Why is Tony Abbott religioes against immigration
Australia wants to intensify the fight against extremists
For the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott it is clear: Immigrants must "be as tolerant of us as we are of them" - because it is "a privilege" to be allowed to live in Australia. At the same time, he presented a package of anti-terrorist measures on Monday. Australia is in a "new long-term phase of the increased threat of terrorism".
For example, people with dual citizenship should lose their Australian citizenship if they support terrorism - both domestically and as fighters for terrorist groups abroad.
Almost one in three Australians was either born abroad or descended from parents who were born in a third country. Thousands therefore have a passport from their old homeland.
Withdrawal of rights
But "pure" Australians are also threatened with the withdrawal of their rights: They are said to be denied consular protection abroad and access to social welfare. In addition, "it should be made more difficult for them to leave Australia or return to the country."
The opposition Labor Party is expected to approve the Conservative government's proposals. Commentator Russell Marks said that Abbott's "attack" on civil rights "so that they cannot be used against us," reminded him of George Orwell's "Eternal War" in the 1984 book.
A key reason for the anti-terrorist initiative was the hostage-taking in the Lindt Café in Sydney last December. The perpetrator, Man Haron Monis, came to Australia as an Iranian refugee in 1996. An investigation concluded that the crime was not the failure of a single agency. The multiple convict was at large despite the ongoing proceedings, was considered mentally disturbed and was still able to obtain a weapon. Warnings had not been taken seriously by the secret service.
Standing in front of Australian flags, the head of government announced that the country would "never sacrifice our freedoms in defense; but neither will we allow our enemies to take advantage of our decency." He called on Islamic clergymen to "better spread the message of Islam as a religion of peace and also to believe in it". Around half a million people of Muslim faith live in Australia.
Representatives of the Islamic community reacted disappointed. Its senior representative, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, said he would "not make the mistake of electing Abbott again". The prime minister would be better advised to "work in a different field than in politics". 100 Muslim clergy had previously complained in an open letter that the government was using Islam and "an alleged terrorist threat to strengthen its fragile leadership position and expand its political agenda." Abbott has been doing worse in polls than any of its predecessors for weeks. (Urs Wältin from Canberra, DER STANDARD, February 24, 2015)
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