Victoria’s Jewish community wants a radical Islamic group banned, claiming it poses a security risk.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in several countries, is due to hold a conference against the Afghanistan war in Melbourne tonight. The group’s Australian branch has also recently criticised a new counter-terrorism website launched by the Federal Government.
Victorian Jewish Community Council president John Searle said yesterday that Hizb ut-Tahrir’s beliefs were contrary to those of most Australians. “They peddle a very virulent form of anti-semitism and anti-Zionism, and they are the sort of group that would encourage home-grown terrorists,” he said. “We are not happy that they are here at all. We don’t believe they are a desirable influence on young minds.”
Mr Searle said the Jewish community council wanted the group banned and was concerned that speakers at tonight’s event could inspire people to take extreme actions. “They are certainly at the very extreme end and extremists do not produce any good results for anybody,” he said.
But Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar denied the group was extremist or anti-Semitic. “The claims made about us are based on hearsay,” he said. “We are happy for them (Jewish community members) to come down and have a look at our conference.”