HAVEN FOR MILITANTS

Fairfax is taking a beating on terror coverage, writes Hugo Kelly:

News is simply miles ahead of Fairfax in reporting strategic national security issues. When was the last time Fairfax scooped its rivals with a big spooks-and-spies story?

Not for a long while, despite the appointment of Marian Wilkinson as head of the SMH’s national security reporting team. Russell Skelton, at The Age (Fairfax’s Melbourne broadsheet), does have a scoop with this, however:

Before the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US changed security perceptions, Muslim militants of all complexions sought Australia as a haven from security forces hunting them in their own countries.

A search of Refugee Review Tribunal records between 1993 and 2001 reveals that scores of self-confessed militants from Algeria and Egypt asked for and, in many cases, were granted political asylum after convincing authorities they were fleeing persecution, jail and torture …

One successful Algerian applicant told the tribunal that he was heavily involved in a political group in Australia and produced evidence to prove it. He argued that his continued involvement with the “Islamist agenda”, which included the imposition of sharia law on “democratic” Algeria, had made him a target for security forces.

Read that paragraph again. A man whose ambition to impose sharia law made him an outcast in his own country was permitted on that basis to enter Australia, as though he was some kind of persecuted idealist. Be interesting to learn which local “political group” he was involved in; be interesting, too, to learn who on the Refugee Review Tribunal was awarding free passes to sharia advocates.

(Via Bernie Slattery, currently hotter than a parked Paris Peugeot)

Posted by Tim B. on 11/13/2005 at 10:25 AM
    1. Heh. Wonder of wonders. The same thing has happened in France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands… hey, by the rules in place, they were legitimate political refugees, weren’t they? Exactly why they were being “persecuted” was never an issue.

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2005 11 13 at 12:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. …scores of self-confessed militants from Algeria and Egypt asked for and, in many cases, were granted political asylum after convincing authorities they were fleeing persecution, jail and torture …

      Mindboggling, but just the logical consequence of the “all religious and political beliefs are equally worthy of protection*” at the heart of modern liberalism.

      * As long as they’re not Western in origin, of course.

      Posted by PW on 2005 11 13 at 02:13 PM • permalink

 

    1. not forgetting those from Indonesia..

      Posted by crash on 2005 11 14 at 03:39 AM • permalink

 

    1. Can vouch for this one. Saw a few people go through in my 4 years in detention services who had basicly backed the regime to the hilt, until it turned on them. Ex Baathist’s, ex communists (Afghanistan) and so on.
      They were people who had been part of the “meat grinder” in there own countries until it affected them.
      In the refugee coventions you ownly have to have “a well founded fear of persecution”. Nothing about who you were with or what you did affects that.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2005 11 14 at 04:31 AM • permalink

 

    1. It is difficult to remove a small splinter from another person’s eye when you have a log in your own.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 11 14 at 06:54 AM • permalink

 

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