Friday January 2, 2007 11:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"The Howard government needs to categorically state that there is no link at all between its plans to take control of all training of Imams in the granting of Federal funding to three Universities, for the establishment of Islamic Colleges of Excellence, as announced two weeks ago, and last week's raids on three Islamic Colleges in Perth - raids carried out by Federal police in collaboration with WA State police," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said today.
"After five years of observing the tactics of the Howard government, and after noticing a similar pattern of recent raids on and intimidation of Indigenous Communities' Administration centres, we have enough to be concerned about political opportunism playing the hand in these raids, rather than serious concerns about mal-administration of the Colleges," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"We know well by now, how manipulative and loose with the facts the Howard administration is, and how secretive its operatives are whenever it's politically convenient. We prefer to live in distrust about the Howard government rather than operate on a basis of good faith.
"Mr Howard should explain the facts so far known about the raids on the three Islamic Colleges that were targeted, and where 50 boxes of documents were confiscated, and where the peace of the community was seriously violated. No charges were laid, the Colleges remain operative, and it all smells too much like Mr Howard wants to raid and destroy cultural autonomy amongst Muslims," Mr Smit said.
"Is Mr Howard also going to raid the schools of other religious groups, such as the Exclusive Brethren, Australian Mormons or other sectarian groups, or is he once again just exercising his dark political manipulation? Are these raid a practice run once again of Mr Howard's 'Applied Wedge Politics 101' core unit??
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]