Australia should reduce its immigration intake and be more selective in who it accepts. Total immigration intake should be dictated by a sustainable population policy and needs to take the local birth rate into account. The focus of this policy however, is the screening process for immigration.
Immigration officials should actively screen out potential immigrants who do not support freedom and democracy. History has shown us that democracy is a fragile thing and we cannot afford to allow people into this country who are going to kick it as soon as it is down. Likewise, people who oppose freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the fundamental liberties we take for granted should be barred from entering this country.
This policy would effectively screen out the problems of religious extremism that many of our politicians have been commenting on lately, without resorting to religious or racial discrimination, without throwing multiculturalism out the window and without the cringeworthy jingoism of some of our ‘character’ politicians. There is no need to refer to Australian history or Australian values. Democracy and freedom are universal values. Any values that are unique to Australia are probably rejected by other societies for good reason.
Too many of our current politicians are incapable of identifying the real issues with immigration and incapable of identifying what sets our values apart from those we reject. This is why so many of our more conservative politicians end up drawing sympathy to Islamic extremists when they have a go at them over what are essentially trivial issues. In an otherwise on-target criticism of Islamic extremism, South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi expressed his distaste at having inadvertantly consumed halal food, and criticised Muslims for insisting on eating halal food rather than meat pies. This is an attack on the freedom of religion and freedom of choice we should be protecting. Bernardi also criticised Muslims for putting their religion before the state. If given a choice between rejecting their religion or leaving the country, a significant number of Australians would choose their religion. Raising the state above all else is a hallmark of fascism.
Bernardi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have recently declared multiculturalism a failure, but have not suggested a viable alternative. Do they think that monoculturalism (eg the white Australia policy) is an appropriate response to religious extremism? Australia needs to choose its path very carefully, lest it fail to address the problems adequately or simply replaces one tyranny with another.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron was on the mark with his insistence that Britain confront, and not consort with, the non-violent Muslim groups that are ambiguous about British values such as equality between sexes, democracy and integration. Violent extremism is a symptom of a more fundamental problem: the clash of incompatible values. Promoting an ideology that rejects freedom and democracy makes violent conflict inevitable, regardless of the stated position of the groups towards violence.
"We need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism."
This ideology he says, is entirely separate from Islam, and "at the furthest end includes those who back terrorism to promote their ultimate goal: an entire Islamist realm, governed by an interpretation of sharia".
But he adds: "Move along the spectrum, and you find people who may reject violence, but who accept various parts of the extremist world-view including real hostility towards western democracy and liberal values.