Thursday, March 18, 2021

Muslim horror in W.A.: Two women face court over alleged planned female genital mutilation of two-week-old baby

WA Police have charged the women, aged 23 and 50, after they allegedly approached a doctor in January for the procedure. Police said the doctor refused and reported the matter to authorities, sparking an investigation by Child Abuse Squad detectives.

The women appeared in the Armadale Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and are due to reappear on April 20.

Magistrate Steven Malley described the matter as a serious offence and dismissed a request made by the pair to regain custody, saying it would be like "putting [the baby] back into the lion's den". The baby girl is now in the hands of Child Protection authorities.

Police did not confirm where the women live but said it was within their Cannington District, which includes Bentley, Queens Park, Rossmoyne, Shelley and Willetton.

In a statement, WA Police said they believed the genital mutilation was planned as part of cultural beliefs. "The WA Police Force embraces the diversity provided by the many cultural and ethnic groups that form our community," a police spokesperson said.

"Practices which may be acceptable by some cultures and in some countries may constitute criminal offences in Western Australia. "It is an offence to commit female genital mutilation in Western Australia."

Procedures that remove part or all of the external female genitalia or cause injury to female genital organs for non-medical reasons are illegal across Australia.

It is believed around 53,000 women live with female genital mutilation across Australia.

Clinical practice guidelines from WA's Women and Newborn Health Service explain that the procedure is usually carried out between the ages of 4 and 10 years old, but may be conducted as late or "just before marriage, during pregnancy or post-birth".

"The motivation for communities to practice [female genital mutilation] varies wildly but includes psychosexual and sociological reasons, hygiene and aesthetic reasons and myths," it reads. "It is a practice that is deeply entrenched in cultural heritage and traditions."

Australia's first prosecution for female genital mutilation was recorded in November 2015.


"One Nation" pushes to ban gender neutral language like 'chestfeeding' and 'non-birthing parent' from government use

A motion banning the use of gender neutral language had been passed by the Australian senate.

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts put forward the motion in the Upper House on Wednesday with the Morrison government voting to approve the ban.

Under the motion terms such as 'chest-feeding', 'lactating parent', and 'birthing parent' would not be allowed in government literature because such language 'distorts biological and relational descriptors'.

Departments within the government and government funding agencies must stop using the words in their training materials, information material, and websites.

Senator Roberts also referred to a Queensland doctor who has claimed children are becoming hesitant to use the terms 'boy' and 'girl'.

His motion also said a persons right to use gender neutral pronouns should not 'undermine gender' or 'dehumanise the human race'.

The Liberal government read a statement outlining their position before the motion was passed by 33 senators for to 31 against.

'The government supports the rights of individuals to make use of any pronouns or descriptors they prefer, while encouraging respect for the preferences of others,' Senator Jonathan Duniam said.

'The government will use language in communications that is appropriate for the purpose of those communications and is respectful of its audiences.'

Greens Senator Janet Rice asked to speak on the issue in parliament but was denied permission from the speaker of the house.

She let fly on Twitter shortly after, however, saying the motion was an attempt to deny people claiming their own identity.

'The Morrison Government just voted to support One Nation's disgusting, bigoted Senate motion trying to deny the identity of trans & non binary people. So the motion passed. What happened to governing for all Australians?' she wrote.


Sharp fall in jobless rate shows economy on mend

This is nearly back to normal

Australia’s unemployment rate fell half a percentage point in February as almost 89,000 people found work through the month.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed the national jobless rate dropped to 5.8 per cent, its best result since March last year.

Total employment is now back over 13 million, just 1800 short of the record set in February last year before the advent of coronavirus-related shutdowns across the economy.

Full-time employment lifted by 89,000, with 69,000 of those jobs going to women. Female full-time employment is now 1.8 per cent higher than March last year while male full-time employment is 0.8 per cent lower.

The number of people out of work fell by 69,900 to 805,200. It is still 109,500 higher than February last year.

Youth unemployment dropped by 1.1 percentage points but at 12.9 per cent is still half a percentage point higher over the past 12 months.

Victoria’s jobless rate fell by 0.7 percentage points. It and NSW now have the same unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent.

There were falls in unemployment in every state and territory, with the biggest drop in Queensland, where it fell 0.8 percentage points to 6.1 per cent. The lowest jobless rate is in the ACT at 4.1 per cent.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said there had also been a positive development in the number of hours worked through February, which increased by 6.1 per cent after a 4.9 per cent fall in January.


‘Words matter’: ASIO to stop referring to ‘right-wing’ and ‘Islamic’ extremism

The head of the nation’s domestic spy agency has announced he will stop referring to “Islamic extremism” and “right-wing extremism”, saying his organisation needs to be conscious that the names and labels it uses are important.

Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation boss Mike Burgess also revealed ASIO had uncovered a “nest of spies” from a foreign intelligence service that had cultivated and recruited an Australian government security clearance holder who had access to sensitive details of defence technology.

He said a “significant number” of foreign spies and their proxies have either been kicked out of Australia or rendered inoperative over the past 12 months, adding he couldn’t provide an exact number “but I’m talking about a number in double figures”.

Delivering his annual assessment of the threats facing the nation on Wednesday night, Mr Burgess confirmed “so-called right-wing extremism” had grown from about one-third of ASIO’s priority counter-terrorism caseload to about 40 per cent over the past year.

He said his agency would now use the broad terms of “religiously motivated violent extremism” and “ideologically motivated extremism” in a significant change to the language it used to talk about the violent threats facing the nation.

ASIO has previously faced criticism from conservative politicians and the Islamic community for referring to right-wing extremism and Islamic extremism. Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells last year said many people of a conservative background in Australia took exception to the term.

Mr Burgess said the labels were “no longer fit for purpose” and did not “adequately describe the phenomena we’re seeing”.

“At ASIO, we’re conscious that the names and labels we use are important,” Mr Burgess said. “Words matter. They can be very powerful in how they frame an issue and how they make people think about issues.”

Mr Burgess said ASIO did not investigate people solely based on their political views, so categorising groups as “extreme left-wing” or “extreme right-wing” distracted from the real threat of violence.

“In the same way, we don’t investigate people because of their religious views — again, it’s violence that is relevant to our powers — but that’s not always clear when we use the term ‘Islamic extremism’,” Mr Burgess said.

”Understandably, some Muslim groups — and others — see this term as damaging and misrepresentative of Islam, and consider that it stigmatises them by encouraging stereotyping and stoking division.

“I should note that these are umbrella terms – and there may be circumstances where we need to call out a specific threat that sits underneath them – but we believe this approach will more accurately and flexibly describe security-relevant activities.”

Mr Burgess said investigations into ideological extremists had occurred in all Australian states and territories. He said unlike other forms of extremism, they were more widely dispersed across the country, including in regional and rural areas.

“People often think we’re talking about skinheads with swastika tattoos and jackboots roaming the backstreets like extras from Romper Stomper, but it’s no longer that obvious,” he said.

“Today’s ideological extremist is more likely to be motivated by a social or economic grievance than National Socialism. More often than not, they are young, well-educated, articulate, and middle class – and not easily identified.

“The average age of these investigative subjects is 25, and I’m particularly concerned by the number of 15 and 16-year-olds who are being radicalised. They are overwhelmingly male.”

Mr Burgess said the terrorist threat remained at “PROBABLE”, saying ASIO had “credible intelligence that individuals and groups have the capability and intent to conduct terrorism onshore”.

He said while ideological extremism was on the rise, religious extremism was an enduring threat with ISIL last year releasing a video referencing the Australian bushfire crisis to encourage arson attacks in the West.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in violent extremists spending more time at home in “the echo chamber of the internet on the pathway to radicalisation”.

”They were able to access hate-filled manifestos and attack instructions, without some of the usual circuit-breakers that contact with community provides,” he said.




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