PROMINENT Australian Muslims have written to Lebanon's Prime Minister asking him to reject any offer of Australian peacekeepers.
Muslim community spokesman Keysar Trad and Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilali sent a letter on August 10 to Prime Minister Fouad Siniora in which they said an Australian peacekeeping presence in Lebanon would not be in the best interest of Lebanon or Australia.
"Should Australian troops go into Lebanon, Australia's current counter terrorism laws will severely hamper debate in Australia about Lebanon's right to defend itself and those protesting to support Lebanon's independence may find themselves liable to imprisonment," the letter said.
"It's with this in mind that we ask the Government of Lebanon to refuse any offer of military assistance in the form of a peacekeeping force from Australia."
In the letter Mr Trad and Sheik Hilali said Australia had continually supported Israel, and the Australian government's position would compromise a fair peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
"The (Australian) Government has in parrot fashion repeated the mantra of the US government and has not asked for a cease-fire like other fair-minded nations,'' the letter said.
"In addition Australia has invariably taken Israel's side whenever an issue concerning that country is dealt with by the UN.
"We feel the Australian Government's position would compromise a fair peacekeeping presence in Lebanon, and that its participation would not be in the best interests of Lebanon or the people of Australia."
Australia currently has a dozen troops with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), part of the UN Truce Supervision Organisation which supervises the Lebanese, Israeli and Syrian borders.
This is both the UN and Australia's longest running peacekeeping mission.