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The Australian Government’s Safer Communities Fund – Another way to interfere with and monitor Muslims

Posted by on Dec 12, 2019 in Current Affairs, Featured, Local, Our Work, Slider | 0 comments

The Australian Government’s Safer Communities Fund – Another way to interfere with and monitor Muslims

 

On 29 Oct, 2019, the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs launched Round 5 of the Safer Communities Fund infrastructure grants which provides schools, places of worship, community organisations and councils with funding of up to $1million for ‘crime prevention initiatives’. The stated aims are to help reduce crime, violence, and other security risks driven by racial or religious intolerance, with increased CCTV, fencing and gates, bollards, security guards, and alarm systems. While the grants are open to all communities, closer scrutiny reveals higher risks to the Muslim community from a government with a clear record of singling out and demonising the community for political expediency.

Soon after the announcement, the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) issued a statement that it has formed a Community Safety & Security Committee (CSSC) tasked with advising the Muslim community on security and emergency management programs and policies. One of its stated aims is to ‘undertake its objectives in conjunction and consultation with state and federal authorities’.

With previous CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) funding essentially viewed as tainted and illicit money, and openly rejected by much of the community, we must consider the possibility of the government seeking to find alternate methods to interfere in Muslim affairs. While CVE initiatives were cloaked in sporting grants, online awareness campaigns, and de-radicalisation workshops, can the current funding scheme be used to continue to view the Muslim community through the lens of security threats?

Capitalising on local and international attacks against Muslims and their centres, including Christchurch where 50 Muslims tragically lost their lives, the government may have found a foot in the door to gaining entry into our places of worship and increased surveillance of our centres and schools.

From the government perspective, this would be nothing more than a continuation of their War on Terror narrative where the Muslim community is viewed and treated as a security threat, and asked to take ownership of a security condition which we had no hand in creating.

The Australian Government’s relentless barrage of interference and harassment towards the Muslim community has led to an entire community being criminalised through Anti-Muslim ‘terror’ laws, phoney charges, monitoring of children, de-radicalisation initiatives, airport scrutiny, foreign policy, media sensationalism, and imposing values. Despite this, the expectation is that Muslims must remedy this situation through introspection and self-policing, and merely manage its security consequences. This security fund may address the symptoms, but not the cause.

As the government’s intervention in the Muslim community continues to exploit violence against Muslims, whilst it remains at the forefront of such attacks, how can they be trusted especially given the advances in security and monitoring technology? With CCTV systems allowing facial recognition and tracking attendance, will the likes of AFP and ASIO have direct access to these government funded systems? And if not now, then in the future? Will electronic ID Cards be introduced at our schools, prayer halls, and Mosques to track individuals who frequent these centres in the name of security, much like what takes place under other oppressive governments?

The Muslim community in Australia needs to rethink its strategy and engagement with government, policing authorities, and funding, as there are severe consequences at stake. Rather than challenge the government’s policies and actions, we are being coerced to accept operating under a shroud of continuous threats of violence and harm. The ramifications of which include spreading fear within our community (especially for future generations), and providing the government with increased access to our mosques and centres where we can no longer speak openly without fear of surveillance and consequence.

As Muslims, we are Dawah carriers to humanity, and must reflect the mentality of a brave, honest, and confident Muslim. Coupled with Tawakkul (trust in Allah), we do need to provide the right level of security to our centres, but this needs to be on our own terms and without strings attached, rather than in conjunction with a government whose intentions, actions, and history is plain for all to see.

The Islamic Culture Hub initiative

Posted by on Jul 18, 2018 in Local | 0 comments

The Islamic Culture Hub initiative

After much preparation and anticipation, it is our absolute pleasure to announce the launch of the exciting new initiative, Islamic Culture (IC) Hub.

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Imams Council note on “Judicial Process” represents sheepish politics

Posted by on Dec 16, 2017 in Commentary | 0 comments

Imams Council note on “Judicial Process” represents sheepish politics

 

The Australian National Imams Council put out a ‘Explanatory Note on the Judicial Process and Participation of Muslims’ (https://goo.gl/53DDHF) this week, which, in sum, does little more than to (unwittingly, I hope!) provide religious cover for the state’s assimilation of Muslims. (more…)

‘Keep NSW Safe’ a smokescreen to silence Israel criticisms

Posted by on Dec 16, 2017 in Commentary | 0 comments

‘Keep NSW Safe’ a smokescreen to silence Israel criticisms

 

So apparently the ‘Keep NSW Safe’ Coalition is not happy Jan about the NSW government quietly shelving plans to make amendments to the Anti-Discrimination Act (https://goo.gl/3z2dHz). The Keep NSW Safe initiative (http://www.keepnswsafe.com/) was started and headed (and is spoken for largely) by Vic Alhadeff and the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies – although the framing of it was as a neutral broad-base community platform. (more…)

Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement: Points to Consider

Posted by on Dec 8, 2017 in Commentary, Current Affairs | 0 comments

Trump’s Jerusalem Announcement: Points to Consider

 

On Wednesday the 6th of December 2017 Donald Trump made an  announcement of al-Quds (‘Jerusalem’) being officially recognised as the capital of Israel which drew reactions from world leaders across the globe.

Here we present a few points regarding this development.

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Millions march in Jakarta, Indonesia in rally organised by coalition of groups

Posted by on Dec 6, 2017 in Current Affairs, Global | 0 comments

Millions march in Jakarta, Indonesia in rally organised by coalition of groups

 

Last Saturday (2nd of December) saw Muslims in Indonesia stage a massive protest in Monas, Jakarta. Estimates have ranged from 500,000 (local news reports) up to 7 million (from the organisers) gathering at the National Monument, Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta.

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Video: Saudi Foreign Policy in the Middle East [Talk + Slides]

Posted by on Sep 30, 2017 in Local, Multimedia | 0 comments

Video: Saudi Foreign Policy in the Middle East [Talk + Slides]

 

On the 26th of August 2017, Hizb  ut-Tahrir Australia held an event regarding Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy in the Middle East. We present here the talk by Br Hamzah Qureshi, including slides that were used on the night. (more…)

Community Protest – Massacre in Myanmar | Sydney Australia [Pics + Video]

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Current Affairs, Global, Local, Our Work | 0 comments

Community Protest – Massacre in Myanmar | Sydney Australia [Pics + Video]

On Sunday the 17th of September 2017 a community protest was held in Sydney, Australia in response to the current horrific violence inflicted upon the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar. Hundreds attended the protest the community stand that saw the large crowd addressed by different community personalities and representatives of numerous community organisations. The addresses of the speakers through the event were strong and unequivocal both in their condemnation of the atrocities committed by the Myanmar government and in their support of our Rohingya brothers and sisters.

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The reality of the life of this world – Looking at Surah Yunus, Part I

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Commentary, Knowledge | 0 comments

The reality of the life of this world – Looking at Surah Yunus, Part I


This is the first part of a series of articles looking at Ayaat 22-25 of Surah Yunus, which describe the reality of the life of this world, employing very powerful language and imagery. Written by Shafiul Huq.
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Mehdi Hasan in Australia – challenging or reinforcing the mainstream WoT narrative?

Posted by on Jul 19, 2017 in Commentary | 0 comments

Mehdi Hasan in Australia – challenging or reinforcing the mainstream WoT narrative?

 

Mehdi Hasan’s appearance on the ABC’s Q&A this week impressed some in the community. Armed with the relevant stats and data and able to quickly and articulately convey an argument, Mehdi had some good points to raise. However, as Uthman Badar notes, we should not allow impressive style to stand in the place of superficial or problematic substance.  (more…)

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