AUSTRALIA’S ANTI-TERRORISM STANCE:
Despite their differences on Iraq, the major parties have been more or less united on the need for a tough-minded approach to national security. Mr Beazley generally supported Mr Howard’s anti-terrorism legislation and his position has been followed by Kevin Rudd, who took over as Opposition leader last December. . . .
Put briefly, the Australian system takes Islamist ideology seriously. It does not deal with radical Islamists. It confronts extremistsâ€™ views, rather than seeking to co-opt â€œpragmaticâ€ radicals who happen not to be in favour of the use of violence in the here and now for purely tactical reasons. After the bombings of 7/7 in London, Tony Blair declared correctly that â€œthe rules of the game had changedâ€. In Australia the rules changed dramatically some time earlier. A few recent examples illustrate the point.
After the shock of 7/7 Mr Howard established a Muslim Community Reference Group and said that no radicals would be invited to join. When Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali (the Mufti of Australia) ventured into Holocaust denial, Andrew Robb (the Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism) let it be known that he would not be reappointed to the group. Last February Peter Costello (Mr Howardâ€™s deputy) publicly declared that, if the radical Muslim cleric Abdul Nasser Ben Brika really wanted to live under Sharia law, he might choose voluntary deportation to Iran. The next month the Prime Minister told Reuters TV that Australia could not ignore â€œthat there is a small section of the Islamic population which identifies with some of the more extremist views associated with support of terrorismâ€. In New South Wales the former Labor Premier, Bob Carr, and his successor, Morris Iemma, have made similar candid statements where necessary.
Sounds like they’re way ahead of us. Bush Administration, take note. (Via See-Dubya).