Michael Mizzi, Mullumbimby
Ms Arnold sounds well meaning enough but decides on the fallback position of relative ignorance.
Relative in that her ideas come from within the cultural values of a nation that has practised racism and, as the recent destruction of Julia Gillard’s prime ministership showed, institutionalised sexism, the fires of which are constantly being fanned by the media.
Maybe in Australia we do not stone our women or make them wear veils but we still treat them as second-class citizens, despite the few who manage to break through the glass ceiling of male dominion.
The majority of menial, lesser paid work in Australia is still done by women. She also ignores the facts that many of these repressive regimes have been set up and maintained by our so-called western liberal democracies, with Saudi Arabia being a case in point as it is the font of most of the more disgusting traditions now practised within Islam.
To expect people to shake off their cultures in the instant they become Australians is both stupid and chauvinistic and indicates that, contrary to her beliefs, Australians are not the tolerant people she thinks they are.
This fact has been well illustrated by the recent tensions we see in places where refugees have congregated, which many Australians find threatening, yet none are willing to admit that they simply do not care to understand the complexities of moving from one culture to another and the associated traumas this involves.
It would be better for those who wish to voice their opinions on this subject to make sure they inform themselves fully of the issues rather than take the small bits presented by the media versus the whole truth of the matter because, believe me, from someone who has been studying the Middle East and Islam for many years, the average Australian’s knowledge of it is minimal and often inaccurate.