Malcolm Turnbull's citizenship changes will protect the unique Australian culture, writes Australian Catholic University's Kevin Donnelly in The Daily Telegraph.
It might be two years too late but finally the Australian government appears to be learning from the European experiences of the damaging and destabilising effects of multiculturalism, unrestricted immigration, and Islamic terrorism.
Two years ago the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, argued multiculturalism was a failed policy that led “to parallel societies” and that immigrants must learn German and live by German values.
At the same time former prime minister David Cameron argued that Britain was a Christian nation and that all who lived there must accept that its political and legal institutions and way of life are paramount and must be defended.
After last month arguing that “Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world” and we are not defined by “race, religion, or culture” the Prime Minister appears to be learning from what is happening overseas.
Mr Turnbull now argues that Australia’s migration program must better contribute to “our social cohesion while enhancing our security” and as a condition of citizenship migrants must embrace “Australian values” and “our cultural values”.
If he is serious then the Australian Citizenship Pledge is a good place to start. Prospective citizens pledge their “loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I will uphold and obey”.
In both the US and the British pledges it’s clear that immigrants wanting citizenship must fully embrace and defend the beliefs, values, and institutions of their newly adopted country. Holding on to enmities and hostilities from overseas or importing unacceptable customs and traditions are not allowed.
It is also vital that those who live in Australia acknowledge and celebrate what Prime Minister Turnbull refers to as “our cultural values”. Not all cultures are the same or worthy of the same respect.
Whether the separation between church and state, the inherent dignity of each person or the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” the reality is that our culture is unique in its ability to protect our way of life.
Our Country, Our Rules: Citizenship program changes welcome (The Daily Telegraph)
Turnbull toughens citizenship test (The Australian)