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Defunct multicultural council riles local muslims with spectacular recruitment allegations

By johnboy 22 November 2005 16

NineMSN carried a report earlier in the day (and the Canberra Times also has coverage on allegations by Mohamed Omari, the president of the Multicultural Council, about Islamic fundamentalists visiting the Mosque in Yarralumla as part of a national recruiting campaign.

(Now this is curious as just last month we and the ABC reported on the abolition of the multicultural council, we have more than one?)

The ABC is now reporting that the local muslim community are unhappy about Mr. Omari and the Chief Minister sounds particularly incandescant.

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has questioned the substance of the claims and has asked the Territory chief police officer to investigate the allegations, but has questioned Mr Omari’s motivations.

“Mr Omari did not contact the ACT Police in relation to his concerns or his allegations, he did not contact any organisation of the ACT Government in relation to his allegations or his concerns, and to date has provided not a scintilla of evidence, confirmation or corroboration,” he said.

UPDATED: It would seem this town has an array of multicultural councils, the one referred to here has not been disbanded.

What’s Your opinion?

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16 Responses to
Defunct multicultural council riles local muslims with spectacular recruitment allegations
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johnboy 9:51 am 16 Apr 06

Scorpio, do you really think we’re going to take down a comment based on a complaint made in another comment?

If you feel you’ve been misrepresented we’re happy to give you a complete new story in which to make your case, or you can do so here.

It’s up to you.

Binker 3:48 pm 15 Apr 06

I think you will find that the implied freedom of political communication will provide a more than robust defence to any defamation action in this case.
Litigate and find out.

Thumper 2:27 pm 15 Apr 06


By having an opinion you are being defamatory?

Or is it that you can only be defamatory by having certain opinions about certain people?

For instance, it seems everyone calls John Howard a lying rodent.

Now, the lying bit may be correct in some instances. But he’s not a rodent.

Surely that is defamatory as well?

Scorpio 1:33 pm 15 Apr 06

The comment from Kimba mentioning my name is wrong and defamatory and should be removed immediately!

Scorpio 1:31 pm 15 Apr 06

The comment from Kimba is wrong and defamatory and should be removed immediately

DT 1:38 pm 24 Nov 05

For anyone who may have missed it, Omari is now falling back on the old faithful “the media took my comments out of context” defence.

The Canberra Times has a fairly dismissive article about that attempt today.

DT 11:17 am 23 Nov 05

Kerces, your point certainly is valid. But for a further clue as to what’s going on, have a look at the last two pars of the CT article:

“Mr Berjaoui said he had been authorised by five Muslim bodies to make statements on their behalf. He described these groups, the ACT Islamic Society, the Canberra Islamic Centre, the North Canberra Muslim Community, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the El Haadi Welfare Organisation, as “a coalition of the good”.

He questioned Mr Omar’s credibility, charging that he had fabricated stories to local TV and to other media aimed at causing dissension in the Muslim community.”

LurkerGal 10:56 am 23 Nov 05

It was the chief minister’s multicultural board that was got rid of. Not the ACT one.

Thumper 10:25 am 23 Nov 05

That was my point exactly K.

Surely we need to be advancing the cause of moderate groups if only for the peace of mind of all Australians.

I’m still unsure what Stanhope is playing at with this issue. Maybe DT is right and theres a fair bit under the surface that we don’t know about.

Kerces 10:17 am 23 Nov 05

Tha Canberra Times story today says Stanhope’s now considering stripping all funding from this Multicultural Council on account of Mr Omari’s claims.

Personally I can’t see the logic in this — both Stanhope and John Howard have repeatedly asked moderate Muslims to keep an eye out for extremists, and now that someone has (whether his claims are substantiated or not is a different question), a community group seemingly unconnected to the matter apart from him being its president (but I never got the impression he was speaking on their behalf, rather on behalf of the Muslim community) is getting punished for his actions.

Thumper 10:10 am 23 Nov 05

Thanks DT, I suspected more or less….

I’ll do a bit more reading later today.


DT 9:55 am 23 Nov 05

Thumper, take a look at the CT article today. “. . . the public officer of the Multicultural Council, Alfred Flask, phoned the Canberra Times to say that Mr Omari had no authority from its committee to speak for the council.” He’s the president.

This isn’t about multiculturalism; it’s about politics within a disfunctional council spilling out into the public domain.

Thumper 9:44 am 23 Nov 05

I’m confused. The Comrade uses the word ‘multiculturalism’ at every possible moment to further his great social agenda, for instance, allowing the Muslim community first access to the draft terrorism laws.

And now I’m not really sure what he’s for or against. Is it a case of someone simply disagreeing with his view and therefore gets the instant angry voice?

I get the feeling that if Omari is a moderate then his views would somehow be different to Stanhope who seems to think that all Muslims, no matter what, should continue to live their lifestyle as they want, no matter what, whereas Omari may be suggesting that to integrate somewhat would be a good idea.

Chris 9:11 am 23 Nov 05

Omari sounded particularly credible to me – something of a voice of reason on 2CC -the fact that he has a difference of opinion with the Dear Leader would add, i think, to his cred. rather than detract from it.

Ari 8:46 am 23 Nov 05

I heard Stanhope on the radio yesterday and thought his no-so-veiled veiled attack on Omari’s credibility hit the wrong note.

It seemed to me he was rushing to attack the messenger before the facts had been established.

DT 8:40 am 23 Nov 05

Yep, the one that was abolished was ministerially-appointed. Omari’s mob is supposed to be a peak group for the various multicultural community organisations. To put it lightly, it’s had its problems in the past, and Stanhope and Omari have a history.

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