Cut & paste: Why are Muslims not integrating into Western societies?
June 30, 2006
Former treasury secretary John Stone, at a Quadrant dinner on Wednesday, on the perils of Islamic culture
WE need to understand that the core of the Muslim problem - for the world, not merely for Australia - lies in the essence of Islam.

It is the problem of a culture that, for the past 500 years or so at least, has failed its adherents as its inward-looking theocracy has resulted in it falling further and further behind the West.

It is that sense of cultural failure (and) smouldering resentment that fuels the fires so busily stoked by the more extremist Muslim teachers. Fiercely exclusive rather than inclusive, Islam holds that church and state are inseparable; that women, while respected so long as they stick to their appointed place in the Islamic scheme of things, are less than equal to men generally; and that even the most extreme violence is justifiable when applied in pursuit of approved Islamic ends.

Until all that changes - and it can only be changed from within Islam, if indeed it can be changed at all - the Islamic culture will never reside in harmony with others.

This is where all those comfortable (one might even call them lazy) assumptions about our own Muslim community break down. Contrary to those assumptions, I do not believe that this latest body of newcomers among us will emulate the examples of their predecessors from, say, Italy, Greece, Poland, the Baltic states or, more recently, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China.

How can it be possible for them to become part of a united Australia when any Muslim woman who wishes to marry out risks not merely social and familial ostracism but outright violence, even death by way of honour killings, by her father or her brothers? Almost without exception, the only marriages occurring in Australia today between Muslims and non-Muslims involve conversion to Islam of the latter.

The high priests and priestesses of multiculturalism should not be surprised by this. It is, after all, a product - admittedly, an extreme one - of policies they have been espousing with such religious zeal for 30 years or more.

This reality of separateness, however, does not stop at the marriage line.

While individual ethnic communities throughout our post-war history have always tended to cluster together at first, gradually they have dispersed. My very nice next-door neighbours are Chinese, as are two other families down the street who, together with an Assyrian family, make up our own little example of that diversity of which our politicians so blandly prate.

So far as I can see, however, Muslims do not so much move out as move in.

In communities where large numbers of Muslims gather, non-Muslims are gradually driven out. It is then not long before there are established no-go areas where Muslim gangs flourish on the proceeds of drugs, extortion, armed robbery and so on.

In turn, as the host country's own laws are set aside in these no-go areas, there develop demands for the recognition of these areas as small states within the state, to be governed by sharia law, administered not by national courts but by sharia-type courts overseen by local imams.

In France, we have begun to see the ultimate expression of such developments. There, a public official is reported to have agreed to meet an imam outside the predominantly Muslim district of Roubaix which, according to the imam, was Islamic territory and closed to non-Muslims.

Similar demands can already be heard in Britain. To a more limited extent (so far), we have begun to hear them in Australia.

British Labour MP Denis MacShane, in The Wall Street Journal Europe:

OVER the next few days, the families of four Russian public officials will say a final goodbye to their husbands, fathers and sons. Their bodies, minus their heads, mutilated in a fashion only the worst Nazi butcher could imagine, were discovered near the Russian embassy in Baghdad. The men who carried out this monstrosity did so in the name of al-Qa'ida and global jihad. It is these kind of men and their supporters who linger in Guantanamo Bay in legal limbo. Gitmo has become a place to detain those enemies of free society who cannot be charged in a formal court of law. And let's have no illusions about what kind of enemies we are dealing with.

It was Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister, who rightly defined the ideology and practice of jihadist fundamentalism as the new totalitarianism. When confronted with totalitarianism and terrorism in the 20th century, democracies did not hesitate to detain and intern those it feared were acting as a fifth column on behalf of the enemies of freedom. Adolf Eichmann was as much a victim of extraordinary rendition as were those terrorists bundled across borders by police and intelligence services that co-operated to defeat European terrorism.