Muslim communities in Australia have raised concerns about a proposed bill that bans the use of the Daesh/ISIS symbol, which incorporates Islamic words in its flag. There is apprehension that local authorities may misinterpret the symbol and create issues for innocent individuals.
Before introducing the bill, the government consulted with the Australian Muslim Advocacy Network (AMAN) to establish a clear distinction between the terrorist organisation and the Islamic faith. AMAN policy advisor Rita Jabri Markwell highlighted the potential confusion that may arise between sacred religious material and the prohibited symbol, leading to misunderstandings among law enforcement and the public.
The Australian government has presented a bill to parliament that criminalises the public display and trade of prohibited symbols, including the Nazi hakenkreuz, Nazi double sig rune, and the Daesh/ISIS flag. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus emphasised that the bill aims to address harassment and vilification of specific communities, including those targeted by Nazi, neo-Nazi, and Islamic State supporters.
Dreyfus acknowledged the distinction between the terrorist organisation and the respected Islamic faith within Australia’s multicultural society. The ruling Labor party previously rejected an attempt to ban Nazi insignia, opting instead for a parliamentary inquiry to prevent any unforeseen consequences.