Narcissus' Echo

Thoughts, tears, rants, ruminations, hopes, fears, love(s), and prayers of just another being passing through this wracked sphere...

My Photo

A round peg in a world of square holes...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Clear off! Part II: Accept our law or leave

On August 2005, the Federal Education Minister for Australia, Dr Brendan Nelson, told Muslim immigrants "to develop ways to teach so-called Australian values to Muslim school children," and that "those who do not accept and teach Australian values should 'clear off'" (Source). Last week, these sentiments were echoed by yet another government official, the Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Honorary Peter Costello.

'Accept our law or leave'
From: AAP
November 10, 2005,

TREASURER Peter Costello said radical Muslims would not be allowed to turn Australia into an Islamic state.

Mr Costello said Muslims who wanted to live in a country governed by sharia law, which imposes strict limitations on freedoms, would be better off living elsewhere.
"If you are somebody who wants to live in an Islamic state governed by sharia law you are not going to be happy in Australia, because Australia is not an Islamic state, will never be an Islamic state and will never be governed by sharia law," Mr Costello said.

"We are a secular state under our constitution, our law is made by parliament elected in democratic elections.

"We do not derive our laws from religious instruction."

Mr Costello said anyone who was alienated by Australia's form of government, judicial system and civil rights and wanted something else "might be better advised to find the 'something else' somewhere else".

"There are Islamic states around the world that practise sharia law and if that's your object you may well be much more at home in such a country than trying to turn Australia into one of those countries, because it's not going to happen," he said.



"There are Islamic states around the world that practise sharia law..."
But they don’t seem to be magnets for migrants.

Posted by blogstrop on 11/10 at 04:59 AM

[-ben: Hmm... I wonder why...]

Funny how when Westerners show up in Bali in Bikinis with a drink in their hands they’re accused by the pandering Left of disrupting or intruding upon a ‘traditional culture.’

But when 7th century theocrats show up in the 21st century West demanding legal space for wife beatings and honor killings the same pandering Left demands the West be more accepting and ‘tolerant.’

Can this double standard be any clearer?

Posted by cosmo on 11/10 at 10:06 AM


Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

What the hell are "Australian values"?

Are they anything like "Asian values"?

I say, let the Muslims in Australia live any damn way they please. Nobody is asking them to keep and bathe dogs, drink beer or for their women to frolic on the beach in skimpy swimwear.

In return, it would be nice if they did not ask the rest of Australia to live under sharia law. Oh, that and we would appreciate it if they would avoid blowing stuff and killing people. But they are welcome to join the mostly-peaceful demonstrations against [ insert whatever law / policy / politican here ].

It is not like this land is not big enough to accommodate everybody! For goodness sake, this is one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth!

10:46 PM  
Blogger -ben said...

Hello, Knight,

Thanks for dropping by.

I guess he meant the values common to Australia, as well as some of the practices NECESSARY for an Australian to function in society.

I mean, an immigrant is expected to integrate or assimilate into his host country's culture to some extent. If not, we have a problem. Recently, we had a case of a woman in Florida who refused to unveil for her Driver's License picture. The judge ultimately ruled that objection on religious grounds does not give her the right to circumvent the legal requirement for driver identification.

I think Treasurer Peter Costello made a very good point in stating that there is only one law: Australia's Commonlaw, and not two laws (i.e. common law and Sharia law). Having to straddle between two laws sounds like an invitation into legal quagmire, with special provisions for different groups of people. Polygamy is one example. Compare, say, the stipulations for polygamy for Muslims in Malaysia versus Muslims in Singapore. Singapore has a blanket policy regarding this: no polygamy, period.

The land is big enough to accomodate everybody, but if they do not integrate to a reasonable extent, then the status quo will change when their numbers increase. In California, some politicians are asking for some schools to teach other subjects (e.g. science, math, history, geography) in Spanish, for Hispanic students. Some banks are giving customers an option of receiving their monthly statements in Spanish. Government documents and signs are in English and Spanish. Election ballots appear in two forms: English and Spanish. What this essentially means is that you can have an entire segment of population growing up without learning how to speak English. It does not bode well for social stability.

It is one thing to be bilingual, trilingual, or even a polyglot, but when we have a situation where there are several fractions in society, each speaking only one language and accepting one culture, it is likely to lead to the balkanization of society--an "us versus them" mentality--and civil unrest.

7:16 PM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

I wished he had just said "one law" and left it at that. The part of about teaching Muslim school kids "Australian values" disturbs me.

I guess because of my personal experience and where I come from, I am leery of any government-sanctioned attempts at indoctrinating poorly-defined concepts ("values") wrapped in feel-good terms.

The Muslims should be allowed their belief systems, and to pass on to their kids their beliefs that they value. Even if those values will elict a (high) cost at a later stage, when the second-generation has to decide if those values are worth the cost of breaking the common law.

To translate it into a Singaporean context. I support the JWs freedom to demonstrate their pacifistic beliefs - as long as they are fully aware (and willing to bear the consquences) of breaking the law by refusing conscription.

Guess you can dismiss me as an inpractical, non-pragmatic bleeding-heart liberal.. :)

10:29 PM  
Blogger -ben said...

Hi knight,

Glad to hear from you even though you have sent your blog into deep-freeze. Let's hope that is temporary :)

Well, if you are practical, you won't have left Singapore to begin with :)

With regards to the JWs, if their leaders were more practical and compromised with the authorities (much like the Mormons did with the state of Utah regarding polygamy, or the Muslims and polygamy in Singapore) regarding pacificism, I suspect they won't have a problem in Singapore. I seen some Mormons carrying dummy rifles (which are heavier) throughout BMT. That sort of compromise allowed them to discharge their national service obligations while observing their principles of pacificism.

Perhaps what Costello was hedging against was the social unrest that plagued France. A segment of society that refuses to integrate may very well find itself cut off from employment opportunities generally available to the rest. That may build resentment, discontent, and eventual social unrest.

It is a difficult balancing act, I must agree with you. The fellas over here haven't got it down as well. On one extreme, you have parents who home school their kids until they are 18, setting their own curriculum without any guidance from the authorities. On the other hand, you have sex education classes in public schools for 10 year olds, teaching them what bisexuality and homosexuality is, what dildos, condoms and lubricants are, etc.

12:44 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home