At least one person has been killed and another two injured after a Muslim terrorist went on a stabbing frenzy in Bourke Street, Melbourne, on Friday afternoon. The past four successful terrorist attacks on Australia’s soil have all been carried out by Muslim terrorists, some of whom had successfully applied for refugee status before the Australian authorities. For instance, Islamic State’s most influential recruiter in Australia, Muhammad Ali Baryalei, is a Muslim refugee that the government allowed to stay in the country.
Australia has a population of approximately 24 million and around 500,000 of its people are Muslims. The number of Muslims has risen dramatically over the last thirty years. Over 300,000 of them use Arabic at home. Needless to say, most Muslims are not terrorists but, unfortunately, all terrorists consider themselves to be faithful Muslims. While security measures are not specifically directed against the broader Muslim community, terrorists are, of course, drawn exclusively from this specific religious group.
The problem is that we simply do not know who to trust amongst a religious group that largely despises our democracy, culture and laws, and that do not even accept the principle of religious tolerance and separation of powers.
Although jihadists are not drawn exclusively from the first-generation Muslim immigrants, a large Muslim immigration to Australia invariably provides a larger recruiting ground for terrorists and other Islamist militants. Both the influx of asylum seekers from dysfunctional majority-Muslim countries and the constant influx of Muslim immigrants to Australia naturally exacerbate the threat of Islamic terrorism on our soil.
Curiously, however, the last federal electoral campaign coincided with a string of terror raids and major overseas terrorist attacks across the globe. At no point did our then-prime minister, Malcolm Turnbul, use his authority to make the case to fight against radical Islam. Instead, our previous prime minister constantly expressed his utmost admiration for the Islamic religion. He would never utter the terms ‘Islam’ and ‘terrorism’ in the same breath, probably because he believes that Islam is not the source of the problem and that criticising the more troubling aspects of the Muslim religion can make the country less safe.
Here it is worth reminding the words of Sir Harry Gibbs, formerly Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia:
“While it would be grossly offensive to modern standards for a state to discriminate against any of its own citizens on the grounds of race, a state is entitled to prevent the immigration of persons whose culture is such that they are unlikely readily to integrate into society, or at least to ensure that persons of that kind do not enter the country in such numbers that they will be likely to form a distinct and alien section of society, with the resulting problems that we have seen in the United Kingdom.”
I wholeheartedly agree with Sir Harry Gibbs. Indeed, if it becomes less and less likely that the actions of this faction within the Muslim community can hardly be prevented, then the most effective way to protect the basic rights of our people and reduce the risk of further terrorist attack is by tightening Australia’s immigration policy, which involves reducing — even to the point of virtually halting — any further inflow of Muslim migrants to this country.
Dr Augusto Zimmermann LLB (Hon.), LLM cum laude, PhD (Mon.) is Professor and Head of Law at Sheridan College in Perth, Western Australia, and Professor of Law (Adjunct) at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. He is also President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA), a former Associate Dean for Research at Murdoch University (2009-2012) and a former Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia (2012-2017). Dr Zimmermann is also the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, Murdoch University (2012).