T Nation

Australia - Love It or Leave It


Interesting. I don't think this would be legal under U.S. 1st Amendment law -- at least w/r/t citizens...


Radical Muslims told to leave Australia

Wed Aug 24, 2:29 AM ET

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law have been told to get out of Australia.

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown.

Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament.

"If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you," he said on national television.

"I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that that is false.

"If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practises it, perhaps, then, that's a better option," Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked move to the other country.

Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off".

"Basically, people who don't want to be Australians, and they don't want to live by Australian values and understand them, well then they can basically clear off," he said.

Muslim schools will have to denounce terrorism as part of an effort to stamp out home-grown extremism under measures announced after Howard's meeting with 14 Islamic leaders Tuesday.

The prime minister called the meeting in the wake of last month's London bombings by British-born Muslims, amid fears that Australia could be the target of a similar attack by disaffected members of its small Muslim community.

"The purpose of the meeting was to identify ways of preventing the emergence of any terrorist behaviour in this country," Howard told commercial radio Wednesday.

"You won't change the minds of people who are hardened fanatics and hardened extremists. You have to identify them and take measures to ensure that they don't become a problem."

Asked if he was prepared to "get inside" mosques and schools to ensure there was no support for terrorism, Howard said: "Yes, to the extent necessary".

Britain, shaken by the rail and bus bombings which killed 56 people, is debating new powers which could include closing mosques where clerics are suspected of supporting extremists and deporting those who glorify suicide bombers.

Australia, which like Britain has troops in Iraq, is also contemplating tougher anti-terror legislation. which will be debated next month at a meeting between Howard and leaders of state governments.

Meanwhile, an Islamic youth organisation that was not invited to Howard's Tuesday meeting said it would call an alternative conference -- on September 11 -- for what it says is the 80 percent of Muslims who were not represented.

The Affinity Intercultural Foundation (AIF) told national radio it wants to try to change the date's association with Islamic violence, and to highlight how mainstream Muslims have become victims of prejudice and bias.

AIF director Mehmet Saral said Muslims were feeling more victimised than at any other time in their history of living in Australia.

Some 300,000 Muslims make up just 1.5 percent of Australia's population of 20 million.


If this is accurate, it is highly problematic. In fact, if Australia actually does this, the people that get thrown out of the country can claim they're being victims of political persecution and can claim political asylum in any developed country, including the US. Basically the Aussie government is trying to export the problem, which is pretty coward of them.

As a practical example, it is because the Chinese government actively does the same with most faiths -- including Christians -- that basically any Chinese citizen that wants to come live in the US can claim political asylum and waltz in here if they say they're Christian and are being persecuted because of it.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm all for political asylum rules; what I'm saying is that if Australia starts doing this, it doesn't make them any better than China, or Rwanda, or any other country that creates political refugees. And that's very scary, since they are our ally.


No. What Australia is proposing is that you abide by its laws or you will be deported back to your country of origin. You can practice any religion you like in Australia, from Catholic to Wicker to fucking Jedi for all we care.

If, however, you are a foreign national and you preach hatred, violence, try to incite terrorism, and claim that only Shia law applies to you, then you will be deported back to where ever it was that you came from.

If you don't like it, then fuck off.


Here's another article on the same topic.

I think Massif's opinion will be shared by the majority of Australians, but time will tell. If I'm not missing the point here, this is an argument about the rights of people who tell others to destroy certain aspects of our society - I think there won't be much sympathy in Australia considering we don't have a Bill of Rights.

In our law I'm fairly certain that inciting violence is a crime regardless of ideological or religious influence. Is there firm policy on deporting 'foreign' perpetrators of crimes at the moment? I've read some evidence of deporting foreign born citizens after their sentences have been served. Does deporting 'foreign' criminals make them legitimate assylum seekers?

Still, I'd rather people don't hold third parties responsible for others actions, i.e. blaming vocal religious leaders for the actions of terrorists.
When it comes down to it, they're just words, people make up their own minds. I hold the same opinion about slander and free speech, so I don't agree with the law in this case.

"Hey, if you don't like Australia, then you can git out!" Skeeter would be proud of our government!


Massif is right.

If muslims want to stay in Australia fine, but the majority of Australian's, including much of the Australian muslim community don't want hardline islamists forcing their values upon others.

This is why the "sharia law" is being refered to. Sharia involves taking religion to a secular level which is what we don't want.

All for keeping a separation of religion and state, if you don't like that then piss off.

Actually one of the first things I've agreed with from our current crop of political leaders for a while. Nice to see Costello showing some independance and backbone.



No. If they're foreign citizens there's no UN treaty that allows them to seek asylum as long as they are not persecuted in (one of) their country of citizenship. However, the problem here is that if the government creates a situation where Muslim people that ARE Australian citizens feel unsafe because of their beliefs -- even if the government doesn't persecute them in particular, just foreign citizens, but the Australian population gets riled up and starts treating them differently in the streets, at their workplace, etc, to the point of justifying an argument that their life may be in jeopardy -- yes, it is grounds for seeking political asylum.

Basically, you don?t need to prove you?re being persecuted yourself. You just need to prove that people of your religious or political inclination are. Some lawyers in the US became quite good at doing just that -- to the point of that (political asylum) being the main driver for the current explosion in the Asian population in the SF Bay Area.


Cheers for your response hspder, it was pertinent and interesting.


I didn't know telling someone to fuck off was illegal in the US. So much for free speech.......


Let me see if I got this straight... Australia kicks out their violence-loving, terrorism-supporting citizens, they seek asylum here in the US, and then we incarcerate them indefinitely without a trial by means of the patriot act. Where's the problem? :slight_smile:

Seriously though, aren't mainstream Muslims peaceful? They aren't calling for strapping IED's to kangaroos and sending them hopping into shopping malls or anything, right? So this basically sucks for the people who deserve it.

The problem I can see here is if the Muslim community at large was affected by this, not just the radical freakazoids, which is the intent here. That would be like persecuting all Christians just because of Pat Robertson. You can't let it get out of hand.


"However, the problem here is that if the government creates a situation where Muslim people that ARE Australian citizens feel unsafe because of their beliefs......"

If a person is inciting violence (which is against the law down here) and an Australian citizen, then they go to jail. They have the same rights as any Australian citizen, but they also have the same responsibilities. These responsibilities include abiding by our laws.

Many of the Muslims who incite hatred and violence are here on visas and are not Australian citizens. They do not have a right to be here. They are here by our hospitality. If you abuse our hospitality we are going to ask you to leave.


There's some disgusting misinformation in the media here at the moment which is deliberately misrepresenting Muslims in Australia.

There was a newspaper article on the Westside Turks website, some horrible, nasty evil gang. Only problem was the site turned out to be fiction, a parody. Didn't stop them from making up stories about arrests & police investigations though.


More serious was the deliberate editing of a comment by a young Muslim which changed its meaning & generated misplaced anger & hatred towards Muslims.

He actually said:

I was saying off camera to Tim - look we will never integrate like other cultures have done because it's against our religion to drink alcohol and go to bars and clubs

What they put to air:

we will never integrate



I like it.


If you have a visa, under UN agreements, you DO have the right to be there. You only loose that right after you've committed a crime and have been found guilty under a fair trial. Somehow I find that a fair trial might be slightly difficult with people so riled up about it.

Now, don't get me wrong -- I understand that you'd want to deport or jail people that incite violence. That's illegal not only in Australia, but also in most countries in the World. Over here it's more of a grey area, but I have no problem with that being illegal there. The problem for me is that if the attitudes of the Government, mixed with a very sensationalist media, will rile the average Australian to a point where ALL Muslims -- including the peaceful majority -- will be persecuted. What will happen then is not pretty for anyone. The most dangerous ones will flee to other countries, like the US, while the innocents will be left behind and possibly have their lifes destroyed.

Tony Blair, the UK's PM, had the right attitude when his first priority after the attacks in London was to make sure people realized it was the work of a fringe group. From what I've read, I didn't get the impression that the Australian PM is being equally careful in the way this is being presented.

Why does he have to even make these kind of statements public? Is he so naive as to think it will actually keep the extremists at bay? On the contrary -- it will just warn them and make them much harder to catch. The element of surprise is absolutely critical in fighting terrorism, and he's throwing that out the door.

All in all, whatever your feeling about what to do with the extremists is, you have to admit this is a pretty dumb strategy.


A couple of quick points before I have to go.

Firstly, the Australian Government has been quite careful in what they have said regarding who is responsible for terrorism. They generally don't even use the term "Muslim Extremist", even when referring to specific Muslim extremists. The media, however do like to beat this point up.

Secondly, the government was apporached by a group of Muslim leaders to help combat the negative press Muslim's have received since 9-11. What you are reading in the news is what has come out of a national summit held by the Australian government with many Muslim leaders.

The last thing Australia wants is for Muslims in general to cop shit for what a few nut jobs are preaching. However, one thing we are starting to take issue with is when the Muslim community invite Mullas and Muftis from overseas to give speeches at their mosques, and all the visiting Mulla does is incite hatred and tell the asembly that Australia is evil and should be destroyed.

The Muslim community has more than its fair share of nutjobs in it. I think it is time that they did more to deal with this particular problem for the benefit of their own community and the rest of Australia.


About time someone had the balls to take a proper stand. Makes me want to move there.


Thanks massif, i agree 100 percent with your comment. GO AUSSIES


If there were more countries with Australia's attitude, there would soon be no place for the Radical Islamists to find 'refuge'.

That must make the liberal elitists upset. Ah wait - Hspder has already told us how wrong and dangerous it would be. Nope...still don't give a shit about an elitist's opinion.

I say cheers to the Aussies!


As an Aussie I think Massif has made it clear, we don't care about race colour or creed just follow the laws of the country we are all in, and show some respect to that countries rules. It's like having a guest in your house if they break your house rules or disrespect you they can leave!
I think thats fair.


I always liked the Aussies.


There are a few UN Treaties onto which the U.S. has signed that put us in a box w/r/t kicking out those who may be subject to persecution/torture if they were repatriated to their home countries.

Sometimes - in order to show how "civilized" we are and to curry positive spin amongst the Euros, but without thinking through all the consequences - we sign onto some bad treaty commitments and then are forced to the uncomfortable position of having either to honor them or disingenuously pick our way around them.

The US signed on, in 1994 under the Clinton Administration, to the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment ("UNCAT"). Article 3 of UNCAT states: "No State Party shall expel, return ('refouler') or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture." Notice, there are no exceptions here to give a party the right to send a person back to his own country.

I don't know if Australia is a signatory or not. But we are.

The value determination made here is that it is more important to condemn the practice of torture than it is to keep dangerous people out of your country (and at the cost of giving those people - some of whom are terrorists - an incentive to come to your country since they know the law ties your hands as far as extraditing them goes). Now, no one wants to be portrayed as favoring torture - which is how it would be spun if we either hadn't signed onto, or ever tried to opt out of, UNCAT. But in the real world, condemnation of torture does not exist in a vacuum; its value needs to be weighed against other values - like protecting U.S. citizens.

For the sake of some world PR and a certain Presidential legacy, we signed on -- in my mind, a bad decision. And we tend to place high value on honoring our commitments. UNCAT, to the extent we've signed on, is the law.

Should we want to be able to get around UNCAT, we should say so and opt out of the provisions that don't jibe with our concern for our national security. If we don't have the courage to do that, because we're petrified Le Monde might write mean things about us, then we shouldn't send a person to a country which is on the State Department's list of torture regimes and then mumble about how we got a promise that this time the regime, cross-its-heart, would not torture that person.

We might consider with UNCAT is an exception to our right (which is to say, the option) to send people back to their own countries, and that generally unless we do have good reason to believe they will be persecuted we can ship them out -- and we can ship them to other countries too. We could find a country willing to take them and where we have confidence they will not face persecution - but what's the likeliehood that any country that would take them and wouldn't employ them as terrorists again would want them?