Thursday, November 24, 2005

What is this evidence you speak of? Rude!

Australia: This is truly a goofy statement.

The ACT Chief Minister has come under attack for requesting evidence to support claims that Muslim extremists have been attempting to recruit members in Canberra. The Chief Minister has questioned the substance of the allegations made by the president of the territory's multicultural council, Mohamed Omari and has asked for evidence to support them. But the Opposition's multicultural affairs spokesman, Steve Pratt, says Jon Stanhope has overstepped his authority. "It smacks of political interference, it smacks of pressure being applied to Mohamed Omari," he said. Mr Pratt says Mr Stanhope is interfering in the investigation. "I do believe it is inappropriate in the extreme that Mr Stanhope has demanded that Mr Omari personally provide information and information about the sources of the allegations on his desk immediately, quote unquote, I find it extraordinary for a Chief Minister to actually say that and to take that sort of action," he said. But Mr Stanhope says the Opposition's attitude is bizarre. ..."There's no room for niceties in relation to the efforts we need to take to combat terrorism," he said. "Mr Pratt and the Liberal Party think I should stand back in the face of allegations that extremists have come to Canberra to recruit young Muslim men for terrorist activity is just startling." Mr Omari's allegations have been referred to the police.

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