Leading article Australia

Muslim immigration

21 July 2016

1:00 PM

21 July 2016

1:00 PM

The outrage over the on-air comments of Channel Nine’s Sonia Kruger, in which she called for an end to Muslim immigration to Australia and was thus roundly condemned as ‘racist’, a ‘bigot’ and far worse, naturally misses the point.

Ms Kruger’s comments had little to do with race or religion, or even culture, but everything to do with ‘feeling safe’. Over the last year in particular, Islamist terrorists have managed to achieve what was once unthinkable: a never ending parade of ghoulish horrors in which everyday families and citizens engaging in fun, harmless, and apolitical activities find themselves butchered in the most brutal and savage means possible. Whether watching a rock concert, going to the footy, taking the kids to the fireworks, hopping on a train, or simply having a hot chocolate in a café, no citizen in the West can any longer feel certain that they will make it home in one piece.

So what to do?

The inquest into the at times seemingly shambolic police response to Sydney’s Lindt Café siege and murders gives little cause for reassurance. When a senior officer comes out with a comment like ‘terrorists have rights too’ it is little wonder that the average citizen is nervous and suspicious about not only the ability but also the will of our supposed law enforcers and authorities to protect us. When our Prime Minister chooses to celebrate dinner with a group of Islamic homophobic hate preachers only days after the butchery at the gay nightclub in Orlando, it is little wonder that the average citizen has next to no faith in our political class to seriously confront the vexed issues at stake.

As Andrew Bolt pointed out in the Herald Sun, and as Ms Kruger reiterated, the empirical evidence of the link between large-scale Islamic immigration and terror is inescapable.

Again: so what to do?

In a nutshell, there are only two responses. One, popular with the Left, is to simply accept the fact of terrorism (blame it on the West, natch) and live with the mathematical chances that hopefully it won’t be you or your loved ones who next get beheaded, run over, stabbed or raped. At the same time, rely on government and law enforcers to ‘deradicalise’ or thwart the actions of any jihadists they happen upon. This is the preferred approach of Hollande, Obama, Merkel and (philosophically) Turnbull, Shorten, Clinton et al. For reasons that only the French could find logical, Hollande also believes that flexing his military muscles in Syria and Iraq is the key to keeping his people safe. Running up the white flag, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls proclaimed ‘times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism.’

Our own Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, made the ludicrous comment only hours after Nice that she hoped this would be the last such outrage. This can best be summed up as the ‘keep your fingers crossed’ approach to terrorism.

The other response is to try and put up some kind of physical barrier between the Islamists and ourselves. This is the instinctive approach of Netanyahu, Trump, Abbott (who stopped the boats and mooted prioritising Christian Syrian refugees), some Balkan states and, in a more abstract way, those who voted for Brexit.

Between these two extremes, acceptance or barrier, a solution will inevitably be found; not so much because our political class are looking for it but because our citizens – as epitomised by Ms Kruger – will demand it.

So again: what to do?

As Gary Johns wrote in the Australian, ‘With respect to the ban, the problem arises as to how to know, in advance, whether extremism comes from only the fundamentalists or those who cannot reconcile Islam with modernity and, indeed, who they are.’

At some point, an Australian government will have to make tough choices about how to solve this conundrum. Whether through imposing a geographical, or cultural, or religious, or educational filter upon our immigration intake, there will have to be a formula that succeeds in separating quality migrants from those individuals who may potentially import the deadly ideology and practices of Islamism.

Strong Flat White

Readers are invited to fill in the long gaps between drinks, er, issues by clicking onto Flat White, part of our new website, at www.spectator.com.au (google Spectator Australia.) There you’ll find additional thought-provoking articles and commentary under the editorship of Christian Kerr, from the talented pens of Terry Barnes, Trisha Jha, John Slater, Michael Potter and many others. Indeed, you may even feel like contributing yourself.

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