Prime Minister Tony Abbott has confirmed that Australia will be taking an additional 12,000 refugees from war torn Syria. This should be applauded. Australia has an international obligation to refugees, this can not debated. Its obligation to asylum seekers, displaced persons, and irregular maritime arrivals can definitely be debated, but not its obligation to refugees.
However, the Coalition’s plan to prioritise Christian refugees ahead of all others is a concern. I’m not a bigot, but we must question if we can honestly take anymore of these kinds of people. Many Christians refuse to assimilate, wishing to retain their own customs which are different from my customs.
These people will be in our ummahs, their kids will be attending our madrasas right alongside our children. They’ll be in our restaurants, picking the raisins off their konafo. What, pray tell, is more “Aussie” than having your konafo with raisins?
And while there are definitely some moderate Christians, the ugly truth is a large number of their values clash with Australia’s position as a progressive Western country. Their records on LGBT rights has been abysmal. Their holy book, “The Bible” instructs: “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
This backwards view on women’s rights should not be accepted in a country that has a historic one female Prime Minister to its name.
And these refugees, aren’t just wanting to leave their own countries and live here. Once they’re here, they’ll also want jobs. Every job a refugee takes is a job that could have gone to my housemate, if she just stopped playing videogames, got off the couch and started looking for work.
Look, I get it. War’s tough. Nobody likes fleeing for their lives. But we need to think about what is best for Australia and for Australians. Any reasonable person would conclude this means no more Christians.
I don’t think any of us would consider it embarrassing on an international level to use religion as the qualifier for which people fleeing from a war torn country we’re willing to take.
Matthew Farthing is an editorial contributor to The (un)Australian. He’d like to remind you that last year the international community was concerned about Ebola but now they’re concerned about refugees. Which is it, international community?