The dreadful protests by Islamic fundamentalists in Sydney on the weekend were the portend of what I have been consistently warning my colleagues and the Australian population about for a number of years. These warnings have earned me a great deal of criticism from fellow politicians and some members of the media. However, they have been well received by a grateful public who have been struggling with the cultural relativism being practised by too many of our opinion makers.
I have desperately hoped that my fears about the impact of Islamists in our country would never be realised. For the rest of my life, I would gladly have worn the slurs of ‘racist’ and ‘bigot’ received in response to my concerns about Islam if it allowed Australia to avoid the problems that extremists have caused overseas.
What occurred in Western Europe a decade ago is now happening here. Even the signs held aloft during the Sydney riots carried the same suggestion as those from protests in the UK - “behead those who insult Islam”. It should serve as a wake-up call to the naïve and just plain foolish who are in denial that a significant problem is emerging in Australia.
The naïve cling to the romantic idealisation of the generations of migrants who have successfully settled in Australia, thinking things will continue just as they have in the past. They proclaim multiculturalism as a triumph of tolerance when in fact it undermines the cultural values and cohesiveness that brings a nation together. Our culture is built upon the two great pillars of Western civilisation – the rule of law and Judeo-Christian values. To allow these great strengths to be undermined by supporting calls for any form of legal plurality or the indulgence of cultural practices that go against our social norms is to abandon reason.
Unfortunately, both have taken place in recent times. In a week when four people were arrested for allowing or performing female genital mutilation on two young girls, it is worth being reminded that some suggest we should allow and facilitate a ritual pinprick of girls’ genitals to appease this abhorrent cultural practice.
Senator Cory Bernardi is the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader of the Opposition and a Senator for South Australia.