Walking FreeRefugee Success Story

Our left-wing media are full of illegal immigrant/refugee success stories and I'm not so mean-spirited as to denigrate these individuals. However I'd be a lot less suspicious of this feel-good propaganda if for every illegal immigrant/refugee success story there was a story about a criminal illegal immigrant/refugee and an accurate statistical appraisal of how successful such placements in Australia actually is. One of the most inspiring stories attaining significant publicity is that of Munjed al Muderis, illegal immigrant and orthopaedic surgeon in the field of osseointegration (artificial limbs). "Walking Free" tells his story and fortunately he isn't politically correct.

Muderis, the only child of an elite Iraqi family (father a skeptic, mother religious) and a young surgeon escaped Iraq in 1999 after avoiding amputating the ears of Iraqi army deserters by hiding in the womens' toilets. He began his journey with $US22,000 strapped to his stomach, some spare cash that his mother had been keeping in the kitchen. He decided to enter Australia illegally after tagging along with some other Iraqis he was helping with English translation. He arrived in Jakarta and stayed in a rundown hotel full of other "refugees" waiting to get to Australia.

Most of the hotel guests were young Iranian men who, between hiring prostitutes and going to nightclubs, betrayed toxic attitudes towards Western women, or Muslim women who adopted Western dress. One burly 20-something scornfully described how he would like to dip his hands in grease and wipe it over the face and hair of a nearby woman wearing make-up and fashionable clothes - a refugee from Iraq called Doha, whom Muderis would go on to marry. Another, with a curl of his lip, labelled all uncovered women prostitutes. - SMH

The details of Muderis' story varies at different retellings. In his book "Walking Free" the app. 1,000 hotel guests are middle-aged, dirty, thuggish, intolerant Iranians, many posing as Iraqis to improve their refugee status. Their hijab and burqa covered wives were confined to their rooms while at night the men had sex with prostitutes elsewhere.

As a doctor Muderis was able to get on the next boat to Christmas Island with 158 Muslim non-English speakers and Doha (his future wife) who also spoke English. The profits for the smugglers were enormous with a cost of $5,000 - $10,000 per person for the boat trip and the boats barely seaworthy. Almost all the women wore black hijab with only face and palms exposed. One passenger was an imam with a wife in a burqa who had flown in directly from Tehran. He attempted to prevent Doha's 13 year old sister, who was wearing western clothes, from getting on the boat. The imam demanded all unveiled women disembark else Allah would naturally sink the boat and drown them all.

While they were all boarding the old fishing boat, with its flaky blue paintwork and single toilet (just a hole in the deck), Muderis felt like clobbering a fiery-eyed mullah who demanded that all unveiled women disembark, insisting such unchaste women would cause the craft to sink (he was finally persuaded to let them stay). Like any slice of humanity, the people on this boat amounted to the "good, the bad and the ugly", as Muderis describes it. "Everybody who gets on a leaky boat is taking a huge gamble - they're putting their life on the line. I didn't see much evidence of so-called 'economic migrants'. One young Iranian couple had been arrested for cohabiting - sex outside marriage is punishable by a prison sentence - and there were a few homosexuals, who probably would have been executed if they'd stayed at home." - SMH

Munjed al MuderisFor the Fairfax press Muderis mentioned "a few homosexuals" and "little evidence of 'economic migrants'" but in his book the passengers on his boat are basically all economic migrants. The passengers are tough, violent, intolerant peasants from remote rural areas. Half of them were Iranian pretending to be Iraqi to improve their "refugee" status though how traditional Muslim peasants from remote areas could be in need of refugee status eludes me. How they could afford the trip is also a mystery unless they'd borrowed the money. Al Muderis is a Nestlé Iraqi (from a privileged background likely to melt if things got hot) and to him the others were intimidating and menacing from backgrounds where "human life is worth as much as the bullet that ends it." He believed some of them were potential or even actual murderers. Even Munjad is obviously an economic refugee. He could have stayed in Malaysia legally but he risked his life because his future was a lot brighter here. Al Muderis spent nearly a year in the Curtin Detention Centre in 1999 and believes that of the 1200 inmates, virtually all addicted to cigarettes, 90% were economic "refugees" - Walking Free, p.235. I'd say it was even less.

The Australian authorities hadn't a clue where anyone was actually from. In the end, the people who said they were from Iraq were granted visas - even though I'm confident at least some of them had been living perfectly safely in Iran and were simply economic refugees. - Walking Free, p261

I'd say they were pretty well all were economic refugees especially as so many of them told the same story about being at a famous mosque when an Ayatollah was blown-up which supposedly put them in danger. Miraculously, even the Iranians were in that mosque in Iraq. Al Muderis had to spend nearly a year in the Curtin detention centre and does he whine and whinge about it and feels especially aggrieved because the guards were disrespectful and rude to him and told him he wasn't wanted in Australia. Ironically, his only real danger came from other inmates of the camp as the guards threatened violence but didn't carry it out.