Would any American political leader be straight enough to say the same? He would probably be called a "racist" if he did
PRIME Minister John Howard said today he unapologetically used the word "assimilate" when it came to absorbing Muslim citizens into the community. Mr Howard said assimilating new citizens into the wider community helped tackle radicalism among a minority of Muslims. In Tuesday's Budget, Treasurer Peter Costello allocated $461,000 to programs that help Muslim communities integrate.
"I think it's in the interests of everybody," Mr Howard said on Southern Cross radio. "There's every reason to try and assimilate - and I unapologetically use that word 'assimilate' - a section of the community, a tiny minority of whose members have caused concern. "After all, once somebody's become a citizen of this country the best thing we can do is to absorb them in the mainstream."
But he denied the measure was about trying to assimilate people's religious beliefs. "The reason that religion is used as a descriptor is it's a small category of radical Muslims that have adopted attitudes that we think are bad for the country and the most sensible thing to do is try and change those attitudes."
(For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)