The city of Camden in Australia rejected the application to build a Muslim school on “planning grounds” and insisted there was no prejudice intended. Former Sydney Lord Mayor said the rejection was strictly an example of prejudice.
“There’s a vocal group of local residents who are very opposed to this school because of the religious beliefs of the Australian citizens who want to establish the school. That’s not the Australian way and it’s not the Australian law, insisted Jeremy Bingham.” The Council had claimed lack of access to good transportation as the basis for their decision, but most experts note there are many schools in rural areas.
Cardinal George Pell, when asked about the situation responded: “We believe in religious schols. We don’t necessary believe they should be here or there or any other place, but we certainly believe in religious schools.” That is what is termed a ringing support of religious freedom!
It is all too common in examples in which nations undertake to build up another nation that, in the process, those extending benefits may well wind up with more benefits than the object of the benefit. Resentment is building in the Solomon Islands over efforts by Australia to assist in providing security to the population and ensure the Solomon Islands is able to attain higher standards of economic development. A report by the private organziation, AID/Watch, says the $1.3 billion operation by Australia has triggered rapid inflation and inflicted “aid trauma” on the islanders. The economic benefits accruing to aid workers, soldiers, police and contacted companies provides them with strong incentives to keep the process going of building up the Solomon Islands.
About 99% of those assisting in the operation are native born Australians which engenders feeling among the Solomon Islanders the entire operation is geared to ensure foreigners walk away with large economic benefits from aiding people on the islands. The report also notes, after an initial effort to spark development, time has witnessed an ever increasing decline in the clarity of what was the mission really all about. The “plan” never described when it would be completed and how the Australians would gracefully exist the Solomons.
The example of this exercise in futility for the Solomon Islands raises all too familiar similarities to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. If one doesn’t know how or when to exist, is there really a plan?
The newly elected government of Kevin Rudd has announced a change in Australian policy regarding the Iraq war. Australian troops will begin withdrawing from that nation in the coming months. Former Prime Minister John Howard, a close ally of President Bush, repeatedly said the troops would stay until the job was done and criticised Labor’s plan to “cut and run” as galvanizing terrorists. Apparently, his party has decided to change this stance and the Opposition foreign affairs spokesperson, Andrew Robb, recanted the Howard position and announced support for troop withdrawal. He claimed Howard would have followed this policy if he had remained in office.
Last July, Prime Minister Howard denied a rumor that he had a secet plan to leave Iraq saying it was “absurd.” But, in politics, when the people speak with their vote, those who are defeated rethink what cost them the election. Prime Minister Rudd said he would leave it to the public to judge whether Howard would have changed course. The bottom line is that Australia’s troop commitment in Iraq will soon be concluded.
Posted in Asia, George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq War, Military, Politics, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Australia, Howard, Iraq, Rudd
A series of attacks on gay men on Oxford Street in Canberra has sparked an unusual conflict about the issue of rights. The police will investiage the crimes after two years during which officers have refused to record anti-homosexual violence or investigate brashings. A gay barrrister, David Buchanan, says Oxford Street has become less safe due to the rose of heterosexual clubs and watering clubs on the strip. For many years the area was known as a gay friendly environment, but with the arrival of those not familiar or supportive of gay life, the situation has become dangerous. The bashing of Craig Gee two m onths ago by an Aboriginal has intensified hostility between the two groups. Anger was fueled by a poster that focused on “Reclaim the right to be who you are” that depicted a phalanx of whie men.
GAys feel physically threatened and Aboriginal residents feel insulted by the idea they are responsible as a group for the actions of a few. One Aboriginal told a reporter “the only abuse I’ve had (for being Aboriginal) is from a few white gay guys.” Craig Gee said it was clear from comments by his Aboriginal attackers they were coming after him because he was gay. These incidents and views are no unusual. In the history of racism and prejudice it is not uncommon for those subject to bigotry to find someone else on whom they can dump their anger, usually an indvidual who is also the object of hatred.