MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – The Islamic spiritual leadership in Australia has been greatly vexed by the government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s move to fight homegrown terrorism with law amendments targeting predominantly those of Muslim faith, according to the Australian Associated Press.
The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) said it would “vigorously campaign” against the proposals, the AAP said.
The Abbott government earlier claimed it was working together with the Islamic community to address radicalization.
But Abbott’s recent plants to alter the legislation, including the move to repeal a section of the country’s anti-discrimination act, seem to have undermined ANIC’s faith in the Australian authorities.
“ANIC believes that the proposed changes to the anti-terrorism laws will severely impinge on the rights and freedoms of all Australians and especially those of Muslim faith,” the council said in its statement Thursday.
In early August, Tony Abbott warned of the danger that radicalized Australian nationals posed back at home once they travelled to fight alongside Islamist insurgents in the Middle East.
He proposed law amendments that would seek to prevent militants from leaving Australia, as well as make it easier to find and prosecute them. It will also prohibit Australians from going to designated hotspots without a viable reason.
Young Australians, as well as Britons and other Westerners, are being recruited by militant groups -including the Islamic State (IS) – through recruitment videos posted online, while many militia groups have taken to social media, calling on young Muslims worldwide to seek martyrdom in the struggle against the Syrian and Iraqi governments.