Monday, September 08, 2008

Bigotry update

There's a follow up to a post I did back in May about the bigotry from the far right in Australia, because a twist to the story has just been reported.

Back then a proposal for a 1,200-student Islamic school in Camden on Sydney's rural outskirts was rejected by the local council 'on planning grounds alone' - traffic, noise, amenity. That's fair enough and it's what councils should do.

My objection was to the residents who used the opportunity to froth at the mouth with their bigotry. Before the vote, protesters placed pigs' heads on stakes and draped an Australian flag between them on the proposed school site.

Their pin-up girl was Kate McCulloch, shown here at the meeting disgracing the Australian flag:

She summed up the feelings:

Mrs McCulloch, who owns a hospitality business in Camden, accuses Australia's Muslim leadership of saying nothing while mothers and children are used as suicide bombers.

"The ones that come here oppress our society, they take our welfare and they don't want to accept our way of life," she said after the council vote.

The post I did about that is here.

Now a Catholic school has applied to build a 1,000-student school, which has the bigots applauding.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports:

The Camden residents' group that fought a Muslim society's proposal for a school in rural Camden has welcomed a Catholic organisation's plans to build a school nearby because "Catholics are part of our community".

The president of the Camden/Macarthur Residents' Group, Emil Sremchevich, said the Catholic school plan "ticked all the right boxes", even though he is yet to see its development application.

Pin-up Kate wasn't in the news this time, it was President Emil doing the talking.

A spokesman for the Quranic Society, Issam Obeid, said: "Everyone can see there is a double standard … No one knows anything about the Catholic school and they say, 'Yeah, give it a tick already.' I think racism is affecting this."

President Emil rejected that:

"Why is that racist? Why is it discriminatory? It's very simple: people like some things but don't like other things. Some of us like blondes, some of us like brunettes. Some of us like Fords, some of us like Holdens. Why is it xenophobic just because I want to make a choice? If I want to like some people and not like other people, that's the nature of the beast."

Cartoonist Wilcox had it about right:

The Mayor has stated the council position:

Camden's Mayor, Chris Patterson, said religion had nothing to do with the the council's decision in May. "And this DA will be treated exactly the same. The council will take into account traffic, amenity, noise."

The Sydney Morning Herald story is here.


Mars said...

meh. we'll always be the scapegoats as long as the media portrays as us bloodlusting barbarians.

nzm said...

Makes you glad that you left Oz when you read things like this, huh Seabee?

That whole Camden affair plus the Dr Mohammed Haneef tragedy makes Australia stink.

It was even worse to be there at the time that these events were going on - the media was full of reports for weeks and the ugly people calling themselves Australians got center stage.

It made the true educated Australians who are all about diversity and acceptance want to crawl away and hide - or leave the country.

Seabee said...

Mars, the Dubai government should give them all a free trip here to open their eyes.

NZM, it isn't just Oz, there are bigots all over the world, it just seems more unacceptable to me in a society that makes such a play of mateship and a fair go.

I'm afraid it's a legacy of the appalling John Winston Howard's time as PM, in which he created and encouraged, to further his lust for personal power, a climate in which these rednecks could flourish.

LDU said...

You know what Seabee, although from a humane side I find this whole saga ridiculous, I think it's very difficult regulating feelings of people - for instance that lady may dislike Muslims, but she is sort of entitled to that.

Seabee said...

LDU I agree, we're all entitled to our opinions. But they should be based on facts, not the hysterical lies about people that McCulloch believes, and spouts to anyone who'll listen.

Her quote about Muslims in Oz was: ."The ones that come here oppress our society, they take our welfare and they don't want to accept our way of life."
An all-encomapssing statement about all Muslims in Oz.