November 26, 2003


Will this terrible Australian racism never end?

Last week, a pedestrian yelled at me from across the street as I walked to a Sydney mosque popular with Muslims working in the central business district. He was standing out the front of a pub.

I could not make out what he had said initially and I avoided eye contact, worried that he was abusing me with racist remarks. I know some of you will think of this as passive behaviour, but a day of fasting is not relieved with adrenaline-charged confrontation.

But he yelled out again and this time I could hear. "Assalaama alaykum," the voice cried clumsily in a rugged Australian accent. This means "Peace be upon you" and is the traditional greeting of Muslims.

I blame John Howard.

(Speaking of whom, Michelle Grattan believes JoHo to be the new Bob Hawke.)

Posted by Tim Blair at November 26, 2003 02:10 AM

When the imams take power, there won't be any pubs for Australians, racist or otherwise, to stand outside of.

Posted by: Peggy Sue at November 26, 2003 at 10:00 PM

Actually, I found the *last* line of the article to be most interesting. The author was talking about his feeling that there is an increasing feeling of understanding of true Muslim culture...

"But it is a fragile understanding - one that could turn to resentment should the US and its allies continue to be attacked in Iraq and the Middle East."

The thing that strikes me is that the typical sentiment expressed is "it's a fragile understanding that could turn to resentment should the US and its Zionist allies continue to attack Iraq and the Middle East." This might be the first time I've heard a Muslim suggest that the Islamic terrorist attacks on the US and its allies are legitimate cause for resentment towards Muslims. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I'm feeling optimistic today. ;-)

Posted by: Zonker at November 27, 2003 at 02:19 AM