As a New Australian, born in a country whose history is as old as the mythological Olympian Gods can call Australia home; why is it so difficult for others to embrace Australian values and abide by its laws and intuitions? Is it because I arrived on the shores of West Australia as a youngster and growing up in the suburbs of Melbourne some 63 years go? Is it because it took me some 13 years to obtain Australian Citizenship on my 17 Birthday? A copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: MULTICULTURALISM IS BUT A VEHICLE TO BECOMING AN AUSTRALIAN
Can it be the influence of wearing the nation’s uniform for some 30 odd years and working in the Private sector in various jobs that made me embrace Australian values? I learnt that being Australian meant contributing to a way of life that was free to seek out my destiny without the trappings of iniquitous agendas. Whatever the case may be and whatever assumptions the reader can extract from me comments, two things can be sure, one is that I have embraced Australian values, I have not lost my identity and consider myself an Australian of Greek heritage. Like my brethren the English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern nations and other countries who have done the same, we are all Australians. Yet despite all contributions, I see others misusing the concept of Multiculturalism to meet their grubby little agendas.
Our Aboriginal First Peoples despite their thousands of year’s occupancy of this great land may also feel out of place at times and wonder what is it that has kept them from moving forward and competing with the rest of Australians and enjoying the wealth this nation has to offer. I say this because or First Peoples deserve much more than mere funds being thrown at them and a genuine desire to assist them gain their place amongst the rest of Australians should be seen as a priority rather than spending money on projects that are misleading and a waste of tax payers money. Multiculturalism has been with us since Al Grasby and Gough Whitlam’s rise to power. Since then, the word has taken on new meanings with fear as its constant companion fueled by misunderstanding, poor communication, egotism, hidden agendas and pursuit of power. No wonder our First People are not given the priorities they deserve.
Multiculturalism as a policy was a great innovation that embraced new cultures to Australia and in doing so enriched and strengthened the fabric of Australian society of the nation we call home, Australia. I have always stated and took a stand in the past that Multiculturalism despite its divisive expression was NOT and NEVER SOLD to the Australian people in a positive light. It was hijacked by the loonies who in my opinion were self-seeking political status climbers with hidden agendas that siphoned millions of tax payer’s money to pursue their self-interest goals. I viewed and still view the concept of multiculturalism is a positive light. I am of the opinion that:
Australian policy makers should never have dropped the words NEW AUSTRALIAN from our vocabulary. It had a nice ring to it and it encouraged new comers to this country to seek Australian citizenship. The concept of multiculturalism should be used only to support those seeking Australian Citizenship and if necessary support the community that embraces Australian values, laws, institutions without losing one’s culture and identity. Individuals and communities will not lose government funding if they pursue those goals. After all, what is the attraction to coming to Australia if not to become part of society without losing one’s identity? My message to our political wannabees and those sitting on those soft cushions in parliament who owe their stays to those of us who voted them in to put aside their ideological differences and do what is right for Australia and its longevity.
I am of the opinion that every nation has the sovereign right to make its own decision on what is best for its longevity. Without that sovereign right, nations will crumble because of disunity and divisive nature. Signing treaties, memorandums and agreements may be fine at the global level as a means of having ideals that are good for mankind but life is not always as simple as that and history is full such broken agreements. I will not say that this nation we call home, Australia is not without its skeletons of bloodshed, genocidal activities, forced migrations and the desire to tame a wild and alien land, for no nation is completely innocent. Not one. Yet for all of its cultural complexities and differences of opinion, Australians are united against individuals, corporations and communities that seek to create a world that alien to the Australian way of life.
Those who know their history will not be surprised to read that Australia owes much to the early influence and survival of this nation to the Dutch, Chinese, Scottish, Irish, German and certainly the English, followed by the enrichment of its society by the post WW2 migration of Italian, Greek, Indian, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern cultures. What a wonderful country we have to be blessed by the introduction and integration of such diverse influences without becoming a negative penetration on the very fabric of the entrenched Australian society. To be sure any negative penetration is dealt with by public opinion and subsequently taken up by our political masters so to speak.
Australians dealt with so called “Yellow peril”, the “Near extermination of the First Australians”, the fear of “Russian invasion”, The “Japanese penetration”, the “Nazi ideology”, the “White Australia Policy”, the “Stolen Generation of the First Peoples”, the integration of “Post WW2 without losing sight of their own identity. Having said the above, one wonders whether it was fear of losing one’s culture and identity that led Australians of each generation to react in the manner in which they did. If that is the case then it is plausible to state that each generation must confront its own fears, tribulations and find solutions that are compatible with Australian values. I say this because of the perceived threat of Islam and our lack of understanding of what this new alleged threat if any is all about.
Does Islam fit in with our Australian values and what role does Islam have in enriching Australian cultures. If Islam is supposed to be a religion based on the faith of the one God concept, then those of the Islamic faith must abide by Australian laws, institutions and way of life in accordance with the laws of the Koran.
“Some Muslims are under the impression that it is permissible to violate the laws of countries that are not an Islamic state, which is totally incorrect. Muslims must adhere to the laws of any country they live in, whether in the west or the east, as long as the law is not in contradiction with one’s religion. The Messenger of Allah said: “It is necessary upon a Muslim to listen to and obey the ruler, as long as one is not ordered to carry out a sin. If he is commanded to commit a sin, then there is no adherence and obedience.”
If the above is said to be true, is it not reasonable to state that the laws of the nation takes precedence of any other law. If this is the case, then there is no place for Sharia law to replace or influence Australian law. The definition for Sharia law is that it is a set of religious principles which form part of the Islamic tradition. The Arabic word “Sharia” (Arabic) refers to the revealed law of God and originally meant “way” or “path”. Therefore if one is of the Muslim faith, they are free to follows the way or the path to God, he or she is free to do so without breaking the laws of the land within the confines of their own homes and places of religion, just like other faiths are free to do so. Those who follow Sharia law in my opinion should not attempt to try and force their laws onto others when living in a society that’s tolerates others beliefs. After all there are many paths to God.
The same applies to those whose religion is in believing in and worship of a superhuman, a personal God or Gods, influencing and/or controlling mankind’s destiny; be it may of the Buddhist Lutheran, Anglican, Sikh, Orthodox, Catholic and yes those who are agnostic and of Pagan belief systems. As long as there is a separation between Australians physical needs and those of his spiritual needs, living in Australia will continue to evolve until such time as there is a complete understanding of each other without the fear that is often attached to what we do not understand. I as an Australian have been free to follow and practice my faith, keep my cultural origins intact and abiding by the laws and institutions of this nation without losing my identity. That is the true face of integration rather than the misuse of multiculturalism for self-seeking aggrandisement.
Before my generation of baby boomers closing its eyes on the sunsets of the Australian landscape, Australia will be on the cusp of becoming a great nation in its own right and be viewed as a positive influence with its own region and global parameters. This can only be achieved by quiet contemplation on what is best for all Australians and not the few and as such we as a nation must move forward with a positive outlook with having fear as a constant companion. Fear in itself is a negative force which if used wisely can be managed to bring about a positive change.
Listen not to the soothsayers who read the entrails of the fowls of the air and make decisions based on their assumptions of what the “Gods” think, for mankind was born with free will and a conscious. Multiculturalism is but a word, often misused as a political football to obtain a desired goal that may not always be in the interests of society. Let is return back to the word New Australian and let multiculturalism do its bit to those seeking to become Australian citizens. If that is not all possible then we have a problem that can only have one outcome. We become a nation of tribes, divided and squabbling amongst ourselves. One People – Australians from many walks of life all contributing to its longevity and economic security in a world of emerging and surprising technologies.
We have a great country, which cannot be compared to any other nation on this earth. Very few have seen its beautiful sunrises and sunsets, its beautiful mountain ranges, glowing deserts that bloom during the monsoon rains, the wonders of its sea shores, beaches and craggy outlines. Who has had the pleasure of its many splendored forests, glades, valleys and jungles that can only be admired for their majestic and scenic panoramas? My advice to all Australians and those seeking to make Australia home, is to get off your back sides and visit this island content we all call home and stop the bickering amongst ourselves about the word “Multiculturalism”. For those that don’t know what Australian values are, may I suggest they visit the Australian Values Statement? They will be surprised.
2015 and 2016 for me were years of reflection, treatment and recovery. Not to dwell on what could have been but to ensure that whatever time we have left is not squander in futile objectives that lead to nowhere. I intend to make life more meaningful and worthwhile, worthy of those who had a hand in making me who I am today. Life as we know it can only be sustained by vigilance and with that vigilance comes responsibility. Let us hope that 2017 is a good one.
Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0409965538