Novel Ideas About Australian Refugees

Ooh! Nasty barbed wire, how inhumane.

There's a novel out called The Haha Manimage by Sandy McCutcheon, a white Australian writer, on the subject of Australian refugee claimants—frequently illegal entrants who come in ships—who are kept in detention in the Australian desert. (As they should be, of course.)

Here's a description of the book:

Novel exploring current issues surrounding asylum seekers, and the use of detention centres in Australia. In a marketplace in Afghanistan a young man sees his father die at the hands of the Taliban. Racing home to protect his wife and children, Karim Mazari finds that he is too late. Grief stricken, he knows that he must flee his homeland if he is to have any chance of survival. In Australia, Layla, an Afghan migrant, begins an underground campaign to help those imprisoned in detention centres. Meanwhile, there are reports of a mysterious virus. Is Australia being targeted for its involvement in world affairs?

Here are some novel ideas for McCutcheon, who when not writing fiction, is a broadcaster for Australia's state news organization:

  • What you're writing here is fiction; how do we know that the stories the refugees themselves tell aren't?
  • If the fictional Mazari has had his family wiped out, why doesn't he join the Afghan Army and kill Taliban?(And don't say "because it's dangerous"—if real Afghans thought like that, wars in Afghanistan would be much shorter.)
  • Given that Australia is a democracy, with a lot of open anti-detention activists, why does this Layla have to start an "underground campaign to help those imprisoned in detention centres"? That sounds more like an illegal conspiracy.

And finally, if Australia were actually targeted by biological terrorism from foreigners, doesn't that mean that illegals should be kept in detention more than ever.