Monday, October 09, 2006

Azzam in Australia: An Update

Stephen Denney recently posted an update on the restrictions imposed on jihadist literature in Australia:

Australian attorney general Phillip Ruddcok has announced that he may allow Australian academics limited viewing of two books recently banned. The two books are Defence of the Muslim Lands and Join the Caravan, both by the late Sheik Abdullah Azzam, a Palestinian- born Islamic radical who was assassinated in 1989 (see Sept. 1 entry of this blog). Responding to protests after the books were removed from the Melbourne University library, Ruddock said he is prepared to discuss "as to whether or not, on a limited basis and a structured basis, material necessary for research can be made available for that particular purpose."

Again, while I fully understand the reasoning behing the Howard Government's decision, I still believe it to be silly and counterproductive. This policy won't prevent Islamists from accessing Azzam's works, but it does help prevent Australians from gaining a better understanding of our enemy.


Blogger Stephen Denney said...

Thanks, David. Before my present library job, I worked for 14 years as Douglas Pike's assistant. Mr. Pike was a former U.S. foreign service officer in Vietnam, considered a leading expert on Vietnamese communism, who established an archive of his materials at U.C. Berkeley after retiring from government. Most of the materials were U.S. government translations of the communist press in Vietnam, and to a lesser extent Cambodia and Laos. Anyone who wants to understand the enemy has to examine closely their own words.

10:02 PM  

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