A rally demanding justice for refugees in Melbourne, Australia, last month. Photo Credit: Rex Features, via Associated Press Images

Oceania: Australia’s Immoral Preference for Christian Refugees

Article in The New York Times
4 May, 2017

“Like many Western countries, Australia has agreed to resettle refugees from the wars in Syria and Iraq. Unlike other countries, Australia explicitly favors Christians, even though they are a minority of those seeking refuge….”

“The Australian approach is in part motivated by a belief expressed in private by government ministers, and in public by Christian groups like Mr. Sheldon’s, that Christians are more likely to integrate into Australia’s Anglo-Christian-dominated culture than Muslims. “They have a worldview that’s more aligned with the founding principles of our society,” Mr. Sheldon said of Christians.”

“Selecting refugees based on their spiritual beliefs is a form of state-supported prejudice that secular societies like Australia have a moral obligation to reject.”

Australia is in urgent need of a constitutional human rights framework which would allow judges, at the request of anyone, to judge the conformity of any legislation or executive decisions to human rights standards, without regard to political controversy or electoral pressure, and to disavow them when they violate the human rights of anyone within Australian jurisdiction and cannot be otherwise justified.

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