ThysdrusRoman Coliseum of El-Jem

Panem et Circensis

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Location: Tunis, Tunisia, Tunisia

Friday, July 22, 2005

Australia's Multiculturalism Dilemma

I came across this neat article in The Australian about Muslims living in Australia, who following the London attacks,
are deeply concerned by the potential for divisions to open between them and the rest of Australia

In fact, Australians are just asking whether the multicultural policies in their country
have worked against a more integrated, assimilated society with broadly understood common values.

For the author of the article
unlike the US, which deliberately works to imbue in its citizens a keen sense of national history, identity and values -- despite a multicultural population -- Australia's identity is assumed rather than explicit and few really know their own history.

On one hand, some think that Australian Multiculturalism's number one problem is that it
failed to anticipate that immigrants might one day be opposed to the central tenets of Western society.

On the other hand,
Muslim leaders in Australia argue that multiculturalism is clearly working well, given that there has been no retaliatory violence here in the wake of the London attacks and despite the wide coverage given this week to Islamic bookstores selling extremist books.

But John Roskam, an executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs, a conservative think tank in Melbourne seems to have a different point of view.He thinks,
that Australians deeply understand their national identity, but "it's not enunciated and there are not clear values that we expect Australians to sign up to"."We promote tolerance, diversity, pluralism, but that's only half the case," he says. "In Australia we haven't confronted the issue of how much we tolerate the intolerant."


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