Muslim Australians believe overwhelmingly that they are unfairly targeted by counter-terrorism laws but say terrorist groups distort the true meaning of Islam, a survey of community attitudes has revealed.
Around one in five of the 800 Muslims polled believed that terrorist groups sometimes have legitimate grievances, the survey found, hinting at the delicate task Australian community leaders face in countering the propaganda war waged by groups such as Islamic State.
The researchers, including University of Queensland criminologist Adrian Cherney, said the findings showed that police, especially those in Sydney, needed to do more to build trust and a willingness to cooperate among Muslim communities.
The study involved focus groups and surveys of Muslim Australians from a range of backgrounds, including Pakistanis, Syrians, Indonesians and South Africans. The participants were evenly split by gender and ranged in age…