RECENTLY, a number of cities and towns around Australia were targeted by a group that calls themselves “Reclaim Australia”, who tried to hold racist anti-Islamic rallies in order to state their opposition to “sharia law, halal tax and Islamisation”.
Thankfully these hateful and ignorant protesters were outnumbered by anti-racist counter protesters, and the rallies were largely a failure, however they have served to highlight the level and intensity of racist bigotry and ignorance still prevalent in some quarters of our society.
Our current federal government has paved the way for such fearful and ignorant racism with billions of dollars miraculously found in a “budget in crisis” to create “anti-terrorism” campaigns and to collect all Australians’ meta data as a way of “protecting us” from what is largely a vastly overstated terrorist threat. Tony Abbott’s recent attack on Muslim leaders telling them that they need to stamp out an Islamic extremism, that really doesn’t exist in Australia, was similarly not helpful.
With Abbott's now legendary ignorance on display in this context, it is then easy for other ignorant people to then confuse “terrorism” with “Islam”, despite all the facts that prove otherwise. Only 2 per cent of Australians list their religion as “Islam” and there has been many more terrorist acts in Australia at the hands of the far-right, than there has been from Islam.
Depressing as this sort of ignorance and intolerance is, I have taken away a little hope from these awful rallies. Firstly, the racists at these rallies were vastly outnumbered by those proclaiming anti-racism and tolerance - that is a good feeling to know that there are more people who care about others than those who are so hateful.
Secondly, they effectively stopped these rallies from occurring as planned and attracted more media attention than Reclaim Australia would have received otherwise (being a very small group of people). Finally, they provided a great deal of ammunition with which to discredit their own ideas, like this gem from Danny Nalliah from the Rise Up Australia Party, who said we are “not against Muslim people, but (we are) opposed to the teachings of Islam”.
Given a Muslim is someone who practices Islam, it obviously doesn’t make a lot of sense. Many more similarly ludicrous statements were made that only served to highlight the ignorance and fear of these people. Ignorance breeds fear, and fear can quickly breed hatred and violence.
Australia is long overdue for leadership that creates the social environment for tolerance, understanding, and peace. I am confident that these rallies are a direct result of our lack of such leadership. Abbott and the others in his right-wing and ignorant “Team Australia” have to go.
WELL done on the letter from Jay Nauss regarding vaccinations. I was a long-time advocate for vaccinations, like a lot of people. After I conducted my own research, from multiple sources, I was quite shocked at the findings. Not only the ingredients in some of the vaccines have no benefit, but the side effects, though rare, can be deadly.
If the government was trying to help the people and not the pharmaceuticals they would look at cause/prevention, rather than reduction in severity with shots.
The fact the media/government alone are pushing vaccinations says a lot. What government wants to give away money on vaccines when all they talk about is how broke they are?
To the offensive, Elika Inman argues the point that parent are silly and stupid for not vaccinating, I say do some research so you have at least one valid point. It’s easy to be a sheep, it’s rare to find a smart one.
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