Image: Islamists displaying tolerance in Sydney
The Gillard government has allowed radical Islamist leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Taji Mustafa into the country to address the organizations Australian chapter. This group is anti Semitic and anti Western campaigns for a Caliphate under Sharia law. At the same time it appears likely that Dutch politician Geert Wilders will be denied a visa as he is an opponent of multiculturalism.
Oddly for a Minister in a government, which wants to regulate the internet and media, as well as licensing journalists and regulate bloggers, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has cited a John Howard statement on freedom of speech to justify his position:
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen was asked in parliament on Tuesday to explain why Mr Mustafa, who spoke at a conference held by a controversial Islamic group in Sydney on Sunday, was not prevented from visiting Australia. He should have been on the movement alert list, Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop said.Lets compare this with the current political discussion relating to Dutch Freedom Party Leader, Geert Wilders who has been waiting for a visa for three weeks despite his staff having theirs granted within days. While Mr Bowen has not remarked directly, it appears that the government think being against the people who rioted in Sydney carrying placards stating “Behead those who offend Islam,” is divisive:
Mr Bowen told her Mr Mustafa did not have any criminal convictions, nor was he a member of a prescribed organization. He referred to a speech by former prime minister John Howard, which defended free speech even when ridiculous things were said.
"There is often a thin line between stupid, extravagant language, and language which is deliberately designed to incite violence, or to bring about violence, or to threaten the security of a country," he quoted Mr Howard. "And people can say a lot of ridiculous things, and they should be able to say ridiculous things in a democracy - well said John Howard.” …
The Federal Government has not yet made a decision but Multicultural Affairs Minister Kate Lundy described Mr Wilders as "an extreme-right politician promulgating views that are out of step with mainstream Australia."Mr Wilders, along with former Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali is on the Islamic hit list of people to be killed, the only mainstream religion to have one of these.
Victorian Greens Senator Richard Di Natale criticised Mr Wilders. "His hateful and divisive views are not welcome in Australia, but to deny him a visa risks giving him more oxygen and publicity," he said.