A western Sydney mayor has clashed with The Project host Waleed Aly over the prime minister's move to repatriate 'ISIS brides' and allow them and their children to live in his local community.
The Labor government implemented a rescue mission to bring home 16 women and 42 children who are families of ISIS members, however Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone has detailed the "traumatic experience" it will cause many families in Fairfield and the rest of western Sydney, who fled Syria because of ISIS.
"While he’s (Prime Minister Anthony Albanese) expressed there is national security issues in repatriating them, I don’t think he’s taken into account the tens of thousands of refugees (in Syria) that fled their home, their churches and their homes burnt, lost their loved ones, watched a lot of their family being beheaded, burnt, and have come and resettled in western Sydney, many of them here in Fairfield," Cr Carbone said on Wednesday night on The Project.
"All we’re asking — myself, the mayor of Liverpool and mayor of Campbeltown — is that the prime minister come out and consult and talk with the community and make sure to put (them) at ease."
"We expect the prime minister not to use our region as a dumping ground."
While understanding the mayor's fervent plea, Aly said the Australian government does have an "obligation to Australian citizens", and therefore should be able to bring the wives and children of ISIS members back home, however the mayor fired back saying you can have your "citizenship revoked" if you've "committed treason".
"Under the Criminal Commonwealth Code, it says you can’t commit treason and treason is when you leave your county and aid and abet, and in assisting ISIS you’ve committed treason," Cr Carbone said.
Aly quickly retorted saying the families have not been convicted yet, and that "a lot of whom (Mayor Carbone is) talking about are kids"."What would you do, leave children in camps overseas when they are Australian citizens?" Aly suggested.
The women and children have been held in al-Roj detention camps in northeast Syria near the Iraqi border for three-and-a-half years following the fall of Islamic State in March, 2019.
The mayor responded by saying that he and his community "love kids whether they're ours or someone else's" and stressed that if it weren't for ISIS, many children would not be abandoned in the first place.
"Unfortunately this is a tragedy that ISIS has caused and made a lot of kids orphans," Cr Carbone said. "There are many lost in camps rotting away, whose fathers died working with Australian soldiers, and the question is, who do you prioritise — the victims or the perpetrators?"
He then continued to criticise the Prime Minister for his decision.
"As far as the kids go, it's a matter for national security but the point I want to make is why western Sydney when we have tens of thousands of people who fled ISIS," Cr Carbone said. "This is very triggering for them and the least the Prime Minister can do is get out of the back of a limousine and actually come to western Sydney and consult with people."
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