Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Australian detention center|
|01/29/02 at 20:49:48|
Embarrassingly enough, I do not know much about what is happening in
the detention center in AUstralia, but I do know that the asylum seekers
are from Iraq and Afghanistan. Can someone please help explain what is
going on there? I saw images on tv of our Muslim brothers and sisters
on hunger strikes and some with their lips sewn shut. I havent heard any
sort of outcry from the Muslim Community as of yet, maybe there has
been and I missed it. I know church leaders have denounced the way the
asylum seekers are being treated but that's about it. Can anyone help
|Re: Australian detention center|
|01/30/02 at 15:56:30|
You can read more about it at news.bbc.co.uk, I'm at work now so I don't have time to post the articles or go in depth, but i'A soon.
|Re: Australian detention center|
|01/31/02 at 11:17:02|
Surprisingly enough the only 'news source' i've heard much of anything about the Australian detention center issue if bbc....
Here's a link to the latest article, from that page you can access earlier articles as well:
The article is about Afghan refugees seeking asylum in Australia and i totally agree w/Sr Bushra's thread 'With Muslims like these, who needs enemies?' Why aren't Muslim countries offering to take in these poor refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan and why aren't we making a big deal about this? There have been rallies and protests by some Australians about the harsh conditions faced by these asylum seekers, i'm totally ashamed of myself for not knowing more about this and i'm even more confused that no other Muslim countries have said anything about this (that i know of) either......
Does anyone have any info or thoughts on this?
|Re: Australian detention center|
|02/05/02 at 14:35:53|
Here's a more recent article from the BBC website:
Refugees' hard road to happiness
By the BBC's Angie Knox
Beneath her maroon hijab - or headscarf - Tallal's big brown eyes widen with incredulity and surprise.
We're at an Australian wildlife park just outside Sydney, and all she can do is stare at the piglet in the children's farm section.
Koalas, kangaroos, cassowaries and echidnas all pale into insignificance next to the pig.
She tells me she has never seen a pig before. Perhaps that's not so surprising. After all, where would a young Muslim woman like her have seen such an animal in her native Iraq?
Detainees at Woomera want their applications for asylum processed faster
Tallal is a refugee in her early 20s, and the trip to the wildlife park is a birthday treat for her two-year-old daughter, Malak.
They came to Australia on a small boat from Indonesia - and they have just spent several months in the Woomera detention centre in the baking hot desert of South Australia.
Some 200 asylum seekers have been on hunger strike at Woomera, protesting against conditions at the camp and long delays in processing their asylum applications - running into months, if not years.
Joy amid despair
Yet, in the midst of this despair, small human wonders still occur.
Tallal and Malak are part of the recent wave of thousands of asylum seekers arriving on Australia's shores that has so alarmed the government that it has rewritten its laws to stop them coming.
Among little Malak's first words of English were 'guard' and 'visa'
Tallal's arms fly out wide when she tells me about conditions in the detention centre. It was very, very terrible, she says.
"The toilets, I cannot even begin to speak about the toilets," she says.
Among her daughter's very first words of English were the words "guard" and "visa".
Tallal is married to a young Chechen who she met on a remote offshore reef, during a 10-day wait for the Australian navy to transfer the asylum seekers to the mainland.
"We were mainly women and children in our boat," she tells me. "But then another boat arrived, carrying mostly young men.
And the men used to swim over to our boat to talk to us. And that is how I met Said," she says.
Wedding in Woomera
A few weeks later, they got married in the Woomera detention centre. Tallal admits it was one way to put a stop to the attention she received as a young and attractive single woman in the detention camp.
But soon, she found herself on her own again. After three months in Woomera, Tallal - now pregnant - and her little girl were given refugee visas and put straight on a plane to Brisbane.
They arrived at nine o'clock at night with nowhere to stay. Tallal says welfare officials told her they were not allowed to help refugees.
At that point, she told me, she wished she was back in the detention centre.
The next day, like so many of the newly-released detainees, Tallal and her daughter made their way to Sydney where the local Iraqi and Muslim community found her somewhere to live, and arranged for her to see a doctor about the pregnancy.
Adrift in a new world
But life outside the detention centre is hard too. When I first met Tallal, she had completely retreated into her little apartment. She never went out, she never took Malak out, and she and the little girl stayed up late watching television until the station closed down.
They slept until late morning, then woke, and switched on the television again. Virtually her only contacts with the outside world were the regular telephone calls to Said, still in the detention centre.
She was waiting for her husband to be released before life in Australia could properly begin.
But for Said, getting out of detention proved more difficult. He was one of the first Chechens to make their way to Australia, and at his initial interview he found the Immigration Department had arranged a Czech interpreter for him by mistake.
His papers had to be sent abroad to be verified, as no one in Australia could vouch for them. Then there was the issue of his marriage.
"The officials accused me of getting married so I could stay in Australia," he told me. "But I said to them 'How can this be? I'm not marrying the daughter of the Immigration Minister, am I?'"
I call on Tallal some weeks later, and a young man answers. It's Said - he had finally been granted a refugee visa and had arrived, unannounced, at Tallal's door a few days earlier.
Tallal's happiness is obvious - she chatters away, her eyes shining with excitement.
The newly reunited family are full of plans for the future: they will move to a bigger place, it's time for Malak to go to kindergarten and play with children of her own age, Said will find a job and earn money for the coming baby.
I am so lucky, he tells me. I have a chance for a new life with a new family.
It won't be easy. Tough new laws aimed at deterring asylum seekers mean that they only have permission to stay in Australia for three years at a time.
And they can never gain the right of permanent residency, or bring family members over to join them.
But that's all in the future. Right now, Tallal, Said and Malak are just happy to be together again and free to pick up the pieces of their lives.
After all, this is a country of pigs in parks, and other small miracles.
Individual posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Jannah.org, Islam, or all Muslims. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the poster and may not be used without consent of the author.The rest © Jannah.Org