Peter Costello has upset the Islamic community in a hard-hitting speech given to the Sydney Institute.
And, I have to say, I agree completely with what he says. Some commentators are being critical, however the point is that this is notr an attack on Muslims or Islam, it is an attck on the concpt of Sharia law, that is a secular state, where the country is run under religous law rather than democratic law. Iran is an example of that kind of regime.
In a speech last night to the Sydney Institute, the treasurer said people who wanted to live under Islamic sharia law should move to a country where they would feel “more at ease”.
He said Australia was a wonderful country, able to absorb people from all over the world – as long as there was agreement on certain rules.
New citizens must agree to abide by Australian laws, and not seek to live under non-Australian value systems such as sharia law, and have a love for and loyalty to the country.
“We have got to a stage where we have allowed Australian citizenship to become undemanding,” he told Channel 9.
“New arrivals are told you don’t have to give up anything, you don’t have to give up love of other countries, we don’t ask anything of you. We will confer Australian citizenship on you. And I say `No, that is not right actually’.
“Australian citizenship is a great privilege and to take it out we do demand things, we demand a love of this country and a loyalty to it.
“We demand a respect for its values and I think by emphasising the obligations of citizenship, making it a more demanding thing, then we will develop more respect for it.”
Mr Costello said the citizenship pledge should be “a big flashing warning sign” to Muslims wanting to live under sharia law.
“Before entering a mosque visitors are asked to take off their shoes. This is a sign of respect. If you have a strong objection to walking in your socks don’t enter the mosque. Before becoming an Australian you will be asked to subscribe to certain values. If you have strong objection to those values don’t come to Australia.”
His comments follow those of Liberal backbencher Danna Vale who last week said that Australia could become a Muslim nation within 50 years because ‘we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence’. Her anti-abortion argument is that Muslims have a higher birth rate, and therefore Australia is going to be over run by Muslims. Fellow politicians distanced themselves from the looney.