Insecurities appealed to

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Last updated on August 6th, 2017 at 03:13 pm

The International Herald Tribune analyses evil Australia:

Prime Minister John Howard has always had reservations about the concept of multiculturalism, and although he has led the country for more than 11 years …

Correction: Howard has led Australia for fewer than 11 years.

In the past he has made significant gains at the ballot box by appealing to the insecurities of middle Australia, particularly over immigration. Migrants constitute a relatively small part of his coalition’s support.

Please do provide us with numbers on this, International Herald Tribune.

Speaking at a citizenship ceremony on Friday to mark Australia Day, Howard outlined some of what he thought were typically Australian values: democracy, the rule of law, sexual and racial equality, and a common language, English.

But his words carried little comfort for people like Keysar Trad, a Lebanese immigrant and the head of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia. “I love these values,” he said, “but when he talks about them, they are little more than clichés; they tend to be exclusive. They are encouraging racism through national pride. It’s a recipe for a highly polarized society.”

Another way to achieve a highly polarised society: defend the words of someone who claims Australians “have no democracy, no freedom. They are the worst liars and unjust people”.

Immigrants like Trad complain that the Australian flag and nationalism have been hijacked by white Australians of European extraction: “There’s an attitude that if you are not white, you are somehow less equal,” he said.

There’s an attitude, far more pronounced in certain quarters, that if you are not MUslim you are definitely less equal.

Howard has added to the suspicion that some cultures are less equal than others.

If multiculturalism “means that we’re going to encourage people to maintain their differences and that basically we have an attitude that, well, all cultures are equal, all cultures are the same, then I don’t think people feel comfortable with that,” he said in a radio interview last year.

It’s undeniable that some cultures are superior to others. For example, today’s culture is superior to Australia’s culture in, say, the 1920s, when women weren’t allowed the same freedoms as men.

Muslim immigrants like Trad said that they have had to cope with increased suspicion since the attacks on the United States and that Arab Australians have been particularly hard hit.

“The situation is definitely getting worse,” Trad said. “The attitude now is much more tolerant of racism.”

The IHT should’ve interviewed Turkish immigrant John Ilhan, but it seems they had no interest in someone with a job.

(Via Sandi)

Posted by Tim B. on 02/01/2007 at 08:53 AM
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