Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Prime Minister John Howard has been voicing his concerns lately, including in a recent edition of Four Corners, about a certain section of Australian society which refuses to assimilate, to learn our language, and which goes about wearing strange clothes and following a foreign religion.

LIZ JACKSON: As the fifth anniversary of September 11 draws closer, the Prime Minister has highlighted his concerns about the Islamic community in Australia...

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA: There is a section of the Islamic population which will not integrate, does not - does have values and attitudes which are hostile to Australia's interests, and I have said that before. And I would like the rest of the Islamic community to join the rest of the Australian community in making sure that the views and attitudes of that small minority do not have adverse consequences.

His comments have also been reported widely by the media, including in this article:

Mr Howard sparked controversy yesterday by saying on talk-back radio that a small group of Muslim migrants had refused to accept their adopted country's values and had not learned English. [...] "There's a small section of the Islamic population which is unwilling to integrate and I have said generally all migrants ... they have to integrate." Mr Howard denied he was singling Muslims out for criticism over the way some immigrants fail to integrate into Australian society. "There's a small section of the Islamic population which is unwilling to integrate," he said. "And I have said, generally, all migrants ... they have to integrate, and that means speaking English as quickly as possible, it means embracing Australian values and it also means making sure that no matter what the culture of the country from which they come might have been, Australia requires women to be treated fairly and equally and in the same fashion as men. And if any migrants that come into this country have a different view, they better get rid of that view very quickly. I don't retreat in any way from that. It doesn't involve singling out a group."

Of course, this is nothing new to Australians. There have been other waves of immigration to this country, and these have also included people professing un-Australian value systems opposed to the values of this country's inhabitants, who refused to learn the language of the country they had come to, who dressed in strange and inappropriate ways for our climate, who openly advocated and practised violence and who preached a bizarre religion and wish to convert the inhabitants to their particular beliefs.

Meanwhile, Kim Beazley, leader of the opposition, not to be outdone, has called for everyone coming to Australia, including visitors, to "sign up to Australian values".

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