Unlike certain countries in Europe, the Middle East, and South-East Asia, relying on cheap foreign labour, while seeking to retain the purity of their people (ignoring the reality of history – that most of us are casseroles), Australia does enable accepted arrivals to participate fully within the nation’s institutions, provided that the arrivals do not seek to alter the nation to suit their particular religio-cultural prejudices or egos.
However, in Australia’s foundation period, the Roman Catholic Church achieved separation for its flock through a parallel education system. This right now applies to other religions as well. Does this reflect an unexpressed need to protect private and sole paths to the Celestial Home of the Heavenly Father?
Is it surprising that now some clerics of Islam seek to have the host nation’s institutions altered to provide a dual legal system – that is, to include sharia law? Is Australia now to become more of a cultural salad, as applies in those nations which do not offer equal opportunity? It is an interesting approach – the new arrival wants his host nation to change its laws and customary practices: by what right? And with what benefit to the nation?
See ‘Traditional Cultures’ by R.Ratnam in ‘Culture is … … Australian Stories Across Cultures’, an anthology by the Multicultural Writers’ Association of Australia.