PAULINE HAN­SON

Polygamy, mu­ti­la­tion should not be funded by us; let’s choose mi­grants more wisely

The Australian - - THE NATION - PAULINE HAN­SON Queens­land se­na­tor Pauline Han­son is leader of Pauline Han­son’s One Na­tion Party.

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

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