Australians Have Brilliant Idea About Immigration`s Cultural Effect: Stop It!
John Pomfret`s page-one story in
the Washington Post tellingly entitled "Jail
Riots Illustrate Racial Divide in California |
Rising Latino Presence Seen as Sparking Rivalry With
Blacks That Sometimes Turns Violent" (February
21) suggests a continuing future of
de-assimilation for the hordes of illegal aliens
participating in our increasingly large immigration
As new immigration reform
legislation is being considered in Congress, our leaders
would do well to listen to their counterparts in
Aussies have recently been
confronted with assimilation problems and have made
clear what they see as appropriate behavior for
immigrants—especially those with sharply different
cultural and religious backgrounds.
In 2005, there was a series of race
riots in Australia which began with a mob confrontation
near a beachfront at Cronulla, a southern coastal suburb
of Sydney, Australia`s largest city. On Sunday,
December 11, after reported incidents of assault and
5000 people gathered in an
ad-hoc protest to "reclaim
the beach" from certain groups of non-locals,
most of whom were identified in media reports as
The demonstration initially
assembled without incident. But violence broke out after
a large segment of the mostly white crowd chased a
Middle Eastern man into a hotel. The ensuing mêlée soon
became widespread. In the course of it, a number of
police officers, ambulance officers and others perceived
by the mob as
Lebanese, were assaulted.
The following nights saw incidents
of retaliatory violence and vandalism by
Lebanese immigrants in Cronulla and other suburbs
throughout the southern Sydney Metropolitan Area.
The result: an unprecedented police
lock-down of the beaches in Sydney and surrounding
areas, from Wollongong to Newcastle.
Since then, immigration has gotten
extra coverage in the Australian press. In an email I
recently received from Professor Katharine Betts, my
correspondent in Melbourne and author of
The Great Divide, I learned that The
Australian (on p. 1) reported an
Australian Cabinet Minister as saying that Muslim
extremists are "not
welcome in Australia." Professor Betts also
referred me to a recent op-ed piece by Keith
cultural warrior, The Australian, February 21,
has written a detailed history of the Aborigines and
settlers in Tasmania in the 19th century
(published around 2002/3) which shows that mainstream
grossly exaggerated stories of white violence
against Aborigines—and very much downplayed Aborigine
violence. He has also written a history of the
White Australia Policy which
argues that it wasn`t so much
racist as protectionist; —ultimately based on the
idea that no Australian should be ashamed to do manual
work. Seems we have
lost that concept here.)
Windschuttle argues that "by
standing up to radical Muslims at home, the Prime
Minister is a role model for other Western leaders".
Indeed. He then quotes Prime
Minister John Howard, who observed that
radical Islam is "utterly antagonistic to our
kind of society".
Windschuttle`s points are to be
- "In India, the Minister of
Minority Welfare of Uttar Pradesh, Yaqoob Qureshi,
offered a $14 million reward to anyone who beheaded
one of the
Danish cartoonists who drew images of Mohammed."
He then notes something we must not
- "In their own distinct
ways, both [incidents] may contribute to Western
countries recognizing how serious, and how
long-standing, is the challenge of radical Islam to
the core of their culture.".
And what he goes on to opine
sharply echoes in American debate:
- "For the past three
decades, most members of our political class have
been ensconced within the cultural relativism of
multiculturalism. If there has been
a problem within an ethnic community, few
political leaders have ever blamed its members.
Instead, they have told the rest of us it is
unacceptable to censure social groups except
Windschuttle notes that the Muslim
spokesmen have this same perspective:
- "Australians don`t give
them a fair go, they claim, and politicians are only
too ready to play the race card by appealing to the
worst xenophobic instincts of the majority."
Windschuttle pointed to the
following reaction throughout the Western world in
response to the Danish cartoons:
- "When Muslims go on violent
rampages, burn down embassies and, in Britain, march
with placards threatening death to their fellow
citizens, many people regard this as somehow
understandable, even acceptable, since we have no
right to judge another religion and culture".
He writes that Australian
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock "urged newspaper
editors to treat the cartoons with caution, asking them
not to act "gratuitously with a view to try [to] provoke
a response". In New Zealand, Prime Minister Helen
Clark accused the newspapers who reproduced them of
Professor Betts asked me if the
remarks by Australian leaders about not wanting
immigrants in Australia who practice "sharia" are
echoed in America. I had to tell her that
few Americans even know what "sharia" means.
Most of the time, the term "sharia"
is used to refer to pre-19th Century law based on
Islamic legal theory, to the exclusion of reformed
Islamic legal theory. In this context, it refers to the
extremism preached by
radical Moslem clerics.
In an issue of The Australian
(8/23/05) Aussie Treasurer,
Peter Costello, urges "radical Muslim clerics to
leave Australia if they do not share the nation`s values
ahead of today`s national terrorism summit organized by
the Prime Minister."
same meeting in Canberra, Australia`s federal
capital, the PM added, "If you don`t like those
values, then don`t come here. Australia is not for you".
He went on to say, "The purpose of this meeting is to
underline to the leadership of the Muslim community that
it has responsibilities.".
He refused to budge on suggestions
he should include extremists in the summit,(a meeting
13 "moderate" Islamic leaders) and said they would
flood the media with inappropriate remarks.
would undermine the good work of the leaders of 99 per
cent of the Muslim community in Australia who are trying
to do the right thing, are trying to work with their
fellow Australians and don`t want prominence given to
extremists," he said."
Wonder if any of the top leadership
in America has the guts to speak like that to
Hispanic groups about the radical Reconquista
rhetoric now commonly used in Southern California.
On the issue of cultural values and
female equality, in an interview with The Australian,
Mr. Costello said immigrants needed to understand and
respect the "core values" of democracy, a secular
society and the
equality of women.
And he warned that Australians
needs to understand that the county`s core values will
not change; "If you are looking for a country that
practices theocracy, sharia law which is anti-Western,
there are those countries in the world … you will be
happy there. But you won`t be happy in Australia."
He stopped short of supporting the
deportation of radical Muslim leaders as has happened in
the wake of similar debates in Britain and France.
Costello may well regret that "no
deportation" position—just as many in America regret
our failure to deport many more illegal aliens than we
The Prime Minister reminded the
Islamic leaders at the summit that "our common values
as Australians transcend any other allegiances or
commitments". Further, he said that these leaders
had a "particular responsibility" to make clear
that Islam totally rejects violence and terrorism . He
wants them to take ownership of the process of dealing
with extremists` views.
As for Aussie immigration policy,
Mr. Costello still needs to be more specific about his
position, although he is in favor of Australia
maintaining a strong skilled migration policy. "Immigration
overall helps our country in a security sense and an
economic sense. I think there is an acceptance of
immigration, more so than 10 years ago. I would like to
see a strong immigration policy. I am not putting
numbers on it."
After this exchange with Prof.
Betts, I began to wonder how our leaders thought we
could import—without cultural, environmental, and
economic consequences—the 50 million legal and illegal
immigrants who have entered the US since that
disastrous 1965 legislation.
Donald A. Collins [email
him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.