Is Labor coming on board? Don’t hold your breath, but there is always hope:
A threat? … Labor says British journalist and Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley should be kicked out of Australia if reports she has praised suicide bombers are accurate
BRITISH journalist and Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley should not be allowed into Australia if reports that she has praised suicide bombers are verified, Labor says.
Ridley, who was a senior reporter for Britian’s Sunday Express, converted to Islam three years after she was captured by the Taliban while on an undercover assignment for the newspaper in 2001.
Her ordeal, in which she was imprisoned and interrogated by the Taliban, made headlines worldwide.
Her own website says she is well-known for her outspoken views and defence of Islam.
Sister Yvonne, as she is known now, also describes radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri as “quite sweet really” and says the Taliban have suffered an unfair press.
Ridley is to be a speaker at the first annual Australian Islamic Conference in Melbourne this weekend.
Opposition immigration spokesman Tony Burke said Ridley had praised the Chechen leader of the Beslan school massacre, Shamil Basayev, as a martyr and urged Muslims in Britain not to co-operate with police.
She is also alleged to have described suicide bombings as “martyrdom operations”.
Mr Burke said the Government should have the comments investigated and kick Ridley out of the country if necessary.
“If the quotes are accurate, her visa should be cancelled immediately,” Mr Burke said.
He questioned how Ms Ridley could have passed the character test required for a visa.
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said Ridley had been allowed to enter Australia because there was nothing to suggest she was a security risk.
“In the case of Ms Ridley, she was judged not to be a threat to the national security of Australia,” Mr Andrews said on ABC radio.
“There is a vast distinction between allowing somebody into Australia whose views you may not like, and somebody who is a threat to national security.”
The immigration department decided this week not to allow another controversial figure, Sheik Bilal Philips, into Australia.
Sheik Philips, who was to be the keynote speaker at the conference, has been linked to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York.
– with AAP
Knock knock: Andrew Bolt knocks RidleyÂ in his blog:
Â Muslim extremist blames us for not liking her
As if we didn’t have enough Muslim bigots here without brainless Muslim groups inviting over more:
Firebrand Islamic convert Yvonne Ridley has accused Australians of being among the worst Muslim haters in the world.
Which makes Ridley one of the worst Australia-haters in the world.