Australia

Security surveillance worries Muslims

VICTORIAN Muslims are living under constant surveillance and are being pressured to inform on fellow community members, says an Islamic leader.

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The festival of Eid al-Fitr at the mosque in Preston. Picture: Nicole Cleary Source: HeraldSun

By JOHN MASANAUSKAS, Source:  SUNDAY HERALD SUN

VICTORIAN Muslims are living under constant surveillance and are being pressured to inform on fellow community members, says an Islamic leader.

Islamic Council of Victoria executive member Mohamad Tabbaa said ASIO and the AFP had contacted Muslims as part of counter-terrorism operations.

“It’s very common knowledge around the mosques, especially, that most people have been contacted by ASIO or have been asked to attend an interview or things like that,” he said.

“There’s a general feeling of living under suspicion and being under surveillance constantly.”

Mr Tabbaa and other council members will raise the issue today at a forum on police racial profiling held by the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre.

Victoria Police has launched a separate inquiry into racial profiling as part of a legal settlement reached with six young men of African background.

Mr Tabbaa said Preston Mosque had complained about its members being targeted by intelligence agencies. A number of Australian Muslims have been convicted of terrorism-related offences.

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