Australian Muslims decry detention, questioning powers

Australian Muslims have decried anti-terror security measures as creating a climate of fear and apprehension among the Muslim minority in the country.

“We want to live in a country where I feel proud to be Australian, belong to this land, where I have rights like any other persons,” Ali Roude, the deputy chairman of the Islamic Council of New South Wales, told a parliamentary panel reviewing the measures on Monday, June 6.

“Not always targeted, not always seen as a possible threat to Australia’s security, which is the feeling at the moment,” he was quoted as saying by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Roude complained that Australian Muslims feel targeted by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), which has been given powers to detain people on terror-related suspicion for up to seven days and question them for up to 48 hours without charges.

Other sweeping powers also allow the security agencies to hold Australians even if they are not suspected of criminal behaviors.

Islam Online, 7 June 2005