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Byron Shire
October 23, 2021

Zany Zaky exposes stupidity of both himself and the coalition

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Zaky Mallah on Q&A. Photo: ABC
Zaky Mallah on Q&A. Photo: ABC

By Irfan Yusuf*

Everyone else seems to be talking about Monday night’s terrifying terror mass debate on Q&A between the silly Senator and zany Zaky.

What started out as a nervous question descended into a veritable scene from Dum & Dumber 5. And if you wait 12 months to read the transcript, you probably will be confused on who was dumber.

The tabloids and The Australian have been running hot with Zaky Mallah’s ridiculous claim on Q&A that Muslims might be pushed to go to Syria or Iraq to fight for ISIS thanks to the Coalition’s policy to strip citizenship.

Seriously, who does this kid think he is to make such a claim? How many ordinary Muslims has he spoken to? What research methodology is he following? Has he even done a literature review on the subject?

Despite the Commonwealth legislating new rafts of terror laws every year, each and every successful terror prosecution has involved crucial evidence provided by ordinary blokes and sheilas of the Muslim persuasion.

No matter how much moronic politicians and even more moronic tabloids try to push them into a corner on terror, people from local Muslim communities and congregations have been dobbing in suspicious folk to the police.

And to think Mr Abbott recently said he wanted Muslims to condemn terror like they really meant it.

Mallah was an excitable young fool. But Senator Steve Ciobo is a seasoned political hack who should have known better.

He’s already been in trouble once before for suggesting the then Prime Minister Julia Gillard should have her throat slit  www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/reith-echoes-throat-slit-comment-20130611-2o2sf.html.

Now he may have meant it metaphorically, but I’d say his metaphor was up there in the terrorist stakes with Mallah’s moronic figure of speech.

But putting aside Ciobo’s treatment of Ms Gillard’s throat, what he said www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-23/ciobo-qa/6565434 was perhaps even more scary for more people.

He said that if he was the minister, he would be happy to have Mallah’s citizenship stripped purely on the basis of the offences he pleaded guilty to as part of a plea bargain.

Yes, it is a serious thing to threaten to kill a government officer. Perhaps unprecedented. I doubt any drunken and/or stoned person has ever committed similar acts.

It’s unlikely threats are ever made to AFP officers in the ACT. Canberra clubbers are too nice to make threats of clubbing a law enforcement officer’s face. As are tired travellers upset at having their bags checked at Customs.

Mallah served a couple of months behind bars. But are they serious enough to warrant taking someone’s citizenship away?

Just how cheap is citizenship in Ciobo’s eyes? In Ciobo’s world, citizenship is so cheap that you can lose it for offences that in other contexts might lead to a fine or a suspended sentence.

Ciobo also said that Mallah got off on his terrorism charge ‘on a technicality’. And what was that technicality?

Was it a judge and jury making a decision www.smh.com.au/news/National/Not-a-terrorist-just-an-angry-loner-starved-of-attention/2005/04/06/1112489565806.html after a full trial and having heard all the evidence?

Has the Rule of Law become a mere technicality in the eyes of Australia’s pseudo-conservative politicians?

Ciobo mentioned that the terror legislation was ‘not retrospective’. As any good parliamentary draftsman would know, t is a basic principle of good criminal law drafting practice to avoid retrospective provisions wherever possible.

In other words, don’t punish people for actions which were not as bad as they will be once your new law is passed. Hardly a technicality.

But that probably won’t stop the Abbott government from legislating to strip Australians of their citizenship for past ‘terrorism-related’ actions.

And given that the vast majority of proscribed terrorist organisations have some relation to conflicts involving Muslims, it’s likely that ‘terror-related’ will also mean ‘Muslim-related’.​

Just a small technicality.

* Irfan Yusuf is a PhD candidate at the Alfred Deakin Research Institute for Citizenship & Globalisation, Deakin University

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  1. The PM must be wringing his hands with glee as he milks this beat up story for all it’s worth.
    Funny that nobody is talking about Steve Ciobo’s inflammatory comments
    Everything this government is doing at present is building up for an early election.

  2. Do we have free speech in this country? Whilst viewing that hip hop pretender as a dumb moron I support free speech and Abbott is undermining that right. The ABC should not be defending itself.

  3. Meanwhile, Tony is calling for HEADS to roll !
    At the ABC , in all probability THE most respected institution in this country.
    I’m not saying the ABC is beyond reproach, their kowtowing to the government line is fast approaching the ‘newspeak’ gushing from Tony and Murdock , They haven’t questioned our part in the illegal invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan,nor do they have much to say about the importing of,under-payed and abused, overseas workers being bought here to destroy living conditions and unions, in fact the vast array of crimes being committed by industry and government seem to be off the agenda,but….let the ABC air footage of some poofy little jerk, making a fool out of himself and jihad, and Tony abandons all pretense of an independent ABC and in this context, of all things screams for “HEADS TO ROLL”
    Beam me up Scotty ! G”)

  4. The difference between what Ciobo may have meant and what Malla did say is that Mallah is closer to the kind of people who mean what they say, as recent events have shown.
    It was an ‘own goal’ for the ABC and Q&A to invite this punk to join the audience.

    • Actually the guy with the silly hat was no worse than many others we’ve seen on Q&A. He was just exercising his right to free speech and the only mistake the ABC made was to go into grovelling apology mode, starting with Tony Jones. The real villain was Yobbo Ciobo.

  5. Why hasn’t PM Abbott called for heads to roll at the Australian, Courier Mail ,, Guardian and TEN for allowing Zaky Mallah to air his opinions.
    From now on you will have to be a card carrying member of the Liberal Party or from the Murdoch Press to get into Q & A.
    And the charismatic Kevin Andrews ( Minister for Wars)says he has refused an invitation to join the panel on Monday night! That should punish the ABC!
    He has done the nation, and the LNP government a favour.

  6. Somebody said something on TV.
    That is appalling. People should be sacked. Several inquiries must be held. Apologies must be made. The program must never be shown again. Policies must be reviewed. New regulations must be introduced. Above all, our freedom of speech must be protected, and our press freedoms must not be restricted.

    Somebody said something. Let this be a lesson to us all.


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