Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Greg Sheridan: Uncontrolled Muslim influx a threat

A FEW weeks ago in London, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told me that 75 per cent of the terrorist plots aimed at Britain originated in the federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan.

Some 800,000 Pakistanis live in Britain.

The vast majority, it goes without saying, are law-abiding citizens.

But there is a link between uncontrolled Muslim immigration and terrorism.

The real historic significance of the illegal immigration crisis in our northern waters is that this could, if things go wrong, be the moment Australia loses control of our immigration program, and that would be a disaster.

It is extremely difficult to talk honestly about Muslim immigration. All generalisations about it are subject to countless exceptions. Muslims are very different from each other. Most are reasonably successful.

But a much bigger minority end up with social, political, extremist or other problems resulting from a lack of integration than is the case with any other cohort of immigrants in Western societies. A lack of honest discussion about this results in bad policy.

The most enlightening book you could possibly read on this is by US journalist Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West.

It is by far the best book on public policy of any kind I have read for a long time. It is wittily written but attempts to be neither provocative nor politically correct. It is dense with data but its greatest strength lies in laying bare the intellectual, political and social dynamics that have led to the mess in Europe.

The way the Australian debate is reprising what were profoundly destructive and misguided European debates, dominated by moral sanctimony and a failure to grasp reality, is eerie.

Caldwell is enlightening on the way asylum assessment processes are so easily scammed, and the sophisticated, intense exchange of information that means the slightest change in attitude by a receiving country is instantly relayed throughout illegal immigrant networks.

He writes: "An easily game-able system was in place that made admissions automatic to prospective immigrants who understood it.

Various immigrant advocacy NGOs in Europe made sure they understood it... migrants knew the best countries to claim to come from. They also knew the best countries to go to ... (There was an) incredible sensitivity of prospective migrants to shifts in immigration law, and to countries' moods towards immigrants."

Caldwell also shows that once an illegal immigrant route is established as reliable it becomes immensely popular. This is what the struggle in the waters to Australia's north now is really all about.

He further demonstrates how completely subjective and plastic the asylum-seeker assessment procedures are. In 2001 Denmark approved a majority of asylum applicants. By 2004, when the mood had changed, it approved only one in 10, though of course in Europe rejected applicants basically don't go home.

At times Caldwell seems to be arguing against immigration in principle, although all the problems he adduces relate specifically to Muslim immigration, and he acknowledges the success of other immigrants in Europe.

He frequently acknowledges the success of immigration in Canada, the US and Australia. In Canada and Australia, the governments choose the immigrants. In the US, most illegal immigrants come from Latin America and don't have the Muslim problems.

Read more here,,,,

Source: The Australian

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