Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I call myself an Australian



My parents arrived in this country on a boat, and yet I call myself an Australian.

As a disabled woman, I am in a minority group, yet I call myself an Australian.

But according to racist pages promoting a new rally - the 'Reclaim Australia Rally' - 'patriotic Australians' need to stand together and stop the minorities from changing our country. They're marching in April to tell the rest of Australia that they don't want halal certification, burqas and the teaching of Islam in government schools. In short, they don't want Muslims in our country, and they don't want our country to change to suit them.

3,306 likes in Perth, and another 500 or so in Bunbury. One in almost every state. It saddens me, because this is the message to anyone who is different - 'we will not tolerate diversity'.

My parents arrived on the 'right kind of boat'. They were ten pound Poms, and my father was skilled and the right shade of white. He was Dutch, and his peers were self described 'wogs' and 'dings' - people from Italy or Greece or Malta, paid to come to this country under the Skilled Migrant program. Nowadays, being of Italian or Greek descent is unremarkable - but all the kids with salami sandwiches, back in the day, were teased relentlessly. I'm a first generation migrant, but nobody ever told me to go away because my very British mother bought Polo mints and held tea parties. No Aboriginal person ever told me that I should leave their country because I was white. Nobody ever told me what I ate or wore or did was wrong, or bad.

We will not tolerate diversity.

'We don't want to change the country to accommodate their needs', they say, and I feel uneasy. Because there is no reason that 'they' need halal - but there is also no reason that 'they' need steps, no reason they need to adjust their teaching in schools to accommodate differences. There is no reason 'they' should make things accessible and available to others, because we are a minority. Yet we disabled people lobby for change - change for a minority group. We will only ever be 20 percent of the population. Why should 'they' tolerate us and not them? Why should 'they' change? Why should 'they' tolerate difference, let alone embrace and welcome it?

'They' - the intolerant - are not just the rednecks from down the street. Facebook has a neat way of throwing up an algorithm that allows you to see the comments from your friends first. From the 'Reclaim Australia - Perth' page, a comment by one of our former Scout parents, a staunch Christian woman -

'Putting one or two or fifty in prison doesn't prevent their being replaced. They have to be removed from the country, every Islamic man, woman and child. As long as one Muslim remains there will be someone with intent on seeking the Islamic state agenda.'

Unfriended.

And these views, from others -

'Islam is islam, the quran is the quran. No such thing as moderate Muslim.'
'That is true, and only because the tenets of islam teach them to do these very things! The fact that the majority of muslims choose not to openly engage in jihad against non-believers, simply means they are not good muslims. Those who do engage in jihad are the ones who follow the qur'an and hadiths very closely.'

And I think about my yesterday afternoon, which was spent with my friend and her mother. She always feeds me too much and I regard her as my own mother. We talked about each having six children (she with four girls, me with four boys) and breastfeeding and how wonderfully hot the weather was. I told her that I couldn't wear a hijab and long sleeves, I would roast, and she unbuttoned her dress to show me the light cotton wear underneath. I would still roast, I told her, and she smiled. Family talk, more offers of baklava, and I went home, and slept, and woke to these posts.

I spent my yesterday morning talking to people, including an Aboriginal artist who chatted easily with me about country, and his mob and mine, and painting styles and cultural traditions in Aboriginal art. I'm as white as the driven snow, but I'm still accepted as Australian by our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, the original owners of this land. We invaded this country, and brought our culture with us - my culture included, there is a fish and chip shop on every corner, teapots in every store. I went to my friend's house, then home to sleep, and woke to these posts.

I am almost in tears.

They horrify me, those posts, the idea of a rally against difference. This is not the Australia I was born into. This is not the Australia I signed up for. I believe in an Australia where you can embrace diversity and still be a patriot. An Australia where it does not matter what other people wear and what they eat.

A few months ago, there was a campaign to boycott Vegemite on the premise that it has halal certification. I forwarded the comments to Vegemite, including the accusations that they were 'funding terrorism'. They emailed me back. So the last word on this, for me, goes to Vegemite, who state that they are against racism and bigotry and disrespect. For me, THAT is Australian.

Vegemite's response re halal certification, 2014:

The AFIC symbol has been present on some of our products, including Vegemite, for some time now and we are proud to make products that can be enjoyed by people of different backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicity. We are also proud of locally manufacturing our products, many of which are exported to markets throughout South East Asia. Our export sales are an essential part of business, and crucial to preserving investment and employment at our manufacturing sites in Australia.

One of the main reasons for the AFIC Halal symbol on our packaging is to assist people of Muslim faith, both here in Australia and across our export markets, to identify our products as including ingredients that meet their consumption requirements.
Further, we wish to advise the Vegemite formulation has not altered nor does the product contain any ingredients from animals. Halal certification warrants that, in accordance with Islamic law, the yeast has been processed to ensure the product is alcohol free.

The inclusion of the AFIC Halal symbol is not intended to offend any member of the public of any cultural or religious belief. We do not believe that it promotes one religion over another rather it simply provides people of Muslim faith with information about the food choices they make. Following other consumer inquiries, we have written formally to the AFIC in order to seek clarification on its business activities. In response, the AFIC provided us with verbal and written assurances that it is not engaged in unlawful activities. As such, we have confidence in AFIC as a reputable organisation. We pay a blanket administration fee that covers the certification of a number of our products. This cost is not a tax and is not attributed to a particular product or brand, therefore consumers don’t pay more for a Halal certified product versus a non-certified product.

As a business, we are founded upon values of integrity and respect and take a strong stance against any individual or campaign promoting racism, bigotry and disrespect.

We hope this addresses your questions and any concerns you might have. We produce products that bring joy and pleasure to millions of people across the world every day, and we look forward to continuing this tradition.


Image description - a map of Australia has a series of primary coloured pins placed upon it to symbolise diversity.

7 comments:

  1. Reblogged at

    https://theantibogan.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like Vegemite's response there. Do you have a link for it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Australia welcomes ALL who come here wanting to start a new life in peace.

    However, let us get one fact clear.

    Did this Family come through the legal channels of either:-

    #1. Apply at an Australian Embassy overseas? Or
    #2. If a refugee without a secure place to call home? Or
    #3. Wait in a refugee camp while he Australian authorities can check their details to make sure they are not simply economic "refugees" and they are *not* terrorists or terrorist sympathisers? Or
    #4. Did our would-be new Australians come in using illegal methods, such as people smugglers???

    If they are in fact from group 4 and trying to jump the queue, then Australia's "Welcome" mat is definitely not out!!!

    If they arrive expecting Australia to be one big cash cow to be bled dry making their life one of leisure, then they need to re-think their option and possibly go somewhere else.

    In the "Good Old Days" when Australia was more particular bringing in new settlers for just £10 we were getting far superior people who came to work hard and help build our country to what it is today. That was following the Second World War when Europe was devastated.

    Since Australia begun accepting "refugees" from Africa and the Middle East predominantly muslim and many of them not accepting Australia as we are, they have the impression WE SHOULD CHANGE TO SUIT THEM.

    Such an idea is not what immigration is all about.

    They must accept out ways, our style, our customs.

    Whilst Australians are prepared to accept certain changes *for the better* this does not mean we accept things which do not work in to OUR STYLE.

    We do not like to see people who could quite easily be terrorists, hence our dislike for people going round with their identities hidden.

    Yes, I do mean burkas.

    Motorcyclists MUST take off their helmets whenever they enter a bank.

    Then there are muslim’s demands for halal food.

    Fair enough, when in Rome do as the Romans do!

    Australia is not Rome and it certainly is not a islamic country.

    So, sorry no halal . . . but if you are prepared to pay for the process of halal entirely - - - go for it!

    Provided it is once again within Australian values and way of life.

    We do not support the barbaric nature displayed in videos of islamic slaughter of animals as shown in Turkey:-

    youtube.com/watch?v=LZv7kN18ucs You add the "www"

    ReplyDelete

  4. Seems like this Forum is DEAD, too

    just like mindmadeup's re-blog in MindPress

    "I Call Myself an Australian"

    REQUIESCANT IN PACE

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sam, its clear that you are a compassionate person. However, you appear to be somehow lost in the muddle of terms like "tolerance/diversity" etc..I can only try to illustrate this with some real world history.
    i) A person comes from a German background and he begins a local chapter of the 'New national Socialists' who have renounced hatred of Jews, and ambitions for a greater Germany that includes world domination. Their new revised '25 point progam' has been purged of the racial elements and now focuses on genuine national interest and the benefit of all" They still wear swastikas. (Muslims use the Crescent). Now.. can you accept such people as these in the name of 'diversity and tolerance' ? or... do you think that because of their history and track record..... it would not be in the best interests of our social order to welcome such people?

    ii) I suspect your tolerance would not extend that far... and here lies the problem. You see.. in the above example, while they have 'renounced' violence, they still use Mein Kampf as their guiding document. So....you believe they should be stopped for this reason.....am I right?

    iii) NOW....you understand why many non Muslim Australians don't want Muslims to migrate to this country.
    a) Their documents remain the same as when Muhammad was authorizing rapes and torture back in his day.
    b) They still use the Quran, Hadith and Histories as their foundations/source of guidance.

    If you fail to comprehend this, there is no point in debating with you because it's a lost cause. But in the faint glimmer of hope that you can actually read and have sufficient IQ to comprehend simple grammar and historical fact... please see this... an account of how part of the Quran was derived. In Islam there are 2 main levels of authority. First is the Quran, second is the Hadith and among them there are levels of acceptance with Bukhari top, Muslim second and Abu Dawud 3rd. They all contain horrific records of Muhammad repeatedly saying "I have been commanded to fight against people until no one is worshiped but Allah alone" (this is over and over ..such as Muslim book 1 numbers 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33)

    ABU DAWOOD "THE BOOK OF MARRIAGE" Number 2150

    Abu Sa’id Al Khudri said “The Apostle of Allaah(ﷺ) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of Apostle of Allaah(ﷺ) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So, Allaah the exalted sent down the Qur’anic verse “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hand posses.” ....

    COMMENT... Sam...if you cannot see what's going on here...please get some help. The Quran verse cited is 4:25 re 'those your right hand posseses'...Soldiers want to rape these women in the PRESENCE of their husbands. This is then 'authorized' by an 'insta-gram' revelation from Mohammad. THIS is part of the foundation of what Islam is.. in the same way that Mein Kampf is for the National Socialist... Be consistent... be balanced... treat groups the same... if they are vile...reject them, if they are dangerous... reject them.. there is no obligation whatsoever to 'tolerate' this kind of thinking or these kind of values.

    ReplyDelete

  6. WELCOME to all the NEW AUSTRLIANS who joined us for our welfare system:


    MY apologies for the graininess of the photo,

    but please remember IT IS almost 2000 years old



    http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2015/02/10/1227214/397379-2530afce-b0b8-11e4-90ab-ef3fd79aaa94.jpg

    ReplyDelete

  7. Who the fuck is this "SAM CONNOR" ? ? ?

    Comes here "on a boat" she says the right kind - as a £10 Pom.

    Bull shit!!!

    You only chose that "boat" because you have *recently* heard of them.

    Those who came out as New Australians *many years ago* did not bring their suitcases full of previous worries, they came here to make a new life - NEW LIFE - not as you appear to want to do in Australia:- CHANGE US TO YOUR OLD-STYLE.

    Australia did not begin receiving muslims until recent times when - COINCIDENTALLY - all this anti-Australian turmoil commenced.

    £10 Poms and all those who came shortly afterwards from other parts of war-torn Europe settled in (some chose particular suburbs to feel more secure, more at home just as you muslims do today only you do not wish to integrate). They were all still welcome and grew to understand and accept Australian nicknames for what they were - a sign of "good on yer mate, you are welcome here."

    But not most of the recent (20 years) rubbish coming from Arabic and African countries (mostly of the islamic persuasion)

    No, I will not call it a religion even though it is made of "ideas borrowed" from already established religions by their founder mo. He copied other, older religions from many countries. Yet only those parts which his followers would readily accept. If the concept was too meek and mild, his followers would not listen to him, so he chose only brutal aspects.

    Love, understanding of others, humility, consideration, appreciation, generosity were all foreign to them, they did not want any that. An idea even today's muslim's demand.

    UNTIL they realised how they could put those ideas to work for them such as welfare, handouts, freedom to criticise, freedom to buy guns. They tested every point to its limit then more. (These Aussies ARE bloody idiots!)

    "Sam Connor" says "No Aboriginal person ever told me that I should leave their country because I was white. [Again using Sam's own words . . . "and the right shade of white"] Nobody ever told me what I ate or wore or did was wrong, or bad."

    Sam you have more than likely never even seen an Australian Aborigine even from a distance..

    Then she moves on about burkas and halal - we had never heard of these things until possibly 20 years ago when all that rubbish came here. Bringing with them their ideas of disunity, terrorism and hatred for their new countrymen . . . but not for their welfare they are not THAT stupid.

    My suggestion to you "Sam Connor" (or is your name truly some version of mohammed or such???). My suggestion is that you get back on your wheelchair (you said you were disabled) and fuck off back to wherever you really came from and take all that other rubbish with you.

    Once again I say bull shit!

    (see books written about this:

    "Living by the Point of my Spear" by Zaki Ameen ISBN 978-0-9809948-6-5
    (an ex-Imam in Egypt, Iraq, Yemen until he began to question mohammad's change of mind محمد غير رأيه )

    and

    "The Truth about Muhammed" by Robert Spencer ISBN 978-1-59698-528-5

    PS TO SAM:

    If you truly came out as a £10 Pom, please name the ship as I have a very good recollection of most, if not ALL, those ships which brought the £10 Poms out.
    ANSWER: 'Oh, that was years ago and I was too young to remember.' . :-)

    ReplyDelete