Monday, July 05, 2010

Islamist leader tells Australian Muslims to 'shun democracy'

Are these the people we want in any Western society?

LEADERS of the global Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir have called on Australian Muslims to spurn secular democracy and Western notions of moderate Islam and join the struggle for a transnational Islamic state.

British Hizb ut-Tahrir leader Burhan Hanif told participants at a conference in western Sydney yesterday that democracy is "haram" (forbidden) for Muslims, whose political engagement should be be based purely on Islamic law.

"We must adhere to Islam and Islam alone," Mr Hanif told about 500 participants attending the convention in Lidcombe. "We should not be conned or succumb to the disingenuous and flawed narrative that the only way to engage politically is through the secular democratic process. It is prohibited and haram."

He said democracy was incompatible with Islam because the Koran insisted Allah was the sole lawmaker, and Muslim political involvement could not be based on "secular and erroneous concepts such as democracy and freedom".

His view was echoed by an Australian HT official, Wassim Dourehi, who told the conference Muslims should not support "any kafir (non-believer) political party", because humans have no right to make laws.

Mr Dourehi also urged Muslims to spurn the concept of moderate Islam promoted by governments in the West, including in "this godforsaken country" of Australia. "We need to reject this new secular version of Islam," he said. "It is a perverted concoction of Western governments. "It is a perversion that seeks to wipe away the political aspects of Islam and localise our concerns. We must reject it and challenge the proponents of this aberration of Islam."

The conference, which followed the theme The struggle for Islam in the West' was the first major event held by the Australian branch of HT since a seminar in 2007 which coincided with calls for the group to be banned.

HT is outlawed in much of the Middle East but operates legally in more than 40 countries, campaigning for the establishment of a caliphate or Islamic state. HT's platform rejects the use of violence in its quest for an Islamic state, but supports the military destruction of Israel.

But the group's presence sparked angry protests outside as members of the Australian Protectionist Party (APP) yelled anti-Islam chants. The APP met in a small park to express their need to "protect" the Australian way of life.

Conflict between the APP and HT amounted to an exchange of words, anti-Islam chants and the occasional drive-by of young Muslim men yelling obscenities from their car at the APP protesters.

One passer-by, a young Muslim man, yelled at the APP group: "You people have absolutely no idea", sparking a fiery exchange of accusations and finger-pointing.

Nick Folkes, the Sydney organiser for the APP, believes that the HT should be banned in Australia and thinks that practising sharia law should be illegal in Australia. "Sharia law is an archaic legal system that treats woman as second-class citizens," he said. "We're not asking them to change their skin colour or religion. But if they come here, they must reject sharia law."


Gillard to send back asylum seekers who arrive by boat?

There should be no problem with Tamils. Both Tamil Nadu (in India) and the Sri Lankan government will accept them. The terrorists among them could go to Tamil Nadu and actually be welcomed

HUNDREDS of Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum-seekers are likely to be sent home under Julia Gillard's tough policy agenda to deter boatpeople.

As the Prime Minister prepared to unveil a new approach to tackling the issue this week - possibly including a resumption to the processing of Sri Lankan boatpeople - The Australian understands officials are working on a pact with Afghanistan over returning asylum-seekers.

It is believed the agreement, which is not expected to be included in this week's announcement, would involve assurances from Kabul guaranteeing the safety of unsuccessful asylum-seekers.

Although up to 60 per cent of Afghan asylum-seekers have had their claims rejected, only two have been returned home since the surge in boatpeople started in late 2008.

Federal Cabinet will hold talks on the new approach today ahead of the Thursday deadline for a decision on whether the three-month freeze on the processing of Sri Lankan asylum-seeker claims will be extended or terminated.

New guidelines from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees are expected to remove the blanket assumption that any Tamil asylum-seeker from Sri Lanka's war-torn north should be considered a refugee. It will be replaced by assessments likely to focus on high-risk groups, such as Tamils associated with the defeated Tamil Tigers or critics of the Sri Lankan Government.

Sources said that while the Government was expecting the new UNHCR guidelines before Thursday's deadline, Australia was not bound by them.

As Australian officials confirmed the arrival of another suspected asylum-seeker boat over the weekend near Christmas Island, carrying 34 passengers and two crew, Ms Gillard again signalled a policy shift on the issue, pledging to cast aside "political correctness".

The move would send a tough message to families considering paying people-smugglers for passage to Australia.

"There is no doubt about it, the best deterrent is to return people back home who are not refugees," a Gillard Government source said last night.


More "child protection" insanity

If it had been middle class parents involved, the child would have been taken away from them like a shot. But, for some (probably Marxist) reason the underclass are sacred

A HEROIN-addicted sex offender has won custody of his young daughter because the girl's mother is considered an even more unsuitable parent.

Child protection campaigners yesterday lashed the Federal Magistrates' Court decision to leave the girl in such conditions as outrageous and "defying logic".

Granting custody of the girl, aged about 5, to the father, the court branded the mother dishonest and criticised her continuing drug use. The court heard the mother, who has shoplifting and prostitution-related convictions and a history of drug use, left the labour ward to buy heroin soon after giving birth. The father, who also has a string of convictions, was put on the sex offenders' list after being convicted of wilful and obscene exposure.

The girl, who has behavioural problems and a speech impediment, has suffered serious injuries. Her plight was reported to the Department of Human Services last year after she was treated for a serious burn to her buttocks. Each parent blamed the other for it. The girl also had injuries from a dog bite and once suffered an injury from being hit with a shoe.

The couple separated soon after the birth, and the father is reported to have been violent to the mother. But, despite concerns he had taken drugs as recently as last December, and kept a knife and sword collection, the court last month ruled the girl should live with him.

"The father provides calmer parenting with more clearly set boundaries than the mother does," the magistrate said. "A history of inadequate supervision combined with heroin and marijuana use create a serious concern that (the girl) may be neglected by her mother." The girl will spend two out of three weekends with her mother.

The court gave the father custody because the mother continued to use drugs and "had been dishonest with the court". Her drug-screening tests repeatedly indicated the presence of benzodiazepines and opiates. She was even suspected of once taking drugs while in the court precinct arguing for custody. Her home was once described as filthy and strewn with vomit and faecal material, though the court accepted its cleanliness was usually "probably in an acceptable range".

The father is on a disability pension and hasn't worked in almost 10 years because of depression. "There was no evidence (he) is making any notable contribution to society," the court said. It said he "was using drugs or doing something else he did not want to admit" as recently as last September, and had lied about his whereabouts when meant to be caring for his daughter. But he was making progress with his addictions. It ordered him to dispose of his weapons.

The Australian Childhood Foundation's Joe Tucci said the decision "defies logic". "Children shouldn't ever be placed in a situation where the rights of the parents . . . override their right to protection," he said. "The decision should be about whether a child is safe or not, not which parent is the better to look after them. "The community expects children to be looked after by their parents, and if the parents fail this then the courts need to look after them."

Child protection campaigner Hetty Johnston said the ruling was "outrageously dangerous". "There's no way staying with either parent should have even been an option. This isn't in the best interests of the child," she said.

A Department of Human Services spokesman said it was no longer involved in the case. [And isn't interested, apparently]


As usual, Leftists are criticizing academically selective schooling

Bright children should be allowed to fulfil their potential without being dragged down by being placed among dummies -- but that's not how the envious Left see it. They want to drag everyone down to an "equal" low level. They don't give a damn about the individual gifted kid. It is only abstractions about groups that interest them

NSW is creating a "social and academic apartheid" in education with private and selective schools prospering at the expense of comprehensive public schools, says one of the state's top educators.

Chris Bonnor, a former president of the Secondary Principals Council and former principal of Asquith Boys High, said Australia had established a tiered education system that was segregating students by income level and academic performance.

"We are separating our schools for the academic elite," he said. "Schools which can do so are hunting out bright kids through tests, scholarships and interviews with parents and avoiding kids with learning difficulties," he said.

"There is also a worsening social class division with low-income children increasingly going to public schools and the richer kids going to private and selective schools. "There is an increasing separation of kids along academic and social lines and, to some extent, along religious and cultural lines and nobody in government departments or government wants to talk about it."

Richard Teese, a specialist in school systems at the University of Melbourne, said the expansion of selective schooling in NSW - there are now 17 fully and 28 partly selective high schools - was creating "engines of high academic success", but at a significant cost.

"It's a very inequitable policy because it takes away cultural and academic resources from many sites and concentrates them into a few," Professor Teese said. "By operating schools like these you drain talent from many other comprehensive schools, which need what the French call pilot students - that is, model students who provide a really good example.

"The aim should be high standards everywhere. It doesn't make sense to have half a system that works and half a system that doesn't," he said.

Mr Bonnor, co-author of the book The Stupid Country: How Australia is Dismantling Public Education, said when two selective schools were established in the Hornsby area 15 years ago, surrounding schools were told this would provide more choice.

The schools made selective, Normanhurst Boys and Hornsby Girls, dramatically increased their share of high achievers, but the nine surrounding comprehensive schools and the low-fee private schools "lost out".

But the principals of those schools are in effect silenced about losing their best academic talent for fear of exacerbating the situation. "I didn't say it when I was principal at Asquith Boys High. It has the danger of increasing the loss of the remaining high achievers from the school," Mr Bonnor said.

"We also now have an outbreak of pseudo-selective schools - both private and public - each setting tests to gather a disproportionate share of the able, the engaged and the anxious. This is especially taking place across northern Sydney."

The principal of one selective high school, who did not want to be named, told the Herald that selective schools had been a disaster for comprehensive schools. "My own view is if I were to wave a wand and start again, I would not have any selective schools or independent schools or private schools or public schools. I think the model I'd like to go for is your local community school. But that's 150 years too late. We've moved on so that's no longer possible."

The government increased the number of selective school places by 600 to 4133 this year to help stem the drift from public to private schools.

The move will also increase the ranking achieved in the HSC results by the top selective high schools. James Ruse Agricultural High School has topped the Herald's HSC performance list for 14 consecutive years.

Last year, government selective high schools took out four of the top five positions. The first comprehensive government high schools to appear on the Herald's list were Killara High School in 54th position and Cherrybrook Technology High School in 59th.

Mr Bonnor said the Department of Education "pretends this problem does not exist". "The department is avoiding the issue and no one wants to know that by offering opportunities for some kids, this is reducing opportunities for others," he said.


Childish objection to overhead wire

Childish or bigoted. "Snives" is an upmarket Sydney suburb. There are already lots of overhead wires in place there. What difference would another one make?

IT IS A SPIRITUAL boundary made from wire just one centimetre thick but a planned Jewish eruv around St Ives has divided residents of the upper north shore suburb.

Jewish residents of St Ives have long tried to create an eruv around the suburb: a zone marked by overhead wire within which orthodox Jews are permitted to carry objects out of doors on their sabbath and holy days, which would otherwise be forbidden.

Without an eruv, observant orthodox Jews are unable to carry anything outside, no matter its weight or purpose, or push prams or wheelchairs.

There are eruvs in Perth, Melbourne and in Sydney's eastern suburbs, the third of which includes wire along the promenade at Bondi beach.

Eighty-five per cent of what is needed to create the eruv in St Ives is already in place in the form of overhead electric cables. Development applications for 24 new poles on private property and wire that would not be electric have been submitted to Ku-ring-gai Council.

That has prompted a residents' group, the St Ives Progress Association, to distribute a flyer describing the eruv as a "part-symbolic and part-physical wall … [that] would encapsulate most of St lves" and warning it "is inconsistent with the visual character" of the suburb. The debate has prompted some letters to the local papers that Vic Alhadeff, from the Jewish Board of Deputies, has described as racist.

"It is deeply disappointing that some of the responses to this issue have strayed from a justifiable lack of understanding to blatant bigotry," Mr Alhadeff said.

The president of the progress association, Christiane Berlioz, said its objections were not a sign of religious intolerance but an objection to the visual and environmental impact of the poles and wire. "This is not about them following their beliefs; this is about them imposing structures on the community," Ms Berlioz said.

A Jewish St Ives resident, who asked to be known only as Lisa, said the creation of the eruv "would help us to integrate with the rest of the community on a Saturday". There are estimated to be about 3000 Jews living in St Ives, of which about 300 are orthodox.


No comments: