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Succarieh's 'support' hurt Muslims: judge

AAP logoAAP 1/11/2016 Sarah Motherwell

Islamic bookstore owner Omar Succarieh thought he was helping the Syrian people by illegally sending thousands of dollars to his brother fighting in the war-torn country.

But a Brisbane Supreme Court judge says his actions have caused Australian Muslims to suffer because they bred suspicion and the rise of Islamophobia.

Succarieh, 33, last month pleaded guilty to four foreign incursion charges after the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions dropped more serious terror-related offences against him.

Each charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison, but the crown and defence are calling for Succarieh to be jailed for no more than three years.

Justice Roslyn Atkinson, who will hand down her decision on Wednesday, told the court the Islamic community was among those who really suffered from Succharieh's actions.

"We all know it makes people suspicious of people who are Muslim, which they shouldn't be," Justice Atkinson said.

"It causes a rise in Islamophobia and a terrible impact on them, and the rest of the community and the cohesion or our community."

Succarieh's younger brother Ahmed blew himself up in a suicide attack on September 11, 2013 in the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor after leaving Australia five months earlier.

In a statement to the court, Succarieh said as a young Muslim man he felt targeted by authorities, particularly after his brother's death.

The bookshop owner said he gave money to his other brother Abraham, who was in Syria fighting against the Assad regime because he believed he was in a "life or death" situation.

In covertly recorded conversations, Succarieh was captured speaking in code, describing cash as "sweets" and how much as "kilos", to arrange for $US43,700 to be sent to Abraham in early 2014.

He also gave $7700 to an Australian-born citizen of Albanian descent and Muslim Sunni faith to travel overseas in an alleged attempt to join the fight.

"I will forever be known as the accused terrorist who owned the bookstore," Succarieh said.

Prosecutor Lincoln Crowley argued Succarieh was only sorry about the shame he had brought upon his family and had little hope of being rehabilitated given his fundamentalist beliefs.

Mr Crowley said Succarieh's attempts to avoid detection showed he knew what he was doing was wrong.

He had also been told by police in 2013 that sending money overseas to foreign fighters was illegal.

"He believed it was his religious duty to do what he could to involve himself in the conflict in the name of his faith," Mr Crowley said.

"He fought with his money and the assistance he was able to provide."

Mr Crowley said it was important Succarieh's punishment acted as a general deterrence to others because his type of inconspicuous offending took up valuable police resources.

Defence barrister Saul Holt asked for the 92 days Succarieh had spent in solitary confinement, partly for his own protection, to be taken into consideration as it was a more arduous time in custody.

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