Manuals instructing fanatics on how to build suicide bombs would be allowed into the country, federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock claimed yesterday after failing to convince his state counterparts to accept new book classification laws. He accused the states of not having "the wit" to understand his proposals, during a break in the meeting of federal, state and territory attorneys-general in Melbourne. Mr Ruddock, who wants the power to ban books that advocate terrorism, said Victorian Attorney-General Rob Hull had a "blind spot" on the issue, believing human rights should be absolute.
But Mr Hull said Mr Ruddock had arrived at the meeting with a "fictitious" and "half-baked" proposal and needed to refine his stance. "We have said to Mr Ruddock. "Go away and do some work". He came in here wthe a half-baked proposal and couldn't tell us where the gaps in the law were. So he's decided to that, he said.
Mr Ruddock said the nation needed to he able to stop publications that advocated and instructed in terrorism but did not meet the current definition of inciting it. He provided as an example: "Somebody is told through a publication how to acquire material to produce a suicide iacket, but they are not in the publication told how to explode it, or when to explode it, or where to explode it -- but the material is clearly preparing people for a a suicide mission. "But you cannot, under the existing law, demonstrate that somebody is being encouraged or incited to carry out a terrorism act. If you can't do that, publication can't be refused. "If you put in a new factor for classification- -namely advocacy - that step would not be required.
The states have agreed to have their bureaucrats give the issue further consideration, but Mr Hulls has suggested that Ruddock deal with the issue by changing federal criminal law.
Mr Ruddock moved to create tighter controls on such publications last year after the Classification Review Board cleared eight books alleged to promote jihad and incite terrorism. On appeal from Mr Ruddock, the board eventually banned two of the books. Defence of the Muslim Lands and Join the Caravan, but cleared the other six. The books were allegedly being sold by a Sydney Islamic bookshop.
The above article appeared in "The Australian" newspaper on 29 July, 2006
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Page. Email me (John Ray) here.)