This guy gets it

Peter Costello is Australia’s treasurer. He was recently quoted as saying:

If you are somebody who wants to live in an Islamic state governed by sharia law you are not going to be happy in Australia, because Australia is not an Islamic state, will never be an Islamic state and will never be governed by sharia law.

We are a secular state under our constitution, our law is made by parliament elected in democratic elections.

We do not derive our laws from religious instruction.

There are Islamic states around the world that practise sharia law and if that’s your object you may well be much more at home in such a country than trying to turn Australia into one of those countries, because it’s not going to happen.

I agree with Tim Blair’s suggestion about where this statement should be displayed. We need a similar one here!

Hat tip: John at Powerline.

8/23/05 – Flashback to more Costello words of wisdom:

TONY JONES: On the morning of the Prime Minister’s Islamic summit, Mr Howard was greeted by his Treasurer’s surprising contribution to the debate on the front page of The Australian newspaper. The headline read: “Costello tells firebrand clerics to get out of Australia”.

Well, early in the day Peter Costello was not suggesting that any of the firebrands be deported. But by the time he spoke to us, that notion appeared to have matured.

His latest intervention into topics of national interest comes only days after his speech to the Australian-American leadership dialogue in which he focussed on growing anti-Americanism in the world. “That phenomenon”, he later told the Sunday program, “Can easily morph into anti-Westernism, which picks up and encapsulates Australia and threatens our interests as well.”

So was he suggesting that our close relationship with America makes us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks? I spoke to Peter Costello in our Melbourne studio earlier this evening.

Peter Costello, thanks for joining us.

PETER COSTELLO: Good to be with you, Tony.

TONY JONES: Now, over the past 24 hours you’ve been repeating the notion that migrants, evidently Islamic migrants, who don’t like Australia, or Australian values, should think of packing up and moving to another country. Is that a fair assessment?

PETER COSTELLO: What I’ve said is that this is a country, which is founded on a democracy. According to our Constitution, we have a secular state. Our laws are made by the Australian Parliament. If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you. This is not the kind of country where you would feel comfortable if you were opposed to democracy, parliamentary law, independent courts and so I would say to people who don’t feel comfortable with those values there might be other countries where they’d feel more comfortable with their own values or beliefs.

TONY JONES: It sounds like you’re inviting Muslims who don’t want to integrate to go to another country. Is it as simple as that?

PETER COSTELLO: No. I’m saying if you are thinking of coming to Australia, you ought to know what Australian values are.

Read the whole thing. These are the kinds of things our politicians need to be saying here. Over and over again.

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