Aussie Muslims object to new immigrant test

Aussie Muslims object to new immigrant test that prospective citizens will have to acknowledge the Judeo-Christian tradition as the basis of Australia's values system.

Aussie Muslims object to new immigrant test

Aussie Muslims object to new immigrant test that prospective citizens will have to acknowledge the Judeo-Christian tradition as the basis of Australia's values system.

Australia's peak Muslim body said the proposed citizenship question -- revealed in the Herald Sun -- was disturbing and potentially divisive.

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Dr Ameer Ali said the "Abrahamic tradition" or "universal values" would be less divisive ways of describing the nation's moral base.

Dr Ali said use of the term Judeo-Christian was the result of "WWII guilt", and before 1945 Australia would have been called only Christian.

"That question must be rephrased," he said.

Dr Ali was backed by Democrats senator Lyn Allison, who said the answer to the question was highly debatable.

But Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews stood firm on the merit of the question.

Mr Andrews said Australia's Judeo-Christian heritage was indisputable historical fact.

"We are not asking people to subscribe to the Judeo-Christian ethic," he said.

"We are simply stating a fact that this is part of the heritage of Australia in terms of its foundation.

"This is not an exercise in political correctness. It is trying to state what has been the case and still is the case."

But Health Minister Tony Abbott confused the issue, saying the modern Australian values system was secular, or of no particular religion.

The Herald Sun yesterday revealed 20 key questions, developed in consultation with Mr Andrews, that are likely to be asked of would-be citizens.

Mr Andrews said the test, to begin by September, would help immigrants integrate into society better.

"We celebrate diversity and people are free to continue their own traditions, but we are also very insistent that we have to build and maintain social cohesion," he said.

Dr Ali said he would request a meeting with Mr Andrews to discuss the question.

"It is the wrong message we are sending," he said.

Senator Allison said the test was pointless.

"I don't see what it's going to achieve," she said.

"It doesn't say anything about people's character, whether they are going to be good citizens."

Opposition immigration spokesman Tony Burke said Labor agreed in principle with the test, but wanted details.

Source: Herald Sun

Last Mod: 23 Mayıs 2007, 23:23
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