The regulation of Muslim Australians: A critical analysis of counter-terrorism legislation

Ariel Yin Yee YapMonash University

*corresponding author: Ariel Yin Yee Yap,


Five major reforms to counter-terrorism legislation and instruments were introduced by the Australian Government between mid 2014 and November 2015. This paper argues that these changes signify the importation of increasingly stringent and strict border control and security practices from the international sphere into the domestic sphere. Accordingly, this research critically examines how the riskiness of those identified as Muslim Australians has been discursively re-constructed and reinforced through these changes and draws on Harkin’s (2015) work on the ‘pains of policing’ to consider their implications for how Muslim Australians experience counter-terrorism policing.  The use of thematic analysis and critical discourse analysis was conducted during the course of analysis. This was done in addition to coding of the data set, data sources include scholarly articles, non-governmental and governmental reports, press-release statements, summaries of proposed bill and act amendments, and media reports.


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