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Muslim organisation in Australia to start hotline

Muslim organisation in Australia to start hotline

Canberra: Following the attack on a mosque in Sydney last week, the Islamic Council of Western Australia (ICWA) is planning to set up a hotline for its members in Western Australia, media reports said.

A mosque was damaged in Sydney last week, said the organisation's spokesperson Abdullah Eshtewi, reported.

Over 800 police raided homes in Sydney and Brisbane last week in the largest counter-terrorism operation ever conducted in Australia.

During the raid, a 22-year-old man, identified as Omarjan Azari, was arrested on charges of kidnapping a man in a bid to behead him.

The raids carried out in Sydney were condemned by Muslims.

"There was a lot of fear in Perth's Muslim community after the anti-terrorism raids were carried out in Sydney and Brisbane last week," Eshtewi was quoted as saying.

"There are fears for the security of Muslim Australians and we have had reports of an individual being racially harassed, but we don't know if it's just rumour at the moment," Eshtewi added.

"We are setting up a hotline and we want members of the community to call the hotline or police if they get harassed or see any mosques getting vandalised."

Eshtewi said the ICWA had not heard from Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett, who announced Sunday that he was planning to meet with Muslim leaders in the state.

According to the organisation's website, the ICWA is one of the oldest and government recognised religious councils in Western Australia.

Established in 1976, it was incorporated as a state council for Islamic affairs in 1977.

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