How this wicked law can shut up Dutton, too
Want another example of how activist lawyers can use the Racial Discrimination Act to censor important public debates?
Check what one now thinks could be done to shut up Immigration Minister Peter Dutton for speaking the truth about Muslim Lebanese migration. (Continued below the fold)
“Last week Mr Dutton argued the Fraser government had made ‘mistakes’ in parts of its 1970s’ migration program. Challenged in parliament to identify the groups he was referring to, Mr Dutton said ‘of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist related offences in this country, 22 are from second- and third-generation Lebanese Muslim backgrounds.’”
This is a perfectly accurate statement, but Professor Clive Williams, a former senior defence official now at the Centre for Military and Security Law at the ANU, says: “It’s not a good idea to make that kind of observation in public.” Why? According to Dr. Clarke Jones, such observations are “creating the terrorists of the future.”
This is very common thinking all over the West; it’s akin to Hillary Clinton’s saying that Donald Trump was aiding Islamic State recruitment by calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration. The thinking is apparently that Muslims reject jihad terrorism and want to assimilate and become Westernized, loyal citizens of secular, pluralistic societies, but if non-Muslims point out that there is a jihad threat, or that some Muslims are not assimilating and becoming loyal citizens, those peaceful Muslims will become so enraged that they will join jihad groups.
Absurd. If they reject jihad terrorism, they won’t be driven to it by Dutton’s factual observation that some other Muslims have not rejected it. This kind of woolly thinking is impeding honest discussion of the threat of jihad and Sharia all over the Western world.
“Peter Dutton’s remarks on Lebanese Muslims risk ‘creating terrorists of future,’” by Deborah Snow, Sydney Morning Herald, November 24, 2016:
Immigration minister Peter Dutton’s linking of terrorism with past levels of Lebanese Muslim migration will do “immense damage” to the government’s attempts to engage Islamic communities in the battle against violent extremism, a leading expert has warned.
Dr Clarke Jones, who worked as a national security official for 17 years, said the minister’s remarks risk “creating the terrorists of the future, if I want to be blunt”.
The Immigration Minister reveals he was referring to Lebanese Muslims when he said last week that Malcolm Fraser had made immigration mistakes.
“We are certainly not reducing the threat, we are contributing to the threat by those statements. Effective intervention means working with young kids and the only way you can get to young kids is working with communities,” he told Fairfax Media.
“The government has taken a 10 or 15-year step backward.”
Dr Jones, now a research fellow at the Australian National University’s School of Global Governance, has been working with Islamic community members to help design and set up youth intervention and support programs.
He said frontline police and intelligence agencies trying to build links with those communities would also likely be dismayed by Mr Dutton’s comments.
“Police struggle at the best of times with community engagement because they have the difficult dual role,” he said.
The federal government has invested millions of dollars in trying to get effective Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs off the ground. But the Dutton comments could jeopardise any progress already made, others also warned.
- “Experts” like Dr Clarke Jones are the problem. Their theories are so absurd it beggars belief. These idiots have a history.
Professor Clive Williams, a former senior defence official now at the Centre for Military and Security Law at the ANU, slammed the minister’s comments as ” counterproductive”.
“Its [sic] not a good idea to make that kind of observation in public. We need the co-operation of families, they are the first point of contact really if there is concern developing about a young person.”
Last week Mr Dutton argued the Fraser government had made “mistakes” in parts of its 1970s’ migration program.
Challenged in parliament to identify the groups he was referring to, Mr Dutton said “of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist related offences in this country, 22 are from second- and third-generation Lebanese Muslim backgrounds”.
Mr Dutton has since sought to soften the context around the remarks, telling Sydney radio host Ray Hadley on Thursday that “the point that I was making is that we should call out the small number within the community, within the Lebanese community, who are doing the wrong thing. If we do that we can hold up the vast majority of people within the Lebanese community who work as hard as you and I do, who have contributed to Australian society.”…
Andrew Bolt, continued:
Yes, I know Michael Bradley is of the snarky Left. Yes, I know his methods have been questioned by the High Court.
But he is right to suggest the Racial Discrimination Act could be used against Dutton (and, indeed, my own column on his remarks had to be modified on legal advice as well, to remove facts that could offend).
And once a complaint is lodged the process becomes the punishment, which is why the vast majority of people accused to anything to settle the case before it goes to court and becomes public.
Did Dutton break the law? In terms of the Racial Discrimination Act (yes, 18C, I’m going there!), his statements in combination cannot but humiliate and intimidate Australians of LebaneseMuslim background. He has singled them out on racial/ethnic grounds.
Dutton’s statement in Parliament is privileged, meaning he is immune from legal claims in respect of it. However, there’s an open argument as to whether it’s available to provide context to what he said on Bolt. He was, after all, clearly pointing the finger at some specific ethnic group, saying they should never have been let in. We now know who he meant.
As the few of us who care about 18C know, the real issue is always 18D. Can Dutton get its protection if someone has a crack at him? Dutton would be playing the Bolt defence: that his comments either were made in the course of a discussion held for a genuine purpose in the public interest, or were an expression of his genuine belief on a matter of public interest. Assuming he genuinely believes that Lebanese Muslims should’ve been kept out of Australia, he’d satisfy the test.
He’d also have to say that his conduct was reasonable and in good faith. That’s where Bolt lost, and it’s an interesting challenge here, too. It’s true that 22 Australians from Lebanese Muslim family backgrounds have been charged (not convicted) with terrorism offences, and that that is statistically disproportionate. However, can the conscious misuse of statistics qualify as bad faith?…
Stupid, yeah, but that’s the point about dumb statistics: they tell us everything and nothing. Dutton knows that (assuming he isn’t as dumb as his statistics). It might be argued, therefore, that by backing his argument for race-based exclusion with meaningless data, he’s exemplifying unreasonableness and bad faith. Just saying.
This wicked law must go.
Sheik yer’mami’s five cents:
The data is what it is, it is factual and therefore it is anything but “meaningless”. Bradley is malicious and vilifies Dutton to suggest this is about “race-based exclusion”, it isn’t. Because Islam is not a race. It is Muslims and their leftist fellow travelers who are exemplifying unreasonableness and bad faith.
Labor, which defends this law, is also keen to shut down the debate by smearing Dutton.
The second and third generations of the ’76 arrivals [of Muslim Lebanese] are over represented in two places — the prison system and Centrelink. Bikie gangs are recruiting and in some cases, being overrun by Lebanese Muslims…
That the great majority of the Lebanese Muslim community are fine Australian citizens is a fact. So is the assertion that a significant minority are not in the “bring home to meet mum” category.
In Melbourne, Sudanese migration has become an absolute disaster. Their children are running amok in armed gangs causing havoc everywhere. The problems with Sudanese immigrants far outweigh the benefits but one wonders if Australia has learned anything over the last four decades from these failures.
I can’t see where Dutton has committed any great crime. He is acknowledging a problem that is obvious for all to see.
Unfortunately Labor, rather than engaging in an intelligent, adult debate about this important issue, gave its usual atavistic response. Shorten hoed into Dutton with relish about him being racist.
Labor needs to be better than that. If Shorten’s stance was supposed to be clever politics by appealing to Muslim voters in several southern and western seats he should have a good look at the polls, which suggest half the voters in this country share the Dutton and Hanson stance.
With a promise to take another 12,000 refugees from Syria, when many of them will have no papers to prove identity, a mature debate would be in the best interest of our country.