Former immigration minister Kevin Andrews says Australia should have a serious discussion about the growth of its Muslim population.
“You should be able to talk about it … It’s ridiculous if you can’t talk about any subject,” he said.
Subjects ‘off the table’
“When a subject becomes politically incorrect to talk about, then it ends up with a backlash.
“I think part of the (Pauline) Hanson movement in the early 1990s was because some subjects were simply said to be off the table, they couldn’t be discussed and a lot of Australians wanted to discuss them.
Sunshine Coast LNP MP Steve Dickson sponsors petition to ban Sharia Law
Sunshine Coast residents are seeking legislation to exclude any group which advocates violence, seeks to promote or impose Sharia Law, or rejects the Australian Constitution from the definition of “religion…and places of worship”.
Buderim LNP MP Steve Dickson agreed to sponsor the petition, which had been signed by more than 2000 since it was launched earlier this month, on behalf of constituents which represent the group, Sunshine Coast Safe Communities.
He has promoted the petition on both his Facebook page and his personal website as causing “much discussion”.
“I am the elected representative of the people of Buderim who are entitled to have their say on a range of issues,” Mr Dickson said in a statement.
“This is all part of the democratic process.”
But it changed somewhat from when the Sunshine Coast Safe Communities first presented it last year, when it asked Parliament to ban any:
“organised group that practices, preaches, advocates, stores, utilises or distributes, literature advocating any of the following: promotion, hate, humiliation, degradation, violent, jihad, torture or murder of non members, human rights abuses which conflict with the UN Declaration of Human Rights, promotion of Sharia Law, the subjugation of women, including wife beating, honour killing, underage and polygamous marriages, the rejection of Australian democracy, Australian law and the Constitution.”
The petition Mr Dickson agreed to sponsor read:
The petition: Queensland Residents draws to the attention of the House that Queensland legislation provides various special exemptions, benefits or protections to places of religious worship. The special exemptions, benefits and protections provided, should not be extended to groups that advocate violence or seek to promote and impose any form, or part of Sharia Law, and who reject Australian Law and the Constitution.
Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to make legislative changes to the definition of “place of worship” and “religion” to EXCLUDE any group or members of a group which advocate violence or seek to promote and impose any form, or part of Sharia Law, and who reject Australian Law and the Constitution.”
The Sunshine Coast Safe Communities group promotes itself as an “activist group of people from many different walks of life, different beliefs, backgrounds and abilities…but who are all united in standing up for safety amenity, cohesion, sustainability and prosperity of our communities”.
“We write petitions, we lobby politicians, we support Australian values, Australian Law, the Constitution, democracy, human rights and gender equality.
“Our focus is to prevent destructive human behaviour driven by extreme ideologies, dangerous cultural beliefs and drugs or alcohol fuelled violence – all of which degrade our communities and threaten our families.”
The website contains articles questioning the effectiveness of multiculturism and details how a Queensland community “pulled together united and won” against an application for an Islamic Boys boarding school in Mareeba.
“The call for “cultural harmony” is like mixing oil and water,” one article states.
“Shake the mix until you are blue in the face and it just separates right out again.
“We at SCSC believe that cultural harmony is an impossible fantasy for any community with incompatible cultures.
“We do however welcome all people who will assimilate, and reject former beliefs and practices, which deny basic human rights, equality, the rule of law and democracy.
“The amazing thing is that our communities and our leaders, whose very job it is to debate policies such as these have all been intimidated into silence by the threat of being branded as “racists” and “bigots”.
“In order for this to have happened, an even more important principle had to be breached, namely freedom of speech.”
It is also protesting against a mosque being built on the Sunshine Coast.
Earlier this year, the group sought to hold a forum on whether the coast needed to be concerned over Islam. The Sunshine Coast Daily reported in March that out of all the Sunshine Coast MPs it approached, Mr Dickson was the only one “who indicated support for the forum”.
The petition will remain open on the parliament e-petition website until November.