Friday, February 24, 2006

Adopt our values or go home

Why I like Australia:

Anyone wanting to live under Islamic law (shari'a) might feel more comfortable living in countries where it is applied, such as Saudi Arabia or Iran, federal Treasurer Peter Costello said in an address to the Sydney Institute, a think tank.

In a pledge of allegiance, immigrants taking on Australian citizenship declare: "I pledge my 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."

Costello said that anyone "who does not acknowledge the supremacy of civil law laid down by democratic processes cannot truthfully take the pledge of allegiance. As such they do not meet the pre-condition for citizenship."

Any Muslim planning to immigrate to Australia should first consider its values.

"Before entering a mosque visitors are asked to take off their shoes," Costello said. "This is a sign of respect. If you have a strong objection to walking in your socks don't enter the mosque.

"Before becoming an Australian you will be asked to subscribe to certain values. If you have strong objection to those values, don't come to Australia."

It sounds fair and obvious to me, I fail to see how requesting that people do little things like follow the laws and traditions of a country is a bad thing. Especially as one of the arguments for not publishing the cartoons is 'respect' for Islam and its traditions and values. Is it too much to ask for a little reciprocity?