential risk of being used to persecute students, children, teachers and unionists.

The ASIO Bill was first introduced in early 2002, following the attacks of September 11, to allow the Australian security agency, ASIO, to hold and question any person, including children, incommunicado, effectively indefinitely, without access to a lawyer. It was part of a major worldwide crackdown on ‘terrorism’.

The Howard Government's recent amendments to lift the age from 14 to 16 years old, to limit interrogation to 24 hours over 7 days, or allow limited access to a lawyer subjected to ASIO scrutiny were no consolation. There is a growing fear the new legislation will only allow ASIO a legal basis for further harassment, set-up and jailing of people of the Muslim faith.

According to a representative of, from the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), the new laws will be used to discriminate against individuals in the Islamic community.

Speaking to ABC’s Rachel Carbonell on ‘The World Today’ (ABC, 17 June 2018), Goolam Laher said that as a peak Islamic representative group, the ICV, was concerned that this piece of legislation was being introduced at a time when the Islamic community was being marginalised and being treated and labelled as terrorist.

Even before the ASIO Bill, Muslims around Australia have reported increased levels of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim prejudice, discrimination and vilification, resulting in fear, isolation and uncertainty.

With fresh media allegations linking Muslims with ‘terrorism’, and the passing of the ASIO Bill, the ASIO is now on the loose; free to target Muslims at will, even if they have not broken any law. ASIO will not be obligated to inform the arrested persons why they are being detained.

Violent raids, interrogations and surveillance of those labelled or stereotyped as ‘terrorists’ by ASIO and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), especially since September 11, had made the community unsafe, particularly for Muslims.

Under the ASIO Bill, security agents will be allowed to break into Muslims’ homes or snatch Muslims from their workplace for interrogation at any given time for interrogation for seven days. All of this will be merely on the basis that Muslims may have crucial information.

Muslims will be jailed for up to five years if they refuse to assist security agents, and they will be denied the right to lawyer, unless approved by ASIO. And no contact with family or friends will be permitted during the seven-day interrogation/detention. Legally Muslims will have no such rights as the right to silence and the presumption of innocence.

Even when represented, Muslims will be restricted both in terms of the choice and the role of the lawyer. ASIO will be empowered to limit or even bar the involvement of the lawyer during interrogation.

The so-called concessions will not be enough to safeguard to protect Muslim rights. The peak Islamic organisations are totally naïve into thinking that making occasional statements or expressing their concern would somehow be enough to safeguard the rights of Muslims of Australia.

A grass-root movement to take up the issue of Muslim rights is the only viable option. And Muslims should do that for themselves.

Afghanistan Al-Muslimah

Iraq: Resistance to the crusade occupation intensifies

The Arabian Peninsula

Syria - Large detention campaigns

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