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Down Under
Australian migrants must respect our way of life: Costello
2006-02-23
PETER Costello has called for a tougher US-style citizenship oath that demands loyalty to the Australian "compact" as he outlined his vision for a more muscular nationalism.

Lambasting the spread of "mushy multiculturalism", the Treasurer has bluntly called for hard-line Muslims and others who don't observe Australian values to be stripped of their citizenship.
And he said people coming to Australia should have the same respect for Australian values as visitors to a mosque who are asked to take off their shoes.

In another provocative speech by a senior Government figure, Mr Costello warned of a second generation of immigrants from the Middle East living in a "twilight zone", unable to properly distinguish between the values of their parents' old country and Australia.

"To deal with this we must clearly state the values of Australia and explain how we expect them to be respected," he said.

"I suspect there would be more respect for these values if we made more of the demanding requirements of citizenship."

Addressing the Sydney Institute last night, the Prime Ministerial aspirant again criticised those who wanted to live under sharia law, saying Australia's citizenship pledge should act as a "big flashing warning sign". "A person who does not acknowledge the supremacy of civil law laid down by democratic processes cannot truthfully take the pledge of allegiance," he said.
"As such they do not meet the pre-condition for citizenship."

He said Australia would have a problem if a second generation of immigrants lived "in a twilight zone where the values of their parents old country have been lost but the values of the new country not fully embraced".

To address these concerns, Mr Costello suggested the Government may consider toughening up the present citizenship oath.

"I suspect there would be more respect for (Australian) values if we made more of the demanding requirements of citizenship," he said.

The Treasurer's speech, coming on the eve of the Coalition's tenth anniversary in power, shows him trying to broaden his image. The speech will appeal to conservative elements in the Coalition, amid concerns that Mr Costello needs to shed his 'small l' liberal image.

His comments come just weeks after angry muslims rioted when the prophet Mohammed was depicted in cartoons in Europe.

In a veiled reference to these riots, Mr Costello said he did not like "putrid representations" like Piss Christ, the controversial photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine that was displayed in Melbourne in 1997.

Laying down a template for religious tolerance, Mr Costello said he did not think galleries should show such displays.

"But I do recognise they should be able to practice their offensive taste without fear of violence or a riot.

"Muslims do not like representation of the Prophet. But so too they must recognise this does not justify violence against newspapers, or countries that allow newspapers to publish them."

Mr Costello's speech comes just days after The Australian published comments by John Howard, who also railed against fragments of muslim society that were "utterly antagonistic" to Australian values.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister hailed Australia as the "least-discriminatory country in the world".

"We welcome people from the four corners of the earth. The only thing we ask of them is that when they come here they become Australians before anything else," he said.
Posted by:Oztralian

#2  Lambasting the spread of "mushy multiculturalism", the Treasurer has bluntly called for hard-line Muslims and others who don't observe Australian values to be stripped of their citizenship.

Way to go! Enough of that fear of being called "prejudice, racists etc." with the sound amplification aid from the LLL. Heck, prejudice is better than the default islamo BIGOTRY towards non believers.
Posted by: Duh!   2006-02-23 22:07  

#1  I do love the Aussie leaders for their plain talk and their pride of culture. No backpedaling.
Posted by: Jules   2006-02-23 20:31  

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