Thursday, September 28, 2006

Aussie anti-Muslim racism

From the Aussie ABC:

The former prime minister, Gough Whitlam, says Muslims in Australia are being marginalised in the same way that the Chinese immigrant community once was.

Mr Whitlam says both groups have been made political scapegoats at different times in Australian history.

He says Chinese people had faced institutionalised racism for much of the first half of the 20th Century and now history is being repeated, with the Muslim community as the new target of discrimination.

"It has never been so important to acknowledge how difficult it has been for these large communities to win their rights and their honour and respect in the face of prejudice, intolerance and politically contrived racism," he said.

"It is urgent because it is happening all over again."

Mr Whitlam made the comments at the launch of a Great Wall of China art exhibition in Sydney last night.

KTemoc's take is that while there's certainly a heightened emotion of Islamaphobe in Australia today, it's similar yet different from the anti-Chinese racism.

Australian racism against the Chinese half a century ago was based on both fears (of the frightening 'Yellow Peril') and pure dislike of an alien race, while the anti-Muslim racism is based mainly on 'fears' fanned by a government who has frequently resorted to political exploitation of anti-Islamic anxieties among Australians since 9/11 and the Bali bombings. I'll blog on this soon.

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