Nile takes aim at Muslim immigration
Monday, 12 March 2007
Kalgoorlie Golden Mail
The leader of the Christian Democratic Party, the Reverend Fred Nile, says Australia should give priority to Christians wanting to flee persecution in Muslim countries.
Mr Nile, a member of the NSW upper house, has called for a 10-year moratorium on Muslim immigration to Australia.
There had been no serious study of the potential effects on Australia of the more than 300,000 Muslims who are already here, he said.
The CDP leader wants a study to look at the examples of the Netherlands and France, where the Muslim minority has become large enough to “flex its muscle”.
“The same thing is happening in our city of Sydney … they (Muslims) concentrate and virtually by population numbers they dominate that actual community,” he told Southern Cross Broadcasting.
Mr Nile said Coptic Christians, from Egypt, had approached him on the campaign trail for the March 24 state election to complain that persecution by Muslims seemed to have followed them to Australia.
“They say to me, `We feel tension building up, we came to this country to get away from … discrimination and persecution and we feel the same sort of spirit is growing here,'” he said.
Christians from Yemen have told him of how they were forced to pretend to be Muslims to avoid persecution in the street in their home countries, Mr Nile said.
Muslim embassy staff also often discriminated against Christian visa applicants, he said.
“I don't want Muslims working in our embassies overseas dictating who comes to Australia, let's give priority to persecuted Christians,” he said.
“Muslims aren't persecuted in Muslim countries, Christians are.”
Mr Nile defended his involvement in what is constitutionally a federal issue.
He said the recent domination of the state agenda by industrial relations issues had blurred the line between state and federal politics.
“We are a national political party, we have views. Because of the election … all of the issues are on the table,” he said.
Mr Nile conceded Muslim immigration was an easy target for politicians but said that while he advocated tolerance, he had real concerns over the numbers coming to Australia.
The NSW Greens called on the major parties to publicly reject Mr Nile's call for an immigration moratorium and cancel any preference deals with his party.
“Rev Nile's statement makes NSW look ugly and racist,” Greens MP Lee Rhiannon said.
“All public figures should distance themselves from such an unacceptable policy.”
Brought to you by AAP