This week, Libertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath has been considering immigration…
I'm just back from a week in stunningly beautiful Queenstown. One of the highlights of my trip was the great service I struck at Queenstown Bike Tours in Arrowtown. I was so impressed by the friendly owner that I purchased a second-hand bike on the spot and rode back to Queenstown on one of the nearby cycle tracks.
I listened to the news occasionally, and even on a remote cycle trail it was impossible to miss the growing storm around National MP Aaron Gilmore, who as we all know made a prick of himself by threatening to have the PM's Office intervene to terminate a waiter's employment. Gilmore's arrogant bullying reminded me of some Tories on the other side of the planet who have just been delivered a rude shock by British voters—smacking Conservative local government candidates in “the docile towns and muted suburbs of middle England” with a taste of UK Independence Party (UKIP) steel.
How very pleasing to see David Cameron enjoying the fruits of three wasted years where he and most of his MPs abandoned the classical liberal principles championed by his illustrious predecessor Margaret Thatcher. As others have noted, Cameron's only political goal appears to be the continued occupancy of 10 Downing St by himself and his family. That is fast becoming obvious to traditional Conservative Party voters who have found a lightning rod in the UK Independence Party, led by the charismatic and extremely likeable Nigel Farage, and which has just finished carving huge chunks out of the Tory vote in yesterday's local body elections and the by-election in South Shields.
In case you missed the latter result, UKIP came second to Labour in this safe red seat, getting twice as many votes as the Tories and annihilating the Liberal Democrat candidate, who lost his deposit after getting a pitiful 352 votes. In the last five parliamentary by-elections in English constituencies since 29 November last year, UKIP has been runner-up on four occasions, with vote percentages of 24, 28, 6, 12 and 22. Clearly UKIP is no flash in the pan, and their effect has been almost as catastrophic on the Liberal Democratic Party as it has been on the Tories.
For a so-called libertarian party, one of UKIP's major policy planks has however been an end to what they call “the age of mass, uncontrolled immigration.” Indeed, the party that promotes itself as a "libertarian, non-racist party seeking Britain's withdrawal from the European Union” proposes some radical controls on immigration, including a five year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement, and identification and ejection of all immigrants in Britain illegally.
This is in contrast to, for instance, the NZ Libertarianz Party, whose position is to allow peaceful people to pass borders freely:
Libertarianz will have no truck with the racist xenophobia against refugees and immigrants touted by other political parties. We will accept any refugee whom anybody wishes to sponsor. We will run a completely open immigration policy subject only to a requirement that immigrants waive any claim to remaining elements of the welfare state and confirm their peaceful intentions on entry.
The Libertarianz Party promotes more or less open immigration, subject to peaceful intentions, the existence of a sponsor for each immigrant and permanent absence from the welfare rolls. UKIP on the other hand proposes a total freeze on new immigrants, with Nigel Farage claiming there have been more immigrants to the UK in the past 10 years than there were during the nine-hundred years between 1066 and 1950. UKIP are apparently reviewing their immigration policy. I wonder whether it is time for Libertarianz to do the same, in the light of a potential problem with a particular group of settlers - Muslims?
Muslims form a significant proportion of some European cities, including Birmingham in England, where about 14% of the population claim to follow the Islamic faith. In Brussels that number is said by one observer to be 17-20%, in Marseilles 25%, in Amsterdam 24%, Malmo 25%, London possibly 17%, Bradford 16%, Moscow 16-20%. [In NZ however, with only 40,000 Muslims at most in the country, Muslims are only the eleventh-most popular religion, and make up just a percentage of a percentage of the population. – Ed]
Given that the adherents of Islam, if they follow the Quran faithfully, must advocate the imposition of sharia law in Muslim countries, then if and when Muslims form the majority of the population in a particular jurisdiction it is fairly clear (to me anyway) that there will be pressure for sharia law to be introduced. In this postmodern age, what do you think are the chances that a trial of sharia law will eventually be allowed in New Zealand, in a small and limited way at first, growing in scope and size as the population of Muslims grows? Surely, tolerating ethnic diversity must include allowing Muslims to practice their religion here, mustn't it?
Or should our immigration laws be strengthened to exclude Muslims from entering New Zealand? Should Muslims already settled here be considered for deportation? After all, local Muslim MP Ashraf Choudhary suggested that in some (presumably Muslim) countries the stoning to death of homosexuals and even unfaithful spouses should be permitted. If New Zealand became a Muslim country, what's to stop stonings for offences such as those mentioned above becoming commonplace?
Let's remember that the Quran is a book that impels its followers to kill and mutilate "infidels", and says that Muslims who do not enter the jihad (holy war) are hypocrites who will be sent to hell by Allah if they do not join in the slaughter.
According to one source:
Muhammad was a military leader, laying siege to towns, massacring the men, raping their women, enslaving their children, and taking the property of others as his own. On several occasions he rejected offers of surrender from the besieged inhabitants and even butchered captives. He actually inspired his followers to battle when they did not feel it was right to fight, promising them slaves and booty if they did and threatening them with Hell if they did not. Muhammad allowed his men to rape traumatized women captured in battle, usually on the very day their husbands and family members were slaughtered.
So much for peaceful intentions, then. Muslims are bound by their religion to spread their cult of death to the unenlightened, and to expand Islam into countries where it is not the dominant philosophy. Islam is a movement whose followers have scant, if any, respect for individual rights, and whose ultimate aim is the domination, oppression and murder of those who oppose it. A very un-libertarian movement indeed.
Should they, therefore, be excluded from New Zealand? Is there such a thing as a "moderate" Muslim?
Readers' thoughts would be welcomed - with complete understanding if contributors wish to remain anonymous.
Leader, Libertarianz Party