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Monis proves we need to sort out our immigration mistakes

Now for the cover-up. Australians are entitled to know, but are highly unlikely to be told, who were the lawyers and officials who advocated that Man Haron Monis be allowed to live in Australia, and then granted citizenship, despite red flag after red flag that he was trouble.

Magistrates, lawyers and police prosecutors collectively decided that Monis, with a long history of harassing behaviour, with links to the brutal murder of his former wife, with charges for sexual assaults of multiple women, with a history of extreme political views, with convictions for writing threatening letters, and with an open record of support for jihad, was deemed no threat to society.

Right at the start, in 1996, when Monis claimed political asylum, the Iranian authorities made it clear that he had been charged with multiple counts of theft that had nothing to do with either political persecution or capital crimes. The Iranian foreign ministry reiterated this week that his psychological instability and criminal charges were known to Australian officials when they granted him asylum status.

Within months, Monis had chained himself to the front gate of state Parliament in Macquarie Street in a political protest. He was later given citizenship.

Monis is a classic case study of why Australia needs to have probationary conditions applied to the residence status and then citizenship granted to immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. To cover for mistakes, this probationary status needs to be rigorous and lengthy.

Australians take security seriously, starting with border integrity. The moral vanity of former prime minister Kevin Rudd, in giving a green light to people smugglers, was a key reason the public handed him a smashing defeat when he was voted out of power last year.

The instability through the Muslim world is growing worse. Thousands of Muslims are killing thousands of Muslims, leaving millions of Muslims displaced. The murder of more than 100 school children in Pakistan on Tuesday is the latest numbing instalment of the butchery being carried out in the name of Islam in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Chad and Kenya. Egypt is under martial law. Iran is a theocracy. Numerous outbreaks of jihad-inspired violence have taken place in Western Europe, Russia, Canada, the United States and Australia.

With instability growing in the Muslim world, the tacit policy of open borders, advocated by the Greens and the churches, would have seen the 50,000 people who bypassed Australian immigration under Labor grow exponentially. Noone in the Greens or the churches offers structures setting limits, not 100,000 undocumented arrivals, or 200,000, or 500,000. Only compassion without limits. This has been sensibly and emphatically rejected by the electorate.

No limits were placed on Man Haron Monis. The District Court gave him a slap after he was convicted of writing dozens of harassing letters to the families of dead soldiers. He and his wife, Amirah Droudis, were provided with tens of thousands of dollars in legal aid as they pursued vexatious appeals all the way to the High Court. He was free on bail with multiple charges pending against him.

Less than three months ago, Abdul Numan Haider, 18, was shot and killed after he stabbed and seriously wounded a police officer in Melbourne. His crime, like that of Monis, was explicitly in support of Islamic State. The headband worn by Monis when he took hostages bore the inscription, in Arabic: "We are ready to sacrifice for you, O Mohammad."

He was responding to the call from Islamic State for Muslims to engage in individual acts of violence against non-believers. This call has not succeeded because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject the rantings of Islamic State and are appalled by the actions taken in the name of Islam by people like Monis.

Australians understand this. But everyone also knows that thousands of Muslims have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join the barbarous IS.

A dissident former army major, Bernie Gaynor Jnr, says that more Australian Muslims have gone to fight with IS than have enlisted in the Australian Army this year. His claim has not been disputed by the Army.

Twitter: @Paul_Sheehan_

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