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Australian PM rejects claims that new terror laws target Muslims

[JURIST] Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] rejected allegations Monday that Muslims were being targeted by new proposed anti-terrorism laws [JURIST report], saying that the laws were necessary to "protect the Australian community at a time of unprecedented and different threat." Zachariah Matthews, a moderate Islamic leader and head of Mission Islam [advocacy website], has said the proposed law could lead to intolerance and has already incited hatred against Muslims in a small section of the community, adding "the feelings of the general Muslim population in Australia is that we are being collectively punished for actions that are beyond our control." State leaders will convene a security summit Tuesday to discuss the new legislation, which includes stricter investigation of citizenship applicants, jail terms for inciting violence and detention of suspects without charge for up to two weeks. State leaders have threatened to introduce sunset provisions [AAP report] into the terror legislation if the federal government does not agree to the inclusion of time limits at the security summit. AFP has more. The Australian has local coverage.

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