And if/when the backlash comes, he’ll blame Howard’s comments, not his own, for starting it.
Howard, two days ago:
“There’s a small section of the Islamic population which is unwilling to integrate,” he said.
“And I have said, generally, all migrants … they have to integrate, and that means speaking English as quickly as possible, it means embracing Australian values and it also means making sure that no matter what the culture of the country from which they come might have been, Australia requires women to be treated fairly and equally and in the same fashion as men.
“And if any migrants that come into this country have a different view, they better get rid of that view very quickly.
Which earned him this from one of his own top Muslim advisors, Ameer Ali:
The head of the government’s Muslim advisory committee, Ameer Ali, said on Friday that Howard’s comments could fuel race riots like those at Sydney’s Cronulla beach last December.
“We have already witnessed one incident in Sydney recently in Cronulla, I don’t want these scenes to be repeated because when you antagonize the younger generation … they are bound to react,” Ali told local Sydney radio…
[T]he prime minister said he would not apologize.
It’s the same good cop/bad cop crap Britain’s Islamic leaders pulled on Blair after the big terror bust. The “moderates” get the best of both worlds: mainstream acceptance because they themselves eschew the use of violence plus intimidation by proxy because of the radicals in their midst that they can’t control. It’s a superbly effective way of winning political concessions. Arafat was the master of it, ostensibly seeking peace through negotiations while the Fatah/Hamas einsatzgruppen did his dirty work. How good was he? This good.
A small minority of this community, and other groups that reject integration, regard appeals for them to fully integrate into the Australian way of life as some kind of discrimination.
It is not. It is commonsense and, importantly, it is also a powerful symbol of a new migrant’s willingness and enthusiasm about becoming an Australian…
Treating women as equals is an Australian value that should be embraced. Australians generally do not tolerate women being treated in an inferior fashion to men.
There are some societies that do not treat women equally. Migrants from those societies must be fully prepared to embrace Australian attitudes towards women.
We are an egalitarian nation that prides itself on the concept of a fair go, our equal treatment of men and women, our parliamentary democracy and free speech.
Embracing these values and other Australian ideals is vital for new arrivals. All new arrivals.