In Islam

Danny Nalliah, a Sri Lankan with Australian citizenship, knows firsthand about vilification and prejudice. He has been subjected to appalling vilification by some Victorian Muslims, who dragged him before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for daring to speak frankly and factually about Islam. Below are excerpts from an article in which Pastor Nalliah maintains that multiculturalism, not racism, is responsible for the sort of hostilities that erupted in the “Sydney riots” in December last year.

The Sydney riots were not a recent phenomenon: they were a manifestation of a far deeper problem—multicultural deception.

Men from both the Anglo-Saxon and Lebanese Muslim communities have perpetrated cowardly actions leading to this defining moment in Australia’s history. However, is it really all about racism?

I find it hard to believe that Australians, the same demographic who watch TV shows like Big Brother and elected as their first Australian Idol, Guy Sebastian, whose parents come from South-East Asia, are really all that racist.

While visiting Sydney from Melbourne recently, I noticed that there were Tongan and Chinese immigrants on a Sydney beach who were not being attacked. So why didn’t the white Aussies attack the non-Lebanese looking people?*

Many believe the recent attack on two [Anglo-Saxon] surf lifesavers fuelled the violence. They had been assaulted, in what was believed to be an unprovoked attack, by a large group of men of Middle Eastern appearance. However, I believe the truth is much more profound and it strikes at the heart of multiculturalism.

As a dark-skinned immigrant, I have encountered large blocks of unassimilated Australians along with the continual use of the word “multicultural”. During my 31 years in Sri Lanka and two years in Saudi Arabia, multiculturalism was a word I never heard [or] uttered—unusual considering both of these countries have people from many nations living there, especially Saudi Arabia.

Since moving to Australia in 1997 I have travelled to more than 20 countries across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe and the US. What amazes me is that wherever there is a Western society, I hear the word “multiculturalism”, but I never hear this word in other parts of the world.

“Multiculturalism” is a tool that can be used to destabilise a nation. Australia welcomes people from all over the world. All who choose to come to Australia should be willing to become Australian. It is unfair that some immigrants would push towards Australia becoming like their country of origin. The government cannot and should not bend over backwards to trade the Aussie way of life for other ways. …

I fail to understand how politicians can knowingly lower their standards in order to get votes and not look at what is best for their country’s future. … why are politicians trying to appease the minority by sacrificing the freedom and values of the majority? I believe it is because of a lack of knowledge and understanding.

This is not just the politicians’ fault. I implore my fellow Australian immigrants: let’s grow up and stop playing the victim “card” all the time. Let’s value the freedom and quality of life we enjoy in Australia. Let’s become truly Australian and stop this nonsense of hiding behind “multiculturalism”.

One has to ask, why on earth are the countries which espouse Western democratic values bending over backwards to accommodate other cultures—to the point of losing their own identity—when some immigrants do not have any intention at all of assimilating into their new-found home or society? …

I have met so many immigrants only comfortable within their own communities, making little effort to reach out to other people in their new home town. There are those I have met who have lived in Australia for 20-30 years and still can hardly speak a word of English, yet they are quick to say that Aussie’s are racist. I salute the many immigrants who have become vitally integrated into their new homeland and call themselves Australian.

Let me give you a few examples I have seen:

I have met people whose applications for residency have been turned down because they have not met the needed requirements—and if they happen to be from Asia, Africa or the Middle East, they would say, “John Howard’s Government is racist”. Little would they realise that many applications for residency have been turned down for people from Western countries as well.

I was about to board an aircraft once when the announcement invited those sitting in the first 15 rows to board first. There was a man from Asia who queued, but the official discovered this man was not sitting in the first 15 rows and asked him to wait. He promptly responded to the official, “You are a racist! You let the white people go first”. The official at the boarding gate was so shocked that he let him board.

I felt so terrible I went up to the official and apologised on behalf of those who have my darker skin colour. …

Very often I hear the statement “racism”, and many believe it to be white against black. I believe it is more common the other way around—but few will admit it, as too often people will instead cleverly play the victim card.

I believe Australia is one of the most racially tolerant countries in the world. Since my arrival in Australia I have never personally faced racism. I have heard from others that the comment “black bastard” has been spoken—which is not acceptable, but may we compare this situation with that of some of my fellow immigrants? A large number left their countries for a better life in Australia because of racial tensions they faced back home. The racial problems in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe have caused tens of thousands to lose their lives or their belongings, have their homes burnt down, their businesses completely destroyed, and so on. So how dare we (immigrants) afford to grumble in Australia?

* Readers will remember that the crowds at Cronulla beach did not express hostility to all non-whites, but focused their hostility exclusively on Muslims of Middle Eastern appearance. Ed.

Danny Nalliah’s article was posted on the internet by Online Opinion on 6 January 2006. The full article can be read at:
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