28 May 2008

A Camden Update...

The reaction in the press has been swift and this reaction has reached not only Indonesia but much further afield to the like of the United Kingdom from whence us convicts originated from many a generation ago!

As I posted earlier, it seems that there are others that are also of the belief that the ability of the Camden Council to reject the proposal based on traffic concerns seemed all too convenient and a little too political.

Since the decision last night a huge wooden crucifix has been erected on the site and a passage from the Bible affixed to it that reads:

"David and Goliath. The battle is won. This is the King of Kings Land. Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. (Eph 6:18)."

Let me play Devil's Advocate here for a bit and raise a few questions.

Some of the interviews with local residents reflected that the happiness that they felt with the rejection of the development proposal had nothing to do with planning issues but an intense desire not to have Muslims in the community because they would build Mosques, ghetto-ize Camden, and make Camden a hot bed of fundamentalist Islamic activity.

1. Is Australia truly a multicultural nation or is that just lip service to an ideal?

2. Isn't it true that racism is alive and well in Australian small towns with limited numbers of migrants?

3. Would this planning / development proposal been rejected if the school was to be an Anglican, Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish school?

4. Isn't it true that schools have always been built in rural areas and usually on farm land converted for that purpose?

There are probably a thousand other questions I could ask but these four will suffice for now.

I am certain that the Quranic Society will appeal this decision to the Land and Environment Court and I think they have a good chance of winning. It seems the objections on which the Council based its decision play more to political expediency than good development sense.

There is also a history in the sense that the last time a similar case came before the Court where a development application was rejected by the Baulkham Hills Council for an Islamic Prayer Hall for reasons that it did not fit the community profile, the Council decision was overturned by the Court. The prayer hall has been built!

For Australia to really move forward and become a leader in community relations we have to escape this culture of fear and religious intolerance.


Therry said...

I'm not familiar with the NSW area but if I'm not mistaken, the state should've been more multicultural than Victoria.

Some friends who've lived in Sydney even stated that the city is not much different than Hong Kong since there are so many Asians there, and there's even a whole suburb filled with Indonesians!

This is sad - how people use religion just because they are xenophobics. I am a Christian and I 'm embarassed with their behavior, truly Jesus Christ's teachings to love one another is simply lost with the lot of them.

Moreover, I think their judgment that by having a Muslim community in their area means allowing fundamentalist Islamic activity such as those depicted in Fitna, is clouded by the way the media has represented Islam as a religion.

Unfortunately, the religion itself has not received good reputations lately. I can't imagine what the Camden people would even think if they saw the FPI murder incitement clip posted at IM.

It makes me think of the question I asked at someone's blog a while ago, about the treatment of Muslims to the minorities, in which he replied that because Muslims have been minorities in other countries and receive bad treatments from the others, then I, as a Christian and a minority must accept to be treated the same.

Seriously - when is this war of religion going to end?

Rob Baiton said...

Hey Therry...

Camden is not really the city, it might be called a suburb (and one day may in fact become one) but it is not. It is a small city, some might say town, on the very outskirts of Sydney and out past Campbelltown.

I am sure I read the posts that you refer to about mistreatment. It is a stupid argument, no ifs, no buts, and no maybes. Yet, it is an argument that I hear often; we have been mistreated so this gives us the right to mistreat others -- stupid!

When will the war of religion end? It will end when we agree to be tolerant of each others different beliefs or it will end when only one remains (very Highlander-ish if you are a fan of the Highlander series)...

thanks for dropping by!

LavanyaLea said...

somehow one of ur recent posts don't get on well with Firefox, it kept being frozen everytime I tried to open it!!!

Rob Baiton said...

Really? Which one?

I will check to see if I did anything stupid, but I think I did everything the same like I usually do...