Australia: Muslims ‘under siege’, says lawyer

Newport lawyer and Muslim community leader Fatoum Souki

Newport lawyer and Muslim community leader Fatoum Souki

A Newport lawyer and Muslim community leader has warned of growing divisions between the Islamic and broader communities.

Fatoum Souki has been asked to advise Victoria Police in the wake of the fatal shooting of Numan Haider on September 23.

The 18-year-old was shot by police outside Endeavour Hills police station after injuring two officers with a knife.

Ms Souki spoke to Star Weekly just before the Senate cleared the first tranche of the federal government’s tougher counter-terrorism laws.

Ms Souki said the Muslim community was feeling besieged by growing suspicion.

“Lebanon’s been a war-torn country for years,” Ms Souki said, “One of my family members is returning home to visit his ill father. He has $1000 on him because he wants money when he’s there and the ATM is four hours from his village. He has a little beard. Suddenly, this is raising suspicion left, right and centre.”

Ms Souki said no Muslim would ever say it wasn’t OK for the government to protect the safety of Australia’s citizens…