A draft “sensitive” government document intended for the national security committee of cabinet was leaked late last week. The document flags proposals to be forwarded this year by the Minister for Immigration such as greater scrutiny and spying on asylum seekers pre-visa and post-citizenship, an “enforceable integration framework”, and a revamped citizenship test and citizenship pledge.
It claims that Syrian refugees being brought into Australia “will bring issues, beliefs or associations that lead them to advocate or engage in politically motivated or communal violence” and singles out the Lebanese community as the “most prominent ethnic group amongst Australian Sunni extremists”.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia emphasises the following in this regard:
1. At the core of such proposals is the abiding strategy of Australian Governments of both persuasions to blame Islam and Muslim communities for the ugly consequences of their own policies. By revolving the debate around issues of beliefs and religious “extremism” attention is deliberately deflected away from the fact that the primary cause of terrorism is politics and foreign policy.
2. The focus on migrants is a cheap and irresponsible, but not surprising, attempt to play to prevalent racist fears of the threatening, subversive foreigner. The most oppressed and vulnerable people in the world are but tools for a politics of exploitation. Concurrently, the Government pretends that it is helping Syrian refugees.
3. Given the Government’s self-serving and flawed definition of extremism and radicalisation, such criticism of Sunni Muslims should be taken as a badge of honour. The reality is that Muslims have played an honorable role in assisting the beleaguered people of Syria as much as possible while Western Governments have effectively stood with Bashar al-Assad. It is their (secular liberal) beliefs and (political) associations that lead them to advocate and engage in political motivated violence.
4. It is also telling that government policy has consistently problematised those who seek to resist the barbarity of Assad while turning a blind eye to those who support him and have gone to fight for him. It is clear that the policy is motivated by (neo-colonial) foreign policy considerations alone, even if packaged as considerations of security and “counter-terrorism”.
5. Proposals like an “enforceable integration framework” further emphasise what we have long called out as government attempts to force assimilation of Muslims. “Integration” is but a euphemism for doing away with those aspects of Islam that do not sit well with secular liberalism. We advise the Muslim community to remain standing firm on their Islam without any compromise.
6. We also emphasise to the community and particularly those in leadership positions that this yet again shows true government intent. They claim to want to engage and consult the community but behind the scenes plot against it. How many more clear examples do we need before we acknowledge that the entire “counter-terrorism” policy is a farcical smokescreen that directly targets Islam and Muslims? The participation of Muslim organisations in it only affords it life and legitimacy, to the detriment of the community. It deserves only to be openly exposed and resisted.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia
08 February 2016