A representative of Australian Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir has condemned the Abbott government’s decision to back a US-led operation against the Islamic State.
The Hizb ut-Tahrir group was reportedly a target in the federal government’s plans to expand the rules for proscribing terrorist organisations in Australia.
Group member Uthman Badar said the government’s plan would only fuel the problem.
“They seek to deny the link between the fact that you caused this threat, you’re responsible for this threat and you trying to deal with it in this manner will only exacerbate the problem and bring it forth in another form,” Mr Badar said.
Despite Australian troops supporting Iraqi and Kurdish forces, Mr Badar said the move would not be popular and could have major consequences.
“Any country that is invaded has the right to resist an invasion,” he said. “Any country.”
“If Australia was invaded by Indonesia or China, we wouldn’t be having this discussion saying ‘Is it allowed for them to target Chinese soldiers or Indonesian soldiers?’.”
But it’s not just hardline groups against the move.
Keysar Trad, of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, said Australia should take on the role of “peacemaker” and leave any intervention to others in the region.
“No matter what we do, we’re a minor player in this conflict,” he said.
“The intervention of majority Muslim countries will show Muslims all over the world that we are united in taking away any legitimacy from this ISIS group. That we’re not shying away; we’re taking responsibility.”
Next week, the federal government will introduce laws banning Australians from travelling to countries like Iraq and Syria without legitimate reasons.
Tony Abbott today rejected claims that the government’s decision to join military action in Iraq would encourage intolerance toward Muslims.
“There are thousands and thousands of Muslim people who are happy to join Team Australia; they are good Australians and I want to ensure that it stays that way,” he said.