The government can let into this country any number of warmongers, war criminals and other assorted nutjobs, but a renowned Syrian calligrapher? Now that's a bridge too far:
"Mouneer Al Shaarani is a master Arabic calligrapher whose compositions have been displayed in museums across the world. But the 64-year-old Syrian artist was refused a temporary work visa by the Immigration Department to open his first Australian exhibition at the Mils Gallery in Sydney's Surrey Hills. Al Shaarani was rejected on the basis of being a Syrian passport holder and it was determined that he did not fulfil the requirements that indicated his visit would be 'genuine temporary stay.' A disappointed Al Shaarani says 'it is clear I did not intend to stay in Australia permanently' and that he will not reapply. Mils Gallery director Adriano Rosselli... says the department declines to 'believe in Al Shaarani's intention to return to Syria following his exhibition... The grounds for this refusal were blatantly at odds with al Shaarani's expressed desire to remain practising his art in Syria.' A Department of Immigration and Border Protection spokesperson says they cannot comment on Al Shaarani's case. The exhibition runs until April 16." (The official line, Jennine Khalik, The Australian, 7/4/16)
Will this nation ever GROW UP?