Australia cannot plead ignorance, we were warned. Twenty years ago our beautiful sunburnt country stood at the crossroads. At that critical juncture in history a lone voice cried out, pleading with us to see what she could see, warning us of the dire consequences and most importantly, she was ready to fight – for us, for all of us. The Asians, with their ‘own culture and religion’ were coming en masse, not to ‘assimilate,’ but to ‘form ghettos’ in our beautiful non Asian country of Australia. Now, at the dawning of the Muslim invasion, we must reflect on the consequences from the past twenty years and not let history repeat.
First let’s look at the numbers, because numbers don’t lie. In 1996 the percentage of Asian born Australians was 4.78% and by 2011 it doubled to 8.08%! Wow, isn’t that enough evidence?! But wait, hang on a minute, in the same year (2011 census), 5.1% of Australians were registered as being born in England, which makes the English the largest single country of foreign ancestry. The Brits were followed by New Zealanders who made up 2.25%. In third position, the largest single Asian group was Chinese, at 1.48%. So while overall the numbers of Asian born Australians increased, the Poms and Kiwis remain the largest groups of foreigners in Australia. Also Asia is a big continent (actually, the biggest) and includes places as diverse as Malaysia, Nepal, Uzbekistan, Thailand, Bangladesh and Jordan (not to mention India and China who together comprise over 1/3 of the global population), so 8%, of 22 million, of 60% of the world’s population is not much. Further examination, of Australian ancestry in the 2011 census, shows that our most popular lineage is, in order, English, Australian, Irish, Scottish, Italian and German. The Chinese come in 7th position.
Ok, ok, so maybe the numbers haven’t increased as rapidly as predicted, but the Asians who are coming to Australia, our beautiful, fair go, ridgey didge, lucky country of Australia are draining our economy. Our standard of living has decreased and we must stop Asian immigration. Well hold on there, you’re right on one point. Asian immigration has certainly had a dramatic effect on our economy, and this is how.
Let’s take the example of Victoria. Melbourne, the capital of Australian until 1927 and the world’s most liveable city six times running (2011 – 16), has been severely affected by Asian immigration. Of all the international students in Victoria, not only are none of them Australian, but 9 of the top 10 countries represented are Asian (China, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and Sri Lanka), with Colombia the only non Asian country. This means that 90% of the $5.8 billion dollar industry that is international education is funded by Asians (it also happens to subsidise the fees of Australian students). Imagine what Victoria would be like without all that $5.8 billion dollars. Imagine.
Yeah ok, so international education is Victoria’s largest service export and critical to the state’s budget and the employment of thousands of Victorians, but what about elsewhere in the country, I mean the Chinese are buying all our agricultural land! Well, let’s examine that. First of all, 13.6% of Australian agricultural land is foreign owned. Of that, 53% or 27.5 million hectares is owned by UK based investors. What? What about the Chinese? I’ll get to them, now second on the list is USA, followed by the Netherlands and then Singapore, with 2 million hectares. China, with 1.5 million hectares, holds roughly 0.5 of all agricultural land in Australia. Whatsmore, foreign ownership of agricultural land contributes roughly $3 trillion to the Australian economy.
Hmm, ok so Asians are not swamping Australia in as large a number as the Poms and Kiwis, the Chinese don’t actually own as much farmland as I thought and by studying here Asians are bringing billions to state and national economies – but they are destroying our culture and way of life! Are they? In so many areas of quintessential Australian culture – sport, music, art, entertainment and business – Australians with Asian heritage are contributing in so many positive ways. Really, like who?
Sport – Caleb Ewan (Cycling), Usman Khawaja & Ashton Agar (Cricket), Andrew Embley, Clancee Pearce & Ling Jong (AFL), Jason Day (Golf), Kevin Gordon & Michael Letts (Rugby), Nick Kyrgios (Tennis) and Eric Pearce (Hockey).
Music, Art & Entertainment – Dani Im & Guy Sebastian (our Asian entrants to Eurovision), Mahalia Barnes (daughter of Jimmy, how much more Aussie can you get?!), Kate Ceberano, Benjamin Law, Jason Wan (Saw), Lawrence Leung, Lee Lin Chin & Janice Petersen (SBS newsreaders), Adam Liaw, Bobby Morley and Dougy Mandagi of Temper Trap, who performed at the 2012 AFL Grand Final.
Business – Priyanka Rao (Evolvex), Candice Chung (Daily Life), Jane Lu (showpo.com), Marita Cheng (Robogals Global), Maha Sinnathamby (Greater Springfield), Tim Fung & Jono Lui (Airtasker), Natalie Tran and Daniel Gulati.
Is that enough?
Yeah ok, so maybe the Asian invasion was overstated, but you can’t say the same for Muslims. That threat is real. Well, actually we can say much of the same. First of all as diverse as Asia is, Muslims come from many different countries, not just Syria, Iraq and Derka-derka-stan. Australian Muslims, who make up roughly 2.2% of the population (2011 census), come from 183 different countries including Morocco, Tanzania, Indonesia (where Bali is – and the world’s biggest Muslim country), France, Egypt, Fiji and Turkey. Furthermore in the same census, 38% of Australia’s Muslims were born in… wait for it… drum roll… Australia! Yes, the largest single portion of Australia’s Muslims were born right here in the land of fair dinkum. But that’s the problem, Islam is growing so fast in Australia, soon we’ll be overtaken with them. Well, hold on a minute, Islam is only the second fastest growing religion in Australia, second – to Hinduism. Oh, I didn’t know that. And Christianity still remains the dominant religion, with 61% of Australians of faith.
Here’s a list of Aussie Muslims too, Ahmed Fahour (CEO Australia Post), Ed Husic (Federal politician), Bachar Houli (AFL footballer), Munjed Al Muderis (Orthopaedic Surgeon), Yassmin Abdel-Magied (Engineer), John Ilhan (Crazy John’s), Mona Shidy (Royal Australian Navy Captain), Waleed Aly (Most popular person on TV), Jamal Rifi (Father of the Year 2015), Nazeem Hussein (Comedian), Fawad Ahmed (Victorian Cricketer), Carmen Martin (Taekwondo world champion). I could on and on, just by listing a whole bunch of my friends too…
Twenty years ago Australia supposedly stood at the crossroads. A lone voice cried out, pleading with us, warning us and ready to fight for us. For what? Asian immigration to Australia has evidently reaped enormous benefits for our country. Not just in the past 20 years, but in decades past. Now that same voice from 20 years ago has replaced ‘Asian’ with ‘Muslim,’ a cut and paste message of intolerance, ignorance, misunderstanding, division and hate. It is a voice and message that will not bring Australians together, but push them further apart. Humankind is all too experienced at pushing each other apart and any voice that further promotes that is not one we should be listening to.