Migrant crisis: Refugees must be prioritised on their beliefs

Henry Ergas, Columnist/Sydney

Muslims are unassimilable and destructive. They cannot, by the law of allah, become part of a  tolerant western society.

Illustration: Eric Lobbecke

Illustration: Eric Lobbecke Source: Supplied

Just as the government, in allocating the 12,000 places it has added to the humanitarian intake, has every right to screen out security threats, so it has every right to test whether applicants are capable of integrating peacefully and effectively into the community.

And like it or not, religion is a crucial factor in that respect, all the more so with refugees from the greater Middle East.

It is therefore entirely proper for Australians to be concerned about the religious composition of the expanded intake the government has announced.

To say that is not to deny that many Muslims are at grave risk in the region’s conflicts. On the contrary, data from the Association of Religion Data Archives shows that in 70 per cent of Muslim-majority countries, Muslim governments persecute other Muslims, typically from minority sects, and increasingly with deadly results.

But that persecution merely ­betrays an underlying streak of ­fanaticism in Islam which continually breathes fresh life into centuries-old doctrinal disputes.

Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland may fight, but their quarrels never invoke 16th-century differences on transubstantiation. Every day, however, Sunnis and Shi’ites butcher each other over who, in AD632, was the rightful successor to the Prophet Mohammed.

In turn, that fanaticism breeds a broader demonis­ation of enemies that promotes religiously inspired violence. ­Muslim-majority countries have a low incidence of conventional homicide; but even excluding the conflict in Chechnya, Muslims are responsible for some 70 per cent of all high-casualty terrorist bombings since 1999.

As Muslims comprise less than a quarter of the world’s population, the thesis Montesquieu advanced 250 years ago — that “the Mohammedan religion, which speaks only through the sword, continues to act on men with the destructive spirit which founded it” — retains its element of truth.

That truth is being felt by what little remains of the Middle East’s Christian communities. According to the just-released Yearbook of International Religious Demography, while 13.6 per cent of the region’s population was Christian in 1901, that share is now down to 4.2 per cent, with the Christian communities in Israel being the only ones that are expanding.

And that grim outcome seems a mere way-station to a future in which, with the possible but uncertain exception of the Copts, there will be no Christians left in the Arab lands.

But the fate of the Christians pales compared to that of the Jews. By virtue of their opposition to Mohammed in Medina, the Jews were, in the phrase of Yale’s ­Michael Cook, always Islam’s ­“intimate enemies”; however, under the influence of Arab ­nationalism, a religious objection to Judaism has been transformed into racial hatred.

That racial hatred is now deeply entrenched throughout the greater Middle East; indeed, it is central to education and daily propaganda. Saddam Hussein’s major contribution to Baathist theory, for example, characterised Jews and flies as the “creatures God should not have made”; and its blood-curdling finale — “for each insect, there is an insecticide” — was endlessly repeated on state media, along with photos of Baghdad crowds celebrating the public hanging, on January 27, 1969, of nine alleged Jewish spies.

As for Bashar al-Assad’s Syria, a Friday religious broadcast proclaiming that “we are a nation that drinks blood, and no blood is better than the blood of Jews” still sets the typical standard.

Unfortunately, those hatreds have not remained in the Middle East: rather, there is compelling evidence that we have imported them with earlier waves of Muslim refugees.

For instance, a 2009 survey of Muslim children in Australian schools concluded that 73 per cent believe Jews are “selfish” and “have no morals”, while 93 per cent believe “Jews dislike people from other groups”.

More recently, a study by the University of Sydney’s Suzanne Rutland of Muslim students in western Sydney’s public high schools found pervasive anti-Semitism, including the belief that the September 11 attacks were a Jewish plot (with Jews in New York supposedly “phoning each other to stay at home”). And bad as things are in the public schools, in the Muslim schools they are surely worse.

All that has persisted despite myriad government programs aimed at promoting “harmony”. Those programs’ failure is unsurprising, since racist beliefs are reproduced, day after day, in the home and in the bile distributed, with complete impunity, through mosques and social networks.

More importantly, intolerance is increasingly at the heart of ­religious Islam itself; and with ­successive governments’ attempts at reaching out to “moderate” clerics, giving the Muslim religious establishment greater legitimacy, the racist hatreds researchers find in our Islamic communities are even more widely held than a decade ago.

No doubt, the difficulties Middle Eastern refugees have had in integrating into Australia’s economy and society aggravate the situation.

Not only are 56 per cent of Australia’s working-age Muslims either unemployed or not in the labour force, but participation rates for Australian-born children of refugees are more than 20 percentage points below those for the Australian-born population as a whole, entrenching welfare dependence and a grievance mentality that helps hatreds persist. And with poor educational outcomes, all the problems are set to endure.

The case for caution in allocating places in the humanitarian program is therefore overwhelming. As well as rigorous scrutiny of applicants’ religious beliefs, not least for signs of anti-Semitism, the government should unashamedly give priority to those religious and ethnic groups that are most likely to respect our institutions and way of life.

If that curtails the Muslim share of the program, it is a price worth paying for peace and security. After all, the government’s highest responsibility is to protect Australia and Australians, including — let us say it — Jewish Australians; far being from an act of humanity, responding to the carnage hatred has created by allowing it on to our shores would be a dereliction of duty.

11 thoughts on “Migrant crisis: Refugees must be prioritised on their beliefs”

  1. I am just so glad that we have a 100% employment status, everybody now living in Australia has a roof over their head, food in the pantry to eat, we have no need to be welfare dependant, our hospitals are so efficient that we all enjoy perfect health, our old and retired are looked after and never want for anything for the rest of their lives. Gee I am so glad that in a country like Australia, we have it so lucky that we can now open our boarders and let so many more in to partake in our good for fortune.

    1. Our government is so good, it’s just the same here in the UK, did you know our streets are paved with gold.

  2. Another knee-jerking, brain fart moment by the movement for the advancement of economic, social, religious and security suicide.

  3. The likely ‘solution’ will be to promote and reinforce the lie that islam, Judaism and Christianity are three Abrahamic faiths, worshiping the same God – we will all live in peace and harmony, if we only believe that lie.

    “It is, after all, a great and ancient religion and Muslims – I never cease to be amazed by how many British people do not know this – worship the same God as do Christians and Jews, the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. I believed – and still believe – that this commonality is very important.” – Charles Moore (The Telegraph)

    1. Jews and Muslims may believe in the same God, but not so Christianity.

      The Christian believes in the Triune nature of God, with Jesus as the sole saviour of humans. Jews and Muslims vehemently deny this. Just this alone makes Christianity fundamentally different from the other two. From this follows much else.

      On this basis one may argue that Western civilisation is a construct or amalgum of Greco-Roman thought and Christianity. Thats it. Jews have contributed to it, but are not the fundamental constructors of our civilisation, otherwise Jewish civilisation would have its own flowering, with its own science, engineering, art and music. There is no evidence for this.

      1. DP111: I suggest that you might check the Jewish contributions to science, music etc., by looking up the Jewish types who have won Nobel prizes. I understand also that the Jews invented trickle irrigation for their dry farm lands. Jewish musicians were prominent in the Nazi concentration camps too.

      2. Jews do not worship the same God as Muslims.

        Judaism and Christianity have a lot in common and Islam is very different. From the vantage point of Islam, Judaism and Christianity are so similar that they call *JEWS PLUS CHRISTIANS TOGETHER* “the people of the book”. That is a singular term; we are one people of one book. As well as the “Old Testament”, the Jews have the Talmud and Christians have the New Testament.

        As Avi Lipkin often points out, Jews and Christians believe the Messiah is a Jew who speaks Hebrew. When he will appears on the Mount of Olives, in fulfilment of prophecy, the Jews will naturally want to ask him if it is his first visit to Israel or his second. Jews and Christians alike believe that God loves all humanity, but his specially chosen people are the Jews. Islam teaches that Allah particularly hates the Jews and that Allah does not love anyone. Islam also teaches that Allah hates the Christians.

        According to the Bible (not the Qur’an), an important feature of God’s relationship with humans is “grace” (“charis” in New Testament Greek) which is un-merited love; though we are imperfect (sinners) God loves us. In the Old Testament, it is “loving kindness” (“chesed” in Hebrew).

        As Indian philosopher Vishal Mangalwadi explains eloquently and thoroughly, the Bible is the foundation of “Western” civilisation. It was necessary for it to develop and in still necessary for its long term survival. I see declines after 3 generations, once people stop teaching the Biblical worldview to their children. I think this is why Europe is crumbling, now. Europe is “post-Christian”.

  4. dp may not want to visit a hospital anytime soon then as much of the science and technology there was invented by jews and in the promised land too.

    May want to think again about using that mobile phone too.

  5. Oops and forgot to add the reason why the West is such a basket case now is ‘BEACUASE’ of Christianity and it’s willingness to always turn the other cheek.

    Catholic Church, CofE (Anglican), Baptists in my area are always banging on about a fair go for these cretins we see today openly and actively supporting their causes too!

  6. I liked Ergas’ argument. I liked his article. It put the matter rather more plainly than many have been game to say ….and I must say, it’s handy to have those references to the prevalence of bizarre Jew-hatred and ugly old antisemitic tropes among the majority of Muslim high-school-age persons in western Sydney. And those were the ones that were *willing* to ‘own up’ to what they thought… A keeper, and useful to have up one’s sleeve.

    And although Charles Moore hasn’t figured out yet that allah has nothing whatsoever in common with YHWH – perhaps people should email him and tell him to read Rev Dr Mark Durie’s “Which God?” for greater clarity on that subject – the rest of his article was, by mainstream media standards, pretty good.

    Me, I think that some kind of dam is crumbling. All the more reason to keep pushing, keep educating, at grassroots level, face to face and in our various social media networks.

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