Wednesday, August 07, 2019

When I defeated Liberals on 'citizenship for boat refugees': lessons for future!


The Liberal government and immediately after defeating Kevin Rudd's government 2013, started implementing its electoral promises. The first promise was to punish the refugees and asylum seekers arrived by boats. The job was assigned to the then minister for immigration Scott Morrison, currently PM.

Not only he introduced harsh temporary protection visa system (TPV). He also introduced further punishment for all refugees who was granted permanent protection visas.

As he could not cancel their visas, he issued directive 62 specifying that permanent residents who arrived by boats should not be allowed to bring their immediate families (partners and kids) to Australia ever. Directive 62 specified that these permanent residents should not be allowed to bring their families until they become citizens. This specific issue was found to be violating Australian constitution by ruling of High Court 2016 as it discriminates between permanent residents according to the way they arrived to Australia.

Directive 62 also directed the department of immigration not to approve any citizenship to any permanent resident who arrived by boat, until all other applicants for citizenship are granted the citizenship. This meant that permanent residents who arrived by boats will never be granted citizenship and will never be reunited with their loved ones. Without citizenship, they also could not travel to their homeland to live with their partners and children. They also will not be able to travel to many (if not the majority) of Western countries seeking better life with their children.

Most of permanent residents affected by this directive was already living in the community since 2011-2012.

What happened later was horrific. These people were living without their families since they departed their homeland (between 2010-2011). The ones who dared to travel to meet their families, had their visa canceled upon return.

Tens of these refugees contacted me and asked for help. We were powerless. The government just disregarded the ruling of High Court. And the refugees were very scared to speak up. There was no clear solution.

At the beginning of March 2018, I came up with the idea that will end these people's suffering pretty instantly. I contacted many refugees and explained to them the idea. Many of them welcomed the idea.

The idea was simple: NZ allows any Australian permanent resident to enter and live in NZ indefinitely without a visa. Upon their arrival, they can apply to NZ authorities to get their families to come to live with them in NZ. I was told by NZ authorities that such application would be approved within 2-3 months. The family will enjoy living in NZ together. After 2 years of living in NZ as Australian permanent residents and family of Australian PR, the family will be qualified to NZ permanent residency.


To help me spread the word about the 'project' I contacted journalists from Chanel 7 and 9. Both welcomed covering the story. In fact they were competing on the story, and asked me to give one of them the 'exclusive' right to cover the project.

I decided to give the story to Chanel 7. Bryan Seymour came to see me on the next day. I organised him to film two Iraqi refugees on permanent residency who want to try the solution.

I called the solution 'NZ Solution' to counteract the harsh inhumane 'pacific solution' re-introduced by Gillard government.

Bryan Seymour contacted both NZ and Australian immigration department. Both confirmed to him that NZ solution is viable and legal.



The story was never aired because we were waiting for a refugee to travel to NZ and bring his family to live with him in NZ.

Within this waiting time, the Australian government 'changed its heart' suddenly. Immigration was removed from Peter Dutton portfolio. The new minister, David Coleman, defied Directive 62 (which was replaced by almost identical Directive 72 and then Directive 80).

Until now, the official announced policy is Directive 80 which prevents permanent residents arrived by boats from citizenship and so prevented them from family reunion. But practically, tens (if not hundreds) of them were granted citizenship and had their families joined them quietly in Australia following August removal of Dutton as Immigration minister.

The change of government policy on citizenship for boat residents made all affected people change their mind to relocate to NZ. They now have a hope that at some stage soon they will be allowed to bring their loved ones to live with them in Australia.

If our story was aired on Channel 7 (or other channels) mid 2018, you can imagine the international embarrassment this government would have faced. We would have proven that NZ authorities treat Australian permanent residents and their families better that the treatment they received from their own government.

One achievement we achieved on this front. And this is why on Monday 29 July, I put the government on notice during the rally demanding justice for refugees on TPV and asylum seekers arrived by boats.

Despite the fact that the Australian authorities had moved quickly to infiltrate the Justice for Refugees movement to divide it, we still insist to tell them 'do not test our patience'.

I am confident that we will defeat this government because it left 30,000 people with no hope. It turned them into ticking bombs. These people are ready to do anything to see any glimpse of hope at the end of the tunnel.

I here urge Scott Morrison to back off and stop playing with fire.



Saturday, May 18, 2019

الافطار السنوي لشبكة العدالة الاجتماعية تحت شعار: معا لمكافحة التطرف




اقامت شبكة العدالة الاجتماعية وبالتنسيق مع مؤسسة الرجاء الاسلامية الافطار السنوي تحت شعار “معا لمكافحة التطرف” حضره جمع من قيادات الجالية والسياسيين وصحفيين وممثلو احزاب وقوى تقدمية وجمع من ابناء الجاليات الاسلامية

وقد حضر الافطار عضو بلدية كمبرلاند جورج كامبل, والعضو الاسبق في بلدية اوبرن توني اولدفيلد والصحفية اللامعه في صحيفة السيدني مورننج هيرالد سالي روسثورن والشيخ احمد نورالدين ممثلا لجمعية المشاريع الخيرية ودار الافتاء والشيخ السيد محمد الموسوي والشيخ منذر مال الله والشيخ محمد حبوس. كما حضر الاحتفال السيد موسى مرعي, المفوض المستقل في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي والسيد محمد القاضي رئيس الجمعية الاردنية الاسترالية والدبلوماسي العراقي الاسبق د. محمد الجابري والصحفي السوداني نور الدين مدني ووفد من منظمة سوداناب الثقافية السودانية ووفد من المنتدى التروتسكي ووفد من الجالية الصينية.  كما حضر الاحتفال حشد من ابناء الجاليات الاسلامية في سيدني

ابتدأ الاحتفال بتوجيه التحية للسكان الاصليين للبلاد واعترافا بمعاناتهم الطويلة واعتراف بملكيتهم للبلاد التي نعيش فيها واحترام ثقافاتهم وسعيهم لحفظ هذا الموروث الثقافي للاجيال القادمة

بعد ذلك تحدث عضو بلدية كمبرلاند العمالي جورج كامبل الذي اثنى على المشاركة الايجابية لابناء الجاليات الاسلامية في المجتمع الاسترالي وتمنى لهم رمضانا مباركا. كما نوه السيد كامبل بضرورة تكاتف الجهود لمحاربة التطرف والعنصرية والاسلاموفوبيا

ثم تحدث الشيخ احمد نور الدين ممثلا لجمعية المشاريع الخيرية عن اهمية شهر رمضان بالنسبة للمسلمين ومعاني الشهر الفضيل كشهر للتوبه وعمل الخير والاستغفار ونشر المحبة. ودعا الشيخ نور الدين المسلمين للتمسك بالتعاليم السمحة للاسلام بالاخذ من المصادر الموثوقة المؤكدة والابتعاد عن المصادر غير الموثوقة. ودعا الشيخ 
في ختام كلمته ابناء الجاليات الاسلامية للاكثار من فعل الخير في هذا الشهر الفضيل

في الختام تحدث د. جمال داود, رئيس شبكة العدالة الاجتماعية, قائلا ان الافطار هذا العام ياتي في ظروف دقيقة تعيشها استراليا والعالم من انتشار للتطرف وارتفاع خطر حدوث اعمال ارهابية حول العالم وفي استراليا. وقال السيد داود اننا في الشبكة لا ننفي ان هناك متطرفين بين ابناء الجاليات الاسلامية, ولكنهم اقلية صغيرة جدا بخلاف ما يريد بعض السياسيين والصحفيين اشاعته من ان المسلمين باغلبيتهم متطرفون يؤمنون بالعنف والتطرف ويرفضون قوانين البلاد. وذكر السيد داود ان هؤلاء السياسيين هم الذين دعموا التطرف ووقفوا في وجه الحملات التي قامت بها الشبكة لفضح المتطرفين خلال السنوات الماضية لدرجه اتهامه شخصيا بانه يسيء الى سمعة ارهابيين معروفين بعضهم قتل وهو يقاتل ضمن صفوف داعش والنصرة في سورية. وقال السيد داود اننا في الجاليات الاسلامية طالبنا السلطات ولسنوات بان تساعدنا في محاربة المتطرفين داخل الجالية, ولكن كل مطالباتنا ذهبت ادراج الرياح وما تزال السلطات تصر على الوقوف في صف المتطرفين وتقديم كافة اشكال الدعم لهم, ومنها المادي. وقال السيد داود ان انعدام الثقة بين الجاليات الاسلامية والسلطات هو الذي دعانا لتنظيم نشاطات كهذا الافطار لتحقيق هدف مهم هو تعريف غير المسلمين بالمسلمين من خلال التواصل المباشر. ونوه السيد داود ان العنصرية والاسلاموفوبيا والخوف من الاخر هو نتاج طبيعي للجهل وعدم معرفة الاخر, وافضل حل لمحاربة كل ذلك هو بالتواصل المباشر لتعريف المجتمع بهذا الاخر واطلاعه على حقيقة الاكاذيب التي يريد بعض السياسيين وبعض وسائل الاعلام نشرها عنهم. وذكر السيد داود ان مجازر نيوزلندا اثبتت ان الارهاب والتطرف لا دين له, فهناك اجندات لقوى في العالم وستسخدم اكثر من منصة لتحقيقها.


وفي الختام شكر السيد داود المتطوعون الذين ساهموا بانجاح الاحتفال ومنهم الريان للطبخ العربي وكل من شارك في التبرع بوقته لانجاح هذه البادرة لتقديم نموذج ايجابي عن الجاليات الاسلامية والعمل على محاربة النظرة المسبقة التي تؤدي للعنصرية والتطرف ومعاداة المسلمين.     











و

Sunday, April 07, 2019

How did government manage to cheat us about low unemployment figures: Ruba’s case as example?


I was always wondering how this government managed to issue deceiving statistics that our economy is growing steadily and the number of unemployed people is decreasing. All this during this volatile atmosphere of global financial meltdown and declared per-capita recession (both in Australia and China – our largest trade partner). Until I started to deal with Centrelink’s customers whose benefits were cancelled or not approved.


Centrelink unethical and at different occasions illegal tactics of denying people welfare payments helped this government in cheating public about the real unemployment figures.

Ruba Q. migrated from Syria April 2013 after she married an Australian guy, Mohamed. According to legislation, she is not eligible to receive any Centrelink payment for 104 weeks from the date of her arrival.

On April 2015, she became eligible to receive “special benefits” as per legislation. She received this payment for few months, until she received a letter on 7 December 2015 advising her that the payment was “cancelled” for “not completing special benefit review”. The reason was so mysterious, especially for non-English speaking migrant. She went with her husband to local Centrelink office in Liverpool and asked about the reason. They were told that the payment was cancelled because she did not complete and return the form of “special benefits review”. How could she complete this form if she never received it?

Ruba did not fill the review forms, because she simply did not receive them. Once she was given the forms in person when she (and her husband) visited Centrelink offices on 15 January 2016, they filled the review on the spot without hesitation. And there is nothing in the form that constitutes ground to cancel the payment.

But the payments were never restored after it was cancelled on 7 Dec 2015. This time the reason is that the family did not provide bank statements.

Ruba provided bank statements for her bank account (as requested by the review form), and she did not know that she needs to provide statement for her husband’s account.

When she was asked to provide bank statement for husband’s account, the family acted promptly without hesitation on 18 Feb 2016. A clear indication that the family has nothing to hide.

Still the payment was not restored. This time, because the family did not provide written statement to explain why there was one-off deposit in the husband account of $1730 on 8 Feb 2016. Despite the fact that the request for explanation was made by Centrelink officers verbally and the explanation was made instantly in the same verbal manner.

For the next 3 years, Centrelink used the one-off deposit in the husband’s bank account of $1730 as the only reason for cancellation of payments and the refusal to restore the payments for 3 years despite the many requests for review and many intervention by advocates (including intervention by local MP).

This is clear contempt to our welfare system and related legislations. It is also contempt to our intelligence. For many reasons:

1-      Centrelink claimed in the letter dated 3 March 2016 that the husband is “earning money from his work in plumbing”: but has no evidence of this.

At the AAT hearing last Monday, the member was asking me to prove that the husband never worked during the last 3 years, despite the Centrelink’s lack of any evidence to indicate the opposite. This is serious departure of legal principle that any person is innocent, until proven guilty. Centrelink treats Ruba as guilty until she and her husband prove her innocence.

2-      If Centrelink has enough evidence that the husband was working and earning enough money during the last 3 years to support his family, why he was not investigated and his Centrelink payments cut or cancelled?

Why Centrelink cancelled Ruba’s payment for claims that her husband is earning enough money to justify cancelling her payment?

Does this has anything to do with targeting new migrants as they are more vulnerable as they have very limited options to access Centrelink help?

3-      And the most important issues here is: does the legislation consider one-off deposit of $1730 (regardless of the explanation) enough ground to cancel special benefit payments?

This will be departure of another principle in the Social Security Act namely  section 729(2)(e) which states that person continues to be eligible to receive special benefits if he/she cannot earn “SUFFICIENT livelihood” to support themselves and their dependents, not a mere one-off deposit. 

Centrelink staff know very well that Ruba is soft target because of her new arrival and hence her very limited access to Centrelink help. Centrelink manipulated the system by disregarding principles of natural justice and procedural fairness when Centrelink did not insure proper notification and hit this family with unreasonable requests. Then Centrelink cancelled payment based on unreasonable assumption that husband is working, despite the lack of evidence of this.

Later on and after the family sought help from the local MP, Centrelink changed its story of the reason for cancelling the payments.

When Centrelink was contacted by office of local MP for Werriwa, Ms Ann Stanley, to explain why Ruba’s special benefits were cancelled and she is not getting any other payment, Centrelink replied that “Ruba is not eligible for special benefits after receiving her permanent subclass 801 visa, and this visa holders need to wait for 2 years after becoming permanent residence before getting any benefits from Centrelink” in a letter from Ms Stanley to the Ruba dated 7 July 2016.


The local MP should have known, as a legislator, that this advice is wrong and contravene the legislation, namely Section 739A of the Social Security Act which states that the new migrants on partner visa is eligible for Special Benefits after 104 weeks of their initial entry to the country. They will continue to be eligible to receive this benefits until they either find job or become eligible for other payments after they spend another 104 weeks after receiving permanent residence.

Labor party should discipline this MP for not understanding the legislation she helped passing in 2017.

The one-off deposit was just an excuse for Centrelink to cancel Ruba’s special benefits, while the real reason was the direction in Centrelink by minister to target new migrants with different kind of excuses and tactics to justify cancelling their benefits. Such tactics that include hiding information, not delivering notices and use lack of response (which is expected in the event of not delivering requests) as pretext to cancel payments.

All this to achieve saving for the budget and improving the numbers of employment.

My experience with Centrelink dealing with its staff on this case proves this beyond any doubt. Centrelink just ignored my rights as advocate and representative to access information on timely manner. Since mid June 2018 until now, Centrelink failed to provide me with single document about the reasons for this long dispute with this family. They gave me different reasons of the cancellation, with no written response until now. And they changed point of contact with me to make me going into circles not understanding what is happening as a tactic to confuse me and then accept their arguments and hence accept the injustice against this family.

Now, we know that the husband was not working. There was one-off deposit and the husband cannot provide written response because the third party is refusing to come near Centrelink. The husband cannot enforce the other party to comply with Centrelink’s request to provide copy of his bank statement and why he deposited the money. We do not know if this third party had experienced draconian mistreatment by Centrelink and this is the reason why he does not want to come near Centrelink in any way. But it is very clear that a one-off deposit of $1730 within 3 years does not itself constitute enough ground to cancel the special benefits of the wife. And if it does constitute ground, Centrelink should have initiated official investigation of this payment. But the bank statements of both Ruba and her husband show no signs of regular work that will earn the family “SUFFICIENT LIVILEHOOD TO SUPPORT THE PAIR AND THEIR DEPENDANT”.

Mrs Ruba did follow normal procedure of seeking review, time after time. But the Centrelink was deadly slow in dealing with these reviews to the point that simple application for review by Authorised Review officer submitted mid September 2018 was not completed until AAT ordered the review to be completed. It was completed on 23 January 2019. My request to Centrelink to give me reason for the cancellation was dragged from mid June 2018 until today. This is why the case was dragged to this length.

The family is going through very difficult financial hardship because of this unethical “tactics” from Centrelink.

And here is this government's unethical trick: For the last 3 years, the official record states that Ruba is an employed person because she is not receiving any Centrelink payment. When in fact, she is unemployed, and not required to work as she is looking after her young daughter and never worked since 2015.

And we are aware of tens of thousands of Rubas in the community.

That is how this government managed to convince us that unemployment is staying at 5% (and under). We are sure that the real figure is much higher than this.

Ruba will continue her fight for justice. And we will continue supporting her.



Monday, March 18, 2019

As Muslim: This is why I refused to sign the petition to sack Sen. Anning



I refused to sign the petition demanding the sacking of Sen. Fraser Anning, not because I support his disgraceful highly inflammatory comments.

It is disgraceful that some Australian Muslims together with media and politicians are holding Sen. Fraser Anning morally responsible for the NZ terrorist attack.

Sen. Fraser Anning is a newcomer to the political scene in Australia and is not responsible for the high racism, Islamophobia and extremism in our society. If anything, he is a by-product stemmed from the major parties policies of division and scapegoating.

I refused to sign the petition, because I believe that the petition should target the real perpetrators of Islamophobia and extremism. The real perpetrators include Scot Morrison and Peter Dutton who adopted as early as 2010 policies aimed at stirring hate against Muslims at all levels.

Even an anti-welfare coalition policy mentioning “Muslim bludgers” as a target of cracking down on needy people. The policy to detain refugees and asylum seekers was also to create hate against Muslims who constitute the largest section of boat asylum seekers.

It is not a conspiracy theory. We have clear evidence that Morrison-Dutton adopted since 2010 policies aimed, as I mentioned above, at creating hate against Muslims as the last hope for the coalition to win an election.

Morrison was speaking at a meeting for Liberal officials in Ryde Civic centre insisting on the need for such policies.
The story was reported in limited media outlets. Morrison did not deny this at that time and was even proud of it. Link here

The real cause of a disorder must be addressed. No point tackling the symptoms without healing the cause of the symptoms.
In this case Sen Anning is a mere symptom of a disorder created by Morrison and Dutton.

What makes things worse is that the hateful Morrison-Dutton have found allies among the Muslim community.
The Lebanese Muslim Association and its allies of mainly Muslim extremists were quick to call on Muslims to vote for Liberals in the 2011 election. Link here

It is this disgraceful movement who gave Morrison credibility on his anti-Muslim approach.

Since 2011 till present day, Muslim extremists are in bed with Liberal Islamophobes.
And this is the reason why Muslim extremists invited only Liberal politicians to attend their “crisis” meeting in Lakemba mosque following the NZ massacre.

I will sign the petition only if it asks for sacking of Morrison, Dutton and Fraser. Signing the petition against Fraser only, will see Muslims participate in the policy of scapegoating dumb politician to hide the real trouble of extremism we have.

The real trouble is the extreme racist Islamophobic Liberal policy allying with extreme Muslim organisations.

Friday, March 15, 2019

NZ terrorist attack: did I not warn about this too?!!


Exactly as I warned a few years ago!

Because of Muslim terrorism/extremism, we would see a rise in Islamophobia and consequently Islamophobic terrorist actions.

This is what happened in NZ today.

While we still have many unanswered questions, the expected has happened. Australian authorities who allowed both Muslim extremism and Anti-Muslim rhetoric to grow out of control since the Syrian crisis started, are to be blamed for the NZ terrorist attack. And the worse is yet to happen.

Following the Lindt siege terrorist attack, I expressed publicly on different major media outlets, my serious concerns about the fact that our authorities were not cracking down on Muslim extremists.

At some stage, the authorities were in support of Muslim extremists.

I also warned that this high extremism resulting in terrorism, will be used as an excuse by right-wing extremists to recruit and conduct anti-Muslim actions, including possible terrorist attacks.

Australian authorities, especially politicians, were silent on Muslim extremists’ activities. They also, at the same time, promoted a lot of anti-Muslim rhetoric.
A few of these politicians took advantage of this situation and stirred even more anti Muslim hate to gain political power and win seats in parliament.  

The unanswered questions are:
-       Why Australian far-right terrorist decided to commit a terrorist attack in NZ?
-       Why now? The timing just few weeks before federal election!
-       And what is next?

The NZ terrorist attack could be the beginning of tit-for-tat attacks between Muslim and non-Muslim terrorists. As I said on Russian TV today, it is very sad that Anti-Muslim terrorist killed innocent Muslims to revenge the killing of innocent non-Muslim by the hands of Muslim terrorists.

Our authorities should crack down on all extremists in the society. Without cracking down on sources of extremism, we will see more and more anti-Muslim terrorist attacks here in Australia and around the world. We want to see all extremists neutralised and isolated.

Right up until today, Australian authorities have not carried out any action to de-radicalise Muslim and non-Muslim extremists. The reason why our authorities continue to turn a blind eye on extremism from both sides is because it suits their own political agenda.

Many times, I tried to warn the authorities about the growing of extremism on all fronts, however such warnings fell on deaf ears.

Until now, the Australian authorities refuse to consult with me on this important issue. Not only they refused to meet me, they conspired against me!



Jamal Daoud

When I defeated Liberals on 'citizenship for boat refugees': lessons for future!

The Liberal government and immediately after defeating Kevin Rudd's government 2013, started implementing its electoral promises. The ...