My hands are tied. This, in essence, is the response that Chris Bowen, the Minister for Immigration, has given to questions in Parliament this week about why he granted a visa to an Islamic fundamentalist, Taji Mustafa, who spoke over the weekend at a conference organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group notorious for religious intolerance, disdain for Western values and sympathy for jihad.
"Hizb ut-Tahrir has not been proscribed in Australia and nor has it been proscribed in the United States or the United Kingdom," Bowen told Parliament on Monday. "This entry permit was issued in accordance with the normal procedures for British nationals."
So Taji Mustafa came, spoke, and, by unfortunate coexistence, the weekend was marked by a violent demonstration by a group of rabidly anti-Western Islamic fundamentalists in Sydney.