SHAFAQNA – Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott found himself under strong criticism this Saturday after dozens of Muslim leaders and organizations around the country slammed him for “bullying” the mufti of Australia and other Islamic groups that criticize his government.
In a joint statement signed by 64 organisations and 42 community and religious leaders, they opposed PM Abbott’s “politically convenient” threats to tackle and crack down on Islamic groups whose only crime has been to speak out about his stance towards Muslims.
The statement said that they “opposed” the bullying of the nation’s highest Islamic leader, Ibrahim Abu Muhammad, because of his opposition to Abbott’s attempts to silence people.
The community released the statement before an address to parliament by PM Abbott on Monday outlining changes to the nation’s national security framework.
The community statement comes amid more reports that Muslims are feeling a backlash and are being targeted by the community and authorities.
Earlier this month, a Muslim woman picking up her child from the Christian school which she attends, has said she was questioned by police while she was sitting in her car waiting across the road from the Sydney primary school.
The statement said: “We deplore and denounce the continued public targeting of Muslims through abominable ‘anti-terror’ laws. The laws passed in late 2014 have been used to justify opportunistic raids on Muslim homes, have created media and community hysteria where in the majority of cases no crime was committed, and have created distressing and harmful backlash towards Muslims, especially women and children.”
A spokesman said their media statements made their position very clear. “We don’t support the methods, the crimes of ISIS, or their claim to a caliphate. What else do we need to say to show we don’t support them?”