Wednesday, August 12, 2015

12-Aug-15: Canberra provides a look at how civilized societies view the jihadists

Australia's Parliament House, Canberra
Encouraging developments in Australia today where the federal government announced the re-listing for the purpose of its criminal code of several Islamist terror groups.

The Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are both named, having been originally listed in November 2003 and May 2004 respectively. (Our source for this information is Jwire, a Sydney-based site focusing on news of Jewish interest in Australia and New Zealand.)

The accompanying statement by Senator George Brandis, the Australian Attorney-General, explains the effect:
"It is a criminal offence to direct the activities of, be a member of, recruit for, or participate in training with these organisations. It is also a criminal offence to get funds to, from or for, provide support to, and associate with, the members of these organisations. Participation in any of these activities could result in imprisonment of up to 25 years... "
Getting listed in this way requires that the Attorney-General be satisfied ("on reasonable grounds") that
the organisation is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act or advocates the doing of a terrorist act. [Jwire]
Allow us to mention that we believe fiercely in governments getting as involved as needed to prevent the advocacy of terrorist acts and their fostering.

That's part of why, earlier this year. we tried to get the Australian government to disconnect from the Arab world's most important school for the training of journalists. We explained our case in a letter to Australia's embassy in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In the course of making the case, we referred to an article we had published [here] that revealed how in December 2014 the now-celebrated and now-free Islamist killer of our daughter Malki had been
publicly honoured as the "Success Model" of the journalists at Jordan Media Institute... JMI enjoys support from Australia via AusAid, the government's foreign aid program. and by participation in its events by members of Australia's delegation in Amman... It's clearly good and in everyone's interests that people in dark corners of the world, in particular those suffering from a press that is not free, and from government whose conduct is oppressive and authoritarian, should be supported by fair-minded individuals, organizations and governments in their struggle to create a better, more open and equitable society... Jordan Media Institute, rightly an acclaimed institution, was created and is sustained by foreign support. It has the laudable goal of producing world-class journalism in a part of the world that has so little of that... [The problem] comes down to this: the beneficiaries of what JMI offers turn out to be fixated on the redemptive power of murder and hatred. In Arabic, though never in English, they say this loudly and with enthusiasm. They are active players in the glorification of jihadism in a society where a steady diet of encouragement to terror has ongoing tragic consequences... [We] hope you will take a look at this matter and understand why we are asking you to review Australia's support for the JMI...
This is not the place to go into how and why our approach was rejected by the government of Australia. (We are preparing to raise the issue with the Australian authorities again in the coming days.)

But we do want people to know that similar representations we personally made to other governments and to corporate sponsors who had been backing - with funds or via other support - the Arab journalism school in Jordan actually produced some meaningful results. In fact, more than a third of them have withdrawn. Their names and logos were removed from its website.

You can see a list of the remaining sponsors (Australia among them) on the JMI's Partners and Donors page.

The JMI tribute to our daughter's murderer is no longer online (though an archived copy can be seen here). Though it is gone, the school never made any explicit public statement in Arabic or English or any other language about the appearance of the tribute, or about its removal or about what this sordid affair says about the JMI's view of terrorism.

Nor did we ever get a response from the school's management to our polite request for an explanation. Our efforts go on.

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