Immigration Minister Peter Dutton made a brave statement on Sky News’ Speers Tonight program last Thursday when discussing the current national security problems Australia has. Specifically the problems of foreign fighters travelling to fight with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, home grown terrorism, as well as organised crime in our major cities. He linked these problems with Australia’s past immigration policy since a lot of this activity is carried out by the children of recent migrants, specifically calling out immigration policy of past Australian Liberal Prime Minster Malcolm Fraser “The reality is Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in the 1970s and we’re seeing that today…. We need to be honest in having that discussion. There was a mistake made’’.
His statement was correct, but of course the left and the media will not allow anyone to make such statements. Bill Shorten who we should remember last week was bashing foreigners with his new 457 visa policy relished at the opportunity to paint Peter Dutton as a racist. In Question Time on Monday he asked Dutton who he was referring to when he made these comments. Dutton didn’t back down and grovel for forgiveness for offending the left and the media instead answered the question without fear. He stated he was referring to Lebanese Muslims as 22 out of the last 33 people who had committed terrorist-related offences in Australia were the descendants of Lebanese-Muslim migrants.
Ever since Monday the media have been calling for Dutton’s sacking for daring to deviate from the leftist consensus that there is no problem with migrants in Australia, multiculturalism is going swell and only a racist would criticise with an argument made out of thin air. The only voices of reason were conservative commentators such as Andrew Bolt who had been discussing the problems in Lebanese-Muslim communities of crime and terrorism activity for many years to no effect.
Lebanese-Australian columnist Ruby Hamad was one of them ranting about how apparently horrible and racist Australia was to her growing up. Even though she does concede that Lebanese migrants all over the world have often reaching the highest echelons of government and business. It should be noted that Dutton was referring to Lebanese Muslims, not the Lebanese people as a whole. Let’s not forget that Lebanon is made up of a large Christian population which have also immigrated here and have been much more successful at integrating in Australian society.
Mostafa Rachwani who works at the Lebanese Muslim Association claimed that it is because of the racism of white Australia that we are seeing dysfunction in that community ‘It is this dehumanisation that pushes people to seek worth elsewhere. Whether it is expressed in gang violence or in foreign fighters, these people are inherently just seeking what society was unwilling to provide them: their humanity, their worth being recognised’.
It should not be denied however that different migrant groups have faced prejudice when first arriving in Australia. It happened with the Greeks and Italians in the 1950s and the Vietnamese and Chinese in the late 1970s and 80s (which was at the same time it should be noted that the Lebanese arrived as well). Despite initial integration problems these ethnic groups have made great contributions to Australia and have a very low crime rate. Yet despite the initial prejudice they faced they did not turn to terrorism, (remember we also occupied Vietnam) neither did their children who many of which are now fully integrated into Australian culture and society.
So clearly from the experience of these other groups it is not because we are so racist we are seeing these problems in the Lebanese-Muslim communities all these years later. It is obviously a problem within the values and culture of Lebanese Muslim society. The potential problems with Lebanese migrants was raised by Australia’s immigration department even before they arrived in the 1970’s stating “the possibility that the conflicts, tensions and divisions within Lebanon will be transferred to Australia”.
Dutton’s acknowledgement that mistakes were made in the past demonstrates a good indication that he at least does not want to make the same mistakes today. He realises that there are currently major problems in the Sudanese communities in Australia commenting in the same interview last week “If it can be demonstrated that we have a significant proportion of a particular community – we’re talking about the Sudanese community in this instance – then we need to work out what’s gone wrong,”. The rise of the Apex criminal gang in Melbourne which is largely made up of Sudanese migrants is evidence of the significant problems in that community.
It is clear with Dutton making these statements and with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull neither condemning nor endorsing them that it is Dutton’s role in the government to talk tough on immigration. Of course Turnbull would never be comfortable making such statements himself for risk of offending his friends in the media, so allows Dutton instead to do the dirty work. Regardless of the merit of this strategy we can at least conclude that this current government is somewhat listening to the concerns that Australian’s have with unchecked immigration. They are aware of what has happened this year with Brexit, Trump and the rise of One Nation back here in Australia, that the people want control over who comes into their country. It was the Coalition that stopped the boats and is determined to make sure they don’t resume.
Although the Coalition have rejected having a selective immigration policy it is clear there are strong advocates inside the party room for making sure our immigration system benefits Australia and should not be determined by a supranational bodies like the UN. We have seen the disasters of open borders in Europe and the United States this year and having an immigration Minister who is aware of this and actively wants to promote a sound immigration policy is very refreshing and promising to many Australians. Most importantly Dutton has courageously stood up the media and leftist elites who are now demanding his head and screaming racist at him.
Photo from Department of Immigration and Border Protection used under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia.