Commonwealth Government Bankrolls Extremists
The community was invited to an open day at Preston Mosque.
Visitors will have full access to the interior of the Mosque, climb the minaret and have a view of Darebin, ask question you’ve wanted to ask, browse through our bookstore and make new friends.In case you were wondering... It's all about building bridges, people.
This event is open to people of all faiths and both genders.
This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department under its Building Community Resilience Grants Program.Immediately below that post is a summary of a recent lecture given at the Mosque. I wonder if the Attorney General reviewed it before reaching for the chequebook.
Lots of questions were asked and answered by Robert Stary. Below is a summary of the night by one of the attendees, may Allah reward himAll Islamic organisations! Clearly those Buddhists need to lift their game...
I'd like to make it clear that Robert Stary is not an ordinary lawyer. He did not charge a fee to present the information session at the mosque because he is passionate about helping the Muslim community who he believes is being oppressed. His dealings with the cases of Jack Thomas and the Melbourne 13 (Melbourne terror trial) etc. have been a means for him to increase his knowledge of true Islam and not Islam portrayed by media outlets. He said his children attend a school with many Muslim students and he thinks it's crucial that they also have a proper understanding of Islam.
I found it interesting that he stated that the only crime Jack Thomas committed was converting to Islam and that they wanted to use him as a sacrificial lamb to give a warning to others. He also referred to the convicted brothers as 'the brothers'.
Read more about him and his credentials here.
May Allah (swt) guide him to Islam, ameen.
I'll try to be concise and list the main point’s insha' Allah.
Some facts about ASIO:
- They have tripled in size since 2001.
- The new ASIO building will be the largest building in Australia since the Parliament house.
- ASIO Act gives them enormous powers.
- $26m spend on counter-terrorism.
- ASIO work with the police and although ASIO cannot prosecute you, the police can.
- What you say to ASIO cannot be used against you in your prosecution.
Does ASIO target Muslims?
Yes. Robert believes that Australia has a pro-Israeli stance due to the powerful Jewish lobby groups who have the economic upper-hand in this country. Naturally, ASIO will try to suppress pro-Palestinian groups and sympathizer (i.e Muslims). Here is an official list of the designated terrorist organisations in Australia. You will notice that they are all Islamic organisations (minus PKK).
What should I do if ASIO approach me?Why is the Attorney General's Department sponsoring an Open Day at this place? They should be working toward closing it.
There are two ways they can approach you, either formally or informally.
- ASIO operatives may approach you and ask to have a coffee or a general chat (there is no such thing as a general chat because they will be recording the conversation covertly).
Must I answer their questions?
No, you do not have to answer their questions if they do not have a warrant. Robert's advice is to be polite to them and say that you have taken advice and you do not want to speak to them.
Even if you have not done anything wrong, there is no need to talk to them. Remember that they are not our friends and you may think that you have done nothing wrong but they are contacting you for a reason, not to have a friendly conversation. Their job is to collect intelligence. If they want to engage with the community then there are other ways of doing so.
If they keep hassling you, be firm and assertive and don't give in because you don't have to. Brothers who have dealt with them will know that they will hassle you.
ASIO may contact you formally, that is with a warrant issued by the Attorney General.
- Under the ASIO Act, you must attend their interrogation.
- You don't have a right to silence. You must answer their questions. (Up to 5 yrs prison sentence if you don't)
- You may not be entitled to a lawyer of your choice (they need substantial grounds for denying you of this right).
- No right against self-incrimination.
- You may be prosecuted if you notify anybody that you have been questioned by ASIO or the nature of the discussion. (Some brothers in the Benbrika case who were questioned were not able to contact their families nor their employers telling them where they were).
If you don't comply with the above you may have committed an offence and may be charged.
Important note: If you are approached by ASIO and they say they have a warrant, you have the right to ask them to produce the warrant and see it. If they have a warrant to search your house, they will take anything they believe is of use to them (eg, laptop, books etc).
The only way they can enter your house without a warrant is if they appear to be friendly and you invite them in, which many people naturally do.
- Covert operatives/infiltration. The use of this tactic has increased dramatically over the years as seen recently in the Melbourne terror trials where a Turkish police officer was used to infiltrate the group.
- Phone tapping/recordings. With advanced technology, they can tap into your conversations without you having a clue which may later be used as evidence (once again, Benbrika case phone conversations). Some websites are flagged and if you visit them you may be monitored although it is legal to visit them. I'm sure this forum is also being monitored.
Is it an offence to watch and download "Jihadi" material?
- This is a grey area of law and generally it's not an offence but can be as there is an offence called 'possession of a thing'.
- The material needs to be coupled with an application. In other words, you need to somehow use the material to plan something or apply it. (once again see Benbrika case, material + application (phone recordings)). It becomes an offence when coupled with action. Conspiring to do something is an action.
Do we have freedom of speech?
Yes we have freedom of speech but it is limited. You can voice your political opinion on a matter and there is nothing wrong with doing so. For example you can say "I think the Israeli government has committed war crimes and those perpetrators should be punished". If you say something along the lines of "the jews have killed our brothers and sisters so we should fight against them and kill them", inciting violence and hatred, then you will be in hot water.
For example, the Somali brothers were discussing how easy it is to infiltrate the army barracks along with some other inappropriate talk which lead them to be charged with conspiracy although it was impossible for them to carry out an act given the circumstances. Conspiracy is an offence, you don't need to possess weapons or anything of the like, talk is sufficient. Their case will be heard in the Supreme Court on Friday.
- Be careful when sending money overseas, even if it may be for humanitarian purposes. For example, sending money to a region in Somalia which is controlled by Al-Shabaab will be an offence and you may be charged.
- Supporting groups that want to overthrow/destabilize a foreign government is an offence. (eg, Arab spring).
- The role of ASIO is to gather intelligence so little things may not seem like a lot to you but they will have other intelligence on you and can bring the two together to make something out of it...
- In some instances, you can easily be charged with obstructing an officer so avoid confrontation in all circumstances.
I hope I have made sense as these notes were scribbled on paper (didn't take laptop) so I tried to tie it all together. If you need me to clarify anything please ask. In any case, the recording will be released soon insha' Allah and you can cross-reference what I have written to verify it in case I have been inaccurate.
Also, the brothers who have been approached by ASIO should get it documented at Preston Mosque for future reference insha' Allah.