I had just been thinking yesterday that I hadn’t seen any refugee news from Australia for a long time, and up pops this story!
(Australian readers are always in the top three countries from which we get readers here at RRW.)
Australia is considering subjecting thousands of refugees from Syria to tougher character and security checks than their European counterparts to minimize the risk of “extremist infiltration”, a leaked policy document says.
The draft document singles out refugees from Syria as potentially holding beliefs or associations that may lead them to engage in violent activities, and outlines measures to monitor them even after they gain Australian citizenship.
Australia is part of the United States-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria and is on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals. Its tough asylum seeker policy, which includes mandatory detention for people arriving by boat, is a hot-button political issue.
Australia last year agreed to accept 12,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, as hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers flooded into Europe amidst the worsening conflict.
The document also singles out Australia’s Lebanese Sunni Muslim population as an example of “potential community safety and national security risks associated with unsuccessful immigration.”
Only about half a million people out of Australia’s 23.5 million are Muslims. At least half live in Sydney’s western suburbs, which were transformed in the mid-1970s from white working-class enclaves into majority-Muslim outposts by a surge of immigration from Lebanon.
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