AT LAST! A Crackdown on terror books!
The government were very quick to act after the sales of these books were discovered at the weekend! When you think about the two Pastors who have been ordered to apologise for their comments on Islam, this beggars belief! Read on...
ISLAMIC bookstores face closure and their owners could be charged with terrorism offences as pressure intensifies in the wake of the London bombings to crack down on radical literature sold in Australia. Federal and state counter-terrorism officers will investigate at least one Islamic bookshop in Sydney following revelations it is selling literature promoting jihad and justifying suicide bombings.
Another bookstore in Melbourne, run by the country's most fundamentalist cleric, was yesterday selling a book calling for Christians to be trampled underfoot. "It is either Islam or death," says the book, which is sold from the bookshop attached to the Brunswick prayer room where Sheik Mohammed Omran delivers his fiery sermons.
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said officers would review the literature sold in Sydney - including one book filled with vitriol against the Australian way of life - to determine if anti-terrorism laws had been breached. Mr Ruddock said one Australian had already been charged with collecting or making documents likely to facilitate a terrorist act.
Anyone found to be inciting terrorist acts can face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail. "If there are offences that have been committed here in Australia, competent authorities will seek to obtain appropriate evidence and we will deal with it," Mr Ruddock said.
The Islamic Bookstore in Lakemba, in Sydney's south-western suburbs, sells books focusing on the fundamentalist strand of Islam originating in Saudi Arabia.
The Blair Government moved swiftly in the wake of the blasts that killed more than 50 people, raiding one bookshop where one of the suicide bombers had worked and planning tougher terrorism laws. Britain is likely to outlaw "indirect incitement" of terrorism, including praising those who carry out attacks.
Mr Ruddock confirmed yesterday the Government was re-examining Australia's current counter-terrorism regime in the wake of the London bombings. This is expected to include a review of the existing legislative framework governing terrorism offences, as well as emergency response planning for a possible terrorist attack.
Moderate Islamic leaders in Australia have long been concerned about a plethora of radical material found in magazines, books and DVDs sold in bookstores but also distributed outside mosques and easily available on the internet. National Christian, Jewish and Muslims leaders met recently to devise a plan for preventing the sale of radical material, after finding some with alarming levels of hatred. "There is no doubt that these books vilifying races and religions and justifying terrorism are out there in numbers," one leader at the meeting said.
New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney said he was offended by the books for sale in Sydney - at the Islamic Bookstore and allegedly at another shop called IDCA in nearby Auburn - and Australian Federal Police and NSW counter-terrorism officers would investigate. "Obviously, in this investigation it will be necessary to seek qualified legal opinion ... as to who actually commits the offence: is it the author, is it the publisher, is it the retailer, is it the purchaser of this particular material, or is it all of the above?" Mr Moroney said.
Mr Ruddock said state governments concerned about this material could also alert the Office of Film Classification. "This issue is a very real problem here and abroad," Mr Ruddock said.
The latest glossy magazine, from a group called Islamic Youth Movement in Sydney, features a glowing interview with a leader of Iraqi terrorist group, Ansar Al-Islam.
Fundamentalist scholar Shiek Omran's shop sells a book that details reasons Muslims should not befriend Jews, Christians or non-Muslims. "If it becomes clear that someone is at odds with Islam, then fight him. The (Jew or Christian) who insults the Prophet should be killed," it says.
The book remains on sale despite intense lobbying from Islamic and Jewish leaders for its removal.
What do you think?