The Daily Telegraph is today reporting that new PM Malcolm Turnbull will “not be banning Hizb ut-Tahrir”. This is unlikely to be a result of the change of PMs; rather, and more likely, a reflection of a lack of substantial grounds on which HT could be banned by the Government under current laws. It may yet seek to introduce new laws that will make its job easier, but as in the past, even the creation of new laws as a pretext to ban HT seem to run into trouble with the legal advice the Government receives. This is a space to watch going forward.
THE federal government is set to abandon plans to ban fundamentalist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir from Australia and use new laws making it illegal to preach genocide as a mechanism to control the organisation.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott had pushed for the group to be banned after multiple hate-fuelled rants by senior leaders and suggestions the group was playing a role in radicalising Australians.
Mr Abbott was unable to impose the ban, which led to the creation of a new “advocacy of genocide” law to be introduced later this year.
There have been suggestions teenage terrorist Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar was inspired by Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a claim denied by the group, led by Sheikh Ismail Alwahwah.
The group yesterday outrageously blamed the Australian government for violent outbreaks in the community, claiming it was “about time the Australian establishment assumed responsibility”.
Despite increasing community concerns about Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the new laws, which would make it illegal to advocate extremism or violent behaviour to achieve political change, will not be introduced until later in the year.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refused to be drawn on Hizb-ut-Tahrir yesterday, insisting his government was taking an evolving approach to tackling radicalisation.
“I don’t want to provide a running commentary on it,’’ he said. “The need to counter radicalisation is there.
“The government’s commitment to countering it is absolutely undiminished. What we have to do is ensure our efforts to counter radicalisation are as effective as possible.”
Mr Turnbull insisted there had been no change to counter-terrorism policy since he took over from Mr Abbott. The advocacy of genocide law was introduced prior to Mr Turnbull coming to power.
Hizb-ut-Tahrir yesterday described the Parramatta shooting as “wrong”, but confirmed it blames Australian political policy for extremist uprisings in the community.
“The real cause of violence is Western foreign and domestic policy,” it said.
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