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Old 13th Nov 2007, 14:41   #1
Oryx
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Default Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

Prime Minister John Howard - Australia

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday
to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid
to head off potential terror attacks.
A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to
Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John
Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a
crackdown.

Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that
some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not
accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by
parliament. 'If those are not your values, if you want a country which
has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you,' he
said on National Television. 'I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching
that there are two laws governing people in Australia : one the
Australian law and another Islamic law that is false. If you can't agree
with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer
Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which
practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option', Costello said.
Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said
those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other
country.

Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who
did not want to accept local values should 'clear off'. 'Basically,
people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want to live by
Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically
clear off,' he said.


Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by
saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote:
'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am
tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some
individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we
have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.'
'However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the
'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that
our patriotism was offending others.'

'I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who
is seeking a better life by coming to Australia. However, there are a
few things that those who have recently come to our country, and
apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of Australia
being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our
sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our
own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle.'
'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials
and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We
speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese,
Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of
our society . Learn the language!'
'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right
wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on
Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly
documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of
our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another
part of the world as your new home, bec ause God is part of our
culture.'
'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is
that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with
us.'
'If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like 'A Fair Go', then
you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We
are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really
don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep
your culture, but do not force it on others.'
'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you
every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining,
whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs,
or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one
other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'
'If you aren't happy here, then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here.
You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'
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Old 13th Nov 2007, 14:50   #2
John Self
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

As usual he sounds strident and pandering to people's easiest prejudices, but this

Quote:
if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you
is fair enough. Isn't it?
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Old 13th Nov 2007, 15:05   #3
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

I must admit, I think I agree with most of what he says, strident or not.
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Old 13th Nov 2007, 15:41   #4
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

Rather scarily, I think I agree too with most of it.
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Old 13th Nov 2007, 15:54   #5
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

I expect you feel like I do when my husband is watching Question Time, and I'm doing something else. I hear something that pretty much encapsulates what I think about some issue, which might be Iran for the sake of argument.
"Who's that?" I shout. "He's really sensible. I agree with everything he just said."
It invariably turns out to be the neo-con from the right-wing think tank, and I hang my head in shame!!

I have to say that I don't really agree with all of this, but my thinking on these kinds of issues is so muddled that it's not really worth me arguing about it. Some fair points - learning the language of the country you live in is desperately important - for your own sake, and for others.
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Old 13th Nov 2007, 16:04   #6
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaK View Post
"Who's that?" I shout. "He's really sensible. I agree with everything he just said."
It invariably turns out to be the neo-con from the right-wing think tank, and I hang my head in shame!!
Ah, the Ann Widdecombe syndrome.
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Old 13th Nov 2007, 16:01   #7
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

I think he makes some fair points; my worry would be that he is giving succour to those who would prefer to be less than fair to recent immigrants.

There are some points here which I would nod in agreement with, and others which make me take a sharp intake of breath, such as:

Quote:
This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity.
But then he says:
Quote:
By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.
Which seems fair enough. My worry would be that the less fair-minded would see this statement coming from the Prime Minister as legitimising victimisation of the '[insert minority of choice] GO HOME' variety. As JS said, pandering to people's easiest prejudices.
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Old 14th Nov 2007, 15:27   #8
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

Quote:
Originally Posted by ono no komachi View Post
I think he makes some fair points; my worry would be that he is giving succour to those who would prefer to be less than fair to recent immigrants.
A fair worry given that that is the point. Howard's last election campaign (masterminded by that disgusting little tick Lynton Crosby) went pretty big on immigrant bashing, specifically in the case of the Tampa, and the lovely little story that refugees were hurling their children overboard in an attempt to tug at bleeding heartstrings. Throw in his insistence that Australia is a "Christian country", and the aforementioned fact that Muslims comprise around two percent of the Aussie population and it shouldn't be too difficult to see what Howard is trying to pull.

Look old chums, this is an ancient technique generally categorised as Aunt Sally bashing. You pick a relatively defenceless target, whip out the dog whistle politics and go to town. The Tories did it with single mothers, Howard is doing it with dusky immigrants.
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Old 13th Nov 2007, 17:51   #9
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

On please. Don't nasty right-wing racists always say "sensible" things? Enoch Powell had loads of heads nodding. I remember loads of people of my parents' generation saying, "Well, at least he had the courage to say it, even if I don't agree with everything he said."

It's what people like this do to stay popular.

Firstly, let's hear it for the secular state. Make no bones about it - it's also the best protection for religion.

But this is just deliberate Muslim-baiting, which Howard loves. He also advised Muslim women not to wear headscarves after 9/11. Muslims make up less than 2% of the Australian population and of that I bet only a tiny proportion are into some kind of hand-chopping woman-beating Caliphate.
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Old 13th Nov 2007, 18:52   #10
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Default Re: Australia's John Howard goes for the jugular

Quote:
Originally Posted by wshaw View Post
Muslims make up less than 2% of the Australian population and of that I bet only a tiny proportion are into some kind of hand-chopping woman-beating Caliphate.

Based on this, I would have to agree that the above was perhaps a Muslim baiting exercise. I know nothing much of Howard's politics, but I guess context counts. However about three years ago our provincial legislature just about agreed to sanctioning Sharia law in Ontario, or rather, accept it's practice under the Arbitration Act, which allows religious practices to apply to family law. In the end, the Premiere decided against allowing it, going against recommendations from the House to permit it to stand.
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