Polygamy, mutilation should not be funded by us; let’s choose migrants more wisely
In 2016-17 a total of 40,000 permanent visas were issued to people from sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East. We have issued 291,975 permanent visas to people from these regions in the past decade.
These regions have vastly different customs and practices to those in Australia, including the highest rates of polygamous unions in the world.
In these regions, it is common for a rich man to take an extra wife, but for each additional wife, a poor man must remain single.
Boko Haram and Islamic State, which require women to wear the burka, are able to sell their toxic brand of extremism to poor single men and then export terrorism around the world, even as Islamic State is being pushed out of Syria.
On August 17 last year, I wore a burka into the Senate to draw attention to the failed immigration policy and the inappropriate wearing of full-face coverings in public and our federal parliament. The burka puts the issues of extremism, gender equality and integration front and centre of the immigration debate.
The burka is not a religious requirement and it is no secret I want to see it banned in public spaces where possible, but less well known is many Muslims agree with me.
In 2014 a British imam, Taj Hargey, from Oxford, campaigned for a British burka ban, describing the burka as a “tribal piece of cloth that is eagerly used by fundamentalist zealots”.
Australian Muslims are a diverse group, but a minority within that diverse group treat women as second-class citizens and live in closed communities where migrants have failed to integrate.
Only last week a Sydney Muslim preacher, Nassim Abdi from Auburn, condoned marital rape and said a woman who refused marital intimacy would be cursed.
The NSW Minister for Family and Community Services said the preacher was out of step with Australian values, which is but one example of a separate community created by failed immigration policy.
Our new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, says it is 100 per cent wrong for men and women, in polygamous relationships to claim Centrelink benefits, but it seems he also refuses to enforce our laws and put an end to the welfare rort practice.
This is wrong because taxpayers are being forced to meet the financial needs of people who do not want to work and it takes money away from those in genuine need.
Instead of throwing in the towel, the government should be looking at solutions to this problem, because the government is increasingly giving permanent visas to people from countries where polygamy, child marriage, female genital mutilation, and gender inequality is common.
Of course here in Australia a man does not need to be rich or steal cows to get the bride price for an extra wife, he just needs to access Centrelink.
South Australian imam Mohammad Tawhidi recently told me of a polygamous man with four wives and 11 children who had managed to pay off more than one home while living exclusively on Centrelink benefits.
The imam observed Centrelink is the new mosque because Muslims could go to Centrelink rather than the mosque when they were in financial need.
It is time we assess whether applicants, including those under the humanitarian program, are likely to assimilate and work because once a permanent visa is granted that person only needs to get 12 questions right out of 20 in a multiple choice test to gain citizenship.
Large-scale legal immigration is driving more than 60 per cent of our population growth and will change our culture, but we can do better at selecting immigrants by acknowledging that the customs and practices in the country of origin are unlikely to be given up just because individuals have migrated to Australia.
The number of children treated for injuries from female genital mutilation is horrifying and the problems are lifelong for them and costly for us in terms of the care they need. The fact is taxpayers are meeting these additional costs when too many Australians are unable to afford dental care and general medical costs.
Last year the Australian Medical Association reported on the incidence of female genital mutilation.
It found the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne was treating between 600 and 700 women annually, and that is just one hospital in Australia. On that basis, we could expect tens of thousands of women to have been treated or are being treated for female genital mutilation. All I ask is that before we grant a permanent visa there should be a finding that the individual has a reasonable prospect of integrating socially and economically into Australia.
A minority treat women as secondclass citizens and live in closed communities