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Farrakhan Allowed Australian Visit

February 11, 1998

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) _ Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan will be allowed to visit Australia on the condition that he learns about diversity and tolerance, Australia’s immigration chief said today.

Farrakhan and his all-male 23-member entourage are due to arrive in Alice Springs in central Australia from Indonesia on Thursday.

Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said he was prepared to give Farrakhan and his party visas as long as they agreed to certain conditions.

``These conditions are that he agrees to be counseled on the laws, values and nature of our tolerant and diverse multicultural society,″ Ruddock said.

Some Jewish leaders have urged Ruddock to refuse Farrakhan entry into Australia, using the same character provisions drawn on to refuse a visa to Holocaust revisionist David Irving.

After arriving in Alice Springs, Farrakhan is expected to visit a Muslim Aboriginal community before traveling to Sydney on Friday.

Last year, the Australian government was embroiled in a legal battle when it attempted to deport American black activist Lorenzo Ervin, who had been convicted of a plane hijacking.

Ervin was freed from a Queensland state jail after the country’s High Court ruled he had been illegally imprisoned. However, he left Australia voluntarily.

Update hourly