Tackle ‘extreme Islam before it’s too late’, Liberal MPs warn
AUSTRALIA risks becoming a nation of “ethnic enclaves” that unknowingly buys livestock slaughtered “in the name of Allah”, senior Liberal MPs have warned.
- Australia at risk of having “parallel societies”
- Fanatics must be stopped before it’s too late
- Comments follow multiculturalism debate
Opening up a new political faultline, former immigration minister Kevin Andrews lashed out at political leaders who failed to speak out on the rise of extreme Islam, claiming the silence contributes to the rise of One Nation-type movements.
Another Liberal frontbencher, Mitch Fifield, warned of the danger of “parallel societies” developing as has occurred in Europe where hardline Muslim groups preached sharia law rather than Western values.
Amid a robust debate in Europe over failed “state multiculturalism”, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi warned Australia must avoid the mistakes of nations that allowed religious fanatics to prosper “before it is too late”.
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The Government and the Greens dismissed the fears, saying the nation should focus on the “positive” aspects of its diverse ethnic heritage.
“There is a risk (of enclaves) in Australia,” Mr Andrews told theHerald Sun. “What actually concerns me the most is that we can’t have a discussion about it.”
Senator Bernardi warned of a growing “cultural divide” in Australia as hardline followers of Islam turned their backs on mainstream values.
He cited the advent of Muslim-only toilets at a Melbourne university and the halal method of meat slaughter as cultural practices that must be opposed.
“I, for one, don’t want to eat meat butchered in the name of an ideology that is mired in sixth century brutality and is anathema to my own values,” he said.
Senator Fifield, the Coalition’s spokesman on disability, said he agreed with former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett that Australians needed to guard against rising ethnic hatred.
“Australians certainly revel in diversity and embrace different cultures but they expect everyone to integrate and sign up to mainstream values,” he said.
But Labor’s parliamentary secretary on immigration, Kate Lundy, dismissed these concerns.
“The Australian community is uniquely diverse and we have a proud record of successfully leveraging the benefits of migration,” she said.
Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young called on MPs to focus on positive aspects of our ethnic mix.