Muslims In Australia 'Traumatised' Over Government Plans Of Stripping Dual Citizenship

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Police has found an unidentified body of a woman in the Adelaide Park Lands on Sunday morning. Pictured: Police stand outside a house that was involved in pre-dawn raids in the western Sydney suburb of Guilford September 18, 2014. Reuters/David Gray

Muslims in Australia are in trauma for being singled out for the government’s political gains. A top Islamic leader in the country is worried that the federal government’s plans would make people “criminals” based on suspicion alone.

Gaith Krayem, president of the Islamic Council of Victoria, told an anti-racism conference in Melbourne about the Abbott government’s plans to allow the immigration minister to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals who are found to be members or supporters of terrorist organisations.

He said the plan was clearly targeting Muslims. Krayem mentioned two people who were fighting with the Kurds against ISIS and returned to Australia without charges. “But the moment a Muslim says “I want to come home,” what does our prime minister do? If you come home, you’ll be arrested, and the full force of the law will be applied,” said the Muslim leader.

He believes the government’s plans will only be applied to the Muslim community alone. Krayem said the intention to strip dual nationals of citizenship without due process would be based on the discretion of the immigration minister, reports The Guardian. He added that there would be limited review and the person revoked of dual citizenship would not find out about the intelligence provided to the minister.

About 300 people with diverse backgrounds attended the anti-racism forum and revealed the thoughts of the Muslim community about the unnecessary laws. They were also believed to fuel the agenda of extreme groups such as the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia. Speakers in the forum had called for a halal certification and Sharia law.

Krayem said the Muslim community is a “community under siege.” He pointed out that the amount of money allotted for social programs within the Muslim community is small compared to the $1.2 billion boost in funding for intelligence agencies and police in the budget. The Muslim leader described it as a “community in trauma.”

BBC reports that more than 100 Australians are thought to be fighting alongside ISIS and other extremist groups in Iraq and Syria. The Abbott government said about half have dual citizenship. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has insisted that tough measures are needed to protect Australia from forces trying to “destroy” the country.

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