Who can be ignorant of the ongoing civil war in Syria? As our blessed leader observed its a case of the bad guys fighting other bad guys and sadly in these days of easy international travel some of those bad guys just happen to hold Australian passports. The question is should we move to strip them of their Australian citizenship for doing so?
Late last year Broadmeadows bricklayer Yusuf Toprakkaya, 30, was killed fighting for the rebels. He had changed his name to Abdul al-Walid al-Australi, similar to our first suicide bomber, Abu Asma al Australi, a nasty piece of work from Brisbane who drove a truck and 12 tonnes of explosives at an airport checkpoint in eastern Syria, killing 35.
These two men and the three other “Australians” who have died with them were criminals. As are the other 200 still fighting in Syria.
Then Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus spelled that out at the time, their offences including breaking the Foreign Incursions Act, the Criminal Code Act (by assisting a proscribed terrorist group) and the arms sanctions imposed by us on Syria. They face serious charges when and if they return “home”.
But we should go a step further. It is a privilege to be issued an Australian passport, although I have no quibble with Australians holding passports for another country. I do so myself.
But “Australians” who use their second passport as a ticket to go to war in another country – like the Serbians “Aussies” who went to Kosovo in the late 1990s to kill Albanians – should have their Australian citizenship revoked.
Even respected criminal lawyer, Rob Stary, who has represented terror suspects and is known for his generous estimate of some fellows you’d rather not live near, believes some offenders should forfeit their citizenship. He sees Benbrika as an example and believes we should be able to revoke such criminals’ citizenship.
“I wouldn’t have a blanket provision that once you are an Australian citizen, you are immune to deportation or revocation of citizenship,” Stary said.
It’s one thing to “turn back the boats” of desperate asylum seekers as the Liberal Government vowed to do in opposition, but what about those who have already entered: the now Australian Muslims who want to conduct Islam’s centuries-long civil war between Shia and Sunni wheresoever it erupts?
The 200 Australians fighting in Syria have mostly been associating with groups that are proxies for al-Qaeda. Brainwashed and radicalised, they are the last “Australians” we need.
We shouldn’t worry that they have Australian wives, or Australian children. We should worry about ourselves. Their Australian passports should be cancelled.
I think that if stripping them of citizenship were to render them stateless it would be easy to say a very resounding “no” to taking away their right to be an Aussie but in this day and age when dual citizenship is the rule rather than exception they would still have citizenship of their country of origin so that would not be an issue. Or should it continue to be the case that once they have aquired citizenship that nothing should ever take it from them?
What do ya reckon Comrades?
- Push to stop Australian fighters coming home from Syrian battlefields (abc.net.au)
- ‘Ban Syrian fighters’ says ex-Army chief (skynews.com.au)
- Syria war combatants to be shut out of Australia (craighill.net)
- Get tough on youths fighting in Syria:Carr (sbs.com.au)
- Bye-bye, birthplace (bbc.co.uk)
- MP wants debate on Australians fighting in Syria (abc.net.au)
- ASIO concerned about domestic terrorism from Syrian conflict (abc.net.au)
- Dual citizenship (adizokanan.wordpress.com)