When I was asked to give this talk, I hesitated before accepting. I have written previously about Australia’s Muslim problem—principally on the opinion page of the Australian, and also, at greater and hence more considered length, in the quarterly National Observer last October—and have been the subject of assorted abuse for doing so. While I wear most of that


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The Muslim problem and what to do about It

When I was asked to give this talk, I hesitated before accepting. I have written previously about Australia’s Muslim problem—principally on the opinion page of the Australian, and also, at greater and hence more considered length, in the quarterly National Observer last October—and have been the subject of assorted abuse for doing so. While I wear most of that as a badge of honour, I have also been described (not by name, but collectively) as a “fool” by Andrew Bolt, a columnist whose views I generally respect.

Greg Sheridan, whose foreign policy views I usually hold in high regard, described some much more limited remarks on this topic by Peter Costello earlier this year as “cheap, lazy, nasty populism”, “foolish”, “lazy, incendiary” and “idle rhetoric” that “demonises Islam”. Since Costello’s comments were a mere trifle comparatively, I hesitate to imagine Sheridan’s opinion of my own views.

The reason that I risk even more such opprobrium is that, despite the ever-mounting level of evidence, there appears to be very little recognition at the national political level in Australia of the clear and present danger confronting us.

In attempting to restate that danger, it would be easy to focus on the crimes which, over recent years, have emanated from Australia’s Muslims. Two and a half years ago, former detective Tim Priest spoke to a Quadrant dinner about his concerns in that regard (see Quadrant, January-February 2004). Since then we have seen, among many other such developments, the revelations over the gang-raping of “white Aussie sluts” by young Muslim men of Pakistani origin; the increasing Muslim lawlessness in south-western Sydney; and the concerted raids on some eastern suburbs by car-load convoys of young Muslim men “responding”, so they said, to the Cronulla riot of December 11, 2005. Incidentally, while I do not condone that riot, it is worth remembering that it was clearly provoked by the mounting anger over the behaviour of similar young Muslim men at Cronulla and other beaches for some years previously.

It would be easy to point to such specific acts of lawlessness, and to the ineffectual reactions of those responsible for law and order in New South Wales—including, now, a premier whose own electorate centres on Lakemba and whose party is responsible for the continued presence here of one of our foremost Muslim troublemakers, the Imam of the Lakemba mosque, Sheikh Al-Hilali. It would also be easy to point out that there has still not been a significant prosecution of the Muslims involved in those December raids.

It would be easy—and it would largely miss the point. It would do so because the point does not reside in these individual criminal or otherwise offensive incidents, such as the presence of violently anti-Western literature in assorted Muslim bookshops. If we focus only on such matters, the responses of our politicians will consist on the one hand of such things as enhanced policing, sterner anti-sedition laws, more expenditure on ASIO and the Australian Federal Police, and so on. On the other hand, we shall see their further attempts to “embrace” the Muslim community while arguing that, just like former immigrant groups in postwar Australia, in due course it too will meld into our great national “diversity”. Even the Prime Minister has not been guiltless of this form of cultural appeasement.

Meanwhile, the Islamic cancer in our body politic not only remains untouched, but continues to grow—stealthily, unobtrusively, even unknown to many Australians busy about their daily lives. One day, however, we shall experience a terrible national pain—awakening, for example, to the equivalent of the London bombings of July last year, or the French riots of last October; and we shall ask ourselves, “How did it come to this?”

It will come to this because of a failure to focus upon the real problem, as distinct from those serious, but nevertheless superficial manifestations of it of which, a moment ago, I was saying it would be easy to speak. It will come, in other words, from focusing on symptoms, rather than causes.

It will also come to this because, as usual in our democracy, few elected politicians, even if they recognise that problem’s headlight coming down the track, want to rush forward and derail it before it can overrun what may, after all, be their successors rather than themselves.

Another reason why it will come to this derives from a growing fear of speaking out in the face of the violence potentially levelled against those who do. As the Mafia has always understood, violence is a force multiplier. When almost all Australia’s newspapers earlier this year decided not to inform their readers about those admittedly offensive Danish cartoons (Brisbane’s Courier Mail was, I think, the only significant honourable exception), they paraded as a virtue their desire not to “gratuitously offend” Australian Muslims. They were backed up in doing so, naturally, by almost all our politicians. I too abhor giving gratuitous offence; but even more do I abhor self-censorship, particularly when that self-censorship derives at least in part from fear of the fatwa.

So while of course I welcome measures to deal with those superficial manifestations of our Muslim problem, it is vital to understand that the problem goes much, much deeper than that. It is indeed a problem not singular to Australia. It is a problem that is similar to the Muslim problem in all Western countries where a significant immigrant Muslim minority has been allowed to become established. The only difference in Australia is that, because of our national advantages of distance from major population centres (Indonesia apart) and the oceans that surround us, that minority has not yet grown to the “critical mass” proportions it has already reached in many other Western countries. But instead of capitalising on that advantage, we are complacently allowing it to slip away from us as our Muslim proportion increases under the twin influences of continued Muslim immigration and a much higher than average birth-rate.

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of what has been happening for years now in Western and Central Europe must surely have begun to see the nature of the writing on those countries’ walls. The Netherlands, France, Denmark, Spain in particular, and many others have all seen the Trojan horses of Muslim immigration, legal and illegal, pushed further and further within their border walls. Four of the Netherlands’ major cities—Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht—today have Muslim majorities in the under-fourteen- year-old age group. Britain has already been the target of one successful Muslim atrocity and a number of unsuccessful ones. On March 11, 2004, the Madrid train bombings killed 191 people and injured hundreds of others. Last year’s riots in France have already been mentioned.

Confronted with these and other outrages, some European politicians are belatedly beginning to act. The Dutch now require all aspiring (legal) immigrants to undertake and pass a number of tests, including proficiency in the Dutch language and acceptance of aspects of Dutch society (homosexuality, for example) that are antithetical to Islam. The French are reported to be in the process of instituting new immigration laws. The Austrian Minister for the Interior recently said that 45 per cent of Austria’s Muslim immigrants “cannot be integrated”, and urged them to “choose another country” to reside. The Spanish authorities have made successive attempts to control the flood of illegal African Muslim immigrants—first from Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar, then from Mauritania and Senegal to Spain’s Canary Islands. The influx continues, nevertheless, to mount: on May 18, some 656 people landed in the Canaries. As one Madrid observer has said, this “mass assault on Spain’s African border may just be a first warning of what to expect of the future”.

The Blair government in Britain, meanwhile, has effectively lost control not only of its borders, but also of its deportation procedures even when the illegals (not all of them Muslims) are apprehended. And the major parties there wonder why the truly right-wing British National Party is rapidly gaining adherents!

Even the Eurocrats in Brussels are now belatedly admitting that something has to be done. According to the Australian’s Paul Kelly, recently touring Europe, the European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security told him in the course of an interview:

“We cannot accept people entering Europe, working in Europe and refusing to accept our values, the equality of men and women, and full respect for human dignity. We cannot accept, in the name of different religions, people violating equality between men and women.
“There is a growing awareness that the only way to preserve our identity, culture and history, and guarantee the possibility of foreigners coming here, is by setting up a basic framework of rights and values.
“The models in Europe have failed. The multicultural [model] has failed. The model of forced integration has also failed. In France, you see young people using violence to reaffirm their Muslim identity …”

Kelly’s article suggested that some glimmer of reality was breaking through to a journalist not previously noted for that on these issues.

We need to understand that the core of the Muslim problem—for the world, not merely for Australia—lies in the essence of Islam itself. It is the problem of a culture that, for the past 500 years or so at least, has failed its adherents as its inward-looking theocracy has resulted in it falling further and further behind the West. It is that sense of cultural failure, that sense of smouldering resentment that fuels the fires so busily stoked by the more extremist Muslim teachers. Fiercely exclusive rather than inclusive, Islam holds that church and state are inseparable; that women, while respected so long as they stick to their appointed place in the Islamic scheme of things, are less than equal to men generally; and that even the most extreme violence is justifiable when applied in pursuit of approved Islamic ends. Until all that changes—and it can only be changed from within Islam itself, if indeed it can be changed at all—the Islamic culture will never reside in harmony with others.

This is where all those comfortable (one might even call them “lazy”) assumptions about our own Muslim community break down. Contrary to those assumptions, I do not believe that this latest body of newcomers amongst us will emulate the examples of their predecessors from Italy, Greece, Poland, the Baltic states, or more recently Vietnam, Hong Kong and China. How can it be possible for them to become part of a united Australia, when any Muslim woman who wishes to “marry out” risks not merely social and familial ostracism, but outright violence, even death by way of “honour killings”, by her father or her brothers? Almost without exception, the only marriages occurring in Australia today between Muslims and non-Muslims involve conversion to Islam of the latter.

The high priests and priestesses of multiculturalism should not be surprised by this. It is after all a product—admittedly, an extreme one—of policies they have been espousing with such religious zeal for thirty years or more.

This reality of separateness, however, does not stop at the marriage line. While individual ethnic communities throughout our postwar history have always tended to cluster together at first, gradually they have dispersed. My very nice next-door neighbours are Chinese, as are two other families down the street who, together with an Assyrian family, make up our own little example of that “diversity” of which our politicians so blandly prate.

So far as I can see, however, Muslims do not so much move out, as move in. In communities where large numbers of Muslims gather, non-Muslims are gradually driven out. It is then not long before there are established “no go” areas where, as Tim Priest reminded us, Muslim gangs flourish on the proceeds of drugs, extortion, armed robbery and so on.

In turn, as the host country’s own laws are set aside in these “no go” areas, there develop demands for the recognition of these areas as small “states within the state”, to be governed by sharia law, administered not by national courts but by sharia-type “courts” overseen by local imams. In France, we have begun to see the ultimate expression of such developments. There, a public official is reported to have agreed to meet an imam outside the predominantly Muslim district of Roubaix, which, according to the imam, was Islamic territory and closed to non-Muslims. Similar demands can already be heard in Britain. To a more limited extent (so far), we have begun to hear them in Australia.

Alex Alexiev, of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, interviewed by Alan Jones on 2GB in June last year, reported the extensive Islamisation of schools in Muslim ghettoes in France. As he says on his website:

“Having by and large completed their takeover of the Muslim ghettoes, often by “targeted violence” against non-Muslims and moderate Muslims alike, and turned them into “anti-societies”, the Islamist fanatics are making great progress towards achieving control of the educational system as well. As usual, girls are the first victims … The punishment for refusal to conform is often physical violence ...
“This new generation of Muslim children, born and raised in Europe, is growing up already indoctrinated to consider themselves part of a ‘Muslim nation’ separate and opposed to everything Western civilisation stands for.”

Are we so stupid, or so lazy, or so frightened of being criticised for political incorrectness, that we are unable to recognise such developments?—and more importantly, to demand policies to stymie them?

One principal response to arguments of this kind has been to seek to distinguish between “moderate” Islam and “extremist” or “fundamentalist” Islam. It is said that, while we have to deal with the latter, in doing so we must be careful not to discriminate against, or “marginalise”, the former. The fact that the Mafia has its origins and practices in Sicily, or the Cosa Nostra in Calabria, does not mean that we regard all Sicilians, or all Calabrians, as actual or potential criminals, and the same should go for Australia’s Muslims.

Yet while that last proposition is undoubtedly correct, the analogy involved is also instructive. The question we should ask ourselves is this: what distinguishes the actions, and the power, of the Mafia from the actions, and the power, of Muslim fundamentalists?

The answer, I suggest, is that at no time has the Mafia had behind it (a few aberrant individual priests notwithstanding) the power, and the blessing, of the Church of Rome. And while, a century ago, it was still the case that members of that church (such as my maternal grandfather) who “married out” to a Protestant (such as my maternal grandmother) risked excommunication and the later denial of the last sacraments (as in his case), even then there was no suggestion that such apostasy should result in a death sentence. Nor is there any suggestion that Catholics, even in Rome itself, should not be subject to the same laws and the same courts as non-Catholics; still less that those laws and those courts should be administered by the spiritual power rather than the temporal one.

Academics, and timid politicians seeking excuses for their inactivity in addressing the Muslim problem, may therefore continue to dance on the points of philosophical needles about those supposed differences between “moderate” Islam and “extremist” Islam. And it is true that it often seems as though there are as many hostilities between different Islamic sects—the Shia and the Sunnis, to name only the most topical example—as there are between Islam and non-Islam. Nevertheless, as Father Paul Stenhouse has reminded us in a typically scholarly but also extremely pointed article in the March issue of Quadrant, all followers of Islam, “moderate” or otherwise, divide the world into two areas: the Dar al-Islam and the Dar al-Harb. The former, the house of submission, is that part of the world where Islamic governments and Islamic law prevail: the latter, the house of war, is the rest of the world. Australia, to all Muslims, is part of the house of war.

In May this year Quadrant printed a thoughtful paper by Cardinal George Pell arising from his recent study of the Koran. He distils a clear distinction between the revelations Mohammed claimed to receive (via the Archangel Gabriel) while in Mecca, and those which followed his later move to Medina. During the former period he was “without military power” and was still seeking to convert the non-believers by way of proselytising. During the latter period, proselytising had given way to the ravages of the sword. In Pell’s words, “the spread of Islam through conquest and conversion began”.

Cardinal Pell notes that those passages from the Koran that are often quoted by those seeking to show the “moderate” nature of Islam are all drawn from the earlier period, whereas the Koran of Medina is replete with the most blood-curdling injunctions to kill all infidels wherever they are found. As Pell notes, just as in our own legal system a later law overrides any earlier one to the extent of any inconsistency between them, so it may not be unreasonable to assume that the Koran of Medina overrides the Koran of Mecca where any inconsistencies are concerned. That is indeed the view taken by the scholars of fundamentalist Islam.

There is another point relevant to this debate about “moderate” versus “extreme” Islam—namely, the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya. This has been the subject of two most interesting articles in National Observer in 2005 by Andrew Campbell. Without going into detail, taqiyya is the doctrine whereby any lies, deceit, or other forms of treachery may be justified in the cause of defeating the infidel. It is “a cloak for the believer” that provides a religious dispensation for such things as “friendship with unbelievers” and other subterfuges “in defending oneself from one’s enemies”. I suggest that, when one reads the soothing words of our own Islamic “moderates”, the doctrine of taqqiya should never be far from our minds.

It is clear that, in Muslim countries throughout the world, the forces of extremism are winning the battle within Islam. (Of course, the usual apologists would undoubtedly argue that that is all our fault because of such things as our support for the continued existence of Israel, or the US-led coalition’s invasion of Iraq; but let that pass.) In many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, those forces today are held back and driven underground by the present regime’s security apparatus; but then, the same was true of the Shah’s Iran until 1979.

Had I been asked ten years ago to name a Muslim country where the mullahs had been put in their place, and where a clear line had been drawn between the mosque and the state, I would have said that Turkey probably fitted that description—a result of the leadership of the great Kemal Ataturk eighty years or so ago. Today, the best thing I can say about Turkey is that, while one must still suspend judgment, the mullahs there are winning. We have, for the first time in this still constitutionally secular nation, an Islamic party in government. True, it is a government which is still hoping for Turkey’s admission to the European Union, and which has therefore been (for the time being at least) moderating its Islamic tendencies accordingly. When, as I predict will be the case, Turkey’s application is finally rejected, or fails, after long delays, to be acted upon, things will be different.

There are those (Greg Sheridan is among them) who argue that, whatever may have been the case ten years ago, Indonesia today is genuinely a democracy, and one where “moderate” Islam is in the ascendancy, Jemah Islamiya and all that notwithstanding. We had better hope—and I do hope—that they are right, but I am bound to say that I do not find the evidence compelling.

There is no time to argue this important matter in detail, so I shall simply state a few points:

• After a nationalist dictatorship (Sukarno), an oligarchic kleptocracy (Suharto), and three ineffectual short-term successors, may it not be a bit of a stretch to portray the short reign of President Yudhoyono—great improvement though he undoubtedly seems to be—as the embodiment of the democratic virtues? Are we not in some danger of confusing “democracy” with mere universal suffrage?

• How can we meaningfully describe as a “democracy” a nation which refuses to proscribe a body (Jemah Islamiya) that is not merely widely identified throughout the world as a terrorist organisation, but whose adherents have also been guilty of major terrorist attacks within Indonesia itself?

• If “moderate” is to describe a country in which Christians are openly discriminated against, persecuted, threatened and even killed, how much further do these “moderates” have to go before their apologists in Australia will cease describing them as such?

• As a recent Jakarta Post editorial has noted, sharia law is steadily gaining a wider foothold in Indonesia notwithstanding that country’s formally secular and pluralist Constitution. The province of Aceh is now “under a sharia regime, and today more than 20 regencies and municipalities across Indonesia proclaim themselves to be ruled by sharia or have introduced sharia-inspired legislation”.

• Have we forgotten that, in the wake of the Bali bombings of October 12, 2002, when eighty-eight Australians were killed and many others injured (not to mention all those of other nationalities, including the Balinese, who suffered similar fates), a reputable opinion poll in Indonesia recorded that some 16 per cent of Indonesian Muslims (almost 30 million people) supported those bombings, while a further 25 per cent declined to proffer an opinion? More recently, the highly regarded Pew Research Group, in its Pew Global Attitudes Project, showed a reduction in that 16 per cent figure to “only” 10 per cent (18 million people).

• The same survey showed, however, that 65 per cent of Indonesia’s Muslims today do not believe that the September 11 attacks on the United States were carried out by Arabs!

• Did nobody else notice the rapturous reception given recently to the Mad Iranian Bomber, President Ahmedinajad, when he visited Indonesia to attend a conference of non-Arab Muslim leaders? At a joint press conference with President Yudhoyono, this major threat to world peace and stability raved on for thirty minutes, denouncing the West’s well-justified distrust of his nuclear program and predicting that Israel will “be destroyed”. Politeness to one’s guest is of course important, but I cannot help feeling that at some point President Yudhoyono might have intervened to divert this rabid flow. What does the fact that he didn’t, tell us about the nature of Islam in Indonesia’s “democracy” today?

I hope that Greg Sheridan and those who think like him about Indonesia are right. While we are in the process of finding out, we should do everything reasonable to maintain good relations with our important near neighbour. I do however suggest that, in the defence of our own borders and in other ways, we would be wise to avoid becoming too reliant on Indonesia’s goodwill and co-operation. As the record has consistently shown, those attitudes can change overnight.

More generally, and while I am open to correction, I believe the evidence is incontrovertible that Islamic and Western cultures are today, within any single polity, incompatible. Certainly, I know of no example that can be cited to the contrary.

If a thesis along these lines be accepted, what is to be done about Australia’s existing, and rapidly growing, Muslim community? I do not wish simply to repeat now what I have already said elsewhere. Let me begin, though, with a few basic propositions:

• Most basically of all, we don’t even know how many Muslims there are in Australia, and that is unacceptable. The religious affiliation question in the forthcoming census should be made compulsory. Arguments to the contrary by so-called civil libertarians and others are at best hollow and at worst deliberately deceitful. One such argument in particular, namely that if the question were compulsory, Muslim residents would simply answer it untruthfully and we would therefore be no better informed than at present, is hardly a character reference.

• Australia’s Muslims can be divided into four categories: those born here; those not born here but who, since arrival, have become naturalised Australian citizens; those Muslim immigrants who are not yet citizens; and those here illegally. For present purposes, in what follows I set aside the first two categories and focus on the latter two.

• There is an old adage that, when you are already in a hole, stop digging. The entry into Australia of Muslim immigrants over the past thirty-five years or so means that we are now in a hole. The first thing to do, then, is to stop digging. We should curtail very sharply, to the point of virtually halting, the further entry of Muslims within our immigration programs. That will be attacked as “discriminatory”, and so it is. We have every right to discriminate against the admission to Australia of people of any culture that we believe will be incompatible with the peace, order and good government of our country.

• The second thing we need to do, and one which is entirely non-discriminatory, is to make it significantly harder for people to become Australian citizens. At present, citizenship involves only two years’ permanent residence and “swearing” (quite possibly with one’s fingers crossed, or with that doctrine of taqiyya very much in mind) an oath or affirmation of allegiance. After you have gone through that essentially worthless procedure, you can go back to your cultural ghetto, be appointed to jobs in the public service, the police or even the armed forces, and if you are subsequently found to have committed an offence, it is no longer possible to deport you. This is patently ridiculous. The present two-year residential requirement should be extended to at least five years. Equally importantly, people seeking citizenship should be required to demonstrate their capacity to be citizens by at least acquiring reasonable proficiency in (and being officially tested on their command of) English, as well as having to demonstrate their knowledge and acceptance of certain other fundamentals of citizenship in Australia.

• The third thing we should do is to make it much harder to come into Australia illegally. John Howard has already done a good deal in that regard, in the teeth of opposition from a small number of malcontents within his own party, but more is needed. I proposed last August that the government should move to block access to Australia through our back door across Torres Strait. If that (non-discriminatory) measure had been taken, the forty-three West Papuans who have been the source of so much trouble recently would never have got here; indeed, they would probably never have set out to do so.

If we focus on those three objectives, namely setting out to virtually halt legal Muslim immigration, rendering citizenship much tougher to obtain (not only for Muslims) and cracking down even harder on illegal entry of both Muslims and non-Muslims, there are many things we can and should do. Here are a few of them:

• One wholly non-discriminatory measure which could, however, have the result of deterring Muslim applications for admission to our immigration stream would be to require all applicants to receive, accept the contents of, and sign for, a formal governmental statement of those aspects of our national life to which we expect all newcomers to conform. This would include such things as the separation of church and state; the equal treatment of men and women; the unacceptability of certain cultural practices, such as polygamy, female genital mutilation and the like; the full rights of women to marry those of any faith (or none); the rule of law more generally; and so on.

• There are also currently several aspects of our immigration law and procedures that are badly in need of change. One such derives from our accession to the UN International Convention on Refugees, an outdated convention drawn up originally to deal with the postwar refugee situation that bears no relation to that of today. Under our Refugee and Special Humanitarian immigration programs we are currently taking roughly 13,000 persons (including about 6000 refugees) per annum—whereas Japan, which also became a signatory to the UN Convention in 1982, and which has a population many times larger than our own, has since taken no more than ten to fifteen refugees per year. What is worse, however, is that it appears that who we take in as refugees is largely determined not by us, but by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. What was that about “we will determine who comes to this country, and how they come”?

Presumably it is because of this inexplicable abrogation of our national sovereignty that we have recently seen literally thousands of Sudanese, Somalis and other wholly culturally incompatible people (many of whom are presumably also Muslims) being dumped into places like Toowoomba, Ballarat and elsewhere. (The alternative, that our Minister for Immigration and her Department actually chose them themselves, is too appalling to contemplate.) Most of these people are unable to speak a word of English and a high proportion of them have not even been subjected to proper medical checks.

We should, without further delay, give notice of our intention to withdraw from this UN Convention (twelve months’ notice is required). That does not mean that we should stop taking in refugees, although I think that their numbers should be reduced. It does mean that we should choose who they are.

• There should be an immediate major reform and reshaping of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs:

(1) Formally recognise that this Department is now as integral to our national security as the Defence Department, ASIO and the armed forces, and begin to staff it accordingly, including with respect to security checks.

(2) Change its name to the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs.

(3) Get rid of its present incompetent (or worse) minister, and put the portfolio in the hands of someone who can be trusted to run it (rather than be run by its senior bureaucrats) along the lines required by (1).

(4) Jettison all its current programs of official multiculturalism. As that European Union Commissioner said to Paul Kelly, “the multicultural model has failed”.

(5) Suspend, subject to (7) below, all those programs currently being run by the department that effectively provide “back door” means of entry into Australia, and subsequent access to permanent residence, by people who would fail to pass even the existing (inadequate) tests applied under the formal immigration program. For example, the Labor Party has begun protesting recently about the scandals being wrought in this area under the so-called “skilled worker” arrangements. It is true that these protests derive from trade union dislike of labour market competition. Nevertheless, in terms of protecting the integrity of our immigration policies, these programs are a disgrace to all concerned—the Department of Immigration that devised them, the minister who approved them, the employers who connive in them, and the immigration agents who work the rackets under them.

 (6) Immigration procedures are far too important to be left in the hands of private persons who have no interest in the nation’s welfare and who may even, in some cases, have quite contrary motivations. The licences of private immigration agents should be revoked, with appropriate compensation paid for loss of profit.

(7) For these and other purposes, the Prime Minister should institute a thoroughgoing investigation of the present workings of the department, with terms of reference directed to major reforms along the foregoing lines.

Do I think that any of these suggestions will find acceptance by any of our major political parties? I do not know, although so long as Mr Howard remains prime minister, and if he can be persuaded to stay home and focus on issues of real importance to Australians, there is possibly a chance of his government doing so.

What I do believe is that public anger on these matters is growing. If our existing political parties will not address the concerns responsible for that anger, then a new party will surely arise to fill the vacuum. Call it, notionally, the No More Muslims Party. I don’t look forward to its appearance, but appear it will unless the causes that will otherwise give rise to it are addressed—and quickly. Too much time has been lost already.

John Stone gave this talk at a recent Quadrant dinner in Sydney.

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