Turnbull government ministers defend tough new changes to citizenship test


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MALCOLM Turnbull is just “pandering” to One Nation voters with sweeping changes to Australia’s citizenship test, according to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president.

AFIC president Keysar Trad says he agrees with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton that the changes to the test don’t target Muslims.

But Mr Trad told News Corp he believes the changes were more about pandering to “Hanson-voters” rather than providing any tangible benefit to the nation.


“I agree with Peter Dutton. I don’t believe it’s targeting any group but it is pandering to a group.

It’s pandering to the stereotypes of Hanson voters,” Mr Trad said.

In January, Senator Hanson suggested further police checks and a requirement for migrants to demonstrate English language proficiency.

She called the former test questions “stupid”, “childish” and “laughable”.

“I want to know that they’ve got money in the bank, I want to know where they’re going to live, have they got a roof over their head or are we going to have to provide that for them,” she told Channel Seven at the time.

“I want to know if they’ve got their own health insurance, I want to know if they’ve got a police check.

“We have to check these people. We are fools, we are being taken for mugs in this country.”


A massive shake-up to the test announced this morning will make the test to become a citizen much more difficult, with migrants to be quizzed on their commitment to Australian values to weed out terrorists and criminals.



Mr Dutton has denied the changes are pointed at Muslim migrants amid concerns about violent extremism stirred up by terrorist group Islamic State.

The Immigration Minister said 99 per cent of Australia’s Muslim community were law abiding citizens who would find domestic violence abhorrent.

“What I want is, frankly, for people to abide by our laws, adopt our values, I want them to send their kids to school, if they’re of working age and have an ability to work, I want them working, not on welfare,” Mr Dutton told Channel Seven’s Sunrise program.

“I want people to become great Australians which is the migrant story of our country.”

He insisted the new test was not targeted at any group despite its pointed questions on domestic violence.


“They are pointed at people who might think that domestic violence is okay — well, it’s not,” he said.

“If you have a different view, frankly we don’t you want you to become an Australian citizen.”

Mr Trad said AFIC supported Australian values and strongly backed freedom of education for both genders.

He did not believe the citizenship test changes were targeted at Muslims or any other group.

But he said the government was pandering to a small, ignorant section of society.

“It is targeted more at pandering rather than providing any benefit to the nation,” Mr Trad said.

“We have laws in this country that target those areas of concern.”

He said Australia’s ministers should operate “at a higher standard”.

Online Source: News

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