I am proud to be Australian! Always have been and always will be. That does not mean I have to agree with what other Australians do and neither does it mean they speak on my behalf.
After the racially driven anti-Islamic school ruckus in Camden some months ago there is more trouble brewing, this time in Austral, a suburb within the Liverpool City Council area. Some might argue that the Camden decision was purely a zoning and environmental suitability issue and the fact that the development proposal was from the Quranic Society was irrelevant. The footage that played out on the TV and commentary in the media would suggest that religion had everything to do with the ultimate decision even though it might have been packaged some other way.
These tensions are about to be reignited as a company called ASFA has lodged a development proposal with the Liverpool City Council to build a joint primary school and high school facility to be known as Qaadari College. The student capacity is expected to be no more than 600 pupils. I am not sure that there are any requirements that you have to be a Muslim to enrol or that you have to agree to become a Muslim to enrol.
In comparison, I teach at a few universities in Indonesia, one of which was established by a Christian family and maintains a Christian philosophy. I have noticed some Muslim faces in the crowd, those wearing the Jilbab or Hijab, so the policy is clearly not one of exclusion or inclusion based on religion. So, if this were to be the case with Qaadari College would this make any difference? Would it make any difference if the development proposal was from a group wanting to build a 600 pupil college to be known as St Paul's College?
The residents near the proposed school say that it would not matter. There only concern is that a 600-pupil school will destroy the serenity they currently enjoy and upset the peacefulness of the area. I am guessing the peacefulness here is not some Zen Buddhist approach to life. Maybe the concern is that if it is a Muslim school then there are sure to be the obligatory call to prayer. So, maybe this is what will disturb the peace?
If this is true then so be it. However, even if it is true then the agenda is seemingly just about to be hijacked by those keen to promote and highlight the ills of a multicultural Australia and those that are keen to use such development applications to promote an anti-immigration platform and the value of maintaining an Anglo-Celtic-European-white heritage. If you want to check out the thought patterns of these individuals then register at australianidentity.net and have a read for yourself. You cannot get on without registering first.
There you will find these little pearls of wisdom:
"Multiculturalism means never having to go overseas to find an enemy."
If this does not tell you what these people are about then you do not understand the subtlety of the sledge hammer. The above is the signature of someone known as Casapound. I do not know whether this is important but Casapound is a "Hero Member". I suppose the site sets out how one becomes a hero member but I have not gotten that far into the site to find out.
My guess is that those opposed to the development proposal will be organizing themselves through sites such as this one and others.
My concern is that these proposals are not being considered on merit but rather on the basis or fear and intimidation. For me, fear and intimidation is not the Australian way, or at least it should not be in 2008.
I want my kids to grow up in an Australia that is tolerant of the great diversity that we have.
These are things for me to ponder.
You do not have to register to browse on the Australian Identity site. I did have to register to leave a comment.