Thursday, February 19, 2015

Murder in Denmark shows what happens when you create an immigrant underclass

In an address to the Australian Christian Lobby on October 25 last year, Labor's leader, Bill Shorten, advocated a dramatic increase in Australia's intake of refugees from the Middle East:

"As a generous, prosperous nation – made great in part by migration – Labor believes Australia can play a greater role in the international effort to provide refuge to the persecuted. Nearly two million Iraqis have fled their homes in the face of the ISIL advance – and millions more have been displaced by the conflict in Syria ...

"In government, Labor increased Australia's refugee intake under the Humanitarian Program to 20,000 places a year. Upon coming to office, the Coalition reduced that to 13,750 …"

Actually, the federal government is committed to increasing the humanitarian intake to 21,000 over four years.

Shorten continued: "Given the scope and scale of the current crisis gripping the region, Labor believes that, as a starting point, those seeking refuge from the current crisis in Iraq and Syria should be taken in addition to the existing allocation – and we hope that the government arrives at that view."

The words "those seeking refuge from the current crisis should be taken in addition to the existing allocation" quite clearly do not mean 20,000. It means much more. This is far broader policy than Labor's National Platform, which states: "Labor aspires to progressively increase Australia's humanitarian intake to 20,000 places per year."

Shorten's proposal is basically the same open-ended policy as that of the Greens. He opened the door to a radically large intervention in the enormous social upheaval in the Middle East, which has deep and bloody roots in sectarianism and tribalism, with no end in sight.

The morality of Shorten's rhetoric is glorious. The practicality is not. There is a super-abundance of evidence that a large-scale humanitarian intake creates a corresponding increase in social problems. The most recent evidence comes from socially conscious, socially inclusive and socially wealthy Denmark.

The Danes have methodically built an underclass, a polyglot immigrant, welfare-dependent, high-unemployment, crime-afflicted subculture. This subculture has become a petri dish for incubating social alienation expressed as radical Islam.

As a result of large-scale and poorly defined immigration and refugee intakes, in a country of 5.6 million people 4 per cent of Denmark's population is now Muslim and the Muslim population is significantly over-represented in crime and welfare dependence.

Denmark's policy-makers will never admit they created an underclass through naive, complacent, ideological utopianism. They can't even admit that Muslim terrorism has been incubated in Denmark, let alone admit that it is a byproduct of government stupidity.

This week Copenhagen is paying the price. It is reeling not just from the murders carried out by a Danish citizen, Omar Abdel Hamid al-Hussein, whose Palestinian family arrived in Denmark as refugees, but at the homage to al-Hussein by a group who have embraced radical Islam as an expression of their alienation from the Christian/secular mainstream.

"Allahu akbar" was the now familiar chant of defiance that came from dozens of men who attended al-Hussein's funeral in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

It echoed the menace of the violent cartoons controversy that rocked Denmark in 2005.

More than a 100 young Danish Muslims have left Denmark to take up the cause of Islamic jihad. The pattern has repeated itself across Western Europe, where thousands of Muslims have chosen to join the cause of Islamic State, now dominated by foreign fighters.

In Australia, the last federal government that decided to act as a safety valve for turmoil in the Middle East was Malcolm Fraser's Coalition government, which allowed a poorly monitored refugee stream from Lebanon in the 1970s. As a result, Australia imported, in addition to a stream of constructive arrivals, a self-marginalising, self-perpetuating Muslim underclass that still exists after 40 years.

Something radically more sinister has been incubating within the Muslim community in Australia. Its worst manifestation has been a spate of public murders, or planned public executions, by Muslims who came to this country as asylum seekers. There have been four such attacks, or planned attacks, in just seven months – in Parramatta, Melbourne, the Sydney CBD and southwest Sydney.

It is concerning that three times as many Muslims in Australia have been identified by the government as actively supporting jihad than are enlisted in the Australian Defence Force – more than 300 jihadists compared with only 100 Muslims in the ADF.

All this is why the majority of Australians do not believe that those who destroy their documents and seek to bypass immigration checks should ever be allowed to stay in the country. Rigorous checks have never been more important.

While I admire the generosity of spirit of those who advocate an open-hearted approach to asylum seekers, I rarely see the moral seriousness, the reciprocal acknowledgment, from refugee advocates that policies without limits, as advocated by the Greens, the churches, and in Bill Shorten's October 25 speech, will have serious financial costs and serious social problems attached.


Australian jihadi Khaled Sharrouf beheads a victim while his mate Mohamed Elomar watches on

Two of Australia’s most wanted jihadis are suspected of starring in a sickening new Islamic State beheading video.  In the execution clip, Sydney man Khaled Sharrouf - heavily bearded, dressed in khaki and holding a knife - appears to stand behind a man in black who IS claims is a ‘spy’.  Watching on is a gang of men, one of whom appears to be Sharrouf’s friend and fellow terrorist Mohamed Elomar.

The man who looks like Elomar holds a large rifle as he stands to the left of the man who resembles Sharrouf in the death cult's propaganda video, titled Harvest of the Apostates.

The clip, in which the man on his knees is labelled an ‘infiltrator’, is being investigated by authorities, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Sharrouf and Elomar both fled Australia to join the Islamic State insurgents fighting in Syria and Iraq in 2013 and in July 2014 the Australian Federal Police issued arrest warrants for the disturbed pair.

Sharrouf flew out of Sydney in December 2013 using his brother’s passport and was soon followed by his convert wife Tara Nettleton who brought their five children to the Middle East with her.

The men gained notoriety as part of the more than 100 Australians who have joined Islamic State after they posted disturbing photos of themselves holding up decapitated heads of Syrian soldiers last year.

Sharrouf even got his seven-year-old son to hold up the severed head of a soldier in the Syrian city of Raqqa, accompanied with the caption 'that's my boy', in an image that shocked the world.

A man with Syrian relatives who was contact by Elomar told the paper: ‘He was saying things like “you should repent” and that by joining (ISIS) “you could make up for bad deeds”. He even offered to pay for me to travel over there.’

In January this year, four Iraqi women came forward to accuse Sharrouf and Elomar of kidnapping and enslaving them for two months.  The women, who belong to the religious Yazidi minority, told ABC's 7.30 they were taken from Iraq to Syria by force, and were among thousands of others who were targeted because of their beliefs.

When Islamic State stormed northern Iraq in 2014, they targeted the Yazidis, an ancient Kurdish religious group which IS believes to be infidels. Since 2014, reports of the kidnapping, rape, and forced marriage of Yazidi women has been widely circulated, but the testimonies have been almost impossible to corroborate.

The four Yazidi women, who asked for their names to be changed out of fear of reprisals, identified their captors from mug shots presented to them by an ABC journalist.

The women kidnapped by Sharrouf and Elomar are believed to have been held on the second floor of a building on Newbridge Road, on the outskirts of Raqqa, in Syria.

One of the women, Layla, who claims to have been taken captive said that Sharrouf, who was jailed in Australia for his involvement in a terror plot, threatened to sell the women if they cried.

'He threatened to sell us if we did. He said, 'Why are you sad? Forget about your home and family. This is your home and we are your family now,' she told 7.30. 'Forget about your gods, for good, because we have killed them all,' she said.

Sharrouf told the women that he had been beaten while in jail in Australia, and that when he got angry, he could kill someone because he had 'no mercy in [his] heart'.

Another of the women, Ghazala, said that Sharrouf's five children, who are believed to be with him and his wife, participated in their terrifying ordeal.  'His children were treating us badly,' Ghazala said.  'They had knives and cell phones saying that they will take videos while cutting off our heads because we follow a different religion.'

Ten out of the thirteen members of Ghazala's family are still missing, along with tens of thousands of other Yazidi men, women and children.

Another woman claimed that Elomar would take girls for the night, beat them and sell them on.

'At night he was taking a girl downstairs, and when the girl returned she’d tell us, ‘he told me you have to marry me or else I will sell you, and if you say anything to my wife I will sell you or kill you’,' said one of the women.


Back to basics! Student teachers will have to pass literacy and maths tests before they are allowed to graduate

All student teachers will have to pass a reading, writing and maths test before they can graduate.

The new rule will come into force across Australia in 2016 as part of an overhaul of teacher training.

The government has pledged 'swift and decisive action' to improve the education of teachers, as it releases a report on Friday about how to do just that.

The review, led by Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven, found some courses were not up to scratch and said the standard across the board had to be lifted.

In response, the government will beef up regulator Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership.

All universities offering teaching courses face tougher accreditation to make sure standards are high and kept that way.

As part of that new accreditation process, universities will have to prove they have strong partnerships with schools.

This should ensure student teachers get to spend more time in real classrooms instead of university lecture halls and make sure what they are learning matches the skills they will need in the real world.

Professor Craven said having close partnerships between universities and schools was 'the single most important action to be pursued'.

The review found there were many concerns about how 'classroom-ready' beginner teachers were under the current system.

And there isn't enough professional support for new teachers, which can lead to them leaving the job altogether.

The review recommended every new teacher be paired with a highly skilled mentor.

It also said universities must take personal attributes into account when recruiting people into teaching courses, and that trainees should get classroom time early in their study so they can decide if teaching is really for them.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne said the review set high expectations for everyone involved in initial teacher education including universities.

'It also makes a clear case that providers be held accountable for the quality of the teaching graduates they produce,' he said.

Mr Pyne hopes the majority of the review's five key proposals and 38 recommendations will be implemented within two years.


ABC review finds 7.30 interview was ‘potential breach’ of bias guidelines

IT WAS a fiery exchange that won the interviewer a nomination for journalism’s highest honour.

But now a review into the ABC’s Federal Budget coverage has raised the question of whether an interview on current affairs program 7.30 went too far and breached the national broadcaster’s bias guidelines.

An internally commissioned review by former Australian Financial Review editor Colleen Ryan has found that host Sarah Ferguson failed to pay Joe Hockey due respect during an interview on Budget night last year.

The tough interrogation won Ferguson a Walkley nomination, but Ryan took exception to Ferguson’s first question to Mr Hockey: “It’s a Budget with a new tax, with levies, with co-payments: Is it liberating to for a politician to decide that election promises don’t matter?”

Is this proof the ABC is biased?

Ryan said the question was unnecessarily “emotive” and that Mr Hockey was “rattled” for the rest of the interview and performed poorly.

“I also believe that the average viewer would consider that the Treasurer was not treated with sufficient respect by the interviewer,” Ryan said.

“I felt that the tone of the questioning in this particular interview could have been interpreted by some viewers to be a potential breach of the ABC’s impartiality guidelines … It was the tone of the question … that resulted in the Treasurer appearing to be under attack.

“Personally, I thought Sarah Ferguson’s opening question was a great television moment — but there was an element of disrespect during the interview that could potentially impinge on the question of impartiality.”

Former 7.30 host Kerry O’Brien has also leapt to Ferguson’s defence, dismissing Ryan’s criticisms as “opinion”.

“Ferguson’s job was to keep Hockey honest and cut through to the core issue at the outset,” O’Brien wrote on Crikey.

“In this case, it was clearly the government’s credibility at the most fundamental level, and the subsequent public backlash over many months … shows that Ferguson’s questions were absolutely spot on.”

ABC News director Kate Torney rejected the idea that Ferguson was “aggressive” or biased.  “As a political interviewer, Ms Ferguson is tough but demonstrates a consistently civil and objective approach,” she said.

“She is insistent that those she interviews do not evade important questions and often focuses on contradictions either within policy positions or in the responses of interviewees. The fact that this may make interviewees ‘uncomfortable’ does not necessarily mean that the interviewer is either aggressive or is failing to demonstrate due impartiality.”

Ryan’s review was designed to test the quality, thoroughness and impartiality of the overall Budget coverage on the ABC’s main channel.  While Ryan took issue with a few segments, she concluded that the “overall quality of the Budget coverage was excellent”.

She said a diversity of views were presented, and that parties were not misrepresented or unduly favoured.

“I found no hint in any of the coverage that either stated or implied that any perspective was the editorial opinion of the ABC,” Ryan said.


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