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The publication yesterday of my letter on the attack by Islamists in Kenya has been followed by the publication today of a similar letter by me in the Herald Sun, which had editorialised on the issue and criticised Obama’s categorisation of the handling of the problem as an “Overseas Contigency  Operation”. The Editorial rightly concluded “this global fight has no real end in sight”.

The Herald Sun also publishes today an important analysis by Andrew Bolt suggesting (inter alia) “we should better integrate the nearly 500,000 Muslims we have already before admitting many more”.

I have raised the immigration policy issue before. While it would be difficult politically to stop any further Muslim immigrants, the Abbott government would be justified in tightening security checks and requiring immigrants to sign a commitment that binds them to give primacy to the laws of the State.

One response to the message I sent out yesterday was that I should have mentioned that Islamic attacks have occurred almost simultaneously in Iraq and the Southern Philippines as well as Kenya and Pakistan. Whether this indicates some kind of coordination between extremist Muslim groups only our intelligence agencies can know. But it would certainly be useful if, in due course, the Minister for Foreign Affairs could issue a statement based on an assessment of the Kenyan and other attacks. That might include an indication of the possible  extent to which Australians have been fighting with extremist Muslim groups overseas.

Des Moore

Intervention is called for
(Letters published in the HERALD SUN, 26 September 2013.)
[bracketed sections deleted by Editor]

Your editorial (HS, Sept 24) rightly says that the Islamist attack in Kenya is a “shocking reminder that the global fight against terror is far from over”.

Indeed Australia has already experienced the threat of similar action [that was fortunately detected by security agencies before damage and loss of life occurred here.]

But what is Australia doing about it? Our government can offer only limited practical assistance but it can and should give Christian Kenya moral support directly, with our traditional allies and in international organisations. We should not wait for the nebulous “international community” to offer assistance.

It provides a timely opportunity for our government to state publicly that, while Australia  supports peaceful movements to establish genuine democratic institutions, we  oppose those seeking to establish the dominance of religious movements, particularly where this involves the use of force.

Des Moore, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, South Yarra

There are uncomfortable facts to be faced on immigration
(HERALD SUN, 26 September 2013.)

THE jihadists who murdered at least 67 people at a Nairobi mall are a warning our immigration program is a menace.

These killers are from Al Shabaab, a Somali al-Qaida affiliate that has trained Australians and inspired three others to plan a terror attack on a Sydney army barracks.

Now, with Al Shabaab getting this priceless publicity, how many more sympathisers here might be inspired by this rising star of jihadism?

We wouldn’t need to ask if we hadn’t recklessly allowed in too many immigrants whose children are prone to such extremism.

Even before the horror in Nairobi the warning lights were flashing. ASIO warned in April that hundreds of Muslim Australians, mostly of Lebanese background, were involved in Syria’s civil war, many with jihadist groups, and posed a danger on their return.

The Syria war has already spilled into our streets, with bashings, shootings and arson as Sunnis and Shi’ites scuffle in Sydney and Melbourne.

Then there are the 15 Muslims jailed here over four big terrorist plots. Who let in such people?

Radical preachers such as Sheik Taj El-Din al-Hilaly, imam at Lakemba mosque, Australia’s biggest, have meanwhile whipped up the hate by praising suicide bombers as “heroes”.

They have an audience: scores of angry Muslim men rioted in Sydney last year over an American video mocking their faith.

Not all the trouble has a specifically religious connection.

Imprisonment rates among the Lebanese-born are among the highest of ethnic groups and two bikie gangs — the Comancheros and Notorious — have many Lebanese members. Sydney’s Hells Angels include many ethnic Turks.

Shootings in Sydney suburbs with big Muslim populations are so common that police created a Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad.

All this — and high rates of welfare dependency — suggests we should better integrate the nearly 500,000 Muslims we have already before admitting many more.

I know, it is not “nice” to say such things. Most Muslims are indeed peace-loving. Fifteen jailed terrorists is, after all, a tiny proportion of 500,000 people.

Yet we have nearly as many Buddhists as Muslims. Not one Buddhist is in jail here for terrorism. So would we be safer bringing in more Muslims or more Buddhists?

Such questions may seem shocking but the terrorism in Kenya demands we ask them.

Al Shabaab has boasted in a tweet that three Americans were among the killers, as well as men from Finland, Canada, Britain, Somalia and Kenya.

But they could easily have come from Australia.

Four years ago Somali-born Islamic scholar Hersi Hilole said Somali parents here were worried their sons had gone to fight in Somalia and “some may also still be associated with these extremist groups”. Two years ago, Abdisalam Ali, an Al Shabaab suicide bomber, published a martyrdom video urging “my brothers and sisters, do jihad in America ... (and) anywhere in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in China, in Australia ...”

BY then three Muslims, two of Lebanese background, had already been arrested for planning a mass-shooting at Sydney’s Holsworthy barracks after asking senior Al Shabaab religious figures for permission.

Is it surprising that some young Muslims seem prone to calls to jihad? Take the Somali community. Many lack qualifications or good English. Their earnings are half the average. Their unemployment rate is four times the average. Their crime rate in Victoria is five times the average.

If you’re a proud young man, would you rather be some dirt-poor Australian or a feared jihadist?

So why have our politicians been so blind to such obvious dangers?

True, every blue moon the hard questions are faced. Cabinet documents show the Fraser government was privately warned by immigration authorities in 1976 to tighten lax entry requirements for refugees from the Lebanese civil war because this new intake was “scraping the bottom of the barrel with regard to quality”.

Many were unskilled, illiterate and ‘’of questionable character’’, and there was a danger “the conflicts, tensions and divisions within Lebanon will be transferred to Australia’’.

How sad the warning wasn’t heeded better

In 2007, the Howard government’s immigration affairs minister, Kevin Andrews, froze our intake of refugees from Somalia and Sudan, saying the Sudanese particularly seemed to have serious trouble settling and it was best to “slow down the rate of intake until you’ve dealt with it”.

For that honesty Andrews was accused of “a pure form of racism” by Queensland premier Anna Bligh and vilified by the ABC.

Since then we’ve gone back to the standard dishonesty. Mark Dreyfus, attorney-general in the Gillard government, praised his multi-ethnic voters in greater Dandenong as “a modern, diverse and harmonious society”, even though crime rates are 40 per cent above the state average, with Sudanese and Pacific Islanders over-represented.

We can’t afford such sweet lies any longer.

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