We in Australia seem to have a practice of negatively labelling a particular racial or religious group. We usually choose the latest group of arrivals.
During and soon after World War II these were persecuted Jewish people.
Later, we spoke negatively about Vietnamese, especially if they came by boats. Then this spread to Asians in general.
Now we recognise their contributions to our country.
Recently, there has been much outcry about a particular religious group of people.
Some people, including some politicians, say Muslim refugees should be banned. I’m sure in time this antagonism will be replaced by an outcry about the next group of asylum seekers.
This current disquiet has been fuelled by concerns about an extremist group of terrorists who have put Islam in their title (Islamic State) but in fact are very removed from the teachings of the founder of Islam as followed by almost all Muslims. This comparatively very small group in carefully choosing their name has ensured greater publicity and fear.
In actual fact, almost all Muslims practise peaceful behaviours and contribute in a multitude of ways to a peaceful world, just as do almost all who claim to be Christians or Buddhists or members of any other of the world’s great religions.
All these religions have a very small minority of people who commit actions that are the antithesis of their religion while still calling themselves members of that religion.
We all know of the actions of a large number of clergy in many developed countries, including Australia, who have ignored the teachings of their churches in sexually assaulting many millions of children resulting in lifelong damage. The originally Christian-based Klu Klux Klan is still an operating terrorist group in the USA.
Currently Buddhists, regarded as members of one of the world’s most peaceful religions, are brutally killing Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
We should recognise that all religions have a few deviant or extremist members and not blacklist the vast majority who live peaceful and contributing lives. It is wiser to look at the real facts and not be swayed by those who have discriminatory and inaccurate views.
Certainly, Australia has to be vigilant and identify terrorists and others who do harm. We can be grateful to our security and police services who do this so well.
All asylum seekers are very thoroughly checked before being granted Australian settlement.
Most of us do our best to treat all people fairly just as we want to be treated.
So, following rigorous checks our intake of refugees must be solely on the basis of their need. Those in greatest need should have priority whatever their religious belief or no religious belief.
All people are deserving of a safe secure life.
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