National identity undermined by religio-cultural ‘wars’

“The need by the Australian indigenes to be seen as a separate cultural entity is shared by some self-focused ethnic individuals in Australia. These wish to be seen as a separate community and to be able to retain their imported cultural practices and values in toto; and in the case of a few immigrant mullahs, also to have some of Australia’s institutions amended to suit the cultural traits of some historical desert tribes.

These fundamentalist Moslems have a powerful precedent. The Roman Catholics, essentially the Irish, who insisted on having their own educational system right from the beginning, have already achieved a stranglehold on Australia’s socio-political policies, especially in relation to the procreative features of women. Just as the Bible has been re-interpreted or selectively quoted to provide comfortable platforms for authoritarian Christian priesthoods, so the Koran is being misquoted to justify an equally inequitable, if not unjust, treatment of women, as well as to obtain discriminatory privileges in the nation they chose to enter. The ‘ayatollahs’ of both religions seek supremacy in their hoped-for ascent to Heaven.

Unlike the ageing but un-winnable war against the Protestant faiths by some spear carriers of the Roman Catholic faith, the former desert dwellers’ historical battle against un-tameable sand-filled winds could be dispensed with in Australia. There is no need to cover one’s face in suburban Australia, which is free of desert sand-filled wind storms. Yet, clothing has become the weapon of choice in the culture war between secular Western society and ‘desert’ Islam. The peoples of Europe are fighting back in the name of national identity and unity. Huntington’s wars between civilisations may have commenced.”

(These extracts from ‘Musings at Death’s Door’ raise an important issue. While migrants seek to better themselves in their new home, nations such as Australia (which seek new citizens) expect the immigrants to benefit the country, while the latter (in turn) are expected, at minimum, to accept the institutions and social mores of the nation, which is also secular.

They have access to the equal opportunity processes of the nation, unlike (reportedly) some former colonial nations of Europe, and assisted to integrate into the nation, and not to live in ghetto-like residential clusters. I draw on my work experience in saying all this. We look after our immigrants. This reflects the traditional ‘fair-go’ ethos which has survived the inflow of ethnic diversity.)

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