Please, PLEASE learn from our (US and UK) lessons. Eject
from the nation. Do not allow them to go anywhere except to Saudi Arabi. If there is any sanity left in the world, do not make the mistakes we made in allowing these people to stay, because if you do....many will die.
A Melbourne radical Islamic teacher last night described Osama bin Laden as "a great man" and declared he would be betraying his religion if he told students not to train in terrorist camps.
Abdul Nacer Benbrika, also known as Abu Bakr, said: "My religion doesn't tolerate other religion . . . Jihad is a part of my religion."
ASIO revoked Mr Benbrika's passport earlier this year, the ABC reported, and it recently raided and questioned him. But although it took papers, charges had not been laid.
Earlier this week former ASIO officer Michael Roach said Australia had about a dozen terrorist cells, with up to 60 individuals in Sydney and Melbourne. Australian Federal Police chief Mick Keelty has confirmed this.
Last night's inflammatory statements came as Prime Minister John Howard said he had been briefed yesterday about possible changes to strengthen the law on terrorism. He said he would be saying something about the matter shortly.
It is likely to be discussed when Coalition leaders meet today for wide-ranging talks before Parliament resumes next week after the long winter break. The meeting will be attended by Mr Howard, new National Party leader Mark Vaile, Peter Costello, Warren Truss, Robert Hill and Nick Minchin.
Mr Howard said the Algerian-born Mr Benbrika, who lives in Melbourne's northern suburbs and has been in Australia for 16 years, was "a person of interest to the relevant government agencies" and he had to be careful what he said about him.
Mr Benbrika told The 7.30 Report, which reported that some of his students had gone to overseas terrorist training: "According to my religion, here, I don't accept all other religion except the religion of Islam."
He said he was "not involved in anything here. I am teaching my brothers here the Koran and the Sunna and I'm trying my best to keep myself, my family, my kids and the Muslims close to this religion".
"I am telling you that my religion doesn't tolerate other religion. It doesn't tolerate. The only one law which needs to spread, it can be here or anywhere else, has to be Islam."
Pressed on why he did not tell students not to go abroad for terrorist training, he said: "If I do this, it means I am betraying my religion."
"Jihad is a part of my religion and what you have to understand (is) that anyone who fight for this sake of Allah . . . when he dies, the first drop of blood that comes from him . . . all his sin will be forgiven."
He described Osama bin Laden as "a great man. Osama bin Laden was a great man before 11 September, which they said he did . . . and until now nobody knows who did it".
He said the problem was that there were two laws - Australian law and Islamic law.
Mr Howard strongly rejected the notion of two laws. "Suggestions that there is an exclusivity of religious belief in this country is against the values we hold," he said. "It's also very unfair and damaging to those hundreds of thousands of Muslim Australians who share my view . . . that we should respect other religions and we should try and live in tolerance and harmony."
Mr Howard said he thought Australians were more nervous because of the London bombings. "What has shaken people about the London attacks is that it was apparently carried out by native-born people. I think that shook people and made people realise, well if that can happen in a country like England . . . it could happen in Australia."