Raids by Australian safety forces (ASIO) and armed police on Indonesian migrant households in October 2002 have been actually surprising for members of this group. Australia has a small however rising Muslim diaspora (augmented as a religion group by a rising variety of Australian–born converts), totalling about 340,000 on the time of the 2006 Australian census, and about one quarter of the 50,000+ Indonesian-born residents recorded within the 2006 census are recorded as of Muslim religion.
Muslim migration solely grew after a shift away from migration coverage that the restricted non-white immigration (The White Australia coverage) within the Nineteen Seventies and an embrace of multiculturalism moderately than assimilation as coverage. This variation appeared to herald tolerance of cultural and non secular range, and was skilled by many immigrant Australians on this manner.
However the world struggle on terror that led to ethical panic, positioning Muslims because the enemy of western civilisation, particularly following the destruction of the Twin Towers, examined this. The boundaries of tolerance of for Australian Muslims was revealed in the course of the first Gulf struggle, when essentially the most generally reported act of violence towards Muslims was tearing off ladies’s head scarves—an act anthropologist Ghassan Hage has termed the “governmental hand”.
The picture of a civilisation below assault had particular resonance for Australians when on 12 October 2002, members of the Indonesian Islamic organisation Jemaah Islamiyah bombed two common vacationer venues in Bali, regarded by many Australians as their very own yard playground. Australian casualties have been the very best amongst overseas vacationers, about equal to Indonesian numbers, and the occasion was formally declared Australia’s worst peacetime catastrophe. This environment and emotions of “a civilisation below assault” offered the context for the October 2002 raids.
The Australian media reported that the raids have been carried out due to an ostensible hostile act towards the Australian nation: the individuals focused had attended a lecture by Abu Bakar Bashir (jailed for his position within the bombings and launched in 2006) considered the religious head of JI, when he had visited Australia below an alias within the Nineties. The raids adopted rapidly on the Federal Authorities’s proscription of JI as an unlawful organisation in Australia on 27 October 2002, the very day the governor common signed it into regulation.
The speedy timing of raids have been a surprising revelation that Indonesian Muslims in Australia (residents and everlasting residents) had already been below surveillance previous to the Bali bombing. Islamic faith and Indonesian cultural citizenship made them “not fairly” Australian, sorely testing the picture of Australian tolerance and dedication to multiculturalism.
Response to the raids in Australia—Muslims because the enemy inside
The media accounts of the October 2002 raids introduced a spectre hardly ever seen in Australia: “Armed ASIO brokers and Federal Police fan out throughout Australia looking for hyperlinks to Islamic extremism”; “Officers carrying balaclava and bullet proof vests” holding sub-machine weapons (Australian Broadcasting Company “ASIO raid in Perth”, PM, 30 October 2002.)
They reported police utilizing sledgehammers to interrupt down doorways and home windows and “smash…their manner into homes” at daybreak. Within the case of the Suparta household in Perth, closely armed officers broke into their dwelling in Thornlie (a suburb common with Perth’s Asian migrant populations) and the dad and mom and 4 kids (aged 17, 10, 6 and 4) have been ordered to the ground and saved there for half an hour. The oldest little one, a 17-year-old woman, mentioned officers pointed weapons at them, and one officer put his foot on her father’s head and instructed him to not transfer.
After a seven-hour search, officers took away passports, books (together with non secular books), materials downloaded from the web, computer systems, and movies. Such actions have been repeated in about 12 extra properties of Indonesian Australians in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. In line with a Muslim chief (Yasser Solimi, president of Islamic council of Victoria) the ASIO and police raids had left individuals “confused, scared and shocked” (cited in The Age, 3November, 2002.)
Neighbours interviewed by the press expressed shock. In Perth, neighbour Helena Joyce instructed ABC radio (Australian Broadcasting Company ‘ASIO raid in Perth’, PM, 30 October): “..And I noticed a number of males in, I suppose fight or regardless of the SWAT individuals put on, you realize, the black helmets, the black balaclava, the ski glasses, the black clothes, some machine weapons. So I used to be terrified.”
The reporter David Weber requested: “Have you learnt the household effectively?” and expressing a view apparently at odds with the official “othering”, the neighbour replied: “Sure I do, Yep, we’ve lived right here for nearly three years and so they’ve been right here since earlier than we got here right here. Um, they’re Australian residents like everybody else, I suppose and so they’re a really good household. All I might consider is that they’ve received the satellite tv for pc dish and they’re initially from Indonesia?”
One other neighbour commented: “They do their yard. I at all times stroll by to go to the Thornleigh buying centre and their look to me is a really quiet, good household, and that’s all I do know…” When the reporter asks if he “could be stunned for those who knew that…” the person cuts him off, replying: “Very stunned. Very, very stunned. Very quiet, good man out within the entrance doing the yard. He says whats up. They’re ethnic individuals however they’re beautiful, very good individuals.”.
The neighbours’ feedback, that the Suparta household are a “good household, who do their yard and say whats up” signifies a “grass roots” vernacular multiculturalism in that they’re judged by their efficiency of the quotidian attributes of Australian belonging.
The Director Common of ASIO (Australian Safety and Intelligence Organisation) denied the report that the individuals raided have been suspect as a result of that they had attended lectures by the JI religious chief within the Nineties; however one of many males raided, Jaya Fadli Basil mentioned to the media that the paperwork he had been proven indicated that they have been investigating anybody with JI hyperlinks. He mentioned that he had at all times achieved the proper factor, had no terrorist hyperlinks and the one cause he was raided is that he had been within the non secular lectures of Abu Bakar Bashir within the Nineties. Jaya Fadli Basil mentioned he now felt he was not welcome in Australia “because the Bali bombing, quite a lot of our group received abuse”.
Challenges to Countering Violent Extremism in Indonesia
The dominant counter-terrorism coverage paradigm is pointless limiting, and generally counter-productive.
In line with one newspaper, the entire dozen individuals aided had some hyperlink to the JI chief throughout his Australian go to: one had pushed him round, one other had invited him to lunch after a lecture on the Dee Why Mosque. One of many males raided mentioned he had been interviewed by ASIO beforehand as he knew Mamdouh Habib, at the moment detained in Guantanamo Bay. Habib was, he mentioned, as the daddy of one among his son’s faculty buddies. He had additionally attended the Abu Bakar Bashir lectures “I solely went to listen to him communicate. That’s all I did. I’ve by no means heard of Jemaah Islamiah” (reported in Solar Herald, 3 November).
For Australians involved with civil rights the raids—and the laws that enabled them—signalled a diminution of civil rights. The president of the NSW Council on Civil Liberties was quoted: “If these persons are purported to be terrorists they need to be charged and introduced earlier than a courtroom of regulation. The truth that there have been so many raids and that none have been charged means that there isn’t any proof. It means that this can be a fishing train or a publicity stunt.” (reported in The Age, November 1, 2002).
The Chairman of the Islamic Council of NSW made the same remark and linked the raids to the circumstances within the undemocratic regimes that migrant refugees had fled: “We’re not against any Australian resident being required to help ASIO or different authorities businesses in defending Australia at any time. However this have to be achieved inside the rule of regulation and utilizing no extra pressure than essential to safe the required end result. I imagine the raids haven’t been acceptable or affordable responses to any threats said up to now. Younger households have been overwhelmed by the pressure and violence of the raids. Many Muslims fled struggle, bloodshed and violence to construct a safe life right here. To cease that chaos erupting on our shores have to be the precedence and we’ll work with whoever asks us to maintain Australia secure. Nonetheless, for the authorities to storm into our properties and lives on this trend brings these traumas and fears into our residing rooms.”
It was reported in 2003 that nobody was ever charged as a consequence of the raids
The Indonesian ambassador on the time, Imron Cotan, leapt to the defence of the households who had been raided despite the fact that a lot of them have been not Indonesian residents. In an change with the host of a TV present affairs programme he mentioned: “We’re deeply involved about the best way the ASIO in addition to Federal Police, carried out the operations as a result of that involved Indonesian residents…We’re right here to guard our residents.”
In response the host, Tony Jones, identified that each Indonesian and Australian residents had been targetted within the raids, and handled in the identical manner; Ambassador Cotan burdened once more that his position was to behave in keeping with his mission to guard Indonesian residents.
Ambassador Cotan’s response was not totally at odds with the affective response of many Indonesians resident in Australia who noticed themselves as below assault for his or her Indonesian Muslim identification. This invoked a discourse of suspicion of their proper to belong in an Australian nation that was closing off the embrace of cultural and non secular range, which Islam had then solely lately, and cautiously, been allowed into.
In contrast to many different Muslim teams in Australia Indonesian migrants should not refugees: they’ve entered Australia as expert or enterprise migrants, and on household visas, for instance after they marry Australians. A lot of them have been caught unawares by the quickly altering politico-religious panorama in Indonesia following the autumn of the Suharto regime in 1998, which noticed the speedy progress of Islamist actions, many at odds with customary types of tolerant and liberal Islam, some espousing violence in pursuit of their ideological goals. One lady, who had married and moved to Australia a long time earlier than, expressed the dilemma to me, saying the speedy adjustments left Indonesian Muslims in Australia weak. She mentioned, “We now have to observe our backsides,” which means that Australian Indonesian Muslims have been susceptible to changing into unwittingly embroiled with excessive non secular actions via harmless acts of attending lectures by visiting clerics. Her resolution was to start an organisation that might facilitate individuals like herself acquiring up-to-date recommendation from individuals extra educated concerning the modern non secular panorama in Indonesia, equivalent to college students with non secular schooling background, or Indonesian diplomats.
The raids threw obvious certainties onto query, indicating that Indonesian Muslims had been below surveillance, and their loyalty to the Australian nation below query for a while. Citizenship doesn’t mechanically confer certainty of belonging to the nation. Indonesian cultural citizenship has been embraced as a option to achieve information to guard themselves from future dangers within the politico-religious panorama.