Monday, December 21, 2009

نرفض استجلاب الديمقراطية العشائرية الی استراليا


ما ان كتبت مقالة انتقد فيها تصرفات احد الذين قفزوا علی ظهورنا وظهر جاليتنا الكريمة لعقود من الزمان ونصبوا انفسهم "قادة" لنا ولجاليتنا، بالرغم من اننا لم ننتخبهم ولم يستشيرونا في هذه المسالة المهمة، حتی قامت الدنيا ولم تقعد. فما ان نشرت لنا العنكبوت الالكترونية مقال ينتقد ممارسات السيد جمال الريفي علی مدی العقد الماضي، حتی انهالت علي وعلی صاحب العنكبوت مكالمات من كل حدب وصوب بعضها معاتب وآخر مرعد مزبد مهدد لنا بالويل والثبور ان لم نعد عن "غينا" ونعتذر عما ارتكبناه من "هجاء" لصاحب الظل العالي

لم يزد ما كتبناه في ذاك المقال عن نقد موثق لتصريحات مهينة بحق ابرياء هربوا من ظلم اوطانهم اطلقها السيد الريفي ووصفهم فيها بالمهاجرين غير الشرعيين وانه سيعمل من خلال نشاطه في اللجنة الاستشارية في وزارة الهجرة علی وقف تدفقهم لمنع تخطيهم للصفوف. وذكُرنا القارئ بالمواقف السابقة للسيد الريفي والتي كانت في مجملها معادية لمصالح الجالية وابنائها، كدليل علی الاجندات المخفية التي جاءت بالسيد الريفي الی اللجنة الاستشارية وهو لا يعرف في قضايا اللاجئين الكثير. والا فكيف يقفز السيد وزير الهجرة عن خبراء في مجال اللجوء والهجرة والهجرة غير القانونية من امثال د. محمد الجابري او المحامية عبير حمدان او وغيرهم من العاملين في هذا المجال ليعين السيد الريفي؟

المثير للاشمئزاز هو سيل الانتقادات التي وجهت لنا لاننا تخطينا كل الخطوط الحمر في نقدنا العلمي الموثق لكل ما ادعيناه من سلوكيات للسيد الريفي. بل ان بعض المعاتبين من "قيادات" الجالية غير المنتخبة قد خرج عن ادبيات الديمقراطية ولياقاتها ووجه لنا كلمات لم نستطع الا رفضها ومواجهتها بالحجة والمنطق والدعوة للاحتكام للعبة الديمقراطیة وآلياتها المعروفة

ما خضناه خلال الاسابيع الماضية كان وصمة عار في جبين كل من يدعي التنطح لقيادة الجالية واعادة للجالية الی عشائرية بغيضة حسبنا اننا طوينا صفحتها بمجرد وصولنا الی هذا البلد الجميل وانغماسنا في لعبته الديمقراطية حسب اصولها

خلال الاسابيع الماضية اكتشفنا لماذا ما زلنا كجالية نتخبط في مشاكلنا ومآسينا لا نعرف لها حلا

فقيادات الجالية غير المنتخبين والذين سمح الكثير منهم لانفسهم "بسحل" الجالية الی مسلخ الحكومات العنصرية، والذين فعلوا ذلك علانية وعلی رؤوس الاشهاد وامام كاميرات التلفزيونات الاسترالية والعالمية دون "احم او دستور" ودون مشاورة احد من الجالية، طالبونا ان لا نكتب أي نقد حتی نستشيرهم وناخذ الاذن منهم

وقيادات الجالية التي لم ينتخبها احد، تساءلت "بحزم" عن الجهة التي اعطتنا الحق بالدفاع عن الجالية والوقوف ضد كل من يحاول سحلها وجلدها من اجل تحقيق اجندات سياسية لاحزاب باتت معروفة. فمن اعطاهم الحق بتمثيلنا "رغما عن انوفنا" ثم اعطاهم الحق بالمشاركة في سبنا وقدحنا وانكار انجازاتنا كجالية لا ندري لماذا لا يعطينا نفس الحق في التمثيل من اجل الدفاع عن انجازاتنا وحقوقنا الديمقراطية

حيرنا منطق هذه "القيادة". فمرة يزاودون علينا بضرورة السماح لمن هب ودب ان ينتقد الجالية ويكيل لها كل اشكال الذم والقدح لان ذلك هو مربط فرس الديمقراطيات الغربية التي يحق فيها لاي انسان بانتقاد ايا كان، ان التزم بشروط النقد الايجابي البناء البعيد عن التطاول والتجريح والتجني غير القائم علی دليل. وعندما نقوم بنفس العمل بتوجيه انتقادات لبعض المسيئين للجالية، نواجه بالقدح والذم والتجريح وبسؤال عمن اعطانا الحق في ممارسة حقوقنا الديمقراطية

نؤمن ان الديمقراطية الاسترالية يجب ان تطبق علينا جميعا بغض النظر عن اصولنا او أي عادات ورثناها عن قبائل داحس والغبراء

ولذلك فقد قلنا لكل من اتصل بنا معاتبا او مهددا ان للديمقراطية سيفا مسلولا لمنع الفوضی ايضا. فالسيد الريفي له الحق كاملا بالطعن بما سقناه من انتقادات له ولسلوكه المعادي للجالية. وقد شرحنا لهم ان للسيد الريفي حقا اما بالرد علينا بمقال يبين فيه رايه بالانتقادات التي اوردناها والبينات التي تثبت ارائه. كما ان للسيد الريفي الحق في رفع قضية امام المحاكم ان كان يعتبر ان ما سقناه من آراء ما هو الا اكاذيب للتشهير به

وقد فاجئنا السيد الريفي انه يرفض الانصياع لمتطلبات الديمقراطيات الغربية وانه يفضل العودة الی ديمقراطيات عشائر داحس والغبراء وحل الموضوع عن طريق عقد صلحة عشائرية تنتهي بتبويس لحی و"يا دار ما دخلك شر

ان ما يؤسف في الموضوع برمته هو استفحال ازمة القيادة في الجالية، والتي تعززها في كثير من الاحيان ممارسات الحكومات الفيديرالية والمحلية المشجعة لديمقراطية العشائر داخل الجالية

فالحكومات الاسترالية مسرورة جدا من تولي اميين واشباه اميين لقيادة الجالية، يكون من السهولة بمكان السيطرة عليهم وتوجيههم لخدمة اجنداتها، بدلا من خدمة اجندات جاليتهم. كما ان تولي هؤلاء لقيادة الجالية سيبث الياس والقنوط في صفوف مثقفي الجالية ويدخلهم في متاهات الصراع من اجل انتزاع حقوق الجالية مما سيؤدي بالكثير منهم الی الاستسلام والجلوس في منازلهم علی مبدأ "وهل يصلح العطار ما افسدته الحكومات

رفضت طوال حياتي حتی قبل الوصول الی هذا البلد الجميل وبشدة الاحتكام لديمقراطية العشائر والجلوس امام زعماء القبائل انتظارا لانهاء الخلافات بتبويس لحی. وما زلت ارفض هذا المستوی الرجعي في معالجة الامور، وخصوصا المهمة منها

ومن لا يعجبه، فعليه اما ان يلجأ للديمقراطية الاسترالية او للعودة الی مضارب داحس والغبراء واستدعائي الی مجالس "حق العرب

ندرك ان الحضارة الانسانية يجب ان تتقدم الی الامام دائما، وليس العكس. وبالرغم من اننا لسنا ضد حضارة احد، الا اننا لن نسمح ان نكون وسيلة لاخذ الحضارة الی الوراء وصولا الی عار داحس والغبراء

واللبيب من الاشارة يفهم

(يمكنكم قراءة مقالتي التي سببت الضجة العشائرية علی http://jamaldaoud.blogspot.com/2009/12/blog-post.html(

جائزة ايفي الفنية تذهب الی طبيب "مسلم" من الضواحي


بقلم ريتشاردو كورباجو

١٢ كانون اول ٠٩

بعد ان حصل علی الكثير من الجوائز، فان الدكتور جمال الريفي، وهو طبيب من ضاحية بيلمور، قد اضاف جائزة ايفي الفنية الی مقتنياته من الجوائز العالمية. وقد استحق السيد الريفي هذه الجائزة كاحسن ممثل في المسلسل الطويل "قدح المسلمين - كل يغني علی ليلاه

ويعتبر السيد الريفي بطل في الفوز بهكذا جوائز – مفاجئات. فقد حصل السيد الريفي العام الماضي علی جائزة من مفوضية حقوق الانسان وتكافؤ الفرص لاسباب لم يقتنع بها حتی مانح الجائزة. كما فاز السيد الريفي بجوائز عدة من منظمات محلية، كجوائز الصحف المحلية وجوائز البلديات. كما فاز السيد الريفي مؤخرا بجائزه من منظمة اسلامية لم يسمع بها معظم المسلمين، ولاسباب لا يمكن ان تقنع طفلا رضيعا. ويبدو ان الخطوة القادمة ستكون بادراج السيد الريفي بكتاب جينيس للارقام القياسية لحصوله علی اكبر عدد من الجوائز التقديرية باقصر فترة زمنية منحت لاتفه الاسباب غير المقنعة حتی لمانحيها

وبعد حصول السيد الريفي علی الجائزة تدفقت كلمات التاييد لهذا الفوز من كل حدب وصوب. فقد صرحت رئيسة الولاية، السيدة كريستينا كينيلي، بانها تؤيد حصول السيد الريفي علی هذه الجائزة بشدة. وقالت ان افضل دور قام به السيد الريفي هو دوره كمتسلق للجبال عندما عبر ممر كوكودا التاريخي. "لقد كان مؤثرا جدا في هذا الدور. انه يتمتع بقدرات تمثيلية هائلة تجعله يغير من ادواره واماكن تمثيله. لقد كانت قدرته علی الانتقال من تمثيل ادواره في بيلمور الی تمثيل دوره في جبال كوكودا قدرة هائلة علی التكيف مع التغييرات الدرماتيكية في كل ظروف العمل الفني

اما رئيس الوزراء الاسبق جون هاورد، فقد خالف السيدة كينيلي الراي بقوله "ان اعظم دور قام به السيد الريفي هو دوره كحكم يلبس شورتا ازرق وفانيلة ذهبية وخضراء ويحمل صافرة في فمه ليخرج كرتا احمر ويرفعه بوجه جاليته ليخرجها من الحلبة السياسية. لقد عشقت دوره هذا. لقد استطاع التمثيل بالرغم من معارضة الكثيرين من ابناء جلدته وبالرغم من ان دوره قد اساء لجاليته كاملة

وفي شوارع بيلمور فقد كان التاييد لمنح السيد الريفي هذه الجائزة الفنية المهمة ساحقا حيث اكد ابناء منطقته المسلمين ان قدرة السيد الريفي علی تغيير جلده هي قدرة فائقة لا يوازيها به احد

وقال علي، احد سكان المنطقة المسلمين، انه وعلی الرغم من كراهيته للسيد الريفي الذي مثل في احدی الحلقات كناشط ضد حزب الله ولكن فانه لا يستطيع ان يقلل من امكانيات السيد الريفي. "لقد كان يجب ان يفوز السيد الريفي باكثر من جائزة لهذه القدرات التمثيلية الخارقة، حتی لو كان فيه الكثير من التعديات علی الجالية ليؤمن مصالحه الخاصة

كاتب هذا المقال وصلته معلومات شبه مؤكدة بان قيادة حزب العمال في شارع سوسيكس ما زالت مشغولة لاسابيع تناقش الخطوة القادمة. وقد رشحت المصادر بان قيادة الحزب تبحث في انشاء منظمة جديدة مهمتها الوحيدة اختراع جائزة جديدة لمنحها للسيد الريفي. ولكن فان زعماء الحزب ما زالوا غير مستقري الراي علی اسم المنظمة او طبيعة الجائزه قيد الاختراع، خصوصا وان كل جهودهم قد استنفذت من اجل منح كل تلك الجوائز للسيد الريفي علی مدی العامين الماضيين

وما زال الكثيرين في الجالية يتساءلون عن سبب منح السيد الريفي كل هذه الجوائز خلال العامين الماضيين
وقد غمز بعض الخبثاء في الجالية من هذه الزاوية و تساءلوا بتعجب ان كان المسلسل الطويل قد انتهت فصوله او ان هذه الجوائز ما هي الا محاولات لتلميع السيد الريفي ليلعب دوره التالي في حلقات المسلسل القادمة

ويجدر ذكر ان كاتب المقال لم يتصل بالسيد الريفي للاطلاع علی رايه بالموضوع، وذلك لاننا جميعا ندرك الاجندات المخفية وراء كل هذا الاستعراض الفارغ. ولكننا نامل صادقين ان تكون الادوار القادمة للسيد الريفي اقل تدميرا علی الجالية الكريمة

هذا المقال كان عبارة عن قطعة ساخرة متشائمة كتبها حريص علی الجالية وشؤونها. ويمكنكم ابداء ارائكم عن طريق الاتصال بالكاتب

جمال الريفي يتفرغ لمعالجة الهجرة "غير الشرعية": "لم يبق في الخم الا ممعوط الذنب


واخيرا خلع السيد جمال الريفي القفازات والروب الطبي واربد وارعد وتوعد. ولا بد ان الذعر قد دب الآن في قلوب مهربي البشر، وطالبي اللجوء من عرب وعجم وبربر ومن والاهم من ذوي السلطان الاكبر

فاليوم اعلن السيد الريفي وبكل جراة انه قد استقال من عضوية الهيئة الادارية للجمعية الاسلامية اللبنانية للتفرغ لحل مشكلة لاجئي القوارب من خلال عمله ضمن الهيئة الاستشارية للهجرة

هذا التصريح الذي لا بد انه الآن في طور المناقشة المستمرة في كل عواصم العالم الذين اعيتهم الحيلة والوسيلة لوقف تدفق طالبي اللجوء وبمئات الآلاف من دول انهكتها الحروب والمحن

وكاننا لا نعرف ان هكذا لجان وهيئات استشارية ما هي الا خطوات رمزية من باب "ذر الرماد في العيون" لاضفاء شرعية علی الاجراءات التي تعتزم الحكومة اتخاذها، وانها لا تخيف لا مهربي البشر ولا نمور التاميل او حتی نمور زيمبابوي. بمعنی آخر، فان عمل هذه اللجان ما هي الا نوع من خدمات "شهادات زور" مقدمة من اعضاء اختارهم الوزير بدقة وعناية ليقدموا توصيات متفق عليها مع الوزير وعاملي مكتبه وان أي مقترح ستاتي به الهيئة قد يكون مخالفا لتوجهات الحكومة وسياساتها لن يكون مصيره الا الی سلة المهملات

لكن السيد جمال الريفي الفرح لهكذا منصب، ولو كان رمزيا خال من أي صلاحيات علی مبدا "فشخرة ولو علی خازوق"، مصر علی ان يصور دوره في تلك الهيئة وكانه دور مركزي يعتمد عليه انقاذ استراليا من مصيبة محتمة. ولذلك فان الريفي اعلن استنفارا كاملا لقدراته وطاقاته من اجل عدم التاخر عن مهمة "خطيرة" بهذا الشكل. وهو لتحقيق التفرغ التام لوقف زحف طالبي اللجوء لم يجد مفرا من الاستقالة من "قيادة" الجمعية الاسلامية، للتفرغ لقيادة الاساطيل الاسترالية لوقف زحف فقراء ومضطهدي العراق وافغانستان وسريلانكا وفيتنام وفلسطين!!!

ولذلك فقد اعلن الآن انه سيخلع "الروب الابيض الطبي" ليلبس بزته العسكرية ويقوم بنفسه بقيادة الاسطول الاسترالي المرابط امام داروين وآشمور ريف ليمنع الغزو المحتمل لهؤلاء "الصعاليك" من "المهاجرين غير الشرعيين" لشواطئنا الجميلة

وهو معتاد علی هكذا مسرحيات هزلية تذكرنا بمسرحية "شاهد ما شفش حاجة" في تعامله مع ذكائنا ومشاعرنا

فبالامس خلع الريفي روبه الطبي ولبس شورتا وتي شيرت ووضع صفارة في فمه ونزل الی الملعب رافعا كرتا احمرا ليخرج جاليتنا كلها من الملعب الاسترالي، تحت مسميات مختلفة منها وضع حد "لتجاوزات" المفتي الهلالي الذي لم ترق معارضته المستمرة لغزو العراق وافغانستان وفلسطين ولبنان لحكومة جون هاورد الرجعية بكل المقاييس، فقرروا اسناد مهمة التخلص منه (أي من المفتي السابق) الی السيد الريفي. ليضربوا عصفورين بحجر واحد: التخلص من انتقادات الشيخ الهلالي الحادة ورفع وتيرة العنصرية ومعاداة الاسلام للفوز بفترة حكم اضافية

وبعد ذلك خلع الريفي روبه الطبي مرة اخری ولبس قفطان محامي ليدافع عن اسرئيل في وجه "ارهاب" حزب ﷲ الذي قد يكون وصله اموال من الجالية عن طريق مفتيها السابق الشيخ الهلالي

ان فاتورة المواقف والخدمات التي قدمها السيد الريفي لعنصريي الحكومات الاسترالية المتعاقبة قد دفعت سلفا، وباقي الفاتورة يبدو انه متفق علی دفعه قريبا. فالسيد الريفي كان قد كوفئ علی خدماته بمنح مالية طائلة لتلميعه امام الجالية، ومنها اموالا لمشروع تدريب منقذين مسلمين علی الشواطئ الاسترالية. هذا المشروع الذي كرس انعزال الجالية ودعی لتوسيع هذا الانعزال بين الجاليات الاخری بانشاء فرق انقاذ يونانية واخری ايطالية..... وهكذا دواليك، وعلی التعددية الثقافية في استراليا السلام

كما تم اسباغ الكثير من الالقاب والاوسمة علی السيد الريفي ومنها وسام من مفوضية حقوق الانسان منح للسيد الريفي في نفس الحفل الذي تم فيه منح الصهيوني العنصري جيريمي جونز وسام حقوق الانسان من نفس المفوضية. هذه الاوسمة التي تعتبر من "عدة الشغل" لاسباغ مصداقية لافعال السيد الريفي التي تصب في مصلحة الحكومات العنصرية التي فازت علی معاناة الجالية وتخويف المجتمع منها

ان تصرفات السيد الريفي الدون كيشوتية بارساله بيانات صحفية علی انه قد جمد كل نشاطاته وانه علی وشك اغلاق عيادته من اجل التفرغ لعمله في الهيئة الاستشارية، هو محاولة اخری لاضفاء جو من المهابة والجدية علی هذا المنصب الفخري المفرغ من أي محتوی حقيقي مقدما. هذا المنصب الذي سيدفع كل افراد الجالية اثمانه غاليا علی شكل مواقف مخزية من اعتداءات تحضر لها الحكومة وتريد لها غطاءا "عربيا مسلما" قبل الانتخابات المقبلة

ان افعال وتصرفات السيد الريفي تعتبر وبحق مسخرة فيها الكثير من احتقار لذكائنا ومشاعرنا. والا فلماذا هذا الاصرار من السيد الريفي علی التصرف علی طريقة دون كيشوت، الذي اراد ان يرسم لنفسه امام خادمه صورة الفارس الشجاع الذي هزم جيشا جرارا، بينما وفي الحقيقة فانه كان يقاتل عاصفة رملية

وفي هذا المقام نحبذ من السيد الريفي ان يكون عقلانيا ويضع الامور في نصابها الحقيقي حتی لا يضطر فيما بعد للنزول عن الشجرة العالية التي تسلق عليها واعلن انه "مهم" و "مستشار" للوزير، بعد ان يكتشف كل من سمعه ان منصبه لا يعدو كونه شاهد زور لتمرير اجندات انتخابية عنصرية

نعرف تمام المعرفة ان السيد الريفي ما زال يحلم بدور سياسي في حزب العمال. ونعرف تمام المعرفة ان السيد الريفي مستعد لتقديم القرابين للوصول الی هذا الحلم، ولو كان علی حساب معاناة اللاجئين الهاربين من موت محتم في قندهار وبغداد وجفنة وغزة

ندعو السيد الريفي ان يرحم ذكائنا وشعورنا فيكف عن هذه الممارسات، قبل ان " يذوب الثلج ويظهر المرج" وتنكشف الاجندة الحقيقية لتعيينه في هذا المنصب الرمزي الفارغ من أي مضمون

نؤكد للسيد الريفي اننا قد ضقنا ذرعا بكل شهادات الزور هذه واننا لن نسكت بعد الآن

اعضاء الهيئة الاستشارية الجديدة للهجرة: "شو جاب طز لمرحبا"؟


تطالعنا وزارة كيفن راد العمالية الجديدة بهرطقات يومية لم تكن على بال احد منا. وكل هرطقة جديدة تكون لها نتائج "اسخم" من التي قبلها. وهكذا دواليك الى ان اصبحت وزارة العجائب، وبلا منازع

آخر هذه "المساخر" هي تعيين هيئة استشارية جديدة للهجرة تعاون الوزير الجديد "كريس ايفانز" لاصلاح نظام الهجرة المتهرئ في استراليا. ليفاجئنا هذا الوزير بادراج اسم السيد جمال الريفي في هذه الهيئة، بدون احم او دستور

والسيد جمال الريفي اصلا هو متفاجئ مثلنا لهذا التعيين لاكثر من سبب

فالسيد الريفي قد يكون خبيرا باسباب عسر الهضم او كيفية علاج رمد العيون، لكنه بالتاكيد، وباعترافه لا يعرف في "مصائب" دائرة الهجرة المتراكمة منذ سيئ السمعة والصيت فيليب رادوك وصولا الى السيد ايفانز،اي شيئ الا ما تذكره وسائل الاعلام او عنصريي البرلمان في كانبرا

وعندما تم تعيين السيد الريفي مفوضا لشؤون التعددية الثقافية في عهد العنصري بوب كار، لم نعرف له اي انجاز خارق يذكر في تلك الحقبة العنصرية البغيضة التي "تنذكر وما تنعاد". وفي منصبه ذلك لم نراه يصحح اي خطا او خطيئة للسيد كار، السائر حينذاك على خطى معلمه العنصري بامتياز، جون هاورد. ولم يلاحظ اي مواطن من اصل غير سكسوني وجود السيد الريفي في المفوضية، لا اثناء وجوده ولا بعد رحيله عنها

وهنا يجب ان يتبادر لذهن اي مراقب ذكي سؤال بسيط "على اي اساس من الكفاءة او الخبرة تم تعيين السيد الريفي؟

وقبل ان نسال هذا السؤال بشكل رسمي، بعث السيد الريفي بجوابه واضحا وفي اول تعليق له على منصبه الجديد. حيث اتحفنا السيد الريفي بتعليق ناري صباح الامس بشتم لاجئي القوارب وارسال تحذيرات قوية بان الهيئة الجديدة قادمة لتعمل على عودة تطبيق القانون واعادة الهدوء الى مياهنا الاقليمية بمنع هؤلاء المهاجرين "غير الشرعيين" من الوصول الى شواطئنا الدافئة

كان على السيد الريفي وقبل ان يطلق العنان للسانه بهكذا تصريحات ان يقرأ ميثاق الامم المتحدة والاعلان العالمي لحقوق الانسان، ثم يطالع بنود اتفاقية جنيف لحماية اللاجئين الموقعة من قبل استراليا عام 1951 والبروتوكول الملحق بها عام 1967، ليعرف ان هؤلاء هم لاجؤون شرعيون، حسب شرعة الامم المتحدة

انه من الواضح ان حكومة راد المأزومة والواقعة بين مطرقة المعارضة العنصرية وسندان الناخب الشريف البسيط الذي صوت لها من اجل تغيير حقيقي للسياسات العنصرية لهاورد، تحتاج الى شاهدي زور يستطيعوا ان يخلقوا لها الذرائع من اجل اخراجها من هذه الورطة

وبسبب ان الهجوم العنصري موجه للاجئين معظمهم عراقيين وافغان (اي مسلمين وعرب)، فكان لا بد ان يكون بعض شاهدي الزور عرب ومسلمين. فكان الاختيار "الموفق" للوزير الحائر هو السيد الريفي بمجرد قراءة سيرته الذاتية وانجازاته الكبيرة خلال العقد الماضي

فالريفي، اضافة الى تلميع صورة العنصري بوب كار بعد فضائح الاتهامات العنصرية "للعصابات اللبنانية" ثم "للعصابات الاسلامية"، عمل على محاولة الاستفادة من محاولة كسر عظم الجالية في كورنولا، فاعلن ان سبب المشاكل كلها يكمن في ان لاكمبا لا تقع على بحر او نهر وان حل مشكلة العداء المتزايد للجالية ياتي بانشاء بحر اصطناعي في منطقة لاكمبا، "ويا دار ما دخلك شر". حيث ان لا مشكلة في انعزال الجالية المسلمة في غيتو لاكمبا لان الافضل دائما ان "نبتعد عن الشر ونغني له". وان كان هناك مشكلة في بناء هذه البحيرة الاصطناعية، فلا باس من استشارة العقيد القذافي ذي الخبرة في هكذا مواضيع. ثم خرج علينا الريفي بحل سحري لمشاكل العنصرية المتفاقمة بفكرة تبادل الزيارات بين غيتو لاكيمبا وغيتو كورنولا، ولنبدأ بتبادل خبرات الانقاذ من الغرق، في مشروع تكلف ملايين الدولارات بدون اي فائدة تذكر، حيث ان السيد الريفي لام الطبيعة التي لم توجد بحرا في لاكيمبا بدلا من الوقوف بشكل حازم باعلان ان المشكلة هي في القيادات السياسية الرعناء التي تلعب على حبال اثارة العنصرية لتحقيق مكاسب سياسية

ولم تقف "انجازات" السيد الريفي عند هذا الحد. فقد عمل مرة اخرى على طعن الجالية التي اصبح يفخر الآن بانه من قياداتها المتقدمة عندما عمل على صب الزيت على نار قضية "القطط واللحم المكشوف". حيث ما ان تلقف القصة من سراديب جون هاورد وجوقته العنصرية، حتى اشهر "كارته الاحمر" للجالية الاسلامية بالمشاركة علانية في قدح وذم الجالية برفع وتيرة العداء للجالية ممثلة في الهجوم على مفتيها آنذاك

واكمل السيد الريفي "انجازاته" بتوجيه تهمة مزدوجة للجالية بالارهاب ودعمه، حينما وقف امام شاشات التلفزيون متهما مفتي الجالية بانه سرق اموالا وارسلها ليمول "ارهاب" حزب الله اللبناني، في وقت كان معظم الاستراليين يجرمون اسرائيل ويعلنون تعاطفهم مع المقاومة الاسلامية اللبنانية

ان "خوازيق" الحكومات الاسترالية المتعاقبة لنخر الجاليات المهمشة بتوفير الدعم لبعض ابناء هذه الجاليات من اجل ان يحجًموا انجازاتها ويمنعوا مطالباتها بحقوقها الشرعية في المساواة في الحقوق، اضافة للمساواة في الواجبات، باتت لا تنطلي على "لحية" احد من ابناء هذه الجاليات

ولو عين الوزير الف لجنة استشارية فيها آلاف "الريفيين"، فان الجاليات تعرف الآن ان لاجئي القوارب قد يكونوا لاجئين غير قانونيين، ولكنهم بالمطلق لاجؤون شرعيون، خصوصا ان كان اسباب لجوئهم هو مشاركة القوات الاسترالية في غزو فلسطين والعراق وافغانستان

ومهما لمًعت الحكومات المتعاقبة من هذه الشخصية او تلك، فان الجاليات المهمشة باتت تميز بين "الغث والسمين

بالامس عينت وزارة هاورد لجنة استشارية من ابناء الجالية المسلمة، وبدون استشارة احد في هذه الجالية، لنكتشف ان المتحدث باسم هذه الجالية المحترمة ذات المبادئ الواضحة هي مدمنة على المخدرات وان تعيينها كان من اجل اكتساب شرعية لتلك الحكومة العنصرية المهترئة للهجوم على الجالية بلسان "قادتها". قادة لم ينتخبهم احد، بل ولم يسمع بهم احد من تلك الجاليات المهمشة المبعدة عن كل مراكز القرار، حتى القرار في من يمثلها

قال اجدادنا العرب قديما "المكتوب يُقرأ من عنوانه". والعنوان كان واضحا اليوم عندما فتح السيد الريفي النار على ابناء جلدته الهاربين من جور حكامهم المدعومين ببساطير جنود التحالف، بدلا من ان يكون "كلمة حق في حضرة وزير جاهل

نفهم ان القيادة هي ان يمثل القائد اماني رعيته، لا ان يكون سيفا مسلطا على رقابهم ورقاب ابنائهم واخوانهم وابناء عمومتهم، ولو كانت اخوة في الانسانية لا في الدم
نتمنى ان تكون المسخرة القادمة اقل مسخرة من سابقتها، ولكن وفي الوقت الحاضر فان هكذا "قيادة" لا تمثلني، لانني لم انتخبها ولا اعرف من انتخبها
ويا وزير الهجرة، بالله عليك ان ترحم عقولنا وقلوبنا من هكذا مساخر، وكفانا مسخرة اننا صدقنا وعودكم وانتخبناكم

Saturday, December 19, 2009

AFI Award goes to Inner-West “Muslim” doctor

By Richardo Kurbajo

12 December 09

After reaping many awards, Mr Jamal Rifi, a doctor in the inner-west suburb of Belmore has surprisingly won the AFI Award for this year. He won the award as the best actor in the long running serial of “Bashing Muslims for own interests”.

Mr Rifi is no strange for such unexpected surprises. He won an award from Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission for no convincing reason. He also won many awards from local organisations, like local newspapers and local councils. He also won an award from unknown-to-Muslims Muslim organisation for non-related reasons. Mr Rifi could be soon listed in Guiness book for winning the largest numbers of awards in the shortest period for the silliest reasons.

The winning of AFI award has won Mr Rifi support from the NSW premiere, Kristina Keneally. She said that the best character she liked in Mr Rifi’s acting in that serial was his role as mountains’ climber on the Kokoda. “He was impressive with his abilities to change the serial narrative and settings. From acting in Belmore to act in Kokoda, it is impressive to see someone quick adapting to such dramatic change of circumstances”.

Previous Australian PM, John Howard, disagreed with Ms Keneally. “The best character Mr Rifi has performed was as referee in his blue short and Green & Gold T-shirt with a whistle in his mouth. I loved his performance. He could perform then regardless of his community’s interests and thoughts”

In the street of Belmore, there was big support for awarding Mr Rifi this high-profile award. Fellow Muslims residents agreed that Mr Rifi is gifted in his skin-changing abilities.

Ali, a fellow Muslim Lakemba resident, said that while he hated Mr Rifi part in the serial when he performed an Anti Hezbollah advocate character, but his abilities are undeniable. “He should have won multiple awards for these endless abilities to stab own community and put own interest ahead”.

The writer of this report has learned that the Labor headquarter in Sussex street is busy for the last few weeks in discussing the next move. They are exploring setting up new organisation to start new award especially to be given to Mr Rifi. The Labor heavyweights are confused about the possible name of such organisation and the possible nature of the award-to-be-created. Especially that they already have made all their best to give him all the awards he won in the last 2 years.

Many in the community is still asking why Mr Rifi was awarded all these awards in the last 2 years.

Some cunning members of the community wondered quietly whether the long running serial’s episodes had finished to this end. Or these awards are just a move to groom Mr Rifi in preparation for his role in the next episodes of the serial.

The writer of the article did not contact Mr Rifi to seek his comments. This was on purpose as we know the real agendas behind all these show offs. But we hope that the coming characters Mr Rifi will perform will be less devastating to the community.

This was another black comic brought to you by your community watch dog. If you have any comment, please do not hesitate to forward it to us and we will publish it if you wish.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Open letter to executives of Mission of Hope

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
"وقل اعملوا فسيری الله عملكم ورسوله والمؤمنون" صدق الله العظيم
Dear brothers and sisters in Mission of Hope
We read with deep shock, disbelieve and disappointment the names of people, organisations, projects and events that received your “Australian Muslim Achievement Awards”. Before going on with the reasons of these depressed feelings, let me note in this regard that we, as Muslims and Australians, do not know:
1- What is the extent of your organisation’s representativeness of Muslim community, to organise ceremony to award such seemingly high-profile awards (as their names suggest)?
2- The terms of reference of the professional conduct of the jury?
3- Who were the jury members? How were they appointed/elected? What are their qualifications to do such job?
4- The objectives of organising this ceremony?

After reading the names of the entities that have received these awards, we can note that it is either
1- There is no terms of reference for the jury’s professional conduct, Or
2- The terms of reference are very flawed and have much political interference affected by funding bodies’ political agendas.

I will give now brief examples why we believed so. We note that the award winner of:
A- The Muslim professional of the year was “Dr Jamal Rifi”:
In the explanatory notes of the reasons behind this decision, we note no reasons depending on professional conduct of Mr Rifi as medical practioner. In these notes we note that he did not, for example, travel to work in Indonesia to help the victims of devastating tsunami. He also did not travel to his country of birth to help injured Lebanese civilians after the barbaric Israeli invasion, 2006. Nor did he travel to Gaza to help the victims of the Israeli barbaric invasion 2008. We also note that he did not act in Australia in his professional capacity to set up clinics in remote areas to help highly disadvantaged indigenous population. He also, according to these explanatory notes, did not volunteer to treat free-of-charge the refugees and asylum seekers who are not eligible for Medicare benefits. We also not aware by these explanatory notes that he invented any new vaccines or treatment for any serious illnesses. What we understand from these notes that he was granted this award because of his voluntary work with Lakemba sport club. Even in this instance, we cannot see enough grounds to grant him any award. On the contrary. All his activities were directed against the interest of Muslim community and its rights for full respect and equal treatment. He, on many occasions acted against the interest of the community, by acting as “Trumpet” for the racist politicians. He acted swiftly to support previous PM Howard in his islamophobic propaganda on many occasions. This includes his support of the Anti-Muslim “Anti-Terrorism” laws. All this because this propaganda came hand in hand with the interest of his Labor previous state premiere’s agenda to win the 2007 election on islamophobia and racism.

The only reason mentioned in these notes relating to his professional conduct was his participation of forming Muslim Doctors Against Violence. For any political analyst and activist, this organisation was indeed formed to help the Federal and state governments’ attacks on the community by blaming the “infectiveness of Local Muslim leadership” in curbing “extreme” ideas. At the time when their Australian doctors counterparts were protesting outside the Howard’s house against the war on Iraq and Afghanistan and against the campaigns of Islamophobia, these Muslim doctors were actively participating in media attacks on the community and the national resistance forces in Arabic and Muslim countries.

There were no reasons mentioning professional conduct that helped Muslim communities. To help deceiving us of such decision, there was mentioning of the many awards that were given to Mr Rifi. One of them from Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. The same commission that awarded at the same event Jeremy Jones (the most regressive racist Zionist in Australia) the medal of Human Rights.

B- The other example is the “Muslim event of the year”, which was awarded to the Iftar organised by AFP:
We understand that the Muslim event of the year should be an event that was organised by Muslim organisation/s or individuals or combined. We all understand very clearly that Australian Federal Police is not a Muslim organisation. So one can safely question the reason for this award. As I said, we do not know the terms of reference of the jury’s work. This is why we assumed that the event should be organised by Muslim organisation or individual.

In this instance we would like to highly question your organisation’s decision in these two instances, as examples only. Not only this. We regard your decision to be an attack on our intelligence and feeling. We cannot believe that a diverse community of more than 350,000 people have no better qualities than the ones who won your awards. We cannot believe that the Muslim community is so dry of any intelligent, committed and progressive person/s that enforced your organisation to give 2 awards to the same person. And this person has so much controversy in his conduct that would make it highly questionable even to award him one award by normally functioning jury with transparent neutral terms of reference and process.

After following carefully your organisation’s annual ceremonies for second year, we have no choice but to put our hat very high for Mr Irfan Yousef in respect of his deep criticism to these ceremonies. He raised serious questions about your organisation’s credibility to organise these ceremonies, by raising very serious concerns about the process and terms of reference.

While we understand that these awards are not recognised locally or internationally, we would still raise serious concerns and very low faith in the process that resulted in this farce. While we are very sure that your organisation is very much smaller than the Noble Price institution (if any comparison could be allowed at all). We are watching very carefully how such institution (Noble price’s) never gained the faith of millions around the world, as it is very clear for everyone the political agendas influencing its decision. Otherwise how could war criminals like Shimon Perez and Barrack Obama get Noble prize for “peace”? How can anyone bother to take awards on your’s scale seriously?

In this letter we would like to urge you to take serious steps to correct such farces, on a hope to restore a hope in your organisation’s credibility. At the moment we will take all necessary steps to expose these farces to our communities. The faces you are trying to promote as local heroes include some well-exposed faces that have no respect or credibility in the society in general.

Thanks

Yours sincerely


Jamal Daoud

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Open letter to Mr Rudd: Please act now on racism before it’s too late

Dear Hon Kevin Rudd, PM of Australia
I am writing this letter to sincerely asking you to act immediately to kerb the waves of racism, Islamophobia and discrimination against marginalised people. What prompted me to write this sincere pledge is the mixture of repeated news items about Arabs and Muslims mistreated and my personal experience as one of these.

If you have watched 7 news last night at 6 pm, you would have noticed the documented report about racist cops who treated driver very badly. They did this only because he was driving in “Lebanese” suburb of Punchbowl and he looked like “wog”. The police department did not even show some remorse when asked about the news item by journalist.

I remember that I wrote a letter to the NSW police minister late 2003 about similar story in Bankstown. The then minister denied any racism within the rank of the police force.

I wish to let you know that racism and Islamophobia at the moment has become an epidemic, worse than swine flu one.

You remember that every proposal to build Muslim school was faced with waves of high profile racist opposition. You had not showed any leadership in this area by standing up and defend the Muslims’ rights to build schools they want their kids to go to. Your silence was clear interpretation of supporting these racist attacks. This had led to encourage racists to continue their racist attacks, unabated.

You also had failed Multiculturalism on “Anti-Terrorism” front. We have expected that after your party’s win in 2007 election, that you will work very hard to expose the lies and deception spread by John Howard in this area. But you chose to disappoint all of us and insisted to continue the mockery trials of “terrorist suspects”. Not only this. You clearly have chosen to resort to the same Howard’s tricks by organising media circuses to arrest “suspected terrorists”, who done nothing but telling their wives that they wish to die as martyr. Today we have heard some of your government’s allegations of charges and evidences. It did not make me feel but to laugh, and very loudly. It was deep black laugh. Your department have dared to charge someone for wishing “to die defending his homeland”. Before that, your department have charged someone because he named his son “Jihad” – a very wide spread name in the Middle East. I am considering naming my son Jihad. I wonder if I will be arrested then!!! Not only this. Your government is proposing introducing new wave of “Anti-Terrorism” laws that will make Zimbabwe more democratic than Australia.

In this letter let me express to you my deep disappointment and concern about the high level of racism and Islamophobia we are experiencing under your government. Maybe you have inherited this from your racist predecessor, but your government’s impotence had made thing worse.

Your government’s lack of action on all these issues is sending clear message to the racists and “anti-multicultural” extremists that “our government is on your side”.

I, for example, have written recently to two of your ministers about serious allegations of racism and Islamophobia at workplace, in Bankstown. These practices had affected also multicultural clients with disabilities. To date, I did not receive even an acknowledgment of receiving my letter/complaint. The practices of racism and Islamophobia continue unabated in our Multicultural suburb of Bankstown, under your government’s eyes and nose.

In this letter I would go even further. Because I do care about our beautiful nation, I warn you and your government that matters are going out of hands. “We” cannot continue to live in fear and under heavy discrimination as second or maybe third class citizens. The majority of good law-abiding citizens are losing their faith in the system (I mean democracy and its sisters). If they lose faith in the system completely, you can imagine what would be the consequences. You should remember what happened in Cronulla. This time could be even worse. You also can contact your French counterpart, Mr Sarkouzi, to let you know what had happened in France four years ago when Muslims and Arabs there lost their faith in system and decided to take law in their hands.

At the moment and because of your government decision to ignore all pleads for urgent intervention to kerb racism and Islamophobia, the reasonable voices in the community are losing listening ears.

Mr Rudd
We need strong leader to regain some lost humanity in this great nation, before it is too late. You need to come out from your comfortable white suburb where you live to touch our suffering and feelings. At the end of the day, you are prime mister for all of us, not only for white, blue-eyed Anglo - Saxons.

Monday, August 17, 2009

When racism and Islamophobia come to our ghettoes: My story with DSA management!

We all know that the first step for recovery from any medical, social or economical problem is the recognition of the existence of such problem. Any denial of existence would mean a lack of proper diagnosis, which in turn implies a lack of strategies to solve it.

This is exactly why we are witnessing increasing racism and Islamophobia in the society. The worrying trend is that the racism and Islamophobia is coming to “our” ghettoes. We are hearing now not only racist opposition to build Islamic schools in white dominant suburbs of Campbelltown or Liverpool, but also in the heart of Bankstown. We are not only witnessing attacks on veiled women in the north shore or Liverpool, but in the heart of Merrylands and Bankstown.

My story with DSA is very clear example of racists and Islamophobic people invading “our” suburbs. This invasion is currently going unrecognised and unresisted, mainly because of lack of multicultural representation in decision making bodies at all levels.

The story began when I was offered job with non-for-profit organisation called Disability Services Australia to work with people with disabilities. The job involves trying to find them suitable job, or at least prepare them to enter employment market by identifying their barriers and put strategies to address these barriers until they become job ready.

I was offered the job on mid April 08. After offering the job, the assistant manager told me that the manager had asked him to clarify 2 things before commencing of work at 21 April:
1- What are my views on homosexuality: as many of the managers and colleagues are “lesbians and gays”.
2- Would I have trouble visiting client at their workplace if they are working in pubs and clubs?

Both comments were related to my religion of Islam. I was deeply shocked. I thought it was either mistake or joke, but made me more curious to explore the kind of organisation in the heart of predominantly Muslim and highly multicultural suburb of Bankstown.

While the questions in themselves are non-discriminatory (clearly we cannot discriminate against lesbians and gays) – the fact that I in particular was asked them was indicative of potential issues in the future. Nevertheless, despite these early comments, I had no trouble with this organisation. The organisation is truly full of lesbians and gays, as I was told initially by assistant manager – but that is something does not bother me generally, anyway. The problems with the organisation arose from other sources.

The first serious trouble happened when I was quoted by Sydney Morning Herald in the case of Aminov family demanding their grant of permanent residence immediately. I thought that the management and colleagues would be very proud of me. At the end of the day, I was helping family which included people suffering from multiple disabilities. It was within the declared objectives of the organisation. What happened is the opposite.

I was interrogated and questioned and asked to explain why on my day-off I would help marginalised people with disabilities.

Then at the end of the December 08 I was asked by assistant manager (on behalf of the manager) about why I am talking Arabic in the office. This was the peak of any discriminatory act any citizen can be subjected to:
1- We are operating in area where more than 20% of the residents do not speak English – a large proportion of these are Arabic speaking.
2- The area also has large proportion of Muslim faith – the majority of whom speak Arabic.
3- I have a few clients who do not speak English at all, and so I communicate with them only in other languages (Arabic or Russian)
4- Even if there is suspicion that that some of my time on the phone speaking in Arabic is not with clients, the fact is that other co-workers are talking the whole day about non-work related issues, and in English. No one had targeted them to tell them to speak only about work-related issues in the office. We need to be judged on our outputs – not on assumptions about how much time we spend working directly with clients

These acts of racism, Islamophobia, bullying and intimidation went on and on until I could not take it anymore.

I asked myself why these acts were committed from first place. Why has it dragged on and on unabated?

The answer is more simple than you and I can imagine.

The reason is that the officials in all decision making bodies inside this organisation are “imported” white Anglo-Saxon privileged people who never lived in these ghettoes. They only have more prejudice about “us” and “our” “funny for them” way of life. And maybe they think that they are on “holy” mission to “teach” us how to be “civilized”.

The moral crisis inside the DSA is a true copy of the moral crisis in Australia and other western countries. This is why our parliament and parliamentarian are in one valley, and the rest of us are in other valley. They are more concerned about homosexuals’ marriage or increasing the politicians’ allowances, while we are terrorised in our ghettoes, suffering from unemployment or discrimination, and lacking the access to Australian society that will in fact make our country truly multicultural.

Unless there will be enough of us in all decision making bodies, including the management positions, the situation will go from bad to worse, maybe to the extent of social explosion and serious unrest.

But we cannot remain silent. I will not be intimidated by Anglo-Saxon managerial team who was born with spoon in their mouth. And I am considering all my options in this regard, including making this issue an issue of public interest.

We need to unite our efforts to get rid of these racist and Islamophobic elements from our beautiful multicultural suburbs.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Kevin Howard: Why resorting to old tactics of raising Islamophobia!

Mr Kevin Howard
We have got your message today. You are in hurry to go to early election before any total economic collapse.

We understand that you need to go to early election before the blood will be spelt heavily in the streets of Kabul, Tehran, Lebanon, Tel Aviv… including the blood of Australian soldiers sent to serve the American imperialist colonial adventures (the same as the old days during all imperialist wars of I & II World Wars, Korean war, Vietnam war, …).

We understand that with your government’s lack of any major success on any level, you need to open new front fighting against ghosts not seen to any (except to ASIO agents) in a bid to score some imagined victories.

Mr Kevin Howard
Our hopes on you to restore humanity to our nation had faded earlier than expected.

We hoped that you can:
1- Restore humanity to poor people on low income or on welfare system. The opposite had happened: we discovered that under your government Centrelink offices became hubs to torture poor people, mainly with multiple marginalizations.
2- Restore humanity to people with disabilities: nothing major had happened to restore humanity for one of the most vulnerable people in the society.
3- Abolish inhumane treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and newly migrated people: we witnessed the worst attacks on students, tightening the immigration laws from non-English speaking countries and no major change on asylum seekers’ treatment.
4- Stop electoral rigging by distributing billions of dollars on voters and incumbent party’s campaigning using public money: to discover that you were more generous in buying votes where you spent $16 billions in the last 10 months only, in addition to spending millions to highlight your party’s “achievements” on tax-payers money.
5- Restore spending on public services: to discover that you are engaged in blame game with previous government on who destroyed public housing and health, with no credible money spent in these areas.

And lastly we hope that you can take decisive steps to counteract racists and Islamophobic elements in the society. But we discovered that these elements had grown extensively and started to migrate from white dominant suburbs of Cornulla and Sutherland to invade highly multicultural suburbs of Lakemba, Bankstown, Merrylands and Auburn.

Today we understood why these elements are feeling very powerful. They are encouraged by you, your government and your security agencies who will get more powers soon added to the extra powers given tot them by previous government.

Mr Kevin Howard
Can you tell me the necessity of resorting to old tactics of spreading fears and division in the society by spreading Islamophobia? Are we intelligent enough by linking your today’s poor performance of staging media circus against nameless persons who have committed unknown (and will remain unknown forever under the Anti-Terrorism legislations) sins to achieve following agendas:
- To push for Labor government’s proposal for new draconian “Anti-Terrorism” legislations.
- To increase your popularity among the racists and conservative voters in case you lose the crucial vote on climate change legislation which could lead to double dissolution election.
- To prepare us for possible Australian participation in many wide regional wars against mainly Muslim countries of Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia and Sudan.

Mr Kevin Howard
Again, we should admit that we have made big mistake when we thought that you are different and hence we voted for you.

Mr Kevin Howard
If we need to continue suffering by voting for a devil, we would prefer to do it the old way: vote for the devil we know.

At least your godfather, John Howard, was openly racist. He was proud to be racist. We know that he is racist. So we could deal with him accordingly, without being fooled.

Mr Kevin Howard
If you think that we have no other choice but to choose either openly racist politicians or undercover one, you are making big mistake.

Mr Kevin Howard
In the next election, you will not get my vote or my group’s preference. You are so indifferent from your predecessor, expect in constant smiling. But smiles cannot build nation or rebuild social tolerance and cohesion.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Climate change legislation: political opportunism or matter of principled stance!

We can assume that our prime minister is hoping that the opposition would make their biggest mistake and block the climate change legislation. Such move that could pave his way to call for double dissolution and have very early election. There is no doubt that he is watching very carefully the progress of the global and local recession. There is no doubt that the deterioration of the economic situation further (and there are many indications that the economy will deteriorate soon very drastically) would mix all cards and give the opposition more games to play on the claim of historic Labor incompetence in managing economy.

Would the opposition makes this biggest mistake, many political parties would dance from joy. This dance is not because they stick to their policies or that they have achieved major victory. On the contrary. Many political players would have shame in their history forever would they block this legislation. On the top of these would be the Greens party and Nick Xenophon team.

The Greens party in particular would be left with no excuse to be trusted or to be voted for, ever. Imagine that a party that was established to protect environment, would block a legislation that would reduce carbon emissions by 10 – 15 %, pave a way to other major polluters nations to convince their citizens and voters of the need to take big steps in this direction and lastly would see Australia play major role in Copenhagen conference. (I talked about this issue in more details in previous article http://jamaldaoud.blogspot.com/2008/12/greens-blocking-of-action-on-climate.html)

So why the Greens is so keen to block this legislation?

First I want to stress again here that the Greens party is merely an opportunistic party that has no ideology or principles to stick to. The Greens is just a party of populist stances to get more votes, hence get more power and makes more millionaires. I will give some examples later in this article to support this assumption.

If we go back to the issue of climate change, the Greens is so keen to block this legislation just to pave a way for double dissolution with more chances to increase their representation in the senate (and not for any principled reasons whatsoever). As the Greens is standing at the moment nationally on around 7% of the vote, there would be no guarantee that they could increase their representation in the senate. There is no guarantee even to maintain the numbers they are having now. To win a seat in the senate in normal election needs 14.5% of the vote in each state and 33.5% in the territories. The Greens would have big gamble to win any seat in normal election. They never won a senate seat on their own votes, except when Bob Brown won his seat in Tasmania on 2007.

But in a double dissolution scenario, The Greens needs only 7.5% to win a seat on their own. This means that in any double dissolution, the Greens would have big chance to win senate seat in each state and maybe 2 seats in Tasmania. This is why the Greens is so keen to block this legislation in a bid to achieve this outcome: double dissolution.

So the Greens’ blocking of the climate change legislation definitely would not be on principled grounds. Let us compare the Greens stances on other issues to realize this fact.

The Greens had the chance to block the legislation to approve 2 stimulus packages, and then they can enforce the PM to call for early election and double dissolution. I, personally, could not believe that any progressive politician could approve the largest economical vandalism in the history of this nation. The wasting of national common wealth to support mainly addictions (on gambling, drugs, alcohol or shopping), which did not create single job, would not have support of any clever semi-progressive politician. The Greens supported this major economical vandalism and major national wealth waste because it was very popular amongst the voters. The Greens could not afford to gamble by taking principled stance on issue that could cost them many votes.

The other political players who would benefit from the double dissolution scenario are the Nick Xenopohn team and Family first party.

Especially the family first senator is in very vulnerable position. His party got less than 2% in the last election. In normal election he needs a miracle to be re-elected. But in double dissolution, he needs a mini miracle to win a seat.

So what is about the Liberals? And why Tony Abbot raised alarm recently about this legislation and the possibility of double dissolution?
There is no doubt that the coalition will be the biggest losers would double dissolution be called. The Liberals were put in very difficult situation here. If they would agree to pass the legislation, the party would be seen to betraying the business sector, which are historically the loyalist voters for Coalition. So they would lose many voters in the long term. And if they block the legislation, they will pave a way for early election and so to a big defeat and possibility of losing seats in both houses.

The problem of Australian politics is that it is very static, not dynamic. Different parties are using the same rhetoric, tactics and tricks for decades. It is very difficult to introduce new concepts easily.

So what other options Malcolm Turnbul has to avoid such fate of total disastrous early election and internal fighting among different factions?

Malcolm, if he thinks deeply, can use the new – old tactics of gentle retreating with minimum casualty. With current situation in the parliament, the Liberals can vote against the legislation in the house. The Labor government has numbers there to pass it. Then Malcolm can declare that the party would block the legislation in the senate. But at the same time, he would arrange for few senators to cross the floor and vote for the legislation. By doing this, he can avoid double dissolution trigger and major loss in both houses.

The most important lesson we learned from this issue (after adding to the other issues in the past few months) is that there is total lack of principled political parties in our parliament.

Should we allow this to continue? Or may be the more important question should be: can we afford to allow this to continue?

The deterioration of the situation of marginalized groups (at all levels) is sending strong message that we should take steps to address this leadership vacuum.

The club of white, middle class and privileged politicians had proved to be incompetent to tackle any issue that matters to ordinary and marginalised citizens. The issue of climate change is a good example of the need for strong leadership to lead Australia into better future. What we have at the moment is a sold-off leadership running after their personal interests.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sectarian hate in Sydney: Why I will not fly with Etihad Airways, ever!!

The “political” money of Lebanese and Arabic regimes and political parties did not only destroy the sectarian tolerance in Lebanon, but has reached Australia and is affecting the lives of tens of thousands of Muslims living here. It is normal now to hear that there was fight here or there because of sectarian hate comments against the Shia or retaliatory attacks on Sunni.

We forget all our problems of deep racism, low representation in decision making bodies and high representation in the tabloid media. We forget all about crusade war on our homelands of Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, ….etc. But we all discovered that we are either from this sect or from the other one.

The latest disgusting sectarian and racist attack I witnessed was on 16 June 09 at the Sydney International Terminal at Sydney Airport. My friend (Palestinian who was born in Syria) was traveling to Syria after 8 years without a visit. He was both very exited but deeply scared.

At the Etihad counter a lady called him and his family to check in. I was there to support him and give him hand if he needed it; especially as he has many health problems. The following 30 minutes was horrific and brought to my mind memories of third world countries and practices of secret agencies of dictatorships and totalitarian regimes.

It helps a lot to put the horrific treatment into dot points, to simplify things:

1- After she checked the Australian passports of my friend and his family, she realised that most of them were born in Damascus, Syria. At that point she lost her mind. She opened the passports and shouted: you were born in Damascus? Is that in Syria? Do you admit? I remembered the Bush administration with its “Axis of Evil” slogans. As if she wants to tell him: are you part of this evil regime? She then asked them to make their Syrian ID documents available. When they said that they do not have any Syrian documents, as they are traveling on Australian passports, she told them that without showing her their original Syrian ID documents she will not process their checkout, and they would not be allowed to fly. After terrorising the whole family regarding the possibility of them missing the flight and losing thousands of dollars, she pretended that she talked to her manager who allowed the checkout. It was very clear that she was taking some revenge actions for treatment she (or one of her family members) received at Syrian checkout points in Lebanon during the presence of Syrian army there.
2- After she commenced the checkout process, she started to be very strict with the allowed weight for the family. At one stage, she told them that there was half kilo needed to be removed from one of the hand bags. After they removed a pair of shoes from this hand bag, she went on and on, with threats that she will either not allow them to fly or charge them $400 (for half kilo????)
3- At some stage she became very aggressive, stood on her feet, removed the luggage sticker and said that they will not fly today. I then asked her to give me her name to complain later against her. She refused and asked to remove all of us from the front of the counter.

At that point and when the whole family started to cry and become nervous, I intervened and asked to speak to her manager. She refused to call the manager. I then asked her to give me her name, but she also refused. I had no other option but to call the police. When her manager saw the police coming and other passengers in the Airport clustering around us, she asked her to finish the torture of the family and send the bags on.

I talked to my friend in Arabic, and she understood us. She was clearly Arabic speaking. And she clearly had problems either with my friend’s Syrian place of birth, or she had problem with my Palestinian traditional scarf. Or maybe she had problems with both. And I believe she had problems with both.

How would sectarian blind hate, based on no reason, allow someone to persecute her fellow Australians?

Did not this lady learn from history that this sectarian blind hate lead to massacres in her homeland? Would she want to see similar here in Australia, even only by starting to discriminate against each other and abuse power to humiliate the “other”?

We will not let this go on an on. This is why we wrote to the Etihad airways. The response so far was good, but with no action to address the discrimination or any action to prevent further oppression. This is why we are taking this matter further to the Human Rights Commission. And we may take it further. At the end of the day, my friend was not responsible for the mistakes of Syrian government, committed by deep encouragement and agreement with all Lebanese forces attacking Syria now.

We can understand and accept that this lady can form Anti-Syrian and Anti-Palestinian movement and campaign against “us”. But in business, we deserve fair trading, especially if operating in Democratic society. And we will get it.

And I will not fly with Etihad which allowed this discrimination to happen without any serious disciplinary action against this customer officer.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Auburn Councilors’ demands: laughable arguments to justify greed!

We do not believe that any reasonable stable person would make comments or conflicting decisions as the Auburn councilors made lately. The council affairs have started to be not just a matter to be laughed at - but to be disgusted by too.

The councilors, especially the alliance of the left and far right (this is by itself is matter for deep disgust), were demanding changing the classification of the job they are doing. In simple words, they demanded a pay increase of 100% (Councilors put out hand for rise http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_24_2_09/page_5.html.)


But then, and after they discovered that we are having deep financial troubles and a practical recession and that the council budget is in red, the same alliance demanded an increase of the residential rates by 7.2% (Council applying for residential rate rise http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_14_4_09/page_1.html)

Then and before the Minister for Local Governments decided on changing the classification of the job to grant them an increase of 100%, they met and granted themselves a pay increase of 2.5% (Pay rise for council http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_09_06_09/page_3.html).

The joke did not stop here. One of the newly elected councilors who ran his election campaign last September on representing the “community’s needs” was quoted stating that an increase of his pay by 102.5% is good to stimulate local economy (Pay rise is good local investment http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_16_06_09/page_4.html).

The biggest joke is that we are talking about Auburn council, and not Woollahra or Manly. We are talking about one of the poorest areas in Australia, with one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia.

The joke goes on and on unchallenged. The councilors think that residents either do not read English so they do not know what these councilors are doing. Or that the residents are too stupid to understand their (I mean the councilors’) greed.

The most shameful part of this saga is that it comes from councilors alleging themselves to be progressive who won their seats on promises to fight for a better life for area residents.

All that we are seeing from these councilors since the election is:
1- Bid to close community centres that provide food vouchers to the most needy.
2- Bid to increase rates on residents.
3- Bid to increase salaries to themselves to more than double.
4- Bid to introduce meters to parking in the streets (unlike all neighbouring councils)

Yes, the council is in red, because of mismanagement and many other reasons including the global recession. But addressing this cannot be achieved by squeezing the poor rate payers on one side to inflate the pockets of councilors with allowances they do not deserve.

At the end, they were elected to do this job for this designated allowance. Anyone who thinks that they cannot do this job for this low payment, they also most welcome to resign.

We are watching closely the situation which is no more than cheap jokes. But we will have another say at the next election.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The solution for Australian historical racism

The attacks on Indians in Australia were not the only racist discriminatory event that had happened in the last few weeks. Despite the persistent denial from the authorities and the counter insistence of community leaders and members, the facts are clear.

It was not only Indians who were discriminated against during the last few weeks.

Last month, it was the Hispanics in the form of “Adios” to Sol Trujillo. Also during the same week it was Muslims in Camden, where the whities claimed that “we are not racists” but “we do not want Muslims here in our area”.

The only strategy put by government to fight this escalating racism was the denial. Kevin Rudd claimed that he was not racist. But he was caught on all media outlets around the world laughing with his “adios” attitude.

And in Camden, the council was in full denial mood. The councillors had no Anti-Muslim discrimination, though the court had dismissed all council’s arguments as baseless. Then the judges were in full denial after they took decision outside their authority. It was not about discrimination, they just wanted to stop “them” coming to the area.

And now all officials are claiming that Indians are not targeted. And when they were enforced to admit that the Indians “maybe” were targeted for racial reasons, the police leaked unconfirmed information that it was not whites who attacked them, but the Lebos. So it was not white racism. This is what Paul Sheehan said.

What a shameful joke.

Can we ask few questions here?
1- Was this the first time some Australians showed racism, while other Australians suffered from racism?
2- Why are the government and its arms of bureaucrats and security agencies “impotent” to take any action but denial?
3- What to do to address this issue and convince Indigenous, Hispanics, Muslims, Indians, Africans, Arabs… that racism is not flourishing in Australia?

What amazes all of us that the organisations that were established to fight for human rights and for multiculturalism were also ‘impotent” in the new continuous wave of racism. Their full denial of existence of racism in Australia was sending wrong message to the racists. These organisations were indeed complacent in the new racist wave, by offering blanket cover for the racists. It was very clear that they became part of the problem, and not part of any solution.

Instead of playing the role of multiculturalism defender, the commissioner for Community Relations was in full denial of any racism in Australia. He insisted that we are the ideal society that knows no racism or discrimination. Many other officials who were assigned to watch the situation of human rights, racism level and multiculturalism were also in full denial, stressing that Australia is one of the best multicultural countries in the world.

And this is the irony and the cause of all historical racism this country suffered since the invasion more than 2.5 centuries ago.

In a country where 98% of its population are from migrant background and where there are more than 150 different ethnicities, only one colour is dominant in its decision making bodies. This is why this one ethnicity would do everything they can to maintain their grip on power - even if this would mean deeply dividing the society, by spreading racial hate and fear.

We believed that the new government of Mr Smiley would take actions to stop (or at least reduce) racism. Instead, he was embroiled in racial slurs.

And where are the “progressive” small parties? Maybe they are not in full denial state, but they are definitely in either a full sleeping, full cowardliness or full agreement (with racists) state.

With a quick look at the composition of our parliaments (Federal and ALL states), we can discover the reasons for our long racist history.

Yes, we are in deep troubles. The troubles could get uglier if there will be no serious steps to counter the close - mindedness of our oldest migrant ethnicity. They should understand that Australia in 21 century is fundamentally different from Australia in the 18 – 20 centuries. Demographically it is fundamentally different too.

Our political class is shamefully very white. This is the root of all our troubles. And the first step is to challenge the colour of our decision-making class.

Without this, these white politicians will invent new Cronulla every year to keep their seats and their absolute grip on power.

But can Australia afford this?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Why the Greens did not discipline “unGreen” councillor in Auburn!!!

First of all let us assume that the Greens has indeed any clear “green” ideological agenda, that they will stick to it to get directions in taking any decision or when conducting any campaign. This assumption is very important to compare it with the reality of this “opportunist” party.

If this assumption is true, even for less extent, we would have expected that the Greens party would have taken major disciplinary steps against Greens councillor in Auburn, Ms Malikeh Michaels. So far during this term of the council she committed the followings:
1- She supported proposal to approve high-rise building in Queen St, Auburn (against her election campaign promises, and the Greens clear policy in opposing such buildings).
2- She supported the demolition of heritage-listed building in Harrow Rd, Auburn (again against the Greens clear policy on this issue)
3- She did not initiate any initiative to promote environmentally sustainable proposals to be implemented in Auburn development proposals.
4- She campaigned against the Greens candidate in First Ward during Auburn council election, September 08.
5- She attacked the party and encouraged members to defect to rival parties (including myself since 2005), as she labelled the Greens as “White Anglo middle class people’s club with no place for multiculturalism).
6- She built very close relationship with the highly regressive Liberal party and voted in block with them on EVERY proposal since last September.

Let me tell you the truth: I was not surprised on this as I did not expect the Greens to take any step against her for many reasons:
1- The Greens has no clear political agenda based on ideology. The Greens is punch of opportunist people who failed to secure any position in any different political parties. All what they are after is to increase votes and get themselves elected to parliament or any public office (or to secure staffer position) with some power and money, to secure comfortable retirement. Please read what another Greens councillor, Irene Doutney, on 31 Oct 07, had to say on this issue: “I think there are a couple of things about the greens that need to be explained. The Greens unlike other parties are more a group of individuals that work collectively. For better or worse there is no overarching ideology that informs policy decisions ….”
2- The Greens infact wants to get rid of the wrong label of being “Left” they were given because of the lack of real left.
3- The Greens are happy for Malikeh to break the ice with the far right Liberal party (enforced on them because of the label mentioned above). By doing this they can achieve many goals in one shot:
- They can wait until Malikeh establish good relationship with the Liberals to use the excuse of “not to be monarchist more than the king” to publicly announce deals with the Liberals. This would happen by saying: here is Muslim representative who have good relationship with Liberals, despite all Anti-Muslim sentiments mounted by that far right party. So why we should not enter any deal?
- The relationship will allow the secret negotiations between the Greens and the far-right Liberals to see the light just in time for the next Federal and State elections.

But how can any political party trust lady that attacks her own party, stab its candidate in the back and make secret deals with rivals?
But the more important question here would be: how would the community and progressive people of Australia support and trust such party that is waiting at the doors of the most regressive far right party to make “preferential deals” with?

The answer is not easy. And we would not know the answer right now. We should wait to see how the community (not only Muslims, but the progressive mainstream community too) will react to these dirty deals and assumptions. And clearly this is the main reason why the Greens hierarchy is very patient with Malikeh, if not supporting her. They clearly did not learn from the huge backlash when the community discovered similar deals during Victoria state election, 2006, and then NSW state election, 2007. Or maybe they are gambling that the community had forgotten all what the Liberals had done and stand for. Again they are clearly did not analyse closely the results of the recent Queensland state election (I will post our analysis very soon, as it gives good indication about what to expect in the next Federal and NSW state elections)

The Greens wants her to make all these mistakes, dirty deals and wrong assumptions, until the next election. Then if the community would show strong dissent and threaten to send strong protest message, the Greens would act at that time by putting all the blames on her (Malikeh). At that time and if the community’s reaction will be so loud, the Greens will easy say: we did not agree with her on this. Then they will blame her for all the dirty deals and tricks, and they may take strong disciplinary actions then.

But this step is very big gamble. Firstly, the community’s backlash could be so huge that it will not accept any justification. At the end of the day, Ms Malikeh is not new Greens councillor. She was on council for more than 5 years.

Secondly, the Greens hierarchy cannot guarantee Malikeh. She can cross the “floor” at anytime she will get “better deal” and better conditions of employment.

I think that the time ahead would be very interesting. But for now I should mention one thing at the end of this piece. When I urged Malikeh to run for council, I did not ask her to become “representative” of the community. I indeed urged her to run to become good example for Muslims’ participation in this society to demystify all ugly Liberals campaigns to stereotype our community. It is very clear that I made the wrong choice. And for this I do apologise deeply, to every Australian.

Sorry

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ms Michaels: this time it is very dangerous.

This time we should all stand together and say: enough is enough and not in our name. I am talking here about the decision taken by 6 councilors to investigate possibility of allowing demolition of heritage listed former fire station in Auburn.

We should send a clear message that the trio Michele Michaels – Izzet Anmack – Ronney Oueik does not represent us as a community.

Firstly we should mention things as they are. Both Ms Michaels and Mr Ronney ran in the last election not as Muslim candidates, but on behalf of their parties. And both their parties are very far from representing the interests of the Muslim community, if not representing the opposite. I will give details on this later in this opinion piece.

We noticed that after Ms Michele Michaels missed out on becoming Mayor of Auburn and missed out on the $50,000 allowance, her attitude changed significantly. The latest change is very dangerous to the harmony in the community and could badly backlash against us as a community of religious and cultural minorities.

This time this trio is sending a message to all Australians that the Muslims are banditos, arrogant and do not recognize or respect any law or rule. The trio is in fact finishing the job started by John Howard of stereotyping our community and branding us as “unAustralians”, supporting illegal activities.

The Auburn Council motion and subsequent media comments by Malikeh Michaels had the potential to achieve more than what John Howard tried to achieve in a decade of Anti-Muslim propaganda, if she is not stopped immediately. This dangerous trend here is the fact that this trio is claiming that they are representing Muslims in all their actions. Ms Michaels has even gone further when she was shedding tears at the Anti-Muslim behaviour of the councilors in opposing her motion. This resulted in threats of violence against those councilors by mislead community members after they heard the tears from this “representative of Muslims in Australia”.

Yes. As Muslims we are disadvantaged and treated as second class citizens. But we are fighting to be treated equally and only equally. We are not seeking to be treated as super citizens: citizens above laws. Citizens that can destroy, demolish and re-structure without following any rules or laws.

On the claims by this trio of “representing the Muslim community”, let us mention some facts.

Let us start with Mr Ronney Ouiek. He is member of the Liberal party. For the Australians who do not remember what the Liberal party has done, let me mention a few facts:
1- The Liberal party detained tens of thousands of asylum seekers (90% of them are Muslims) and then destroyed their lives by several inhumane pieces of legislation.
2- The Liberal party destroyed civil liberties and introduced Anti- Terrorism laws, which were introduced to mainly discriminate against and target Muslims.
3- The Liberal party refuted Multiculturalism and considered this word to be shameful.
4- The Liberal party sent our troops to participate in invading Afghanistan and Iraq and supported blindly Israeli massacres in Lebanon and Palestine.
5- The Liberal party promoted all lies about the Muslim community to label the community as terrorist and out of control.

Not only this. Ronney Ouiek was quoted at the pooling booths during the last council election supporting Israeli massacres against Palestinians and against his own Lebanese people.

Would such person represent Muslims?

And then let us ask where Ms Michaels was when the attack on Muslims was at its height? Where was she when the detentions were full of Muslims? Where was she when the Howard government legislated all these discriminatory laws against Muslims and labeled them as terrorist by birth? And where was she when Israel invaded Lebanon (2006), and then invaded Gaza (2008 -2009)? And where is she now where tens young Muslims are still behind bars for no reason, allegedly for “terrorism-related” activities?

For this lack of track history of any “commitment” to major issues of concern to Muslims, where did Ms Michaels get this claims that she represent Muslims? Has she not noticed that Zalmay Khalil Zadeh, the criminal member of George Bush administration, was in fact Muslim. Could he claim that he represented American Muslims?
If we add to this the fact that Ms Michaels claimed after the last council election that she got elected to the council on the votes from white middle class voters in the new suburbs of Auburn, then we should wonder how come she is claiming now that she is representing the Muslim community (who did not vote for her, as per her claim)?
The tight bond between Ms Michaels and the Liberal councilors is answering it all. It could be that she is still planning for her mayorship next term with the support of Liberals-Unity- Izzet councilors. And I do not think that it is anything to do with the Muslim rights.

And why did I say at the beginning that this time she is playing a very dangerous game?
1- She is playing dirty tactics to raise the feelings of Muslims against a few councilors, which could result in violence. This violence could result in media hysteria that would bring back the memories of the Howard dark ages of high racist attacks on Muslims. Then we, as a community, will start again from scratch to rebuild our shattered reputation.
2- Her hysterical campaign to apparently secure the mayorship position, even if will not resulted in physical violence, could be used to justify portraying our community with all ugly labels.
3- This hysterical campaign could also result in dividing the community itself and then could spark factional and sectarian violence or at least tension, between supporters of this development application and the ones who do not.
4- Her hysterical opportunist campaign (if not stopped) could clean the dark pages of Howard-Ruddock crimes and introduce the xenophobic Liberals as the Muslim friendly party.

What amazes me too is that she circulated an email earlier last week stating that she is a proud “Greens” party member. I checked the official policy of the Greens on the heritage issue. I will quote a few points:

Under Principles:
5- We should support appropriate development that is sympathetic to its environment, heritage considerations ….
Heritage is viewed by developers and, in some instances, by planners as an obstacle to the planning process, rather than an asset, as it should be.
Then under Goals:
30 - Establish a requirement that developers conserve and adaptively re-use heritage structures …
And there is special section for protecting heritage in the same policy (you can access the policy on http://nsw.greens.org.au/policies/building-and-development)
So in reading this policy and then reading the decision by this Greens councilor to support potential demolition of a heritage building, we should come to either one of the following 3 conclusions:
1- It is either the Greens policy is published on the web just to mislead public and get more votes only (which is true in most cases)
2- Or that the Greens councilor did throw the Greens official policy into rubbish bin, for own benefit and agenda.
3- Or maybe it’s a combination of both, for combined interests and agendas.
Now let us ask what are these agendas of both the Greens and Ms Michaels:
1- It is possible that Ms Michaels is just planning for the next Mayorship election, only.
2- Or maybe she is planning to move parties to the Liberals.
3- Or maybe it is a bigger agenda of the Greens to enter coalition with the extreme right Liberal Party in the next election.
4- Or it could be combination of all the above.
As this is a very dangerous move that could backlash against the whole community, we should not be silent. And we should not be intimidated by emotional abuse tactics of Ms Michaels by abusing us as Anti-Muslims.
We opposed and condemned the move not to approve Mosques in Camden, Baulkham Hills and before that in Sefton, Dee Why and Earlwood, where development applications were done according to laws and regulations. We also (not like the Greens MLC) opposed denying Muslims to build schools, if they would be built according to rules and regulations. But we cannot support breaking the law in such a way.
I will seek a meeting with Br Shafiq Khan to explore any solution without any violent backlash against our community. But at the same time I want everyone to know that not in my name. Definetley Ms Michaels does not represent me as Muslim Australian. And I know that hundreds (if not thousands) do agree with me.
Accordingly, the trio of Michaels-Anmak-Oueik should not pursue their own agenda regardless if it will be built on more suffering of hundreds of thousands of our community members.
We should do all in our hands to let everyone know about this. And definitely we will be present at the next council meeting to let them know that: Not in our name.
And I should mention here that I wrote this piece regardless of my views on heritage preservation. I could have a different opinion, that is irrelevant. The most important thing for us is the interests of the community and to maintain and strengthen the harmony in the society. It would be very shameful if we were to go a few steps backwards because of the personal interests of a few community members, who have no mandate to speak in our name.

We should mention here that we expected something different from Independent Muslim councilor Izzet. But at the moment he proved to be naïve (at least) by following Ms Michaels’ misleading directions. He should remember that Ms Michaels has bigger agendas, he is definitely not part of them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The day Marat Aminov tried to end his life: the whole story!

I am writing this piece because I am appalld at the Australian treatment of this poor family. The treatment of this family could not be accepted by any nation with minimum of human rights respect. It especially appalld all of us the lack of compassion on all levels in dealing with this family.

The lack of media interest:
I will come to some of the reasons why Marat tried to end his life. One of the major reasons was the complete silence of the media outlets about reporting on this issue. It shocked Marat and his family the low level of interest on reporting on their case, even after many attempts by us to attract the attention of the media outlets which are constantly present in the Parliament House. It shocked us how the media would talk for days about torturing a cat at train station by irresponsible teenager, but are negligent about reporting on torturing whole family for years by adult ministers and department’s bureaucrats.


The eviction from Parliament:
The story started when we traveled to Canberra determined to attract the attention of the PM and his minister for immigration by all means. I will not talk now in details about the plans that were put to do so. All what I need to say that we could attract the attention of media, MP, his ministers and MPs of all different parties. The attempt resulted in evicting me and Marat from the Parliament and banned us from there for 24 hours. When we were escorted by Federal police to the area designated for us to protest, we were still making media comments and demanding that the minister spare few minutes to meet us and discuss a way out. After the end of media interviews, I noticed that there is blood coming from Marat’s chin. He was also in deep pain. We discovered later that he was beaten by security officers by kicking his face with their shoes. I called 000 asking for medical check.

Early signs of politicizing health services:
Upon ambulance arrival, a federal police agent blocked its way and talked for about 5 – 7 minutes to the ambulance officer. When she approached us, she immediately asked Marat to jump into the ambulance. After few seconds, she emerged alone from inside of the ambulance and told us that they need to take him to hospital for checks. I asked her to open the door to pass mobile phone to him, but she refused. She jumped to the ambulance, told us that they are taking him to Canberra hospital. Then the ambulance took off.

All this happened on Monday, 1 December. The parliament sitting for the year would end on Thursday, 4 December 08. The government needed to keep us away for another 3 days, until the parliament will close for Christmas period.

We collected all our chairs and table and went to hospital. After arriving to hospital and asking for him at reception, reception asked me to go immediately inside to help in calming Marat down. He was refusing to allow doctors to do anything to him. They wanted him to lie down on the bed and allow them to put collar around his neck, as they suspected that he hurt his neck when he jumped to the Parliament floor.

After his family’s long-time ordeal with the governmental departments, he had developed Schizophrenic disorder with deep anti-authorities feelings. He had suspicions about the doctors’ motives, so he would not lower his head. He needed to see always what the doctors and nurses are doing. I calmed him down and told him that we are there now and the doctors and nursed would not be able to hurt him. He then agreed to cooperate.

The doctor told me that they will keep him at hospital for several hours only to do some analysis and scans for his neck and vertebral column. We trusted the health officials, as we should in normal situation.

His parents told me to go back to Sydney and they will stay at hospital until he will be released. I asked them to contact me if anything would happen. I warned them to be very cautious as the government could try to do anything to make them look like violent or uncivilized people to justify the deeply inhumane treatment.

Around midnight, I received phone call from Alija, Marat’s mother. She was very distressed and crying. She told me that the police had arrested Samil, her husband, as he tried to take Marat home from hospital. I asked her not to do anything and ask Samil to go with them to police station and not resisting arrest.

Then politicizing judicial system:
On the next day Aliija called me again. She told me that Samil was taken to court without any interpreter or legal representative. The Legal Aid representative intervened, but with no success, as there was no interpreter to get Samil’s instruction to apply for bail. We learned too that Canberra hospital officials executed order to keep Marat in psychiatric unit for 3 days to “prevent suicidal attempts”.

The game was very clear. The government had politicized all services: medical, police, judicial,… in a bid to keep the family away from the Federal Parliament until the session ends.

Samil attempted to commit suicide:
While I started to talk about all these to media outlets, the family started to get very angry and frustrated. Then we knew that the sort of things that we warned off had happened: Samil tried to commit suicide inside his cell by slashing his wrist with metal object. The whole situation was headed to be out of control. The authorities were enforced to release Marat immediately from psychiatric unit. Marat and Alija called me to discuss the next move. We decided that they should go back to Parliament and continue their protest.

The day Marat tried to commit suicide:
Next day (Wednesday 3 December 08) I traveled to Canberra to be with the family and see what we can do. I traveled with my wife there.

On arrival, I heard what had happened. We then had extensive discussion about what we should do. We decided that we should do all what we can today, as the Parliament will go into rest for at least 50 days. The main issue for the family was the release of Samil from jail.

We noticed that next to our protest table, there were people preparing to celebrate in a big tent. We approached them and asked. It is the official celebration of the Day of people with disabilities. A very big irony. The government wanted to celebrate the resilience of people with disabilities, but was insisting to punish others and causes them deep disabilities. Very strange logic.

The journalists and cameramen started to flood the place. I approached Marat and told him that it is good time to do something to embarrass the government and to attract media attention. Marat did not say anything. He shock his head. Suddenly he disappeared. His mother asked about his whereabouts. We did not know, he simply did not say anything.

And suddenly he re-appeared. And suddenly many officials form the department of immigration appeared. They approached Marat and his mum asking how they are doing. Marat avoided them and moved to other place. They asked about her health and the health of Marat. The ministers started to arrive and the celebration started. Suddenly Marat stood up, started to pour petrol on himself and automatic lighter in his left hand and started shouting “Hey, listen to me why I will kill myself”.

Suddenly a huge Federal policeman jumped to the area, started approaching Marat trying to strip him from the lighter. I jumped and shouted warning the policeman that there is big chance that he will set himself alight if the policeman did not stop approaching him. I told the policeman that this man had tired to commit suicide at least three times in the last year. The policeman stopped and started negotiating with him. I kept warning the Federal policemen from making any stupid moves, as the situation is very dangerous and we could lose this young life. “Shut up and let me finish and tell them why I want to kill myself” Marat started to shout on me.

The real reason why Marat tried to commit suicide:
“I want to kill myself as the government not only treated my parents very badly, but they put my father in jail for no reason”. The main issue for Marat was his father and his unlawful arrest and the subsequent mistreatment. “How can government not provide him with Russian interpreter, just to keep him behind bars? What kind of democracy?”

The feelings were very high. The mother collapsed in front of us. My wife was trying to calm her down, but she was shouting “my son, I am losing my son, please help me” then she crawled, as she could not stand on her feet anymore. By that time, the policeman convinced Marat to through away the lighter and stop his attempt.

What amazed me that one cameraman was persistently abusing Alija in very bad way. My wife told me that he even told her to “shut your mouth and go to help your son away from minister’s speech”. I confronted him and asked for his name to complain against him for both assault and unprofessionalism. He ran away while the area turned into media theatre.

The scene was if there was a major war battle. Many fire brigades, tens of federal police cars and officers and few ambulances. One ambulance took Alija, against her well, to hospital.

Unprofessional moves by politicized health services:
As we understood by then that the unprofessional politicized acts taken by Canberra hospital health workers was the main reasons behind the attempt by Marat to end his life, we expected that he and his mother would be taken to the other government hospital. But they were taken to the same Canberra hospital. Another unprofessional and unethical act by health authorities.

When I arrived to the hospital with my wife, there was security alert. My wife was shocked. I started to joke with my wife to calm her down. “They are thinking that Bin Laden had arrived to hospital. My beard would not help us in these moments”.

Many huge security officers were everywhere in hospital. Immediately after our arrival, 2 female journalist from The Australian (Nicole Berkovic) and The Daily Telegraph (Alison Rehn) followed us to follow up on the family’s situation. Suddenly, officials form hospital approached us and asked the journalists to leave immediately. “They are ordinary citizens. Would you prevent ordinary citizens from coming to visit patients?” I asked these hospital officials. “No, they are journalists. We know this and they had admitted” they replied to my comments. “But even journalists are ordinary citizens” I argued. “If you want to argue, they can lodge complaint to the hospital management”. We were enforced to go out to the street outside the hospital to talk about the family’s case.

Health services became as corrective services:
After talking to journalists in the street outside the hospital, I went and asked to see Marat and his mother. The reception denied that Marat is there. They also told me that Alija is in bad situation and she preferred not to see anyone. They asked me to wait for few minutes until she calms down. I was suspicious about this. I then tried to call her mobile. She answered and asked me where I am. I said that they told me that she does not want to see anyone. She then started to cry. Suddenly few nurses approached me and asked me to follow them. When Alija knew that I was outside, she stood up and asked them to release her. When they refused, she stood up and started to shout and cry in the middle of the emergency department. They were enforced to let me see her. It was very clear that the minister of immigration gave them orders not to let me see her or her son.

In front of me, they were treating her as if she is criminal. I started to talk to them in very sharp language. I also started to make phone calls to journalists. After that they changed their language with her. Then the responsible nurse came to see us and told us that they will keep her in hospital for few hours, as her sugar level was very high. I asked about Marat, she told me that she cannot tell us.

We started to feel that we are back to Soviet era, where everything is done behind “iron curtain”.

After talking to doctor, who assured me that she will be released after sugar checks finished and stabilized. Alija at that time asked me to go back to Sydney, and she will let me know what will happen.

After arriving to Sydney around 9 pm, I tried to contact her, but her phone was switched off. I thought that she was released and she went to sleep.

Early at morning, I tried to call her again, but no answer. I started to feel that something is wrong. I called Canberra hospital, where they told me that they executed order to keep her in psychiatric unit for 3 days. The same is with Marat. At this end, I became very angry and frustrated.

Ultimatum to the minister to release everyone, or face the consequences:
I immediately called few network’s members and we decided to go straight to Federal Parliament. We did not have any plans. I just sent media release giving ultimatum to the government that if they will not release all Aminov’s family, we will take steps that will make Australian government a symbol of international shame. We also talked to people in Canberra in case we will need some help.

Before arriving to Canberra, I received phone call that Marat and his mum were released from psychiatric unit, before the 3 days ended. Then I received call form Marat that his father was released on bail.

Long way before restoring humanity to this nation’s politics:
We thought that by getting rid of John Howard’s xenophobic government we would automatically get rid of all its inhumane undemocratic practices. But we discovered that the new Labor government is enjoying abusing the same methods and practices. So far in the case of this family, the Labor government had mobilized all departments and services to keep the inhumane status quo. The politicizing of especially the health services is very appalling.

Where are the so-called “progressive politicians”?
There are few other questions will come to our mind, but the most important is the role of “progressive” political parties and independents in exposing these shameful practices.

While the Parliament of Australia is empty from any real progressive forces, we will continue fighting until Aminovs get final solution for their ordeal. And we will do this before any human lives lost.

And please do not think that this is unique case. The government is sitting on piles of similar cases. The issue is not about asylum seekers’ treatment. It is about racism related to feeling of need to maintain the grip of power by one ethnicity who does not want to share this power with people from other cultures.

We will write in details about this, and we will take all steps to expose the real face and agenda of all these so-called “regressive” forces that want to convince us of their progressiveness.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Never ending greed in the name of “helping the community”!

Before we wake up from the news about the greedy Green hubby who eats all the food at council meeting, we discover more “Green” greed. This time it happens in Auburn council.

We noted earlier the sacred alliance formed behind closed doors between the highly regressive Liberal – Unity parties and the “progressive” Greens party. During the election campaign the main slogan of the Greens candidates was “community needs, not developers greed”. After the ballot papers count was over, the “community needs defender” put her hands with the “greedy developers”. The full details of the deal are still unknown to all of us.

The “community needs” defender is ignoring the fact that Auburn council is going through very difficult financial times with an expected $5 millions deficit. The Greens councilor in Auburn is also disregarding the “community needs” of spending on infrastructure to both create local jobs and raise the life-style of mainly marginalised new-migrants, refugees and poor people of Auburn.

The Greens councilor this time is demanding a pay-rise to herself and her Liberal-Unity alliance, to around double the allowance they are getting from the council at the moment.

We did not expect less from the Liberals-Unity mainly developers councilors. But when it comes to the Greens councilor, we should ask 5 million questions:
1- How many community projects would this rise in councilors allowance cancel?
2- How many local jobs will it cost the community?
3- How could this help with “defending the community needs”?
4- Who are the real “greedies” that we need a representative to protect the community from?
5- Why has the Greens councilor, who believes in public “accountability” and “transparency” not made this pay-rise an election promise or called for a referendum on it?
6- What is the difference between the Liberals and the Greens, after all these deals? Would they consider merging very soon?

It is very clear that the Greens councilor is planning well for her retirement. And she wants a very comfortable retirement.

But what happened to the “alternative voice” which the Greens were deafening our ears with in the last 2 decades? Maybe the right question would be: alternative of what and who?

It is very clear that it is an alternative in the kind of Greed, only. Or maybe it is an alternative in the rhetoric and the type of lies and deception.

What kind of Australia are we dreaming of, when the “alternative” is planning a comfortable retirement, while the debt on citizens is at its highest.

And what kind of “alternative” is demanding a pay-rise, while there is a freeze on any pay-rise for all workers and battlers?

The other question here is: if the Greens councilor thinks that running for council is not to help the community for better planning and governing and it should be just to secure people’s retirement, why did she run again last September. If she thinks that the pay is no good, why did she choose to run for “exploitation”?

All these questions are for the ordinary Australians to think about to enable them to make a very “informed” choice next time we go to polls. And at that time, the Greens should know that we had enough “greedy” people in the government and what is lacking in Australian politics is a real alternative: an alternative that feels with embattled marginalised people.

If the Greens want to help me by increasing my debt and reducing public services and projects, I would rather stick to the ordinary “greedies”. I prefer “Greedies that I know” over “greedies I need to know”.

What makes me feel bad this time is the fact that the same Greens councilor in Auburn was crying foul when she failed to be elected as Mayor earlier this year. She accused her opponents of being “racists” and “anti-Muslims” and distributed foul accusations to everyone who did not vote for her. She wanted to convince us that she is running to represent Muslim “needs” and “issues”. But this week we discovered that she was indeed after pay-rise from $20,000 (Councilor’s allowance) to $50,000 (Mayor’s allowance).

As Muslim Auburn citizen, I say that she does not represent me and my needs.
And for this and for everything else I say: we are sorry to Auburn residents.