A very unfinished post I started to write in June.
In the 1970s and the 1980s Australia absorbed many refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Along the way we have absorbed many Indonesians and Filipinos and a good few from Thailand, Burma, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Now the mainland Chinese are arriving. I don't view the period when the Indo Chinese arrived with rose coloured glasses. There were issues, some even ongoing to now, but generally, they were accepted and if you didn't like them, then you have better accepted them by now as they will possibly the ones at hospital who cut you open, or approve your bank loan or photograph your wedding or wring out your incontinence pad.
And then there has been the South Asians arriving from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The sheer number of them combined with the overseas students from the same countries did overwhelm us somewhat. But as neighbours, co workers, those who serve us in shops, it hasn't gone too badly at all.
In the sixties and earlier, we had the southern European immigrants. In the forties and fifties we had large numbers of WWII Jewish refugees.
In the 19th century, immigrants came from all over the world, as did my antecedents.
All of the above came with their own cultures and religions, or their religion may well have matched ours. All have blended pretty well to make Australia what it is today (hopefully not a bad place).
But the immigrants that don't seem to fit into Australia are coming from the Middle East and northern Africa. Why so? The northern and eastern Africans look very different to what we are used to, with extremely dark skin, but then didn't Asian people look very different when they arrived in numbers? Through work, I knows some fine Middle Eastern people, but that is not the view of Middle Eastern people by many. I struggle to equate Middle Eastern people I know with those who are outrageous in their abuse of our country and its freedom. If it was just a few, ok, it's the odds, but there seems to be a huge number.
If you came from one of these corrupt and war torn godforesaken countries and were granted refugee status, wouldn't you be so so grateful and want to fit into the way of life of the country that has taken you in? First generation can be a bit problematic, but still I am surprised that they don't try harder.
Not all travelling Aussies behave so, but mostly when we travel to exotic countries, we respect their local customs. ABC's reporter Sally Sara in the Middle East seems to go a bit overboard in that area, often wearing a veil when it is clearly not required, but I digress. Generally, when we are in a foreign country, we respect their culture.
Don't these Muslim women in Melbourne who peer through slits in their black cloth head covering know how disturbing their appearance is? I have even seen them wearing gauze over their eyes. I really don't care what you think about their style of dressing, but I just hate it. They are completely covered in black, looking out of slits in cloth or with gauze over their eyes. In spite of me not being able to see their faces, I can detect the arrogance of them in their walk. Get out of my sight. I don't want you here. You practice extreme religion and it is not acceptable here. Says me.
Sometimes, you just smile at someone who passes you by on the street. Sometimes you have touch with a stranger, maybe because they hand you your change, maybe a accidental brush past. This is not acceptable to a heavily veiled Muslim woman.
And yet you can have Indonesian or Malaysian women wearing the scarf and they can look quite pretty.
Nah, Muslim women wearing face covering belong back in the 1960s with catholic nuns in black habits who frightened my brother in the street because he thought they were witches.
They are both uniforms of intimidation and distance.