Muslims are outraged that prospective citizens will have to acknowledge the Judeo-Christian tradition as the basis of Australia’s values system. Australia’s peak Muslim body said the proposed citizenship question was disturbing and potentially divisive. Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Dr Ameer Ali said the “Abrahamic tradition” or “universal values” would be less divisive ways of describing the nation’s moral base.
Dr Ali was backed by Democrats senator Lyn Allison, who said the answer to the question was highly debatable. But Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews stood firm on the merit of the question. Mr Andrews said Australia’s Judeo-Christian heritage was indisputable historical fact. But Health Minister Tony Abbott confused the issue, saying the modern Australian values system was secular, or of no particular religion.