... a part of our community might be regarded as suspect because many were recent immigrants. They put the strictures of their faith above Australian law and recognised a foreigner as their highest authority. Their loyalty and patriotism were suspect, particularly when newspapers published stories of secret training camps in the Blue Mountains for young men planning to fight against Commonwealth forces. Unemployed young men roamed the streets in gangs, and a series of harrowing and brutal gang rapes left many convinced that these immigrants had changed the country forever for the worse. Rather than admit that their culture and religion were at fault, their community leaders blamed discrimination in the legal system. They established separate schools where their religious values were taught and sought to change Australian laws and political institutions. And their families had large numbers of children while more and more Australian women were practising birth control. The name of this threat to Australia? Irish Catholics.
- Senator John Faulkner, Federal Parliament, 1.3.06 (source: Hansard)
A superb speech by Senator Faulkner, now sadly languishing on the ALP backbenches, reminds us that the current vilification of Muslims in this country is just a new manifestation of an old problem. The full speech is here.