11/27/06

Government to Muslims: Australia - Love it or Leave it!

G'day mate - unless you are Muslim.

One of the top Australian government ministers has spoken harshly about some of the Muslims in his country. His basic message is, "Australia - Love it or Leave it!"

I'm not a big supporter of right wing rhetoric. But clearly the government there has decided to step it up. This unfriendly move that will no doubt discourage some Muslims from moving to Australia and encourage some who are there to leave.
Top Aus minister slams Muslims
26/02/2006 13:06 - (SA)

Sydney - Australia's prime minister-in-waiting, Treasurer Peter Costello, on Sunday dismissed complaints of discrimination by Muslim citizens and renewed an attack on "un-Australian" attitudes.

Costello, Prime Minister John Howard's anointed successor, last week called for Muslim extremists to be stripped of their citizenship and denounced multiculturalism as "mushy and misguided".

Responding to outrage from Muslim leaders who said it was the latest in a stream of unfair criticism from a conservative government, Costello Sunday expressed surprise that anyone would find his comments controversial.

"Is it provocative to say that citizens should be loyal to Australia, that they should abide by the rule of law, that they should respect the rights and liberties of others?" Costello asked on ABC television.

"Is that now provocative in Australia? Gee, things have got pretty bad if that's provocative."

Costello had demanded that new citizens accept Australian laws rather than attempt to live by alternative codes such as sharia (Islamic) law, saying it was a sign of respect in the same way that taking off one's shoes before entering a mosque showed deference towards Islam.

He took the point further on Sunday, saying he would start by enforcing compliance with the pledge of allegiance taken by new citizens in Australia.

"The first thing that I want to do is I want to make it entirely clear to those taking out Australian citizenship that when we ask them to take a pledge, we mean it," he said.

"I want to say this pledge is a big flashing warning sign that Australia expects people to subscribe to and to live by.

"And if you can't live by that pledge and you are a citizen of another country, then you're not eligible for Australian citizenship."

Prominent figures in the Muslim community, which numbers about 300 000 or 1.5% of Australia's 20 million population, said after the initial attack they could not understand why they were being targeted.

Muslim leaders said their community was being further isolated by a string of criticism from government members, including Howard.

In remarks published last week ahead of his 10th anniversary in power, the prime minister criticised a minority of Muslims who "rave on about jihad" and hold extreme views "utterly antagonistic" to Australian values.

Islamic Council of Victoria representative Waleed Aly said he believed there was a deliberate government attempt to scapegoat Muslims.

"It seems quite clearly calculated at marginalising a part of mainstream Australia that's been part of mainstream Australia for 50 years, but suddenly it's some sort of hideous problem," he said.

2 comments:

bryce said...

I think that whoever gave the article its title was trying to be provocative. (Not too much unlike your post titled "Jew attacks Muslim in Minnesota Race.") This article is titled: "Top Aus minister slams Muslims," yet Costello seems to fairly focus on Muslim *extremists*, like when he said: "Muslim extremists (should) be stripped of their citizenship."

bryce said...

I think that whoever gave the article its title was trying to be provocative. (Not too much unlike your post titled "Jew attacks Muslim in Minnesota Race.") This article is titled: "Top Aus minister slams Muslims," yet Costello seems to fairly focus on Muslim *extremists*, like when he said: "Muslim extremists (should) be stripped of their citizenship."