Future applicants for Australian citizenship will asked a series of questions on “Australian values,” touching on subjects such as wife-beating, child marriage, genital mutilation and girls’ right to an education.
The government denies these questions are targeting Muslims.
“They’re not pointed at anybody in particular,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told a morning television show Thursday, when asked if Muslims were in the government’s crosshairs.
“They’re pointed at people who might think domestic violence is okay – well it’s not,” he said. “We should say to people who want to become Australian citizens that it is against the law, and if you have a different view, frankly we don’t want you to become an Australian citizen.”
Later Thursday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a raft of changes to the country’s citizenship policies. In future applicants will have to have lived in the country for four years rather than one, take a more stringent English test, and the citizenship test questions will be broadened to deal with what he called “Australian values.”
“We don’t define ourselves, like many other countries do, by race or religion or ethnicity,” he said in a television interview on Thursday night.