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  1. #101
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    Jan 2007


    Muslim woman's arm broken in racist attack

    A Muslim woman is nursing a broken arm after being pushed onto a road in an unprovoked racist attack in Melbourne's north.

    The attack occurred outside a Lalor shopping centre in the middle of a weekday earlier this month, the Weekly Review reports.

    The 48-year-old woman, who was wearing a hijab and a "long Islamic dress", had been shopping at Lalor Plaza and was on her way home when she was attacked.

    The woman's daughter, Abrar Ahmed, saw the incident unfold from her car.

    "A man approached my mum and said, 'You Muslims, go back to where you came from'," Ms Ahmed said.

    "As my mum turned around to see who was yelling at her in such a disgusting way, she saw this really big guy.

    "He pushed her on the ground, she landed in the middle of the road. When she fell on the ground she broke her arm. She heard her bone crack."

    Ms Ahmed, who organised a recent protest against racism in the CBD, said attacks like the one on her mother were not uncommon.

    "A lot of other Muslim women, they have been going through worse assaults, they are being attacked in very different ways and they don't have the courage to speak out."

    In Carlton, Quman Ali was pushed down the steps of a tram earlier this month, falling into the metal barricade on the street.

    She said the incident occurred about 6.30pm on a weeknight on a packed No. 1 tram travelling to East Coburg.

    As she tried to exit the tram, a man whom she was passing pushed her down the stairs.

    "He pushed me out of the tram. When I looked up he was mumbling something. I was so shocked, I could not even say anything."

    Ms Ali hit the metal tram barrier, injuring her knee. She believes the attack was racially motivated because she was wearing a hijab.

    Neither woman reported the attacks to the police.

    Federal member for Melbourne Adam Bandt said the current political climate is contributing to an increase in attacks on Muslim women.

    "It can divide our community and some people end up on the receiving end of abuse. In this case, Muslim Australians – and especially women – tell me they are being harassed and assaulted," he said.

    Brunswick police Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Davies said police take all reports of racist attacks seriously.

    "I think sometimes people have a fear of reporting or think there is no point in reporting, so we are engaging with the community to encourage them."


  2. #102
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    Donald Trump’s Australia

    MELBOURNE, Australia — In the days after President Trump’s ban on immigrants from several Muslim countries, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia spent a lot of time saying nothing. He said nothing about the ban itself, enduring days of headlines about his failure to express even the mildest disagreement with the policy.

    “It is not my job,” he said, “to run a commentary on the domestic policies of other countries.” That’s about as adventurous as he got.

    He then said as little as possible about his now infamous phone call with Mr. Trump, volunteering only that the president had agreed to honor the refugee deal Mr. Turnbull had struck with the Obama administration. As more details of the call emerged — and as the status of the refugee deal fluctuated seemingly by the hour (or at least by the tweet) — Mr. Turnbull would state only the barest of facts: The deal was still on, and “the call ended courteously.”

    This was a studied silence. It is almost impossible to overstate the political importance of the refugee deal to the Turnbull government. Its detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru is a festering sore. Australia refuses to allow them on Australian soil out of a belief that doing so would restart a flood of boats toward our shores, and rejected the offer of New Zealand, which has open borders with Australia, to resettle them for the same reason. The government has tried paying other nations, like Cambodia, to take the refugees, but those attempts have failed. By promising to take some refugees, President Barack Obama came to the rescue. America is Australia’s Plan A. There is no Plan B.

    Unprepared to gamble this deal on the whims of a volatile president, Mr. Turnbull decided that even a whiff of criticism of Mr. Trump — whether for his policies or his phone etiquette — was too big of a risk. But that approach invites serious long-term risks of its own, the kind of risks to the character of a nation that governments tend to ignore.

    The government’s response to this Trumpian bellicosity reflects how Australia is moving right. To see this, look beyond Mr. Turnbull’s silence to his senior colleagues. Like Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who said, “The Australian government and the U.S. government will continue to support each other in ensuring that we can implement our strong immigration and border protection policies.” Or Scott Morrison, the treasurer, who said, our country is “the envy of the world when it comes to strong border protection policies.”

    This is more than a refusal to condemn Mr. Trump’s selective ban on people from some Muslim-majority nations. It’s an effort to claim credit for Mr. Trump’s policy, as if Australia is an inspiration. Mr. Trump’s announcement was cast as America’s attempt to emulate Australia.

    The general thrust of this — that the world admires Australia’s border policies — is not new. But the idea that this stretches so far as to evoke Australian pride in what Mr. Trump unleashed is new, and dangerous.

    It’s dangerous because Australia fully renounced its discriminatory White Australia immigration policy only in 1973. Since then, nondiscrimination has been a cornerstone of Australia’s social evolution, something both major parties have proudly regarded as nonnegotiable.

    When John Howard as opposition leader suggested in 1988 that Australia should consider merely slowing the rate of Asian immigration, he lost his job and, many thought, his political career. It took him until 1995 to reattain his leadership role. Yet today, Mr. Howard’s remarks seem mild.

    But it’s also dangerous because of the moment we’re in. Mr. Trump’s gravitational pull is visible in the resurgence of the far-right, nationalist One Nation Party, which wants not only to ban Muslim immigration, but also to convene a commission to determine if Islam is a religion or political movement.

    Naturally, Pauline Hanson, the One Nation Party leader, tweeted that Mr. Trump’s policy was “a good start, but I would go further.” The Turnbull government has members of its own backbench who share similar sentiments. One explicitly declared, “I think Trump has got it right.” Another — who met with Rudolph Giuliani and Kellyanne Conway during the campaign and wants to “make Australia great again” — has established his own breakaway party. And while it is true these views are on the fringes of our Parliament, they are not entirely relegated to the margins of public opinion.

    Australia is now a nation where, according to an opinion poll from last year, 49 percent support a ban on Muslim immigration, a result so shocking the pollsters did it twice before releasing it. A similar poll the previous year had that figure at 28 percent. Even allowing for the vagaries of polling data, those results signal a remarkable change in a short period. In the aftermath of Mr. Trump’s ban, another poll found 44 percent of Australians supporting similar measures.

    Australia’s asylum-seeker policies were meant to prevent all this. The pious calculation is that by making a show of our iron borders, Australian multiculturalism can be protected. Shunting asylum seekers offshore bolsters public confidence in our migration system, which preserves our tolerance of the migrants who are here. Yet for all that, it now seems Australian attitudes are getting harsher.

    Perhaps it’s true that, absent our current policies, those attitudes would be worse still. But it may also be true that when you spend 15 or so years deriding asylum seekers as “illegals” or “queue jumpers,” describing their arrival as a “peaceful invasion” or warning they might be terrorists, it all lodges in the public imagination. Perhaps, far from leading to a more thorough acceptance of migration, this constant demonization of migrants establishes a norm of selective xenophobia where exempting a group of migrants from our tolerance is unremarkable.

    I understand the difficulty of Mr. Turnbull’s position. But the reaction here to Mr. Trump represents the resurgence of our worst instincts. We’re doomed if, in the face of this flirtation, the best we can muster is silence.


  3. #103
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    OPINION: ‘Why, like New Zealand, aren’t we more proud of our indigenous people

    “JUST the way they walk around in Darwin. It’s different. There’s something about it. They’re blacker up there.”

    That’s just one of the many responses I’ve heard in Sydney and Brisbane from non-Aboriginal people about indigenous Australians as they learned I had spent more than five years working as a journalist in Darwin and throughout the Northern Territory.

    The mere mention of the Top End to those from outside the NT seemed to open an invisible door in which many unprompted racist comments about Aboriginal Australians were spewed through.

    These comments were not made based on experience or encounters with First Nation people.

    They were based on unfounded fears and assumptions and made despite a lack of exposure and in most cases, no real life exposure at all.

    They became so common upon my return to Sydney 15 months ago that I started documenting them.

    If I, as a non-Aboriginal, had witnessed such extreme and regular prejudice towards indigenous Australians in just one year, what must those who identify as indigenous be subjected to daily and over a lifetime?

    I have covered many stories about racism for major news publications over the years. One incident that sticks out in my mind was about an Aboriginal elder who had been performing at a traditional ceremony for a deceased loved one. He called several taxis to take him home when he was done. One after one, the taxis would pull up, see him, and take off before he could get near.

    In the end, the man’s non-Aboriginal friend had to hail a taxi, on his behalf. The taxi company told me it was “because he was wearing traditional face paint”. Famed singer Gurrumul, who has performed for the queen and on stage with the likes of Stevie Wonder, had the same problem when he tried to get a taxi home after performing with Missy Higgins in Melbourne. The taxis would come, see him, and drive away.

    It was unsettling to repeatedly hear so many first hand accounts of racial profiling from some of the most peaceful, generous, talented, wise and lovely people I have ever met.

    But to realise the perpetrators weren’t just a handful of disgruntled taxi drivers or shop owners and that they were seemingly everywhere, was perhaps the most shocking revelation of all.

    “I went to Darwin but the problems with Aboriginals are everywhere,” one man in a senior professional job recently said to me.

    “They’re not like the ones in Redfern. It’s really bad. Same as in Western Australia. They were scary. I didn’t know what to think of them.”

    I asked the man if his views were formed on a particular experience. Had he had a particular scary encounter with an Aboriginal person that had led him to fear an entire race?

    “No,” he said.

    Another woman told me: “I’m worried because there’s apparently a lot of Aboriginals (in the town we’re going to). My family doesn’t like them. I’ve never met one. I don’t know anything about them.”

    On another occasion, a quietly spoken, professional man said to me: “Education is the key to getting them all off the dole. The problem is they just don’t want what the government is offering them. They have to want it.”

    These were not trolls trying to incite hate from behind a keyboard. They were university educated, professional people who were speaking honestly and without inhibition. They were mothers, fathers, seasoned travellers, progressive millennials and people who were otherwise kind, intelligent, understanding, informed and open-minded.

    None of them thought they were racist and all were offended at the implication their comments were, at best, unintentionally derogatory.

    “Your Aboriginals are so black up there,” one such woman in an executive role said to me.

    “I went to Darwin once and just noticed all the Aboriginal homeless people. I was just shocked by how they were everywhere.”

    Do the white homeless people in Sydney shock you, I asked?

    “I haven’t really paid much attention to that,” she replied.

    On another occasion, a PhD student told me she had just returned from attending a wedding in Darwin.

    “There are a lot of black people in Darwin. I don’t think I’ll go back here again,” she said.

    Did you have a bad encounter while there? I asked.

    “No,” she said.

    One of her friends declined an invitation to the wedding in the first place because she was “too scared to go to Darwin because of all the Aboriginals”.

    But the problem is so much deeper and ingrained than derogatory comments behind closed doors. What these attitudes showed me was that many Australians, no matter how down to earth or intelligent they might seem, quite simply don’t understand, respect or appreciate Aboriginal Australians, their culture or history.

    Yes, there are Aboriginal communities that have problems with alcohol and violence.

    But I’ve seen more white people drunk in pubs or drugged out on the streets in broad daylight in my first year back in Sydney than I ever saw Aboriginal people drunk in the parks of Darwin or remote communities.

    This is not to undermine any violence or abuse that has happened or exists now. There are undoubtedly problems in some Aboriginal communities, as there are in non-Aboriginal communities, towns and cities. But it’s important to highlight that violence, alcohol abuse and domestic violence are not Aboriginal problems. They are Australian problems.

    And in the same way those social issues don’t define non-Aboriginal people or Australia as a whole, they also shouldn’t define Aboriginal Australia.
    What I saw during my years in the NT was a beautiful culture, that embraced family, music, storytelling, dance, tradition, food and the environment. Everyday people, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, working together in the likes of parliament, universities, schools, media organisations, fashion houses and in trade and government jobs.

    Charismatic park rangers who bursted with pride at showing tourists the land their ancestors roamed tens of thousands of years earlier. Elders who shared their Dreamtime stories, culture and traditions with anyone willing to listen, watch or learn.

    Artists, musicians and so many types of people who brought something truly special to every place they visited and to those who encountered and connected with them. Children, smiling and laughing — everywhere.

    Yet it seems, for many people, there’s a lack of visibility and acknowledgment of our indigenous population unless a few members are lying drunk in a park. How much of our nation perceives Aboriginal Australians is in stark contrast to the way New Zealand embraces the culture of its Maori people.
    Why, like New Zealand, aren’t we more proud of our indigenous people? Why aren’t we boasting to the rest of the world about this magnificent culture that exists here in Australia and includes world class art, traditional dancing, music and so much more?

    A culture where family is everything and ties to ancient ancestors are strong. Where are the pictures of our First Nation people in our international airports, tourism advertising campaigns and on the cover of mainstream magazines?

    Why is it such a stretch to imagine an Aboriginal male or female being cast on a show like The Bachelor or Bachelorette? Isn’t it impressive that we have young children in remote communities speaking several languages, their native tongue and English, fluently?

    And that we live alongside members of the oldest living culture on earth? To hear Dreamtime stories from Aboriginal elders and watch them pass it onto their children under an open sky is truly a magical experience.

    There is a rich, wonderful culture that exists within Australia that many people don’t seem to acknowledge, understand or even know about. Perhaps life simply hasn’t led them to be exposed to that, as it did me and so many others. That’s understandable. But it also makes their negative attitudes towards Aboriginal Australians even more unfair.



  4. #104
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    Anti-Islam signs found in suburban Sydney

    Anti-Muslim signs have been posted on power poles on the streets of Sydney

    By Stephen Johnson - 23 February 2017

    Vile anti-Muslim signs have started appearing on Sydney streets - but with an unfortunate grammatical mistake.

    The printed paper signs were pasted on to metal telegraphs poles at Ingleburn, in the city's ethnically diverse south-west.

    'I don't care if you're black, white, gay or Asian - as long as your not Muslim,' the sign said.

    The sign incorrectly featured the word 'your' instead of 'you're' in the second part of the sentence.

    A photograph of the hostile sign was posted on the Islamophobia Watch Australia Facebook page, which highlights discrimination against Muslims.

    Susan Husseini, a Muslim woman, uploaded the offensive images to the social media site on Wednesday.

    'Are these people serious?' she wrote.

    Facebook users were quick to point out the grammatical error on the sign.

    'Disgraceful grammar,' one woman wrote.

    Another pointed message said: '"You're." Proper English or leave.'

    On comment highlighted how the sign posters had been cowards in declining to identify themselves.

    'They didn't put their name and address,' one man said.

    A woman questioned the mental state of the people who put up the signs.

    'Stuff them, they're just lonely losers,' she said.


  5. #105
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    "Get out of my country" - Chinese Australian attacked near suburban shopping mall

    A Chinese Australian woman named Lina contacted local Chinese language media Sydney Today, revealing her terrifying experience of being attacked by a stranger on the streets in Burwood, a Sydney suburb with a large Chinese Australian population.

    According to the report, while Lina was waiting at the traffic light near Burwood shopping mall around midday on the 4th February, a Caucasian-looking man suddenly shouted at her, with what she describes as "a series of insulting words - and yelling 'Get out of my country.'"

    According to Lina, although she tried to walk away, the man stopped her and punched her in the face, causing immediate bleeding.

    The alleged attacker reportedly left the scene after the victim called the police and emergency.

    Image supplied by the victim and reprinted with the permission of Sydney Today

    SBS Mandarin tried to contact the victim, but was told that Lina does not want to be interviewed by other media.
    Witness:"I can't leave her alone"

    SBS Mandarin spoke to a witness to the incident - Ms X, who preferred to stay anonymous.

    Ms X says she was driving past when she saw the incident and so she slowed down and horned in attempt to the attention of other drivers.

    "I was thinking that if someone would get out of their car to intervene, I may get out my car too,” she says.

    Hearing her horn, the assailant turned to her car and allegedly started hitting her windows and shouting at her.

    Because she was conscious of having her child in the car with her and "a line of cars behind me," Ms X says she had to drive away.

    “When I told my kid that I want to go back and check, they were a bit scared," she says. "I said 'we can't leave the poor girl (the victim) alone.'”

    When she managed to come back after parking her car roadside, she located the victim whose face was covered in blood, surrounded by other people. She left her contact details to the victim.

    "I was wondering why it's been so long yet the police still haven't contacted me?"

    Ms X told SBS that as she didn't hear from the police, she phoned Burwood station yesterday, confirmed her contact details and expressed her willingness to provide witness statement.

    According to Sydney Today's report, victim Lina believes the incident was "a severe racial attack" - not just an ordinary assault.

    Ms X said to SBS: "Even if it is not considered as a racial attack, I think we still need to be concerned. I hope my witness [evidence] can help the Police to fast track the case."

    Almost 40 per cent of racial attacks occur in public spaces; and according to VicHealth survey, one in three people reported that they’d witnessed a racist incident within the past year, yet almost half did nothing to intervene.

    Managing director of All Together Now, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated solely to addressing racism, Priscilla Bryceis says that research shows that people often remain inactive because they don’t want to be the first person to take action.

    "They’re more likely to assist if someone else initiates a response,” she explains

    "But also, people can also remain quiet if they don’t feel safe to speak up or step in, or if they feel unsure of what to do or say to help.”

    This recent SBS story explains how to react and make a difference when you witness a racial attack, including exchanging contact details with any other witnesses present, which will help assist police with their investigations.


  6. #106
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    Australia encourages Israel's occupation of Palestine

    The Australian government's flirtation with Israel extends to a selective and dangerous approach to international law.

    There is something troubling about the recent five-day trip to Australia by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, something beyond the charade of pomp, bravado and contrived pleasantries.

    The trip itself was heralded as historic, firstly because it was the first visit of a prime minister of Israel to Australia. The agenda was primarily related to trade negotiations, and more significant issues relating to Israel's occupation were left off the official agenda.

    What is troubling is the Australian government's apparent willingness to collaborate with Netanyahu's plans, including - just as the United States President Donald Trump appeared to have done - engaging in Netanyahu's fantasy version of a "Palestinian state", which in essence is a form of limited occupation with de facto apartheid conditions, or "occupation lite".

    The troubling part is that the Australian position, which has shifted to the right since 2013, is flirting more intensely with this fantasy and, at the same time, encourages Israel's breaches of international law.

    Bipartisan failure to admit the truth

    It makes no sense why Australia is in step with successive Israeli governments. Polling trends among the Australian public show a more responsible attitude to the Palestinian-Israeli issue than that adopted by Australian Labor and Liberal governments.

    Under a Labor government with Julia Gillard as prime minister in 2012, Australia refused to recognise a Palestinian state and this has been the position of the current Liberal government.

    The Labor opposition is still grappling with whether to adopt acceptance of statehood as a policy, and on the eve of Netanyahu's visit, former Labor prime ministers, Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd, and former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr have been actively calling for Australia (and the Labor Party) to recognise Palestine, and have sharply criticised Israel's continued settlement expansion policy which they recognise is a violation of international law.

    The Australian government's flirtation with Israeli demands has extended to a selective and dangerous approach to international law. Why is this the case? It can be described as an ideological attitude that permeates across other domestic policies.

    In June 2014, Australia found itself in the middle of a serious diplomatic crisis when Attorney General George Brandis, who despite being the first law officer in the country, with no expertise or knowledge in international law, refused to accept East Jerusalem as occupied.

    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop agreed with Brandis saying the term was not helpful. Both Bishop and Brandis tried to defuse the policy shift as many Arab and Muslim majority countries threatened sanctions against long-standing trade links. Netanyahu at the time welcomed the change.

    Then there is Bishop's more recent affront to international legal fact. In a video posted on Twitter, journalist Latika Bourke asks Bishop if she believes that Israeli settlements are illegal. Bishop responds: "That's a matter for the final determination of the negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The point that I've always made is that you can't have a unilateral imposition of a state, it has to be negotiated between the Israelis and the Palestinians."

    This mirrored her first foray into this unusually Israeli position in January 2014 when she was interviewed in Israel, and said: "I would like to see which international law has declared them illegal."

    Of course Bishop is well aware of the law and the international legal position and she would be advised to look further given Australia is a party to the Geneva Conventions.

    The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) recognises grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions as amounting to war crimes offences.

    To add to that, Australia has codified the Rome Statute offences into its criminal code. So such offences are also offences against the Australian Commonwealth.

    Trouble in its own backyard

    That the Australian government and foreign minister are openly championing a warped view of the settlement enterprise - advanced only by the extreme fringe of Israel's supporters worldwide - that encourages disrespect for international law which Australia is duty-bound to respect, observe and ensure respect for globally.

    Netanyahu met with Bishop on the last day of his visit and expressed concerns about the prospect of prosecution in the ICC and sought Australia's support in preventing investigations and an eventual prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    Israel's settlement enterprise is likely to be one of the issues that the ICC will focus on when, and if, a decision is made to open a formal investigation.

    Israel's Channel 2 and the Jerusalem Post reported that Bishop apparently assured Netanyahu that Australia will be an "important player", and committed to defending Israel in "hostile" international forums as it has done previously.

    Bishop's assurance to Netanyahu runs contrary to the international community's obligation to end impunity. The timing is important. Australia has just launched its bid in Geneva to claim a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

    Australia's own record and violation of international law and human rights is evident. The policy of indefinitely detaining some of the most vulnerable people, those people seeking asylum, in "offshore detention centres" on tiny remote islands in the Pacific, has been the subject of sharp criticism and condemnation.

    And, more recently, the conditions on Manus Island and in Nauru detention centres, have been alleged to amount to crimes against humanity in a recent communication lodged with the ICC by leading international academics and practitioners.

    Australia's xenophobic border protection policies have been viewed positively by the right-wing in Europe and President Trump.

    Australia's inconsistent approach to international law and human rights doesn't stop there, it has rejected calls for accountability for allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka, and instead chosen to partner with the Sri Lankan government to enact its boat "turn back" policy .

    It is also silent on the oppression of the people of West Papua, and closer to home, has failed time and again, its indigenous people.

    Australia needs to chart a foreign policy which is guided by respect for international law. It should also adopt a policy independent of Israeli demands with a view to recognising the human rights of the Palestinian people and their right to seek justice and accountability.


  7. #107
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    Yassmin Abdel-Magied and the Australian crucible

    This article is regarding this debate:

    The most horrifying test for witches during the Middle Ages was the swimming trials. Women were tied up and thrown into lakes or rivers by people believing that the “sacred water of Baptisme”, as James I of England wrote in 1597, would reject them if they were practitioners of the dark arts.

    If they floated, they were found to be witches and were executed. If they sank, their innocence was proved – but they also generally drowned.
    While it was probably unpopular with the victims, the societies enforcing it could feel satisfied that, no matter the outcome, their test rid them of any individuals they did not like or trust, and did a brilliant job of keeping people in line.

    And so it was in the past two weeks that a Salem-esque furore descended upon Australia and surrounded Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

    The most horrifying test for witches during the Middle Ages was the swimming trials. Women were tied up and thrown into lakes or rivers by people believing that the “sacred water of Baptisme”, as James I of England wrote in 1597, would reject them if they were practitioners of the dark arts.

    If they floated, they were found to be witches and were executed. If they sank, their innocence was proved – but they also generally drowned.

    While it was probably unpopular with the victims, the societies enforcing it could feel satisfied that, no matter the outcome, their test rid them of any individuals they did not like or trust, and did a brilliant job of keeping people in line.

    And so it was in the past two weeks that a Salem-esque furore descended upon Australia and surrounded Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

    In The Australian alone, there have been 26 editorials and opinion pieces, and four front pages and exclusives. As I write, the choleric exchange on ABC-TV’s Q&A with Senator Jacqui Lambie has led to 10 consecutive days of coverage. Every major news site in the country, and some internationally, has run at least one piece on the unfolding drama – 184 at last count.

    Yassmin has had screenshots taken of her Facebook exchanges and stories written about them. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has been forced to weigh in. A former prime minister has shared his views and parliamentary question time has debated what happened. Petitions with thousands of signatures have circulated in both support and condemnation. On Twitter, the usual bottom-dwellers have fed on the sludge and regurgitated worse of their own. Even Solange Knowles, the American pop star, has chimed in.

    And to what do we owe this reaction? The scale would suggest Yassmin outed herself on the program as a paedophile or a North Korean spy.

    It was nothing even close to that.

    Yassmin’s crime was to say that she found Islam feminist. She also said she believed sharia taught adherence to the laws of the land, that culture and faith were often conflated, that killing gay people was against her religion, and that she’d travelled the world telling people how much she loved Australia.

    The response in certain parts of the press was a frenzied, paranoid witch-hunt that saw culpability everywhere. When no evidence of guilt was present, it was created. This was beyond mere reporting or disagreement with her opinions. The Murdoch media in particular was out to annihilate Yassmin – a trial by ordeal, a water test. During a time of wars, famines, terror attacks and the most controversial United States president in history, Yassmin is being treated by the media here as Public Enemy No. 1.

    One article on the front page of The Australian was entirely about a Facebook exchange with a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir. The exchange contained little more than a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir criticising her performance on Q&A, and Yassmin asking him what he thought she could have done better. This was published in a scurrilous attempt to try to conflate Yassmin’s opinions with Hizb ut-Tahrir’s, or present her as somehow aligned with them. Her DFAT trip around the Middle East to promote Australia’s culture, and no doubt present a modern, feminist image of a Muslim woman to locals in the region, was condemned as a waste of taxpayers’ money, and worse.

    Such attacks are initially confusing – isn’t this progressive, feminist form of Islam what we want Muslims in repressive countries to be exposed to? By any measure, Yassmin is the kind of Muslim that people from across the political spectrum claim to want in Australia: “modern”, “moderate”, ‘feminist”, “patriotic”, “tolerant”, “liberal”. She’s a mechanical engineer and won Queensland Young Australian of the Year. She sits on the board of an anti-family violence organisation and is the gender ambassador for a bank, for goodness sake. She fits so well the description of the kind of Muslim Australian politicians and the media have been demanding for so long it would be laughable if she weren’t so authentic.

    So why the vicious, excessive response?

    That she dared to claim a personal coherence between Islam and feminism was the tipping point. By doing so, Yassmin strayed into a territory outlets such as the News Corp papers would not concede. Women’s rights are theirs, and the subject has no place being bandied about by uppity Muslim women.

    Feminism is something the West beneficently imposes on Muslims, never something that can be indigenously theirs, and certainly never in a form that isn’t Western, liberal and secular. To them, the only way a Muslim can be a feminist is to view Islam with the same unwavering misogyny-goggles they do.

    That many other male and female Muslims around the globe have made a similar claim – that Islam is a feminist religion to them – is either irrelevant or unknown to Yassmin’s detractors. And it is convenient to dismiss all those Muslims as confused or deluded with references to the unarguably appalling treatment of Muslim women in certain Muslim-majority countries.

    An opportune argument, however, is not always accurate. The different treatment of women in Morocco or Indonesia – the latter the world’s most populous Muslim nation – compared with that in Saudi Arabia and Iran, despite all these nations claiming some degree of inspiration from Islamic law, demonstrates that the way sharia is interpreted and implemented is by no means uniform.

    The simplistic arguments arrayed against Yassmin dangerously erase all other political, cultural and historical factors in the way a country defines and applies its laws to women. Muslim women around the world use Islam to fight the sexism they experience, and have done so since the earliest days of Islam. Records from more than a thousand years ago show Muslim women challenging with men their sexist treatment, and using Koranic verses and prophetic statements for their argument. This happens to this day. It is not new, and it is not a Western import. To say so is not in any way a denial of the grim reality many Muslim women face – indeed, it’s an affirmation. But that affirmation includes Muslim women choosing different ways to fight their oppression. And some choose religion as their tool. This may be unpalatable to some in the West, but shockingly enough for them, Westerners do not have the monopoly on fighting sexism.

    If a Saudi cleric defines sharia rulings relating to women in one way, and a Muslim feminist theologian with decades of scholarship defines them in another, completely opposite way, why is the former given more authority in the Western estimation than the latter? As Yassmin tried to articulate in the choppy Q&A bunfight, there is a woeful lack of knowledge about what sharia actually is, how it manifests in a Muslim’s life, and how it was formed and reformed. And for all the non-Muslims merrily weighing in about sharia being imposed in Australia, there isn’t much evidence for their expertise or even rudimentary knowledge. If someone cannot name the five pillars of Islam without Googling it, how much insight can they really offer on what sharia is and isn’t?

    For all the cries of wanting “moderate”, as opposed to “fundamentalist” or “radical”, Muslims to speak up and dominate the presentation and definition of Islam in Australia, the situation of Yassmin has shown there are those in Australia who don’t actually want either type of Muslim, and never did. Their response to Yassmin – which isn’t just a rejection of her opinions, but a full-scale assault on her existence – is indicative of far more than just their feelings towards her. It finally puts into full technicolour display the truth of their feelings towards Muslims: that the only acceptable Muslim is a non-Muslim.

    This is why so many across the political spectrum fall over themselves to embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman who has called Islam “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death” and “the new fascism”, and has said the West is “at war with Islam”. Not terrorism or radical Islam – Islam, period. Ayaan is an avowed apostate.

    By her own declaration, she is not a Muslim. And yet she is probably the most popular “Muslim” to many in Australia. That an ex-Muslim who travels the world telling people how dreadful Islam is can be the only acceptable kind of Muslim reveals exactly why Yassmin received the response she did.

    It doesn’t matter how moderate or modern or feminist or liberal or patriotic one is – if they are also proudly Muslim, they are a problem. Their opinions will be lacerated with the attention normally reserved for society’s worst. Their Muslim-ness is the insurmountable problem, so when they remind us they genuinely have an adherence to their faith, especially in relation to an area as socially flammable as feminism, they will be turned on with the force of a thousand suns.

    The outrageously disproportionate treatment of Yassmin is a warning to such people: keep your head down, or we will destroy you. This is beyond merely staying in line. As this saga has shown us, the lines will always be shifted. The politics of this are brutal, the media’s campaign unrelenting. A person’s life is bludgeoned to make a point and the point is this: you can speak, but we will make the consequences so pernicious you will wish you hadn’t. And we will make any who come after you reconsider even opening their mouths.

    So often we hear the same bleating refrain, “Where are the moderate Muslims?” After the past fortnight, the answer is apparent.

    You just threw her, and every other Australian Muslim, in the water. Moderate or fundamentalist, sink or float, the outcome is the same. And that was always the plan.


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    Racist five white men beat an Aboriginal man to death

    These are the facts, as they were agreed to by the perpetrators. After a long night of drinking, Scott Doody, Timothy Hird, Joshua Spears, Anton Kloeden, and Glen Swain left a casino at 6am in the morning of 25 July 2009. They ranged in age from 18–23. Most of them were drunk, but Kloeden, the driver, was not.

    Kloeden, in the words of Chief Justice Martin, then thought it would be fun to ‘take on the challenge of driving along the Todd River bed to the Telegraph Station’. Even more fun, Kloeden then ‘made the offensive and stupid decision to harass the Aboriginal people camped in the riverbed’, nearby Schwarz Crescent causeway. They drove towards a group of at least six campers. The campers fled to trees for safety, except for an elderly Aboriginal person, who was too elderly to respond with adequate speed. Kloeden drove within a metre of him, with the intention of terrifying him by narrowly missing him.

    Having driven away Kloeden turned the car back to the camp due to a fenced off exit. Kloeden had not yet had enough fun for the night: he drove over the elderly man’s swag as they passed the camp again. One female camper, who saw the young men coming, threw a small log at their car. Some of the men got out of the car and ‘yelled abuse’ at the Aboriginal campers. The form of this abuse was not recorded.

    The night, now morning, was not yet over. Kloeden thought there was more fun to be had, so he drove at another Aboriginal camping group. The three Aboriginal people were sleeping. They were woken up by the car speeding towards them, and fled for their lives. Kloeden parked near the campers, and again ‘words were exchanged’. The sort of words exchanged is not yet on the public record.

    After this, the group decided to return to the home of Hird and Swain. Fun was still to be had. Once there, the group picked up more alcohol, Hird’s gun and blank ammunition. They drove along and Hird shot his gun, though at one point it jammed. As they approached Schwarz Crescent causeway, they stopped the car so that Hird could fix his gun. Having fixed it, he shot it again. Justice Martin noted that the car was intentionally stopped so that Hird would be able to ‘scare the Aboriginal occupants’ of the first camp they had terrorised previously.

    This goal was achieved. As Swain testified to the police, the campers began running, and obviously ‘feared for their lives’, according to the judge’s rendition of Swain. Hird plainly contributed to this by holding the pistol outside the car in the direction of the camp.

    An Aboriginal man, Kwementyaye Ryder, was one of the campers who had been terrorised by Kloeden’s driving in the first instance. He responded this time by throwing a bottle, which hit the side of the car.

    Kloeden immediately executed a sudden u-turn. He stopped so close to Ryder that Ryder could grab the bullbar. All four passengers raced out of the car, with Hird the first one out. Without checking the damage to the car, they chased Ryder, who tripped and fell. Confronted with a man ‘lying defenceless and incapable of posing any threat to any of the offenders’, they repeatedly kicked him in the head, and Spears struck his head with a bottle. They told him ‘Don’t **** with us’.

    Swain, who had kicked Ryder in the head twice, noticed he was lying motionless, and that something was plainly wrong. He called out ‘Let’s go’, considering that the most appropriate reaction. They got into the car. Kloeden hadn’t gotten out of the car because he was executing a three-point-turn. Apparently untroubled by what he saw, Kloeden was ‘seen to drive away at a leisurely, normal pace’.

    The men proceeded to lie to the police over the course of a week. Swain and Kloeden lied to the police, saying they had gone by themselves to a racecourse and fallen asleep there. Hird lied to the police, saying that he had gone to the casino with Doody and hadn’t seen Swain or Kloeden. Justice Martin did not comment on it, but the matching alibis point to some collusion among the defendants.

    Justice Martin noted to the defendants that it was apparent they ‘would inevitably be caught’, which may help explain why Swain offered a full confession within a week. Out of the group of five, Swain was the ‘only person who made a full and frank confession to the police and who gave them every assistance possible’.

    Those are the facts. Justice Martin then had the task of interpreting them. He concluded that this ‘crime is toward the lower end of the scale of seriousness for crimes of manslaughter’. Not enough violence was inflicted, and the defendants supposedly could not have foreseen a serious risk of death from their violent attack. Repeatedly kicking someone in the head and hitting him with a bottle and then fleeing when the victim was motionless is apparently not recklessness, but negligence to Justice Martin.

    Justice Martin then considered the possible value of inflicting a heavier sentence for deterrence value. He dismissed this too. His grounds for this are particularly striking: the violence ‘arose out of an angry and aggressive reaction to a perceived insult’. Plainly, there could be no value in deterrence with a mere crime of violence perpetrated by intoxicated youths responding to a perceived insult.

    What didn’t feature in his discussion of deterrence was what he acknowledged repeatedly was the ‘atmosphere of antagonism towards Aboriginal persons’ manifested by the defendants. Nor was this mentioned as an aggravating feature. Which goes much of the way towards explaining his lenient sentencing: Doody, who did not physically strike Ryder, was sentenced to four years imprisonment to be suspended after 12 months. Hird, Kloeden and Spears were sentenced to six years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 4 years. Swain had half a year taken off both measures, on account of his confession.

    Yet there is one other factor which played a crucial role in Justice Martin’s sentencing, and is arguably the most appalling part of his decision. Justice Martin went out of his way to provide character references for every single defendant. Doody is ‘a person of positive good character’. Hird is a ‘solid, hard-working young man of good character’. Kloeden has an ‘underlying good character’. Spears is a ‘person of very good character’. Swain, like Kloeden, was a ‘person of underlying good character’. These men of good character repeatedly terrorised Aboriginal people for being Aboriginal, before getting a gun to terrorise them further, ending the night by beating a man to death, and then casually driving away without checking if their victim was okay.

    Justice Martin’s grounds for these conclusions are astonishing. He notes character references in their favour, proving that many of them have friends and employers who think nice things about them. This hardly balances out what they did. He then scrapes the barrel in special pleading on their behalf, holding, for example, that Spears had never previously ‘come into contact with the criminal law’. Considering he was 18 at the time, this is hardly such an achievement. Hird, Kloeden, and Swain, on the other hand, despite their youth had previously had difficulties with the law. Yet Justice Martin was able to claim that this was ‘totally out of character’ for all of them, and also that they were ‘genuinely sorry’. Presumably he was able to judge their tremendous remorse from how they casually left the scene of the motionless man who soon died from their beating. This too was in their character. Or perhaps their remorse was manifested in the lies they worked on together to tell the cops. Or perhaps he judged their remorse in the fact that four out of five of them didn’t cooperate with the police at all, and the only one did when it was already apparent that they would be caught.

    What was missing from Justice Martin’s sentencing remarks, and sentence, was a sense of revulsion at what happened. The five young men engaged in recreational activities that wouldn’t be out of place in a gathering of Klansmen.

    This disgusting crime was not just an attack on Ryder. It was an attack on Aboriginal people in Australia. It – and Martin’s judgement – was an attack on our decency as a people. I am appalled as a human being to live in a country where such a terrible crime can take place, where the media and public intellectuals – with the honourable exception of National Indigenous Times Chris Graham, who gave me the judgement on Friday – have reacted with complete indifference. I am horrified as a Jewish person to live in a country where a member of a small, vulnerable minority can be victimised in such a shocking manner, and the perpetrators can still be described as basically good people.

    And I am ashamed as an Australian that this is the country I live in.


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    Hijabi Chased Down the Street by White Australian Threatening to Kill Her

    This Young Muslim Engineer Gave A Powerful Speech About Racism In Australia

    Nada Kalam was walking in the city of Melbourne when a man started chasing her, screaming that he wanted to kill her because he was convinced she had a bomb under her hijab.

    Kalam, who was born and raised in Australia, can’t go for more than a few weeks without someone telling her Muslims aren’t welcome in Australia, or that she should “go back to where she came from”.

    For the record, that’s Richmond District Hospital.

    Greens leader Richard Di Natale invited the 27-year-old onstage during his National Press Club address on Wednesday to share her experiences as a young Muslim woman.

    Here’s what she said:

    “I am tired of being spoken about.

    My fate in the hands of people who don’t understand my contributions, my passions and my concerns.

    Because more often than not, people up here on this stage and in parliament attempt to shape my future without making me a part of the conversation.

    My name is Nada, and it is an honour to be on this platform to share my story.

    As a young Muslim woman in this country, my right to simply exist is constantly under fire and occasionally under threat.

    I am a regular victim of casual and impersonal racism, on public transport, in the supermarket, walking down the street.
    It hurts no less each time.

    I not only receive snide remarks in public places but have also received more violent threats.

    I have been chased down the CBD streets by a man screaming that he wanted to kill me because of the apparent bomb under my hijab.

    But this isn’t the Australia I have grown up in.

    It is not the future that we want.

    Young people across the country are fighting every day to change our path. Together, we are each other’s keepers.

    We are each responsible for what is happening down the street, beneath the Earth’s surface or across the seas.

    As a community, we have become so focused on defining our differences that we have forgotten about the power we have if we work as a collective.

    We Australians have a lot to be proud of.

    And it is time we capitalise on our strengths, truly understand one another and create a more inclusive, innovative and relevant future for generations to come.

    So, I ask today that you take the time to hear and understand others, to bring people together and to give us hope for our future.”


  10. #110
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    'You are doing what ISIS wants': Malcolm Turnbull and ministers slam Hanson over Muslim ban

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his ministers have slammed One Nation leader Pauline Hanson's proposal of a so-called "Muslim ban" in the wake of the London terror attack, arguing her policy is dangerous and would worsen the impact of terrorism.

    In a provocative video published hours after the London attack, in which four people died, Senator Hanson noted the hashtag #PrayForLondon, which was being used to express sympathy around the world.

    "I have my own hashtag ... it's #Pray4MuslimBan," she said." That is how you solve the problem. Put a ban on it and then let's deal with the issues here."

    Her office clarified she was advocating One Nation's existing policies on Islam - such as a ban on Muslim immigration and an inquiry into whether Islam is a religion or political ideology - not prohibition of the practise of Islam.

    Mr Turnbull on Friday launched his most severe criticism of Senator Hanson to date, arguing her policies were dangerous and would only incite hatred of Muslims, which was the goal of terrorist groups such as Islamic State.

    "If the problem is terrorism, policies like that would only make it worse," he told 3AW radio. "The object of the terrorist, the Islamist terrorist, is to get the broader society to turn on Muslims at large.

    "Their recruiting message to Muslims and Australian Muslims is to say 'this country doesn't really want you, you're not really Australian, they all hate you'.

    "Inciting hatred against any part of the Australian community is always dangerous. It undermines the mutual respect that we have in our community.

    "If you seek to attribute to all Australian Muslims or all Muslims responsibility for the crimes of ISIL [Islamic State in the Levant], then you are doing what ISIL wants. That is the classic strategy of the terrorist and it has been forever."

    Mr Turnbull said he had raised these points directly with Senator Hanson on previous occasions. He also noted the perpetrator of the crime in London was born in Britain, rather than migrating there from the Middle East.

    The man was identified by police as 52-year-old Khalid Masood, who was born in Kent, had a criminal record and had previously been investigated by British spy agencies for violent extremism.

    The Prime Minister was joined in his condemnation of Senator Hanson by cabinet colleagues Christopher Pyne and Scott Morrison.

    Mr Pyne told Channel Seven's Sunrise the video was counter-productive because public attacks on Muslims led to less co-operation with authorities from Muslim communities.

    "The agencies tell us that when there are attacks on Muslims as a group ... it stops the information flowing to the government and to the agencies," he said.

    "We're not about to deport Australian citizens who are Muslims because of any kind of xenophobic campaign ... they are as Australian as anyone else."

    Mr Morrison labelled Senator Hanson's comments "reckless and irresponsible", and said the occasion called for diligent security work, rather than "knee-jerk responses".

    "That's not a time to be pursuing political agendas, it's a time for focusing on keeping Australians safe, and ensuring that all Australians - every single Australian, regardless of your race, your ethnicity, your background, your religion - is safe," he told Sky News.

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Liberal Party should put One Nation last on how to vote cards.

    "If Malcolm Turnbull thinks One Nation is helping ISIS, he should stop helping One Nation get elected," Mr Shorten said.


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    Australia putting Muslim immigrants in indefinite detentions with "security risk" excuse

    2 years in detention: Muslim father & husband still detained WITHOUT trial

    Video: https://www.facebook.com/govinterven...7926903672292/

    In 4 September 2015, Mustapha El Ossman was taken from his family without notice and detained in Immigration Detention. Mariam Albaf, the wife of Mustapha El Ossman has been told that he is a “risk to security” but have not been told why. His matter has not gone before a court and was decided behind closed doors.

    We previously covered the case here: The facts: young Muslim father Mustapha detained without cause

    We are saddened to update that to this day, authorities have not disclosed any details as to criminal offences or any evidence about this case.

    Despite this, he remains locked up, depriving his wife of a husband and also her daughter of a father.

    Mariam Albaf previously spoke out about the toll her husband’s detention in Villawood has taken on her family. Her husband’s visa was cancelled by the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, on the basis of an ASIO security assessment. El Ossman faces indefinite detention in Villawood and is unable to seek a review of the ASIO decision on its merits because he is not an Australian citizen.

    Abdul Albaf, Mariam’s brother, also speaks about the impact El Ossman’s detention has had on his relationship with his daughter, Haffa Arwa Albaf.

    Mariam’s brother Ibrahim recently posted a status on Facebook:

    Today I asked my brother in law a question. He's been in detention in Blaxland for almost 19 months. His daughter hasn't seen him except when he is in the detention centre, that's all she knows of him. She went from being less than 6 months old to now being over 2 years old. He didn't see her walk for the first time nor did he see her talk. On top of that he hasn't seen his parents for almost 2 years. His wife (my sister) has been without a husband for 19 months. Yet when I a...

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    A reminder about the particulars of this case:

    WHO: Br Mustapha El Ossman moved to Australia many years ago from Lebanon and has been happily married to Sr Mariam Albaf. They have a young child together and live in Sydney’s west. Both his wife and young daughter are Australian citizens and brother Mustapha was on the verge of gaining an Australian visa.

    WHAT: The brother is currently being held in the high-security section of Villawood Detention Centre based on a mysterious adverse secret security assessment by ASIO in the last few weeks. This is after he was previously cleared by ASIO on 3 different occasions.

    THE ‘SECURITY ASSESSMENT’: Brother Musfapha has never been accused of any criminal wrongdoing and has always complied with his visa conditions. But suddenly, and with no clear explanation, ASIO gave him an adverse assessment in August 2015 and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton used his discretion to cancel his visa on ASIO’s recommendation, which led to his placement in the Villawood detention centre in Sydney.

    WHAT COULD HAPPEN: He potentially faces indefinite detention in Villawood and is unable to seek a review of the ASIO decision on its ‘merits’ because he is not an Australian citizen. This gap in Australian law has consistently been criticised and has drawn the attention of the UNHRC on several occasions.

    THE IMPACT: His wife has told Guardian Australia that “I’m moving because I have nightmares that ASIO comes in to my house in the middle of the night and takes my daughter away“. These are some of the emotional words the wife of Mustapha El Ossman said in a video interview.

    THE TRAVESTY: Brother Mustapha was not charged with any terrorist activities, picked up in a raid, questioned by police or anything of the like. He appealed the finding to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on two occasions but appeals were rejected in September 2015 and December 2015. A senior tribunal member Irene O’Connell cast some doubt over ASIO’s assessment given its secretive nature, but it cannot now be reviewed.



    Rose Alan : This happened to me and my husband was taken away from us . We had 3 children and I'm a citizen of Australia . Muslims are being targeted for these " secret asio assessment " then deported . It getting all too common

    Angel Mira : Hey Hun if u live in the Bankstown area go to roslands shopping centre go the the pm tony Burke he can write u a support letter to the immigration it really helps it happens to my friend they gave her husband the permanent he was on bridging visa n it works

    Shayma Staines : Happened to my best friend who is a revert and her husband got deported back to Lebanon and held ina Hezbollah jail for 2 yrs

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    Welcome to the Weird World of Australia's 'Fake Sheikh', Mohammad Tawhidi

    Mohammad Tawhidi waves regally from the back of a black car marked "VIP" as it makes its way through a city street lined with hundreds of screaming, flag-waving young South Koreans uniformly clad in white.

    With his gold-trimmed white robes and pointed turban, the man who calls himself both an Imam and Sheikh cuts an elegant figure as a minder guides him out of the car, past more jubilant Koreans and television cameras, and into the surreal surrounds of an Olympic stadium filled to capacity, where tens of thousands of seated spectators holding coloured cards form a gargantuan human LCD screen.

    Here he is ushered to pose for photographs with other similarly well turned-out men of faith, all of whom have been flown in from religious communities across the globe to take part in the World Alliance of Religions Peace (WARP) summit.

    But the cheer squads are not really here for Tawhidi, and this is not really a peace conference. These ecstatic young Koreans are members of an allegedly dangerous religious cult taking part in a highly regimented North Korean-style stadium extravaganza to pay tribute to their controversial leader, Lee Man Hee.

    Welcome to the thoroughly weird world of Mohammad Tawhidi, the man the mainstream Muslim community has dubbed Australia's "fake sheikh."
    Anointed as a religious leader by the tabloid media, this Shia extremist is using its newspapers and television programs to wage a sectarian war against Australia's majority Sunni community. And their audiences can't get enough.

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali has called for Tawhidi to be "elevated to celebrity status" to counter the influence of Waleed Aly, who she accuses of "having a stake in a Muslim Brotherhood-type of organisation." A skim through the headlines of the past fortnight indicates she needn't have bothered: Tawhidi has already made it.

    The enemy of my enemy ...

    Tawhidi first came to public attention through a series of claims about Muslims conspiring to establish a taxpayer Caliphate "right here, under our noses," where streets would be re-named after terrorist murderers. He demanded that the Australian government ban the construction of mosques and community centres and establish a body dedicated solely to investigating Muslims.

    Regaling Andrew Bolt with the horrors awaiting non-Muslim Australians under this Caliphate, Tawhidi claimed that tax evaders will be beheaded: "they put his head in a pot, they eat it, then they rape his wife that same night." Bolt was visibly delighted when Tawhidi declared that Sahih al-Bukhari, the most sacred Sunni text after the Qur'an, must be banned. The formula was clearly a winner: Tawhidi returned to Bolt's program the following week, this time lending support to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's crusade to see all Islamic schools forcibly closed.

    If the unusualness of a Muslim cleric aligning himself with Bolt and Hirsi Ali should provoke a close inspection of Tawhidi's credentials as a religious leader, either none is being undertaken or the spectacle of man dressed up as a cleric delivering epithets more at home at a white nationalist rally is proving simply too good to resist.

    The name of Tawhidi's organisation - the Islamic Association of South Australia - should be an immediate indication that something is not quite right: its resemblance to the real peak representative body for South Australian Muslims - the Islamic Society of South Australia - could be seen as a ploy to derive legitimacy through mistaken identity. Deliberate or not, the Rotary Club of Adelaide was certainly taken in by it, proclaiming him to be the South Australian Muslim community's "top man."

    Tawhidi is not recognised as an Imam or Sheikh by either the Australian National Imams Council or its South Australian equivalent, nor is he affiliated with any Australian mosque or prayer centre. The only religious instruction he offers is a self-described "university standard" Islamic Studies class delivered from a rented classroom at the University of South Australia. Course content posted online includes rambling refutations of the Big Bang and the theory of human evolution. A video he has shared on social media depicting a sparrow repeatedly fluttering against another sparrow gives a taste of his views on the latter. The caption reads: "Watch how this bird performs CPR on another bird, something we humans won't learn without an educational training course; so who taught that bird?"

    Tawhidi's sectarian project

    Unsurprisingly, Tawhidi's tales about Sunni Muslims' shadowy plot to instate Caliphate have been enthusiastically embraced by the far-Right, including Reclaim Australia. Perhaps less expected is the extent to which Tawhidi himself has courted such groups. In the lead-up to last year's federal election, he made offerings of roses to roadside anti-Muslim Liberty Alliance and One Nation posters, as if the face of Pauline Hanson belonged not to Australia's most recognisable anti-Islam campaigner, but a titian-haired deity.

    While it is certainly odd for a Muslim cleric dressed in full regalia to be making such an unmistakably religious gesture towards Islamophobes, the politics behind it are not completely unheard of.

    Evangelical Christian minister Danny Nalliah's Rise Up Australia party has a substantial non-Anglo membership, yet enthusiastically embraces Reclaim Australia's overtly racist rhetoric, including its denunciation of multiculturalism. Like Tawhidi, members of Nalliah's group are able imaginatively to erase themselves as targets of far-Right extremism because it serves as a means to address what is, for them, a theological grievance. Never mind that when a young Sri Lankan man is bashed on a train or a Muslim woman has her hijab yanked off, the offenders do not stop to check whether he is actually Christian or she is Shi'i.

    Tawhidi's theological grievance is of a sectarian variety rarely seen in Australia, and this is perhaps part of the reason it evades scrutiny. Visually referencing Iranian posters of Iranian Ayatollahs, one of the many self-aggrandising memes posted to Tawhidi's social media accounts depicts him in profile with the caption "Islam without Imam Ali (a.s) is simply Isis." In Tawhidi's black-and-white worldview, anything other than the Shia Twelver Islam that he follows is the terrorist ideology. Sunni Muslims "just want to live in the caves like they did 1400 years ago," he told 2UE's Ben Fordham.

    While Shia Muslims may share his understanding that Imam Ali is the true inheritor of Prophet Mohammed's legacy, the majority of Australia's Shia community does not conflate Sunni Islam with terrorism. Tawhidi's theological outlook places him firmly on its extremist fringes.

    Paradoxically, it is precisely the genuineness of Tawhidi's commitment to his sectarian project that fuels a public persona steeped in phoniness. And this has made him perfect fodder for even bigger phonies. Whether he was aware of it or not, when he headed to Korea for his 2016 "world peace tour," he was about to cross paths with one of the most successful merchants of religious fakery in the world.

    An "alliance into one religion"?

    Established in 1984, Lee Man Hee's Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle bears a strong resemblance to the better known Unification Church, popularly known as the "Moonies." For decades, both churches have been accused of brainwashing members and creating front organisations using deception to infiltrate other churches both in Korea and the West. The peace summit Tawhidi attended was hosted by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWRL) and a string of peace-themed groups, all of them controlled by Lee's Shincheonji Church. Unbeknown to the overseas invitees, the event was known within Korea not as a peace conference, but the 6th Shincheonji National Olympiad, a four yearly mega-party to celebrate Lee's birthday.

    A Korean media blackout on Shincheonji activities meant that for many invitees, the realisation that they had been co-opted into a cult leader's elaborate vanity project only dawned on them when they walked into the stadium. Martin Bergsma, the president of a Dutch youth NGO, said he found it difficult to extricate himself once the penny dropped; HWRL had paid 80% of his airfare and kept him under tight control when he got there, he said. Other participants shared Bergsma's experience of being pressured to sign a document declaring their submission to a single merged religion, effectively a pledge of allegiance to Lee.

    Speculating on the reason for the expensive and logistically complicated charade, Bergsma believes it generated "excellent propaganda material for the South Korean people, showing that Man Hee Lee has supporters from all over the world." The Church certainly made mileage out of the handful of attendees who did sign up to Lee's vision of a global religion - Tawhidi included. Shincheonji have quoted him as saying, "This WARP Summit is an event blessed by God because it is every religious person's wish to achieve peace through an alliance into one religion."

    If Tawhidi was perturbed by his name being attached to a pledge to do away with Islam, it did not show. While other attendees took to the internet to warn about the bogus event, Tawhidi instead made his involvement the centre of his public persona. Proclaiming himself "the Imam of peace," he plastered his social media accounts with images of himself posing with fellow attendees, often making the distinctive "L" shaped hand gesture associated with the cult. He also proudly showed off his "gold medal for world peace." There is no mention of who bestowed this honour upon him, but the medallion bears a striking resemblance to a cheap Korean good luck trinket.

    Believing a lie

    All of this would be amusing if not for the dogged determination of certain sections of the Australian media to further his cause without scrutiny. When Islamic television station One Path exposed Tawhidi as a fake, the evidence it presented was not only ignored, the very fact that it had investigated Tawhidi's claim to be a Muslim leader was twisted to suggest it was persecuting him as a Shi'i.

    Even a video of Tawhidi railing against Muslims who had mocked his peace-loving credentials on social media by circulating a photograph of a blood-drenched Tawhidi holding a dagger was presented as further evidence that Muslims were upset with him for exposing their Caliphate plans. (The image is likely to have been taken at a Shia tatbir ceremony, where participants self-flagellate with blades until they bleed in an annual mourning ritual.) His extraordinary accusation in the video that the Muslim community had offered him $3 million to buy his silence not only went unexamined, it was simply left out.

    The only fact-checking that appears to have been carried out to date concerns Tawhidi's most recent claim that he has been "escorted into hiding by the police." A police spokesperson told the Australian that "there have been no incidents relating to the removal of a person from a mosque or similar place." This did not take any of the wind out of the story's sails, however, and other media outlets quickly went on to state it as fact.

    And this is what is most disturbing about the whole Tawhidi phenomenon: in the pantomime that is media coverage of Islam and Muslims, it is far easier to be fake than real. The ridiculous spectre of 2% of the population seizing control and boiling heads in pots - disturbingly similar to Nazi propaganda about Jews cooking and eating babies - is easier to countenance than any real analysis of the dynamics shaping Islam in Australia. A giant exercise in bias confirmation, anything that does not fit the narrative is deemed to be "carrying water for the Islamists."

    The spaces where Muslims can even point this out - let alone put forward alternative views informed by genuine engagement with the community - are receding, washed away by a rising tide of paranoid nationalism. The result is a community that turns in on itself, working through its problems in the micro-public arenas of social media, student associations and community politics. While this will not result in anything like the establishment of an Australian Caliphate, it is hardly a recipe for social wellbeing.


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    Pitiful plight of refugees locked up in Australian island 'internment camps' who have provoked Trump's wrath

    Claims of brutality, self-harm and suicide in squalid conditions - and abuse including rapes, beatings and murder - are commonplace for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island

    The 'forgotten' people trying to reach Australia that make up the 1,250 asylum seekers held in processing camps on islands off its coast are making headlines today.

    Donald Trump and Australia PM Malcom Turnbull reportedly engaged in a heated phonecall over their plight with thew new US President hanging up the phone.

    Last year Barack Obama agreed a deal where the asylum seekers being held in Papua New Guinea and Nauru would be accepted into the US as refugees - in exchange for Australia taking in people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

    Trump today slammed the arrangement as "dumb" and "the the worst deal ever”.

    Meanwhile the ' illegal immigrants ' in search of a better life are reportedly suffering human rights abuses daily.

    Now everyone is asking who these people are - and why they don't normally make the news?

    Here's how we got to this point - and why their suffering is an issue for the world.

    Who are the refugees?

    There are around 1,250 asylum seekers being held by Australia in the offshore detention camps - Nauru, a tiny island country in Micronesia, and Manus Island in northern Papua New Guinea.

    Most are from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq - although some have no country to speak of, and are classified as stateless.

    What they have in common is that they are all fleeing violence - and most have been picked up trying to reach the continent by boat.

    All are trying to get to Australia for a better life. Most are trying to escape war and poverty. Some are trying to reach their families.

    Some of them have been there for years - and the conditions are notoriously appalling.

    The United Nations has criticised the camps as cruel and illegal - but Australia believes that if it were to let them in, it would lead to a "free for all" of mass immigration.

    While the refugees are unable to turn around and get home, because they travelled to Australia by boat their right to protection as refugees is confirmed.

    Because therefore they have refugee status, by law most of them are deemed to be owed Australia’s protection.

    On Nauru - around 983 of the 1,200 people have refugee status (with 217 classed not to have protection).

    On Manus Island - around 78% of the 859 people have refugee status (with 190 classed not).

    What are the conditons?

    In short, awful.

    The refugees are living under armed guard in squalid conditions - and getting cameras in to expose their plight has been near impossible.

    But the sorry tales that have emerged are pitiful.

    Both detention centres have been the subject of sustained criticism by the UN.

    There's been claims of systemic sexual and physical abuse of those detained.

    These include rapes, beatings and even the alleged murder of one asylum seeker by guards.

    There's also been appalling tales of alleged child sexual abuse, self-harm and suicide attempts.

    People are said to be developing mental illnesses living in the harsh conditions and without adequate medical treatment.

    And that these people have had no apparent hope for the future for so many years has made it all the worse.

    Last April MirrorOnline reported how an Iranian asylum seeker shouted: “I can’t take it anymore” before setting himself on fire in Nauru.

    There are widespread allegations of brutality and human rights abuses.

    On Nauru they are kept in check by the guards and the local riot police force - who enforce the peace.

    The officers were given special training ahead of their arrival - as they were more used to dealing with drink-related offences and affray, with the island previously averaging one murder a decade, and only one stabbing a year.

    But some of the issues they have faced have been unanticipated.

    They've had to work to keep Iraqi and Afghan asylum seekers separate to avoid clashes, for instance.

    There are terrible stories of children sent to adults-only detention centres.

    One, for instance, Ahwazi Sawari, 17, told The Guardian how he was allegedly assaulted by a guard when he asked for more washing powder - and hospitalised in the attack.

    He told the paper: "I don’t want money. I don’t want go Australia. I want to go for a country for freedom. Freedom, only freedom. I need only freedom.”

    What was the deal with the US?

    The deal was also to include hundreds of refugees previously held on Manus or Nauru, who were in Australia receiving medical care, provided they had been found to be refugees.

    Last November the US agreed to take a number of those with refugee status confirmed from the camps and resettle them. (those without are not part of the deal).

    Each was set to be interviewed twice by US officials before being resettled over the next six-12 months.

    Any of those that did not qualify to move to the US are being offered Papua New Guinea and Cambodia as other options.

    Australia has felt under pressure on the world stage to do something about the plight of the refugees after cameras exposed the squalid living conditions they endure - with bleak hope for the future.

    There was also pressure coming from within the country from its own human rights' campaigners - but its policy has been a vote winner internally.

    It has consistently maintained that asylum seekers that try to reach its shores by boat will NEVER be allowed to settle on its soil.

    Turnbull, who holds a slim majority in Australia, was therefore making much of the deal he struck with Obama.

    When the deal was struck in November on 24 refugees had moved on to Papua New Guinea - and a "handful" in Cambodia.
    What's the latest with the deal?

    Trump's four-month suspension on entry of refugees into the US has put the deal under threat.

    After the phone call between the two leaders last night, Turnbull insisted the deal still stood and would be honoured by the US.

    But Trump is reported to be less enthusiastic, according to the Washington Post - describing it as “the worst deal ever”.

    He is even said to have claimed that Australia was trying to send "the next Boston Bombers" to the US.

    And he later tweeted: "Do you believe it? The Obama administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!”
    What could happen next?

    If the deal falls through the refugees will once again be in limbo.

    The Australia Goverment would have three options:

    1. Keep them on the islands
    2. Find another country to take them in - probably a third-world one
    3. Let them come in to Australia

    Getting the US deal back on track appears to be the best option for all, not least the refugees who continue to suffer daily.


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    Rascist Australia - Genocidal Atrocities Overview

    An edited version of Australia's Secret Genicide History - By: Dr Gideon Polya

    ... The reality is that Australia has always been a deeply racist country and continues to be involved in genocidal atrocities. However in recent decades the racism has been covered over publicly by a thin veneer of political correctness. Australia has been involved in all post 1950 US Asian wars that have been associated with Indigenous Asian excess deaths totaling 25 million – yet in politically correct racist Australia, racial vilification and genocide is scarcely even considered.

    In 2008 the Rudd Labor Government said "Sorry" to Indigenous Australians for the Stolen Generations (up to 0.1 million Aboriginal children forcible removed from their mothers) – but the Aboriginal genocide continues (9,000 Indigenous Australians die avoidably each year) and the Labor Government continues to apply race-based laws to Northern Territory Aborigines who are forbidden to see, buy, sell, read, consume or transport things that all other Australians can. They have also been removed in a race-specific way from the protection of the anti-racism 1975 Racial Discrimination Act; and can be kicked out of their homes and Homelands without any legal recourse.

    ... Further, in assessing deaths from particular policies of invasion, occupation and dispossession one notes that deaths can be violent from bombs and bullets, or non-violent, from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease. All of which are avoidable deaths.

    Australian Genicide History
    The below catalogue of Australian involvement in Genocide as defined by the UN Genocide Convention – and notably in British and American-imposed genocides - is given in roughly chronological order from 1788, the year of European Invasion and First Settlement, to 2008.

    1. 18th -19th century Aboriginal Genocide (the Indigenous Aboriginal population dropped from about 1 million to 0.1 million in the first century after invasion in 1788).

    2. Tasmanian Aboriginal Genocide (the "full-blood" Indigenous population dropped from 6,000 to zero from 1776 to 1803.

    3. British Indian Genocide (post-invasion excess deaths 0.6 billion, 1757-1837; 0.5 billion, 1837-1901 under Queen Victoria; 0.4 Billion, 1901-1947.

    4. European Chinese Genocide (10-100 million deaths in the European imperialism-driven Tai Ping rebellion period; Australia was involved in suppressing the Boxer rebellion).

    5. Maori Genocide (Maori population dropped from 0.1-0.2 million in 1800 to 42,000 in 1893; Australia was involved in the 19th century Maori wars).

    6. African Genocide (scores of million perished over 5 centuries of European slavery and colonialism; Australians participated in the Sudan War, 1881-1898).

    7. Pacific Genocide (there was a catastrophic population decline due to introduced disease and slavery; thus 40,000 Fijians died from measles out of a population of 150,000 in 1876; "blackbirding" slavery was conducted by Australians in the late 19th century).

    8. Boer (Afrikaaner) Genocide (1899-1902; 28,000 Afrikaaner women and children died in British concentration camps; Australians participated in the Boer War as immortalized in the movie "Breaker Morant").

    9. Armenian Genocide (1.5 million killed; the Australian invasion of Gallipoli as part of an Anglo-French force in 1915 helped to precipitate this atrocity; indeed April 24 is Armenian Genocide Day and April 25 is the day of the Australia invasion in 1915 and also a sacred war dead remembrance day for Australians and New Zealanders – it is called Anzac Day after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) which stormed ashore on that first Anzac Day at Gallipoli in 1915).

    10. Bengali Genocide (6-7 million perished in the "forgotten" man-made Bengal Famine atrocity in Bengal and adjoining provinces in British India, 1943-1945; Australians were there and indeed the Governor of Bengal in 1944 was an Australian, R.G. Casey).

    11. British post-1950 Third World Genocide (1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to British occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era totalled 727 million; Australia has the same Head of State as the UK and continues to be a loyal military ally of the UK in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan).

    12. US post-1950 Third World Genocide (1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to US occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era totalled 82 million; Australia participated in all post-1950 US Asian Wars in Korea, Indo-China, Iraq and Afghanistan with Indigenous Asian excess deaths now totalling 25 million).

    13. Australian Colonial Genocide (1950-2005 excess deaths in countries subject to Australian occupation as a major occupier in the post-war era, namely Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands totalled 2.1 million).

    14. 20th century Aboriginal Genocide (total excess deaths clearly of the order of 1million; 0.1 million Stolen Generations Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their Mothers in the 19th and 20th centuries; excess deaths in the 11 years of the Bush-ite Coalition Government totalled 90,000 for 1996-2007).

    The following Australian genocide involvements in this catalogue of horrors are ongoing.

    15. Palestinian Genocide (post-1967 excess deaths 0.3 million, post-1967 under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million and 7 million refugees; with bi-partisan agreement Australia provides diplomatic, financial and haven support for Israeli state terrorism – even when directed against tens of thousands of Australian citizens as in Lebanon in mid-2006 - and up to life imprisonment for anyone giving support to the Hamas Party that overwhelmingly won the 2006 Occupied Palestinian elections).

    16. Iraqi Genocide (4 million excess deaths 1990-2008; 2 million post-invasion excess deaths, 0.6 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths and 4.5 million refugees; Australia militarily involved since 1990 ).

    17. Afghan Genocide (3-7 million post-invasion excess deaths, 2.3 million post-invasion under-5 infant and 4 million refugees; Australia involved militarily since 2001).

    18. Ongoing Aboriginal Genocide (9,000 excess deaths annually; 90,000 excess deaths in the last 11 years of Bush-ite Coalition rule; see MWC News).

    19. Biofuel Genocide (16 million die avoidably each year but this is increasingly biofuel-impacted as the legislatively-mandated US, UK and EU biofuel perversion forces up global food prices; Australia is a major sugar cane grower and sugar exporter with 60% of sugar going to bioethanol production worldwide; Australia has biofuel-promoting legislation and is a major canola grower, this being a major source for biodiesel; see MWC News).

    20. Climate Genocide (16 million die avoidably each year already from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease; Professor James Lovelock FRS says that over 6 million will perish this century die to unaddressed climate change; on a per capita basis Australia is among the very worst greenhouse gas (GHG) polluters – in terms of 2004 figures for "fossil fuel-derived annual per capita CO2 pollution" Australia is about 40 times worse than India and 160 times worse than Bangladesh if you include Australia's world number 1 coal exports; see MWC News).

    Yet politically correct racist Australia steadfastly "looks the other way" and its past and present involvements in the above atrocities are overwhelmingly not reported by racist, lying, holocaust-ignoring Mainstream media nor taught in Australia's schools and universities. PC racist White Australia just cannot see the "Elephant in the room" – its continuing involvement in over 2 centuries of horrendous genocide.

    Australians are trapped in an Orwellian dream - Australia will only stop doing it when it is informed that it is doing it. Please inform everyone you can.


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    8 Facts You May Not Know About the Extermination of Australia’s Aborigines

    Dr. Gideon Polya, a scientist, artist, writer and pro-peace advocate, wrote that roughly 123 years after the arrival of the British, the Black “Indigenous Aboriginal population dropped from about 1 million to 0.1 million in the first century after invasion in 1788.” By 1911, 90 percent of the population had been wiped out.

    The Aborigines did not die of disease.

    To this day, Australian children are taught that no wars or acts of mass violence occurred on Australian soil. However, this notion is hardly the truth. Due to propaganda inspired by the Australian government, media and education system, most of the population has failed to acknowledge the horrendous acts that were inflicted upon the Black Aboriginal population of the region. While many Australian citizens will tell you that Aboriginal individuals died of disease, the indigenous Black people of the continent, for the most part, were murdered. Polya declares that “Australia has always been a deeply racist country and continues to be involved in genocidal atrocities.”

    The British killed an entire island of Black indigenous individuals.

    Tasmania is an isolated island located off the southern coast of Australia. An article released by Atlanta Blackstar last year said the British would “slaughter, kidnap and enslave the Black people of Tasmania.” Black men were used for target practice, Black women were used as sex slaves, and Black babies were roasted. In fact, Dr. Gary Foley, an Australian Aboriginal Gumbaynggir activist, academic, writer and actor, wrote that “between 1804 and 1834, the Aboriginal population was reduced from an estimated 5,000 people to just 200, which represented a 90 percent reduction in just 30 years.”

    The Aborigines were put into concentration camps.

    Foley explains that while the Aboriginal population had not been completely eliminated, an early 1900s policy, also known as the “Smooth the Dying Pillow” was established “based on the assumption that what was left of the Aboriginal populace would now die out.” Foley further expounds upon the aftermath of the Aborigines Protection Act of 1909. This act, in essence, “established the first Australian ‘concentration camps’ to provide a place for the doomed race to die off.”

    The extermination of Australian Aborigines never ended.

    Make no mistake. The genocide of the Black Aboriginal people of Australia never came to an end. Polya wrote that “9,000 Indigenous Australians die avoidably each year.” In his article essay “Racist Australia — Genocidal Atrocities Overview,” he conveyed the following: “Further, in assessing deaths from particular policies of invasion, occupation and dispossession one notes that deaths can be violent from bombs and bullets, or non-violent, from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease. All of which are avoidable deaths.”

    The second attempt at genocide consisted of the Australian government stealing children from their families.

    The second attempt at genocide is occurring right now. The Australian government has set to get rid of the indigenous population. According to a 1997 report by the Australian Human Rights Commission, titled “Bringing Them Home,” children were taken away from their parents by Australian authorities. Even worse, an article released by wakeup-world.com states that today “the Government is taking more children from [Black] families than ever before.”

    The latest attempt at genocide is that of the Northern Territory ‘intervention.’

    An article published by the World Socialist website conveys that the Northern Territory (NT) intervention was yet another way to oppress the Aboriginal Black people of Australia. The intervention, which employed the use of military and police personnel, was said to be “directed at helping children and alleviating social disaster in Aboriginal communities.” However, the effort only exploited the Aborigines ever further, suppressed employment opportunities and halted economic development. In fact, “the Labor government was forced to acknowledge in its intervention report that virtually no progress had been made in ‘closing the gap’ between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians on a range of social indicators.”

    The Australian government supports policies that promote suicide among Aboriginal children.

    An article released by The Sydney Morning Herald in 2014 confirms that governmental policies have caused the suicide rate of Aboriginal people to double since the beginning of “intervention” in 2007. Yet, the government agreed to carry out the intervention for another 10 years.




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    Muslim Students 'Told to Leave' Convention Centre for Making Patrons 'Uncomfortable'

    by Brendan Foster - June 2 2017

    Perth (Australia) - Muslim students attending a career expo at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre were forced to leave after onlookers felt threatened by their "attire" because of Manchester's suicide bombing.

    Some people complained the school children's hijabs were "making them feel uncomfortable after what happened in Manchester" and asked staff to have them removed from the venue.

    The PCEC has confirmed the centre was contacted about an incident involving discrimination against patrons on May 26 but deny their staff were involved.

    It comes just over a week after Salman Abedi killed 22 people in a suicide bomb attack in Manchester at an Ariana Grande concert.

    A mother of one of the students, who didn't want to be named, said her 16-year-old daughter was at the Careers Expo at the Convention Centre last week when she and her school friends were told by their teacher they had to pack up their lunch and leave.

    "I'm not angry, I'm just sad," the mum of the student told WAtoday. "I feel particularly sad that my daughter went on an excursion and didn't enjoy it. "I see this as an opportunity to raise awareness and get a deeper understanding of how young Muslims in Australia feel.

    "For starters, how can people think what the students are wearing has anything to do what happens elsewhere?

    "If I was there I wouldn't have gone off my head, I would've asked 'what is it about how the girls are dressed that makes them feel uncomfortable'."

    The well-know educator said when her daughter and friends were looking at sewing machines a woman holding the stall said "in our country young people ask for help".

    "My daughter was born at King Edward, so this person thinking she comes from another country just shows ignorance," she said.

    "These are young people who feel on the outside, who were made to feel isolated, yet they should be embraced by our society.

    "What does this do to a young person's self-esteem, self-worth and confidence?"

    "I'm not interested in making a complaint with the centre or following it up with the staff; it just shows we need more dialogue and more education.

    "Like I said, I'm not angry, I'm saddened."

    Islamophobia Register Australia President, Mariam Veiszadeh, told WAtoday she was "very disappointed to hear about the incident."

    "Time and time again, we come across examples of ignorant prejudice in which every day people conflate the faith of 1.6 plus billion Muslims worldwide with that of the murderous acts of a group who hold themselves out to be Muslims.

    "Women often bear the brunt of Islamophobia and a rather alarming number of incidents take place in the presence of children.

    "There has been very little research done into the impact of Islamophobia on young people and the inevitable impact it would have on their sense of identify and self-worth."

    The prominent lawyer and Daily Life 2016 Woman of the Year said there was "little doubt" that young people, continually exposed to acts of Islamphobia, would lead to feelings of alienation and disenfranchisement.

    "In the coming months we will launch a comprehensive, first of its kind report on Islamophobia in Australia which will critically analyse verified incidents of Islamophobia reported to the Islamophobia Register Australia during the period 2014/2015," she said.

    A spokesperson for PCEC said the centre did not condone discrimination of any kind. "All staff are aware of this as a condition of employment," he said. "After an internal investigation, the centre does not believe any of the PCEC's staff were involved in such an event."

    Careers Expo has been contacted for comment.



    Girls should've asked the sewing machine stall, which country is hers in Europe? Muslim kids need to be taught how to stand their ground against ignorant and bigoted people and question their ignorance or do what they do best as kids, make others look stupid.

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    Police Who Pre-Emptively Kill Suspected Terrorists Will Be Protected


    The NSW government is set to introduce new laws by the end of this month which give police immunity for pre-emptively shooting a person they suspect of terrorism, even if that person does not pose an imminent threat to others.

    NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that she will support all 45 of the recommendations from the coronial inquest report into the Lindt Café siege, and will prioritise those which give police more powers and protect them from civil and criminal prosecution.

    New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller acknowledged that police already have the power to “shoot-to-kill” people they suspect of terrorism in situations analogous to the recent London attacks – where they pose an imminent threat to public safety.

    However, he feels that situations like the Lindt Cafe siege are a grey area, as it was unclear whether Man Haron Monis was going to act upon his threats.

    As it turned out, Monis was later categorised as a “deranged gunman” suffering from “mental health problems” who was not affiliated with any particular group, whether terrorist or otherwise.

    Under the proposed legislation, police would be authorised to “shoot-to-kill” suspected participants once the commissioner declared an event to be a “terrorist incident”, regardless of whether those suspected of involvement pose an imminent threat to others.


    Critics point out that the proposed legislation confers virtually unfettered power on the police commissioner to determine whether an event constitutes a “terrorist incident”, and therefore when his colleagues will be protected from prosecution for wounding or killing people.

    They are concerned he will declare such events “all too readily” in the interests of protecting police, thereby increasing the likelihood of police unnecessarily shooting and killing people. Critics are concerned that “rogue” police officers who carelessly shoot people will be protected, even if it turns out that their targets were completely innocent of any crime, and/or the shooting was not justified.

    There are also fears that the legislation will cause the escalation of situations which could be kept under control and ultimately defused, again potentially leading to the loss of innocent lives.

    There are additional concerns about the commissioner’s ability to identify whether a situation constitutes a “terrorist event”, with critics arguing that current laws which require an imminent risk to persons or the public representing a more appropriate mechanism for determining whether a particular individual should be shot or killed.

    Shoot first and ask question later

    New South Wales police are already being trained in specialised tactics based on a ‘confront and neutralise’ policy, and have access to semi-automatic weapons to act in order to protect themselves and members of the public.

    The question, then, is whether the proposed legislation – which gives the minister significant powers, allows for the “pre-emptive” killing of suspects and protects rogue and careless police officers from prosecution – is really a good idea.



    What this does is give cops excuse to execute Muslims and anyone they don't like with or without any grounds of suspicion

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    ‘No religion’ tops religion question in Census

    June 28, 2017

    DESPITE a scare campaign about Australia becoming a “Muslim country”, those ticking “no religion” in the Census has now overtaken the number of Catholics.

    It’s the first time in Australia’s history the number of people who claim “no religion” has overtaken Catholics.

    The latest Census drop showed those ticking “no religion” rose from 22.6 per cent to 29.6 per cent — nearly double the 16 per cent in 2001.

    Meanwhile, those identifying as Catholic dropped from 25.3 per cent to 22.6 per cent.

    The number of Christians in total still made up 51 per cent of the population, but this is much less than the 88 per cent in 1966 and 74 per cent in 1991.

    Islam (2.6 per cent) and Buddhism (2.4 per cent) were the next most common religions reported.

    Islam grew from 2.2 per cent in 2011, overtaking Buddhism, which dropped from 2.5 per cent, to become the most popular non-Christian religion.

    The religion question was controversial this year, with Australians warned not to mark “no religion” on the Census survey by those afraid the nation would become a “Muslim country”.

    An email was circulated that asked Australians to avoid the “no religion” option as this would give prominence to Muslims.

    Those reporting no religion increased noticeably from 19 per cent in 2006 to 30 per cent in 2016. The largest change was between 2011 (22 per cent) and 2016, when an additional 2.2 million people reported having no religion.

    But it was Hinduism that had the most significant growth between 2006 and 2016, driven by immigration from South Asia.

    Responses to the religion question in 2016 Census

    Those who did not answer the religion question, which is a non-compulsory question in the Census, was 9.6 per cent, up slightly from 9.2 per cent in 2011.

    The results show Australia remains a predominantly religious country, with 60 per cent of people reporting a religious affiliation but the trend towards “no religion” has some calling for changes.

    The Atheist Foundation of Australia said it was time to stop pandering to religious minorities and to take religion out of politics.

    AFA president Kylie Sturgess said political, business and cultural leaders needed to listen to the non-religious when it came to public policy that’s based on evidence, not religious beliefs.

    “This includes policy on abortion, marriage equality, voluntary euthanasia, religious education in state schools and anything else where religious beliefs hold undue influence,” she said.

    She said certain religious groups seemed to get automatic consideration in the public policy sphere and to enjoy a privileged position that wasn’t afforded to other large groups, such as the non-religious.

    “That has to stop. Politicians, business leaders and influencers take heed: this is an important milestone in Australia’s history. Those who marked down ‘No religion’ deserve much more recognition. We will be making our opinions known, and there’s power in numbers.”

    Most popular responses to the religion question in Australia

    How likely a person was to identify as religious in 2016 had a lot to do with their age.

    Young adults aged 18-34 were more likely to be affiliated with religions other than Christianity (12 per cent) and to report not having a religion (39 per cent) than other adult age groups.

    Older age groups, particularly those aged 65 years and over, were more likely to report Christianity.

    In terms of states, New South Wales had the highest religious affiliation (66 per cent of people reporting a religious affiliation), while Tasmania (53 per cent) was the lowest.

    An earlier release of Census data in April showed the typical Australian was now a 38-year-old married woman with two children.


    • Australia’s estimated population at December 31 was 24.4 million people.

    • There were 23,717,421 people in Australia on Census night, which included 23,401,892 people who usually live in Australia — an 8.8 per cent increase from 2011. More than 600,000 Australians were travelling overseas.

    • NSW remains our most populous state, with 7,480,228 people counted, ahead of Victoria (5,926,624) and Queensland (4,703,193).

    • The Australian Capital Territory experienced the largest population growth of any state or territory over the past five years, adding more than 40,000 new residents - an increase of 11 per cent.

    • Greater Sydney is Australia’s largest population centre with 4,823,991 people, growing at 1656 every week since the previous Census.

    • 1.3 million new migrants have come to Australia since 2011, hailing from some of the 180 countries of birth recorded in the Census, with China (191,000) and India (163,000) being the most common countries of birth of new arrivals.

    • Of all Australian residents, just more than a quarter of people (26 per cent) said they were born overseas, with England remaining the most common country of birth other than Australia. For the first time in our history, the majority of people born overseas are now from Asia, not Europe.

    • We remain a predominantly an English speaking country, with 72.7 per cent of people reporting they speak only English at home. Tasmania had the highest rate of people speaking only English at home with 88 per cent, while the Northern Territory had the lowest rate at 58 per cent.

    • Australians are getting older with 664,473 additional people aged 65 and over since 2011.


    The full version of the census results were publicly released on Tuesday.

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics took the census online for the first time last August, to survey Australia’s 24 million population.

    The exercise was marred by cyber attacks which prompted the bureau to shut it down for almost two days.

    It also resulted in IT company IBM paying out millions of dollars in compensation for its role in the mess.

    The Independent Assurance Panel, established by the Australian Statistician to provide extra assurance and transparency of Census data quality, concluded that the 2016 Census data could be used with confidence.

    “The 2016 Census had a response rate of 95.1 per cent and a net undercount of 1.0 per cent, meaning the quality is comparable to both previous Australian censuses and censuses in other countries, such as New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom,” Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch.

    A Senate inquiry conducted last year concluded the main responsibility for this bungled event lay with the federal government, because of reduced funding for the bureau when demands put on it had increased.

    The census questions each household on age, gender, incomes, occupations, dwellings, transportation, ancestry, languages spoken, and religion, to help with future planning for the nation.


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    'It’s not ours to condemn’: Australian Muslims urged to be ‘unapologetic’

    Prominent Australian Muslims have marked Eid celebrations by speaking out against what they say are relentless calls for them to condemn terror attacks.

    Prominent Australian Muslims say they have been under pressure following attacks, including those targeting Muslims, and those carried out by people who claim to represent them.

    The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, sat down for a candid interview with SBS World News, in which he responded to claims he has personally failed to condemn terrorism.

    "There is no terrorism act that we have not condemned,”
    he said.

    “Some people in our community expect us to act as recording machines (on repeat). We have condemned terrorist attacks. What more can I say? We are not obliged to apologise for each terrorist attack, which we have not committed, and are not responsible for. We condemn terrorism as it is against the principles of our religion."

    Lebanese Muslim Association President Samier Dandan addressed crowds who gathered for Eid prayers at Lakemba Mosque on Sunday, saying they should not have to apologise for the actions of others.

    "I am not here to answer calls by racists and bigots to condemn something that is not ours to condemn. We do not own these actions nor these individuals,
    to have to speak out against them,” he said.

    “Only an ignorant person would say it is easy being Muslim in this day and age. We are surrounded by those that attack us and those that demand we condemn those attacks.

    “So on this day and in light of all of this, I ask you all to be unapologetic Muslims. There is no more need to apologise for who we are and what we believe in."


  20. #120
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Islamophobia is still raising its ugly head in Australia

    July 9, 2017

    The existence and scale of Islamophobia in Australia has been hotly debated. While Muslims insist it is real and of significant scale, it has been either denied or downplayed in wider circles.The main reason why Islamophobia has not been taken seriously could be due to the lack of quality data on the issue. Most research to datefocused on surveys conducted on the negative sentiments of non-Muslims. But our new study reports on actual Islamophobic incidents, and stands to change how Islamophobia is viewed in Australia.The report is based on 243 cases of verified Islamophobic incidents collected over 14 months in 2014-15. In this respect, this is the first study of its kind anywhere in the world.Acquiring data on Islamophobic incidents has been notoriously difficult, as Muslims are generally averse to reporting and there were no safe avenues to turn to until the Islamophobia Register of Australia was established in 2014.

    In the first two weeks of the register, 33 incidents were reported. It is safe to assume that the 243 reports are only the tip of the iceberg.
    The simplest definition of Islamophobia is the special form of racism revealing “indiscriminate negative attitudes or emotions directed at Islam and Muslims”. An Islamophobic incident is any act comprising of abusive hatred, vilification and violence inflicted on Muslims going about their daily lives.The report verified incidents by contacting people involved and checking facts and analysed and classified them as online or offline, levels of severity, where and how they happened, the vulnerability of victims, nature of the abuse, and its impact on victims.

    Key findings of the report

    Women, especially those with Islamic head covering (79.6% of the female victims)
    , have been the main targets of Islamophobia. One-in-three female victims had their children with them at the time of the reported incident.One woman said:

    Her voice got louder so I’m not sure if they started to follow me on foot, but once I entered the medical centre on Pitt Street, I didn’t hear or see anything else from them. I am 19 weeks pregnant and have never felt so afraid/vulnerable in my life … I thought they were going to physically try harming my daughter and I. There were lots of passers-by who didn’t come to my aid …

    Of the perpetrators,
    98% were identified by those who reported it as ethnically Anglo-Celtic. Perpetrators were three times more likely to be male. While lone males were more likely to be the perpetrator, lone Muslim women tended to be the victims.After verbal threats and assaults, physical harassment was the second highest category of incidents (29.6%). Most reported physical assaults occurred in New South Wales (60%) and Victoria (26.7%). Queensland was notably high considering the relative small population of Muslims in that state.Of the in-person Islamophobic attacks, 48% occurred in crowded spaces that were frequented daily – shopping centres and train stations were the most common.

    I was walking with my head down and a group of young males yelled out “ISIS BITCH”, “go back to where you came from” and snickered and said “shh or she’ll behead you”. And followed me down the street. None of the train staff helped me out or stopped them.

    This is expected, as Muslims are more likely to encounter Islamophobes in crowded public places. What is worrying is that the attacks occur in front of children and large number of bystanders, risking the normalisation of Islamophobia.
    Further, nobody intervened in 75% of the reported incidents, even though half the incidents occurred in crowded public places. Encouragingly, though, one-in-four public incidents received intervention by non-Muslims, and interestingly non-Muslims constituted about 25% of the witness reporters. Said one witness:

    Today I witnessed two males around late 40s or so verbally abusing a group of around six ladies wearing headscarves, with their children … one of the men was yelling at them “it’s your own fucking fault, you’re not wanted here” … I asked the women if they were OK, a couple of them nodded at me and smiled shyly.
    Online incidents were characterised by severe expression of hatred and vilification and wanting to harm Muslims. Of the 132 online incidents, 37% targeted individuals by name, and in 51.4% threatened to harm the target.In one case, a perpetrator wrote about a Muslim childcare in Perth:

    Wait till it’s full n burn the joint down. Filthy scumbags.

    There was a correlation between a rise of Islamophobic incidents with public protests, debate on legislation affecting Muslims, sieges and terror attacks, irrespective of whether they occurred in Australia or abroad. Significantly, terrorism was explicitly referred to in only 11% of incidents.

    Responding to the report

    There are three possible responses to the report.The first is to explain Islamophobia as the unfortunate outcome of international conflicts, threat of terrorism, and radicalisation. While this approach may seem to explain the rise of Islamophobia, it shifts the blame to victims: innocent ordinary Australian Muslims.The reality is that victims have nothing to do with international conflicts, terrorism or radicalisation. They are simply at the receiving end of the anger and rage caused by the Islamophobic generalisation that something is inherently wrong with Muslims and Islam.Significantly, evidence presented in the report suggests that Islamophobia is not rooted in Islamic terrorism as previously thought but rooted in Muslims’ presence in Australia.

    The second possible response is to whitewash the report with the fear that recognition of Islamophobia could be interpreted as an admission of something inherently wrong with Australian society.
    Muslims have been raising the issue of Islamophobia consistently, especially in the aftermath of 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. The reaction has often been the attitude – Australians always pick on the latest arrivals, it seems it is the Muslims’ turn, it will soon go away as it did for others in the past. The problem is it is not going away: it is increasing.Recognition of Islamophobia does not diminish the achievements of Australian society and the success of its multiculturalism. It will merely highlight a social problem that cannot be ignored or downplayed any longer.

    The third response is the proper democratic one – take the findings of this report seriously and invest in further research and policy development. The report is an opportunity to openly discuss Islamophobia so that strategies could be developed to counter it as a national threat and societal problem.
    An important aspect of Australian liberal democracy is the protection of its minorities. Minorities do not always have a voice in politics or media, and can often find themselves overwhelmed by negative perceptions and antagonism.Ignoring Islamophobia will only entrench the problem more deeply.


    ================================================== =========

    Australians unlikely to intervene in Islamophobic attacks

    Bystanders are only stepping in to stop one-quarter of Islamophobic incidents in public places, according to a new report.


    A report from the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy of Australia and the Diversity Council
    Australia shows high rates of complacency around witnessing incidents of Islamophobia in public.

    The research shows that
    intervention from passers-by is rare, despite around half of all incidents taking place in public places such as shopping centres and train stations.

    Mariam Veiszadeh, president of the Islamophobia Register Australia, said the report’s release was particularly important "as there is a continuing debate over the existence and the scale of Islamophobia in Australia".

    The research will be released on Tuesday at the New South Wales parliament.

    Close to 250 incidents between September 2014 and December 2015 were investigated,
    including physical, verbal and online assaults, with less than 32 per cent being reported to police.

    Of these, only a third were formally recorded.

    “A group of young males yelled out ‘ISIS B**** go back to where you came from’,” one person said.

    “None of the train staff helped me out or stopped them.”

    Another case study revealed they “have never felt so afraid/vulnerable in my life” during the incident.

    Females made up the majority of targets, at almost 70 per cent, with males being the perpetrators
    in three-quarters of the attacks.

    Almost all of the women were wearing a head scarf, while more than half had their children with them at the time.

    The document also reports a correlation between terror attacks and an increase in incidents of Islamophobia.

    Furthermore, it found a connection between media reporting and increasing Islamophobic attitudes, linking the government’s 2014 proposal to ban Muslim women from wearing face veils in federal parliament with a spike in cases.

    The laws would have forced women who cover their faces to sit in a glass-enclosed public gallery.

    The move was scrapped by former speaker Bronwyn Bishop, after then-prime minister Tony Abbott criticised the measure.



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