An Australian “federal multicultural inquiry” has been told that Muslims living in that nation have segregated themselves socially from the rest of society, maintaining their own schools, prayer rooms, segregated swimming pools, and halal food.
Many of these facilities have been set up with the active compliance and financial assistance of the government, the inquiry was told—meaning that taxpayers’ money has been used to give the Muslims their own institutions.
The joint parliamentary committee on migration said in its final report that it had received many submissions claiming multiculturalism was laying the foundations for ethnic separatism amid rising Islamic immigration.
“References were made to Muslim ‘enclaves’ in Sydney and Melbourne, and the riots in Cronulla in 2005, to suggest a lack of willingness on the part of Muslims to embrace the Australian lifestyle, values and behaviours,” it said.
Several Melbourne councils, including Monash, Casey, and Greater Dandenong, hold separate sessions for women at public pools after requests by Muslim groups.
Monash even paid $66,000 for special curtains to ensure Muslim women’s privacy during the sessions.
Last year, the Australian Football League introduced multi-faith prayer rooms at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Etihad after lobbying by Muslim player Bachar Houli.
Former premier and Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett described it as “political correctness gone mad.”
Several planning disputes involving plans for mosques and Islamic schools are before councils and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Many submissions claimed demands to conform to Islamic cultural practices were “the first step towards calls for … Sharia law.”
“Government compliance with demands … under the banner of respect for diversity was thus cited as a dangerous trend,” the report said.
The committee didn’t support legal pluralism and recommended the Federal Government promote the message that multiculturalism entailed respect for cultural diversity and commitment to Australian laws and values.