INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bali no excuse for state terrorism

Published: Thu 31 Oct 2002 12:57 AM
New Zealand should condemn the dawn raids on Australia's Muslim community, Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke said today.
"The Bali bombing cannot justify Australian police terrorising Muslim families in Australia," said Mr Locke.
"New Zealand should caution Australia about being caught up in the anti-Islamic hysteria flowing out of recent terrorist incidents.
"It was a huge over-reaction for the Australian police to sledgehammer their way into people's homes waving around pistols and sub-machine guns.
"It seems people are being raided merely because of allegations they have associated with Islamic fundamentalists.
"With the government setting such a bad example, the number of incidents of people attacking Muslims in Australia can only increase. Forty have been reported from Sydney alone in the past fortnight.
"New Zealand should take a breath and learn from this sad turn of events across the Tasman.
"This is a time when we should be trying to build bridges with Islamic communities in our country and around the world, encouraging them towards greater prosperity, democracy and tolerance.
"Raids like we saw yesterday break down trust between communities, and increase not decrease the danger of terrorism.
"Our government should think twice before being swept down the path of draconian anti-terrorist laws, the banning of organisations, and allowing police practices that undermine our cherished civil liberties," Mr Locke said.
ENDS

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