Winston officially makes the Islam debate part of the election narrative
It was only a matter of time before Winston Peters figured out that there are growing concerns among Kiwis about the possibility of the Muslim community increasing in New Zealand and what that might mean. In parliament last week he effectively started the official public debate about the growth of Islam in New Zealand and the risks it represents.
People can see what’s happened in other western countries as the number of immigrants and refugees from Muslim countries has grown. France, Germany, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, as well as the UK, have had generous immigration laws and have not particularly discriminated against people from Muslim countries. The terrorist attacks make the biggest headlines, but there are also issues with creeping Islamisation - calls for Sharia law; allowances made for refugees committing sex crimes; tolerance of polygamy; honour killings occurring.
New Zealand is a remarkably tolerant country. Multiculturalism has arguably worked here better than most places. Kiwis have been slow to jump on the anti-Islam bandwagon - it’s just not who we are. Now though, more and more ordinary people are waking up to certain cold, hard truths. Firstly, Muslim immigration brings Islam and Islam eventually brings problems. The ‘not all Muslims’ argument doesn’t hold water. Yes, there are plenty of good Muslims making a worthwhile contribution here and condemning terrorism, etc. Islam, though, is fundamentally incompatible with western values and culture. Secondly, we currently have a small Muslim population, around 1%. A relatively high percentage of those will be well qualified people in good jobs and so less likely to feel alienated and disenfranchised here. Those who are refugees are well vetted compared to what is occurring in Europe. So, it’s fair to say that we don’t actually have much of a problem with Muslim immigration and Islam as yet in this country, especially compared to the European countries mentioned earlier. Thirdly, we have tremendous geographic advantages when it comes to controlling our borders. Other than Iceland, it’s difficult to think of a western country in a better position. It is by no means inevitable that we will have significant Islamic immigration. If we do, it will be because we have chosen to allow this to occur.
Ordinary Kiwis in increasing numbers are asking themselves ‘why would we go down this road if we don’t have to?’ The higher our refugee quota, the more Muslims will settle in this country. The longer we carry on with an immigration policy which does not discriminate on any cultural, religious or ethnic basis, the more the Muslim population will grow. We might feel that having an immigration policy which discriminates against Muslims does not fit with our values here in New Zealand, but if we get to the stage where Islam starts to impact our society, how much more will that contradict our values ? Should we wait until there are frequent honour killings like in Britain ? Until there are calls for Sharia law in South Auckland like in France or Holland ? Until there are Jihadi terrorist attacks in our community ? Or would it make sense to make sensible decisions now to keep our Muslim population at low levels and avoid these problems ? Winston’s on a bit of a roll at the moment, and I'm picking he knows what a lot of people are thinking…….