Muslims not singled out: PM
By staff writers and wires
September 01, 2006 03:11pm
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PRIME Minister John Howard has denied he was singling Muslims out for criticism over the way some immigrants fail to integrate into Australian society.
Mr Howard sparked controversy yesterday by saying on talk-back radio a small group of Muslim migrants had refused to accept their adopted country's values and had not learned English.
The Prime Minister said today he had no reason to apologise or water down those remarks.
"There's a small section of the Islamic population which is unwilling to integrate," he said.
"And I have said, generally, all migrants ... they have to integrate, and that means speaking English as quickly as possible, it means embracing Australian values and it also means making sure that no matter what the culture of the country from which they come might have been, Australia requires women to be treated fairly and equally and in the same fashion as men.
"And if any migrants that come into this country have a different view, they better get rid of that view very quickly.
"I don't retreat in any way from that. It doesn't involve singling out a group."
In the wake of Mr Howard's comments yesterday the chairman of the Government's Islamic advisory committee, Dr Ameer Ali, has warned of more Cronulla-style riots unless the Prime Minister tones down his rhetoric on Muslim migrants.
"We have already witnessed one incident in Sydney recently in Cronulla, I don't want these scenes to be repeated because when you antagonise the younger generation, younger group, they are bound to react," Dr Ali said to Macquarie Radio.
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We should love the little children
All the children of the world
Red and Yellow, Black and White
They are all equal in our sight
We should love the little children of the world