Monday, June 02, 2008
Australians: they LOVE a foreigner
What I find so eternally amusing about Australia - a place where some (myself among them) would argue that racism is more ingrained and more widely tolerated among general society than most other nations (except perhaps France) is just how pointlessly and passionately they claim the opposite to be true. Australia WANTS to see itself as a place where everything is fair dinkum, where everyone gets "a fair go", and where there really honestly isn't a mountain of ill-informed prejudice against all brown folk festering just beneath the surface.
See, for example, the desire to prevent the opening of a new Muslim school in suburban Sydney is NOT an illustration of the society's knee-jerk Islamaphobia, it's about planning issues:
Councillors for Camden, a small town on the outskirts of Sydney, unanimously voted against the proposed school for 1200 pupils. The councillors said they based their decision solely on planning grounds, citing an internal report about its environmental impact.
The proposed development had met with fierce local opposition. Camden's authorities received some 3,200 submissions from the public about the school and only 100 in favour.
Camden's mayor, Chris Patterson, stressed that the decision to reject the proposals was not made on religious or nationalistic grounds. "It is a site issue, clearly a site issue," Mr Patterson said after the vote.'
'Tensions reached their height last November when two pigs' heads were left on the site of the proposed school...'