Tuesday, October 31, 2006

David Hicks, Al Hilaly and the three Muslims in Yemen: Conviction by media because of faith!

In any civilised society, every citizen has the right of presumption of innocence, except in Howard's Australia. The golden rule of natural justice in any secular democratic society is that every “accused” is innocent until proven “guilty”.

For David Hicks who was in detention for more than 4 years, Howard and his ministers decided that he deserves this, even though there was no trial or conviction. They have not only abandoned him, but sent an envoy to England, to encourage them to refuse him English citizenship. After this attempt failed, the Australian envoy was sent to abort any diplomatic intervention on his behalf.

For Al Hilaly, he should be sacked, possible jail and prospective deportation. All this without any court conviction, sacking through legitimate channels or losing in polling boxes.
The Australian government is ready to spend millions of dollars following him from country to country, taping all his speeches and ceremonies, translating all these into English and then staging media and political circus after circus.

For the three Australians arrested in Yemen for possible links to a “terrorist organisation”, Howard has already decided that they “broke the laws and they deserve everything”; full-stop, no need for any further evidence, a fair trial or conviction.
Howard knows as a legally trained person that the ‘accused is innocent until proven guilty’. Does not he know as PM, who controls many security agencies, that Yemen is a very corrupt government from its head to toes?

What kind of a leader are we having in Australia?

Let us compare his response on other issues!

Do we remember Schapelle Corby?
She was caught red-handed trying to smuggle drugs into Bali. John Howard wrote a letter to her personally promising that he will use all in his power to save her.

Do you also remember Fred Nile, member of NSW Legislative Council. He attacked Muslim women's rights. Howard did not stage any media circus to sack him. On the contrary, he supported his right to express his personal and religious views, even if they are bigotted.

And I do not want to remind you with his response to Pope's remarks of “we should really move on.”

What hypocrisy?
Mr Hicks, Al Hilaly and the three Australians arrested in Yemen are all still innocents (not like Corby) and deserve fair treatment and presumption of innocence, until proven otherwise.

It is very clear that in Howard's Australia, you are guilty according to either your faith or your appearance.

You are guilty until prove your innocence if:
●You are Muslim.
●You are of Middle Eastern appearance.
●You speak English with an accent, unless you prove that you are not Arab or Muslim

This is a better and cheaper-to-run system, where any politician can decree a conviction. Even an ordinary policman can do this job. All what it needs is to add ethnic origin and faith/religion to the driving licence or ID card.
This Howard has a very good non-conventional method for every agenda item. This time he invented the persecution of his opponents by media. No need to spend money to construct cases, no need to spend money for diplomatic missions to help “accused”, no need to spend money for judges and courts.....

On the contrary: he will save a lot of money: ‘if you do not do what I want, I will withheld funds for your community’!

The actions of the Howard government mirror that of a kangaroo court process and affront the Australian constitution as it severely compromises the doctrine of the separation of political power and judicial power, an integral part of the Westminster system of government he supposedly cherishes so much.

And we still believe that we are living in a secular democratic society, not in a banana republic!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Why mixing religion with politics again: Sheikh Hilaly's comments should not be gone on air?

In the context of the media circus about Al Hilaly's comments sparked by The Australian today, we want to put facts into context:

٭ There are no justifications for the violence inflicted on any rape victims. The perpetrators of such violence should be tried and punished accordingly.
٭ In a secular democracy like Australia, it is unacceptable to interfere in people's choice of their dress or the way they choose to go in their life, as long as it does not harm others.
٭ The issues of criminal justice, defamation and inciting hate and violence should be dealt with in the courtrooms, and not in the media by creating a circus that will interfere with the natural justice.

And here we want to ask basic questions:
٭ Why was a religious ceremony blown out of context and leaked to the media?
٭ Why did this happen at this particular time, and after a month of its delivery?
٭ What is the role of Howard's government in this leak and circus, taking into consideration the unacceptable remarks of Howard and his ministers about Islam and Muslims and their wish to change the Muslim “leadership” to a more “Liberal-friendly” one?
٭ Why did Pru Goward, the Liberal candidate who failed to be preselected for Epping seat because she is not far right-extremist, enter the debate in such provocative way?

And we can conclude:
٭ There is a fishy conspiracy here by the Liberal right-extremists to blow things out of its context to achieve electoral gains. As since when in a secular democracy, security agencies and media are spying on religious ceremonies? And why only on a Muslim ceremony? And why dealing with this ceremony in the media instead of appropriate channels, if there is no fishy conspiracy to use all these for electoral victories?
٭ The Al Hilaly's comments, while highly inappropriate, could not amount to inciting hate or rape. He was stating his opinion about events concerning some members of the community. He was not urging Muslim youth to rape any “uncovered meat”, but was urging them to stick to Islamic code of dress and behavior.
٭ By the same token as Al Hilaly cannot direct Australian women how to act, Muslims have the right to promote socially conservative code of dress and behavior according to their religion. As far as there is not incitement of hate or violence, this right should be respected for all (including Muslims).
٭ The Pru Goward attempt to match the Liberal extremists to win a candidacy somewhere by demanding deportation of Al Hilaly is not more than a pathetic move. Pru Goward should go and read the immigration law, principles of natural justice and principles of separation of powers in the secular democracy. She appointed herself as prosecutor, jury and Judge. She even gave instant judgment before looking into the evidence or heard the “accused”. Then Al Hilaly is an Australian citizen and, if convicted of inciting hate, should be sentenced in Australia and not sent overseas. We did not hear any suggestions that the “white” criminals should be deported and sent back to England.

We would like to stress here that this media circus about Al Hilaly's comments are not more than another episode from the Federal government to interfere in Muslim community affairs to further marginalise and criminalise the whole community on one hand. And it is another move to enforce Liberal-friendly “leadership” on the community that will work hand-in-hand with the government agenda to dehumanize the community to legitimise the neo-conservative attacks on Islam and Muslims.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Did the Greens senators convert to Islam lately?

Since my attack started (on 18 July 06) on the hypocrisy and lack of any real commitments or vision of the Greens party (especially handling of the crisis in the Middle East) the election machine of the party are sending very strange messages.

I should mention here that the disgraceful stances of the Greens on these issues started when the Greens politicians were deadly silent on the banning of Hizboullah, on 14 June 03. Then they very noisily and enthusiastically supported the banning of Hamas and Lashker e Taybeh, 7 November 03.

After that, there was silence on all related issues, after I led a campaign against these disgraceful stances inside the Greens. This continued until this cease-fire was finished when the Greens federal election machine 04 re-opened fire on our community and its central issue, Palestine. The Greens machine put out a very disgraceful media release on 1 September 04 condemning Palestinian military factions and holding them responsible for the halt of the peace process (which peace process!!).

At that time I had no choice but to break my silence. I did condemn, publicly, such political prostitution to gain some Zionist support. I, proudly, attacked the Greens media release and the shift to total loss of principled stands and a visionary approach, in the media and the community. I also participated in collecting signatures and names to condemn this prostitution in a petition sent to both senators.

After the disgraceful media release of the Greens on the Israeli attack on Lebanon, 17 July 06, I had no choice but to attack in full force and on all fronts to expose the real colour of the “Greens”.

Since my initial attack on 18 July, the Greens were putting out media releases at the rate of one media release per week. Then they were keen to start talking about some issues that they refused to touch in the last half decade.

On November 2002 (during my campaigning in Victorian election), I organised a meeting with Senator Nettle and Asem Judeh, to encourage the Greens senators to talk about the issues that matter. We urged them to talk about the tax-deductibility of the money sent to be used in illegal activities (like building illegal settlements, buying arms and financing confiscation of Palestinian lands), Israeli army recruitment in Australia,... etc. All our requests were ignored and fell on deaf ears. No motion or discussion on such issues was initiated in the parliament by the Greens politicians.

Suddenly, and after my recent attack on the credibility of the Greens as a left party, The Greens senators showed a strong appetite to talk about some of these issues. We saw the pathetic motion after motion (including a motion to ask about arms trade with Israel), with no coordination with anyone in the Parliament, then media release after media release on the issue and many media interviews on the issues.

What a hypocrisy!!!

Could not these senators move these motions, ask for debate, and demand answers since 2002? Why this postponement?!!

Then came the biggest lie of its kind!

I should mention that the Greens was promoting for the last decade the “clean politics” slogan as an essential part of their claim of “political alternativeness” to the major parties.

On 30 July 06, The Greens senator Kerry Nettle claimed, on the air on the SBS radio – Arabic program, that the Greens regarded Hizboullah as national resistance and not a terrorist organisation, and they did oppose the legislation to put it on the list of terrorists organisations.

What a cheap lie!!

Let us start exposing this lie from recent events. This is strange and a total contradiction to the content of Bob Brown's media release on 17 July 06.

Where were the senators when Hizboullah was banned on 14 June 03? The Greens senators were deadly silent among a very noisy and big debate in the senate. And at the end of the session, they did not even abstain from voting.

I read the senate Hansard. The Greens tried to treat us (as a community) as naive immature children, who can receive any piece of lie unquestioningly. The truth is that the Democrats, while they supported banning Hizboullah as terrorist organisation, sought amendments to stop the retrospectivity of applying this legislation. The Greens supported these amendments and objected to this issue, not the issue of banning.

After the deterioration in the reputation of the Greens among the Muslim and Arabic communities, the election machine is desperate to do anything to gain some ground before the state and federal elections next year. They could even go to the extent of supporting Hizboullah as national resistance and not terrorist organisation!!!!!!
And they are keen now to pursue the issue of Israel’s arms trade with Australia. They are even organising a forum about this issue.

Halleluyah!!!

But why are they keen to talk about this irrelevant issue, where the trade is less than 2 million dollars and is non important item. Why are they not keen to ask about the tax-payers money which is going to support illegal activities like building settlements or buying arms!!

Then they cried for long time for the death of the Lebanese civilians.

If I was not a Greens member for long time, and read in those days the Greens' many media releases, speeches at the rallies, motions in the Parliament and interviews with the ethnic media, I would suspect that the Greens senators did convert to Islam and became members of Hizboullah, or maybe Hamas (at least they have the same Green flag).

There are a few questions to ask here:
1- Why did they convert to Islam just now?
2- Will they stay members of Hamas or Hizboullah after the end of the federal election, 2007?
3- Would they defy the Australian governments ban on sending money to help Hamas and Hizboullah?
4- How long will this cheap political prostitution last?

And in Arabic we say: “and your intelligence is enough”! (وفهمكم كفايه)

Howard and North Korea: Courage without limits!

Really this time, I am proud of you Mr John Howard.
You showed the whole world that you have both vision and courage, with your description of North Korea as an “International Outlaw”, and then demanding International collective measures against it.

Your words, vision and integrity should be taught in all universities around the world.

You cannot allow the proliferation of nuclear weapons around the world. Frankly, I share your vision in this.

But...

I recall that months ago you did sign an agreement with India to export to them Uranium. To the best of my knowledge, India is a member of the nuclear countries club.

And to the best of my knowledge, you did not criticize Israel for the last 10 years.

To the best of my knowledge, North Korea does not occupy any other country's land.
But as I recall, Israel is occupying lands of at least 4 neighbouring countries.

To the best of my knowledge, North Korea did not stage any war against any of its neighbors in the last half century.
But for the same period, I know that Israel waged 5 major wars against its neighbors, in addition to the daily incursions and violation to their sovereignty.

To the best of my knowledge, North Korea did not violate any UN resolutions.
On the other hand, Israel is refusing to implement more than 65 UN resolutions, the latest is resolution 1701.

To the best of my knowledge, North Korea did not violate any international treaty.
On the other hand, Israel violated almost every major International treaty, starting from the IV Geneva Convention, Convention on the Rights of Children, Convention to Protect the Rights of Indigenous People,......

Despite all of this, you “have always admired Israel's extraordinary fortitude and resilience” (as you stated in an interview with Australian Jews News Weekly, 22 September 2006).

Then you added another reason to why you are condemning North Korea's nuclear test: the arrogance of the North Korean government to spend the money to build nuclear weapons, while depending on the International community to “feed” its citizens.

A clever argument that shut up the North Korea's argument forever.

But was Israel not dependent on the many billions of dollars from the US to “feed” its population, but is still too spending the biggest proportion of this money on arms, army and stacking non-conventional arsenals.

Why is Howard not threatening to stop the millions of tax-payers money to Israel, until it stops producing nuclear, chemical, biological and other internationally-forbidden weapons of mass destruction?

Do we call this genius or hypocrisy?

In Arabic we say “if you have no feeling of shame, do whatever you want”.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Douglas Wood cowboy-like press conference

Originally posted on 21 June 2005

It was deeply disappointing to see an Australian citizen act in arrogant irresponsible cowboy-like way. Watching Douglas Wood's press conference let me feel deeply ashamed as Australian.

Douglas Wood was outraged of his kidnapping(and I can understand this), but he was not outraged or ashamed of kidnapping of 25 million Iraqis, killing of hundreds of thousands of them, humiliation of hundred of thousands of Iraqis and destroying the country of the first civilization on earth, as a direct result of the invasion that he supports.

Douglas Wood, who was in Iraq profiteering from the misery of millions of Iraqis, did not show any sign of humanity when he supported the invasion and then destruction of Iraq by the "Coalition of Willings". Douglas Wood would like to make more profit by sending more racist supremacist "cowboy" accusations and challenges on Channel Ten this Sunday.

Douglas Wood "Cowboy-like" remarks and promises to make "Rambo-like" return to Iraq was in deep contrast of his family members' pleads during his kidnapping, when they "traveled" several times to Lakemba to ask for help, then traveled to the Middle East and appeared on all TV channels and newspapers there pleading for help.

Douglas remarks are most unhelpful because it will definitely put the life of all "White Anglo" Australians under immediate risk, not only in Iraq, but in the whole Middle East. It provoked even the most moderate people there, who expected some restraints, respect and fairness from Douglas, who thinks that the life, freedom and human rights of "Westerners" are the most important while the life, dignity and well-being of Iraqis are irrelevant.

Not only me who should be ashamed of these remarks and attitude, but every descent Australian who read the Universal Human Rights Declaration and believes that human life and rights are sacred regardless of nationality, race, skin color, gender, religious affiliation ...

It seems that the attempt of Muslim community and Muslim leaders to reduce the division and fear among the society because of Howard's racist and barbaric policies was failed miserably and even got opposite effects.
Lastly I personally advice Douglas Wood to abandon his  "Rambo-like" dreams of returning to Iraq, as such move would mostly (taking into account the personality of Iraqis and the lawless situation there) result in another disaster for him, and this time I do not think that he will win any sympathy from anyone, in Australia or abroad.