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A threat to our culture?

By John Hargreaves 9 November 2015 118

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Tonight, I’m going to a Divali function. This is one of the Indian festivals which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. It is called the Festival of Lights because this is where when we atone for wrongdoings, the light emerges showing the way forward to a bright future. This is only one of the multicultural festivals I enjoy.

Loy Kratong is the Buddhist version and happens later in the year where candles are placed in paper lotus flowers, lit and set adrift, sending our sins away.

The Mosque Open Days are ways the Muslims share their faith with others by way of transparency. They open their doors and their hearts to people who want to understand what makes Islam tick.

I’ve been to Hanukkah celebrations at the Jewish Memorial Centre and been honoured to be allowed into their holist of places.

The other week I attended a book launch by my good friend Kabu Okai-Davies. Kabu is a Ghanaian from West Africa and he tells stories about his journey from Africa to his new home via Canada and the joys he has now found here.

Next week, I think, is an East African celebration which is rich in music, food and colour.

These are some of the ways people from other cultures are sharing their uniqueness as Aussies by choice, not by birth.

The most obvious way Canberrans show off their multiculturalism is of course the National Multicultural Festival in February each year. The acclaim that the festival has acquired over the years is demonstrated by the curiosity shown to me by the Vice-Mayor of Beijing when I visited there as Minister for Multicultural Affairs. This most senior of officials sought my advice on how we embraced our minority groups and how we regarded these new citizens as equals.

I was talking to my good friends Deepak-Raj Gupta, who is one of our most senior and influential Indian-Canberrans, and Mark Kulasingham, a Canberran who was born in Malaysia of Indian culture but who has grown up here, about the notion of multiculturalism here and interstate.

One of the most consistent negative comments we agreed that we hear was that these boat people are a threat to our culture. I asked the question – what culture would that be and how is threatened? The answers were far from satisfactory.

“This is a Christian country and these boat people will Islamise our country.” Really? And how is that going to happen? I think that the majority Christian religions might have a view on that. If they are threatened that the theology of Islam is threatening them, what are they doing about spreading their own theology? The Buddhists and Hindus here don’t see Islam as the threat. Only the Christians do. Shame that.

I remember the same negativity when the Vietnamese came by boats. All a lot of rubbish. The Italians, Greeks, Spanish, etc were also threatening our culture in the 1950s yet it was okay for them to provide fruit and vegetables and hydroelectric schemes, doing work that “Aussies” wouldn’t do. I can go on and on and relate many of the nonsensical accusations of threats to our culture and I’m sure that you readers can add your own.

But let’s look at what culture we are protecting by sending these people back.

We speak English. This is not indigenous to Australia. So we are actually protecting a British culture. Right.

What about literature? When was the last time Australian authors more keenly sought after than say, American or English authors? Not in my time. How about cinema? What was the last film you watched? Was it an Australian film or an American or British one? Did you watch the Oscars or the Australian Film and Television Awards? What is the cultural content of our TV programs? Even the magazines we read are in overseas format, usually American.

Where do our fashions come from? Europe and America. Not here.

So the culture we are protecting is predominantly the US culture, with some British influence. Little of it is truly Aussie.

When was the last time the Tamworth Country Music Festival was given the same prominence as the Eurovision Song Contest?

So… the culture we are protecting is that of a bible bashing, gun-toting, murderously violence society which has an appalling human rights record. A society which has taken us to wars we can’t win, wars that have displaced people so that they need to come here as refugees, and one which uses TV programs to spread its propaganda of how society should behave. Well, that works for me! Not.

I haven’t heard those wanting to exclude Muslims, Asians, Africans say that they are protecting the culture of the first peoples. I haven’t heard any explanation from them on why it is that we are happy to keep the first peoples in abject poverty yet say that we want to protect our way of life.

I want to keep the Aussie way of life too, but recognise that it is not American, it is not British but rather it is an amalgam of many cultures. The mixture is what makes Australia what it is.

What’s Your opinion?


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A threat to our culture?
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dungfungus 2:54 pm 19 Nov 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

Nilrem said :

watto23 said :

gazket said :

Muslims won’t even eat our food unless it has a stupid halal symbol that we the non Muslim pay for.

I’ve got a few muslim friends who stray from halal food. I’ve drunk alcohol with a muslim also. Just like the majority of christians who stray from what they strictly should be doing. Australian law allows for that and it will take time for muslims to choose how they wish to live under a secular government.

I’m almost certain given a choice of enjoying our freedoms and the freedom of following their beliefs how they want to, muslims in Australia will adopt far more of our freedoms, than the ridiculous unfounded notion that they want Sharia law in this country. Which is no different to the catholic church not wanting things like marriage equality. They want Catholic laws to be the law.

There are many muslims in Turkey that drink alcohol and grog is freely available in shops there. Not all muslims are strict about Halal.

Would that alcohol have been a factor in the disrespectful boo-ing and chanting during the minute’s silence for the French terror victims at the Greek/Istanbul soccer match? Turks are predominately Muslim, so obviously reflecting the Islamic feelings toward the French and the Western World in general. They don’t even have the decency to respect the dead, what chance of finding any peaceful solution to this ultimate battle between good and evil?

They must have been “lone wolf boozers”.
Actually, dying to get respect (martyrdom) is what it is all about. We can’t do anything about that.

wildturkeycanoe 7:16 am 19 Nov 15

Nilrem said :

watto23 said :

gazket said :

Muslims won’t even eat our food unless it has a stupid halal symbol that we the non Muslim pay for.

I’ve got a few muslim friends who stray from halal food. I’ve drunk alcohol with a muslim also. Just like the majority of christians who stray from what they strictly should be doing. Australian law allows for that and it will take time for muslims to choose how they wish to live under a secular government.

I’m almost certain given a choice of enjoying our freedoms and the freedom of following their beliefs how they want to, muslims in Australia will adopt far more of our freedoms, than the ridiculous unfounded notion that they want Sharia law in this country. Which is no different to the catholic church not wanting things like marriage equality. They want Catholic laws to be the law.

There are many muslims in Turkey that drink alcohol and grog is freely available in shops there. Not all muslims are strict about Halal.

Would that alcohol have been a factor in the disrespectful boo-ing and chanting during the minute’s silence for the French terror victims at the Greek/Istanbul soccer match? Turks are predominately Muslim, so obviously reflecting the Islamic feelings toward the French and the Western World in general. They don’t even have the decency to respect the dead, what chance of finding any peaceful solution to this ultimate battle between good and evil?

FionaF 6:33 pm 18 Nov 15

It now takes two people in the household to be working just to make ends meet; it used to be one. Liberalism is overrated. When do we start to stand up for ourselves and not be mesmerised by the vapid words of politicians and the crafty agendas of mainstream media?

dungfungus 2:03 pm 18 Nov 15

watto23 said :

gazket said :

Muslims won’t even eat our food unless it has a stupid halal symbol that we the non Muslim pay for.

I’ve got a few muslim friends who stray from halal food. I’ve drunk alcohol with a muslim also. Just like the majority of christians who stray from what they strictly should be doing. Australian law allows for that and it will take time for muslims to choose how they wish to live under a secular government.

I’m almost certain given a choice of enjoying our freedoms and the freedom of following their beliefs how they want to, muslims in Australia will adopt far more of our freedoms, than the ridiculous unfounded notion that they want Sharia law in this country. Which is no different to the catholic church not wanting things like marriage equality. They want Catholic laws to be the law.

Sharia law permits a Muslim man having more than one wife (also called his possessions).
Sharia law bans homosexuality.
So, “marriage equality” for Muslims is much fairer than the Catholic Church?
Give me a break!

Nilrem 1:02 pm 18 Nov 15

watto23 said :

gazket said :

Muslims won’t even eat our food unless it has a stupid halal symbol that we the non Muslim pay for.

I’ve got a few muslim friends who stray from halal food. I’ve drunk alcohol with a muslim also. Just like the majority of christians who stray from what they strictly should be doing. Australian law allows for that and it will take time for muslims to choose how they wish to live under a secular government.

I’m almost certain given a choice of enjoying our freedoms and the freedom of following their beliefs how they want to, muslims in Australia will adopt far more of our freedoms, than the ridiculous unfounded notion that they want Sharia law in this country. Which is no different to the catholic church not wanting things like marriage equality. They want Catholic laws to be the law.

There are many muslims in Turkey that drink alcohol and grog is freely available in shops there. Not all muslims are strict about Halal.

pink little birdie 12:07 pm 18 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

JC said :

miz said :

Comments that Canberra does multiculturalism well are hilarious – because Canberra would have to be the most Anglo capital in Australia. We really do not face the confronting aspects of it here that are commonplace in other cities.

Because they have assimilated, which is exactly what others are calling for. Thank you for proving my point.

Those foreign minorities are there and in large numbers, they just don’t stand out. Isn’t that what people want?

Referring to your last paragraph, you are correct:
http://www.idca.org.au/mosques-centres/m-act.html
There is now a section of the Theo Notaris Multicultural Centre (North Building) that is a virtual mosque on Fridays.

It what happens when people make a big issue about building mosques and delaying them as long as possible.
engagement with community groups such as being active in your community religion of choice leads to positive outcomes for society and the individual. Social services are less because of the community factor.

dungfungus 11:02 am 18 Nov 15

JC said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

miz said :

Comments that Canberra does multiculturalism well are hilarious – because Canberra would have to be the most Anglo capital in Australia. We really do not face the confronting aspects of it here that are commonplace in other cities.

Because they have assimilated, which is exactly what others are calling for. Thank you for proving my point.

Those foreign minorities are there and in large numbers, they just don’t stand out. Isn’t that what people want?

Referring to your last paragraph, you are correct:
http://www.idca.org.au/mosques-centres/m-act.html
There is now a section of the Theo Notaris Multicultural Centre (North Building) that is a virtual mosque on Fridays.

So what? It’s a multicultural centre, do you expect to see if full of white Anglo-Saxons? And what is wrong with there being a (Muslim) prayer room in there? No one is forcing you to go in for prayers.

It’s not the Muslim prayer room, it’s the largest area in the building.

Again so what? They are probably hiring out the room, and again they are not forcing you to go in for prayers.

Bet you wouldn’t have an issue if one of these Praise The Lord sing a long churches was holding prayers there, now would you?

Nothing to do with prayers – the point is that you claim this group is here in large numbers but they don’t stand out.
The hall has a capacity for 350 people – I call that a stand out. Soon they will be demanding space to build a mosque in the middle of Canberra.

JC 10:45 am 18 Nov 15

HenryBG said :

JC said :

So what? It’s a multicultural centre, do you expect to see if full of white Anglo-Saxons?

Gosh, so when you say “multicultural”, you actually mean…something else…?

It’s been good this week seeing the Left intellectually disintegrate.

Not sure what left right has anything to do with it. But the Anglos-Saxons were the original inhabitants of England, who in turn colonised Australia and whom some on this board think we owe our culture too and anything non English is bad. Muslim prayers in a multicultural centre on Fridays for example.

JC 10:42 am 18 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

miz said :

Comments that Canberra does multiculturalism well are hilarious – because Canberra would have to be the most Anglo capital in Australia. We really do not face the confronting aspects of it here that are commonplace in other cities.

Because they have assimilated, which is exactly what others are calling for. Thank you for proving my point.

Those foreign minorities are there and in large numbers, they just don’t stand out. Isn’t that what people want?

Referring to your last paragraph, you are correct:
http://www.idca.org.au/mosques-centres/m-act.html
There is now a section of the Theo Notaris Multicultural Centre (North Building) that is a virtual mosque on Fridays.

So what? It’s a multicultural centre, do you expect to see if full of white Anglo-Saxons? And what is wrong with there being a (Muslim) prayer room in there? No one is forcing you to go in for prayers.

It’s not the Muslim prayer room, it’s the largest area in the building.

Again so what? They are probably hiring out the room, and again they are not forcing you to go in for prayers.

Bet you wouldn’t have an issue if one of these Praise The Lord sing a long churches was holding prayers there, now would you?

pink little birdie 9:57 am 18 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

pink little birdie said :

miz said :

Comments that Canberra does multiculturalism well are hilarious – because Canberra would have to be the most Anglo capital in Australia. We really do not face the confronting aspects of it here that are commonplace in other cities.

Not really we let them get on with their lives peacefully and we love their food… basically Canberra is ok with other cultures because we see them as regular people with similar interests and aspirations to our selves.
With different foods that they usually share. Food is delicious.

The English migrants have enchanted us with their signature dish Bangers and Mash.

Their are many Sausage making competiton winning butcheries in Canberra and Mash is delicious.

Mostly people want to live in peace and in Canberra we are pretty good at letting them and sharing their delicious food.
But multiple people agree with me… They are people first and want the same things we generally want. A place to be with our family and friends in peace.

HenryBG 7:36 pm 17 Nov 15

JC said :

So what? It’s a multicultural centre, do you expect to see if full of white Anglo-Saxons?

Gosh, so when you say “multicultural”, you actually mean…something else…?

It’s been good this week seeing the Left intellectually disintegrate.

dungfungus 3:34 pm 17 Nov 15

JC said :

dungfungus said :

JC said :

miz said :

Comments that Canberra does multiculturalism well are hilarious – because Canberra would have to be the most Anglo capital in Australia. We really do not face the confronting aspects of it here that are commonplace in other cities.

Because they have assimilated, which is exactly what others are calling for. Thank you for proving my point.

Those foreign minorities are there and in large numbers, they just don’t stand out. Isn’t that what people want?

Referring to your last paragraph, you are correct:
http://www.idca.org.au/mosques-centres/m-act.html
There is now a section of the Theo Notaris Multicultural Centre (North Building) that is a virtual mosque on Fridays.

So what? It’s a multicultural centre, do you expect to see if full of white Anglo-Saxons? And what is wrong with there being a (Muslim) prayer room in there? No one is forcing you to go in for prayers.

It’s not the Muslim prayer room, it’s the largest area in the building.

JC 2:10 pm 17 Nov 15

pink little birdie said :

With different foods that they usually share. Food is delicious.

My neighbour is Sri Lankan, they make the best goat curry you would ever want to taste.

My wife is Thai, two doors up is a lovley Aussie lady with Vietnamese parents who also has some great food and are wonderful neighbours.

JC 2:05 pm 17 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

JC said :

miz said :

Comments that Canberra does multiculturalism well are hilarious – because Canberra would have to be the most Anglo capital in Australia. We really do not face the confronting aspects of it here that are commonplace in other cities.

Because they have assimilated, which is exactly what others are calling for. Thank you for proving my point.

Those foreign minorities are there and in large numbers, they just don’t stand out. Isn’t that what people want?

Referring to your last paragraph, you are correct:
http://www.idca.org.au/mosques-centres/m-act.html
There is now a section of the Theo Notaris Multicultural Centre (North Building) that is a virtual mosque on Fridays.

So what? It’s a multicultural centre, do you expect to see if full of white Anglo-Saxons? And what is wrong with there being a (Muslim) prayer room in there? No one is forcing you to go in for prayers.

JC 1:57 pm 17 Nov 15

miz said :

No, it doesn’t prove your point at all, JC – first, there are significantly fewer minorities in Canberra in general (see post 53).

Second, the ones that are here are (not all, but mostly) educated and employed and therefore often reasonably well off (as you have to be in Canberra to manage financially), with fewer social problems than the large numbers that live in other cities.
I am not against immigration or compassion per se, but you have to also look after your own and make sure existing populations are not seriously disadvantaged by it. You wouldn’t open your house to other families if the cost was displacing your own family from your own house. You would look carefully at the capacity of your house and related services first, right? This aspect tends to get neglected.

Post 53 doesn’t say that. All post 53 says is circa 2% more were born in Aus in Canberra compared to the national average.

However it also says further down that the national average for Christians is 61.1% and for the ACT it is 54.6%. Is that because maybe because there are more people with a non European back-grounds (the predominate followers of Christianity in the world). Who knows but those stats don’t say that either way but you could possibly draw that conclusion, just like you have in saying there are less minorities here because 2% more were born in Aus.

And agree with your comment about there being less of the lower end migrants in the ACT, which gets back to the point I was making, we still have a large number of migrants in the ACT but they are not as obvious, but that doesn’t mean they are not there.

watto23 1:11 pm 17 Nov 15

gazket said :

Muslims won’t even eat our food unless it has a stupid halal symbol that we the non Muslim pay for.

I’ve got a few muslim friends who stray from halal food. I’ve drunk alcohol with a muslim also. Just like the majority of christians who stray from what they strictly should be doing. Australian law allows for that and it will take time for muslims to choose how they wish to live under a secular government.

I’m almost certain given a choice of enjoying our freedoms and the freedom of following their beliefs how they want to, muslims in Australia will adopt far more of our freedoms, than the ridiculous unfounded notion that they want Sharia law in this country. Which is no different to the catholic church not wanting things like marriage equality. They want Catholic laws to be the law.

dungfungus 12:24 pm 17 Nov 15

pink little birdie said :

miz said :

Comments that Canberra does multiculturalism well are hilarious – because Canberra would have to be the most Anglo capital in Australia. We really do not face the confronting aspects of it here that are commonplace in other cities.

Not really we let them get on with their lives peacefully and we love their food… basically Canberra is ok with other cultures because we see them as regular people with similar interests and aspirations to our selves.
With different foods that they usually share. Food is delicious.

The English migrants have enchanted us with their signature dish Bangers and Mash.

pink little birdie 9:41 am 17 Nov 15

miz said :

Comments that Canberra does multiculturalism well are hilarious – because Canberra would have to be the most Anglo capital in Australia. We really do not face the confronting aspects of it here that are commonplace in other cities.

Not really we let them get on with their lives peacefully and we love their food… basically Canberra is ok with other cultures because we see them as regular people with similar interests and aspirations to our selves.
With different foods that they usually share. Food is delicious.

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