Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

It is all too confusing

April 30, 2017
img_0955

garden

It is all so confusing.
 Our Prime Minister Turnbull, while waving his hands up and down, waxes on the TV endlessly how on the world stage, we take prime position in being the  biggest and most successful MULTI Cultural nation in the world. We are a blend of many cultures, it seems. I knew when garlic made its entry into the Australian kitchen back in the late fifties and sixties,  Anglo-Australia would be in for an irreversible change if not doomed as well. Blame the Italians and Greeks for that.
Yet, at the same time but on a different day, Mr Turnbull is urging us to turn into a more nationalistic focussed citizen. A good and special type of Australian not found anywhere except perhaps in the bars of Kuta’s Bali… (Totally drunk and disorderly!) A unique Australian. We are urged to become aware and stand up for a more mono cultural identity.
In fact ‘Unique Australian Values’ is what we should be sticking up for. Migrants will have to do a test on those unique Australian values with a good knowledge and sound understanding of these.  There is no more mucking about with those that don’t want to blend in. I thought this new requirement was obliquely, but none the less pointedly aimed at the foreign Islamic migrants.
Mr Turnbull, our Prime minister is brutally resolute in trying to pick up those voters that have left the Liberal party and who have drifted into the warm bosom of Pauline Hanson’s  far right anti-Aboriginal, anti- Chinese and now anti- Muslim ‘One Nation Party.’ There is nothing wrong with Mr Turnbull also adding the word ‘terrorism’ or ‘Isis’ to his plea for us to become more Aussie.  It is not direct Muslim bashing, is it? It goes down well with some, who think that a bit of xenophobia thrown in this multi cultural soup, it can’t do any harm.
Turnbull talked about ‘respect for the law, tolerance, giving everybody a fair go.’ The aspiring migrant is given 4 years to brush up on Unique Australian Values in order to get permanent residency status. ‘It is something one has to ‘earn’, he said, looking a bit shifty. I am asking if there are many other countries that don’t have respect for the law or respect, treating people disrespectfully? Are we the sole owners of those traits? Is that what makes us so unique?
People that were first looking for their lost new paradigms are now herded into finding Unique Australian Values. I have taken up to shouting Oi,oi,oi late in the afternoon, and trying out my waltzing techniques listening to Waltzing Mathilda. I tell, you when it comes to waltzing around the joint, Helvi reckons I am a formidable maelstrom. Would smearing vegemite around this town help?  I have picked up a couple of good Australian traits from watching ‘Crocodile Dundee’ with that big knife many times. I would be most grateful if someone can show me other Australian Values that I can add.

A previous prime minister, John Howard felt that we should all be interested in cricket and a good intimate grounding in a famous race horse ‘Phar-Lap’, and learn English. While many managed to learn English and dutifully viewed Phar-lap’s pickled heart in a jar, it was the reverse with cricket. It is a game that for many remains a mystery. I must admit, I fall under that category and am surprised I haven’t been kicked out. Even so, during John Howards reign as a PM, it was all so simple and sweet. Thinking back it was much easier to become an Australian with Unique Values.

It is all so confusing now!

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The garlic wars of migrants and Islam!

November 25, 2015
Fibro garage. Our first 'temporary' home.

Fibro garage. Our first ‘temporary’ home.

It used to be the Italians and Greeks that were blamed for woes and wiles by ‘true Aussies’. The smell of garlic was enough for angry outbursts to the ‘dagoes’ of the fifties and sixties. They were knife pullers and had strange sexual habits.

This was overcome but the next lot to receive abuse were the Balts and Lebanese. The usual abuse and accusations of taking virtuous women, climb over fences and corrupt the Australian culture with kebabs and even more garlic.

The introduction of soccer was met with riotous behaviour, bottle throwing and burning down of strange flags.

Hot on the heels were people from Vietnam with rice dishes and totally ignorant of cricket and Phar Lap.

We are giving the same to Muslims that are coming from all sorts of countries that by and large we have bombed without much effect.

When will they ever learn, by Marlene Dietrich springs to mind or should that be ‘when will WE ever learn?

There is a mastermind lurking somewhere.

November 17, 2015
Molenbeek

Molenbeek

The world is awash with terrorism. I wonder how it feels to be branded a mastermind? Opening the page on the latest News I read there is a hunt out for the ‘Mastermind’ in terrorism. In the past a mastermind was someone who won TV quizzes. An answer for all questions, no matter how obscure the subject. In England there is group called ‘The Eggheads”, branded the ‘most formidable squiz masters’. It is amazing how much of facts including trivia seems to be able to get stored in people’s minds. The retentive memories play a role there. Of course elimination or deduction of other fact given in a choice of options is often helpful in getting the right answer. I often guess totally wrong which proves I have a lot to learn about pop music and names of 18th century Earls of Warwick.

But the terrorists was again up front this morning. The brother of one was featured on TV imploring his brother to give himself up.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-17/paris-terror-suspect-abdeslam-salah-image-released-by-french-po/6948778

It seems that the brothers grew up in a suburb of Brussels named ‘Molenbeek’ which is Dutch for ‘Mill- Brook (creek). No doubt in earlier times it would have featured a small river flowing in between the Belgian country side.

This from Wiki;

“The name Molenbeek comes from two Dutch words: molen, meaning “mill”, and beek, meaning “brook”. Although first applied to the brook that ran through the village, the name eventually came to be used to designate the village itself around the year 985. In the early Middle Ages, Molenbeek was known for its miraculous well of Saint Gertrude, which attracted thousands of pilgrims.

The village was made part of Brussels in the 13th century. As a result, Molenbeek lost many of its lands to its more powerful neighbour. In addition, its main church was dismantled in 1578, leading to further decline. The town’s character remained mostly rural until the 18th century.”

It is now a neglected and poor suburb of Brussels and many of the people there are from a middle Eastern background. Most of them law abiding and a  ‘thriving and convivial community’ as someone living there explained in a TV interview. At the same time the area is known for being the hub of jihadist youth ripe for radicalisation. If ever there was a time for calm and reflection was needed, it is now. Bombing even more in Syria and Iraq does not help when the attacks are carried out by local born and bred people. They seem to be attracted to go into Syria and learn their evil trade before going back and install fear into millions

The anti Islam rhetoric as expressed by the likes of Pauline Hanson in Australia or Geert Wilders in Holland, Jean-Marie Le Pen in France, is exactly what the Is mob wants to hear, giving the excuse to keep on killing all around the world. Their aim is to foment anti-Islam hatred. We might try not to give them those encouragements.

It seems almost beyond solving but hatred is not the answer.

 

The possibilty of ‘fracking’ Governments.

October 4, 2014

etching 'couple'

etching ‘couple’

They, many eminent scientists say that when you put pressure on something the results is often a release of pent-up energy. It is now used to release gas locked up in rock formations. It is called fracking. Geologists come home tired and their wives now ask; Did you do some good fracking today dear?

Go and ‘frack’ yourself is an expression waiting to raise its head in parlance of the progressive world of slinky board riders and depressed gloomy hoodie wearers. I bet you it will take over from the ‘awesome’ and ‘oh, my god’. I think ‘stuff like that’ has now sunk into the furnace of lost expressions, the same as ‘bodgie and widgie’ did some many decades ago. It was used during the period when as a teenager I used to linger around Parramatta Delinquent Girls home. Friday night was ‘curler-night’. I remember seeing girls in trains wearing curlers! Men used to perve on Pix magazine girly photos showing knees and total naked feet.

I have just brushed up my very limited knowledge on Islam and ISis with all that goes with it; I can’t say I am much wiser. Previous knowledge did not go much further than Ali Baba and forty thieves. On the way over from Holland our boat stopped at Port Said where we all went off the ship. I was fifteen then and bought a fez and a small whip used for camel driving. I kept those mementoes for years. Now they are lost the same as those past popular expressions. Forever gone!

I do know that bombing always ends up killing. With the latest be-heading no doubt the reaction will be more bombing more killing and more incomprehension by many, not least myself. Isis seems to have unlimited funding and an expert PR machinery going for it. Perfectly English translations of their web-sites and IT magazines beamed and downloaded all-over. It is there within seconds as did the latest beheading video, done by the same man speaking in a thick London accent.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-24/analysis-campaign-against-is-could-take-years-or-decades/5764828
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-16/what-is-islamic-state/5748646

I don’t know what goes on. The last major conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were all undertaken at the behest of the US. All three conflicts seemed to have achieved nothing but hordes of refugees and endlessly ongoing murderous campaigns. We were lied to by our governments as never before. Vietnam did not result in hordes of yellow peril. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. Afghanistan with the Taliban were Americas friends during that period they were fighting the Russians.

And now…again, Australia goes to another war. And talking about expressions, our Government calls this…not going to a war but… ‘a humanitarian MISSION’! Can you believe it?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-03/war-not-a-mission-abbott-incorrect-on-iraq-action-fact-check/5772316

Governments need fracking I reckon. Get fracked Mr Abbott.

Rosaria from Gozo ( Mustafa’s dilemma)

September 27, 2011


Hzanna was somewhat piqued after the evening and it wasn’t the pinot. It had all turned a bit fluffy. Never mind, it was a nice meal and she blamed the imbibing of just a mouthful too much alcohol that made her friends step over the limits of what could perhaps better have been left alone. The vegetable confession would soon be forgotten. Perhaps club venues were at fault. All those lights, the faux bon jolliness of it all, the whole place somehow reeked of failure; a downgrading of what getting together ought to be about. These couples’s sittings together in the lounge, waiting for the meat raffles to start. Why the vacant staring at the blown up TV screens, the yawningly emptiness of it all? It was called ‘a night out’. Hooting of the locomotive and the rattling of coins, somebody had a reprieve from permanently losing money, their home and family. Hzanna thought it more of a night lost.

She still remembered, sitting around with friends in Gozo. It was different then. This was another world though, just as valid. Was it? Perhaps it was still settling down, finding its legs.

Hzanna’s husband thought that the pork crackling could be the catalyst for a renewed business venture. He was working on it, doing back of the envelope calculations. Hzanna noticed his familiar furrowed brow. Deep in thought, he had to weigh up the sensitivities amongst his customers that were opposed to pork and those on the other side, that loved pork and for whom crunchy crackling might well be a most desired snack.
Still, the Islamic community was far more tolerant than most thought. They stayed away from pubs and gambling but did not object to those that did frequent those venues. If some chose to eat pork, so be it. For Muslims it is an unclean animal, doesn’t even produce cud, and would happily eat human excrement. But, if there are those who bought pork and ate it, let them.

He decided to seek council from one of his best friends, Mustafa, a devout Muslim and known for his endless storytelling, a wit that made the world in Rockdale laugh, and a born raconteur whose parents came from Lebanon.

Mustafa has his own business. It is a good business, somewhat hot in summer but a bonus in winter. He had a Doner Kebab with Falafel franchise tucked in between a newsagent and a T.A.B. It couldn’t be better positioned. Even if it wasn’t sign-posted Halal, it was expected to be so. No self respecting Doner Kebab merchant would ever sell pork kebabs. The T.A.B shop of course would not hold too many Islamic customers for Mustafa’s Kebabs; they would never step inside any horse betting shop. On the other hand, many, especially the locals, some of whom might have lost a bundle but still liquid enough would queue up to purchase a kebab. For those, the ache of a loss would be compensated with a tasty Kebab roll.

Mustafa would be busy slicing the lamb or chicken with a mountain of pre-sliced onions proudly showcased under a small glass cabinet. The spicy aroma of freshly chopped parsley, coriander tomatoes would spread far enough to entice others as well.

Opposite Mustafa’s take away was a massage establishment ‘Sally’s Therapy’ discretely advertised on a flickering pink neon sign. The entrance was hidden at the back. There was a steady toeing and froing of tense looking men, seeking spinal relief or just getting a full service for all sorts of undefinable stresses or ailments. Whatever they received from Sally, it did not lessen their appetite. Most seemed ravenous or at least very hungry afterwards. Mustafa was busy with the ever diminishing rotating pyramid of compressed meat, heating the pide, packing it with the fore-mentioned onions, parsley and tomatoes. ‘With or without chilli sauce’, was the burning question. Most ordered ‘with’.

While Mustafa was catering for the hungry and Sally for those in pain or lost for love, Mr Azzopardi decided to seek council from his friend Mustafa. ‘What would you, do my friend, about my idea of nice salty pork crackling’? Mustafa, who in his alcove of rotating towers of meats, (not unlike the swirling dervishes of his youth) always took time for philosophical discussions, no matter what the subject.

He was devout but not one suffering from idée fixe. His tolerance towards others and beliefs was generous and he had, in his Doner Kebab world, met many different types of people, of whom to be tolerable of. Some were better than others but he wasn’t easily upset or disappointed in the general environs of Rockdale’s mankind.

His parents had come from a war torn country and embraced their new country without condition or bias. Indeed, his parents had wholly accepted this new world but insisted on the children to stick to Islam and a general following of the Quran. Not that they were at all fanatic. ‘It soothes your soul’, they used to tell their son Mustafa.
It doesn’t do much harm to have a belief in what is good, have respect for the world you live in. ‘You don’t get respect out of thin air, they often added. ‘You have to earn it”.

Mustafa sometimes riled his parents,’ my idea of what’s good might not be yours’, he said. ‘We all share what’s good if you don’t do harm to others,’ his mother added. Well, I don’t, Mustafa shot back quickly.

He had however, in a moment of weakness of spirit but not of body, darted across the road to seek the healing and stroking hands of Sally. He had stuck ‘back in twenty minutes’ into the rotating compressed lamb tower but otherwise left his stall open.
Afterwards, with his pleasure subsiding, his conscience nagged a little. Had he now failed in the department of ‘respect’? Sally seemed accepting and cheerful enough. ‘I give pleasure for money’, she simply stated. He found himself now questioning his moral stance, the essence of his beliefs. How could something that felt so good be possibly bad? Could he now also be swayed to accept pork crackling next? For many, the eating of crackling also felt good! What next; pork chops?

What will become of me now, Mustafa asked himself?

Rosaria of Gozo ( The pokies of Rockdale RSL)

August 17, 2011


The double glass doors to the Rockdale’s Returned soldier’s Club were always obliging to anyone passing by. They would swing open regardless of the intention to enter or walk by. That electronic eye above those doors didn’t miss a beat or a person, and would even swing open for the occasional straying dog. Music was amplified as well to the outside world. That’s if it was music. Often it was the drone of football crowds, cricket or sport commentary being piped into the pedestrians ears.

For a while the Azzopardis had to subject them-selves to the ritual that all clubs have, the ‘signing in.’ Non members had to sign in and have proof of existence and show a driver’s license or other proof of being alive and in the here and all of Rockdale’s environs. It was always an area of confusion and bafflement which they finally solved by just joining. Non-members paid more for meals and drinks, so what was the ‘signing’ up for? The joining and becoming a member involved a photo imprinted on a card. From then on no one would ever check the card or the bone fide of the member. Members would go through those open doors and show the membership cards from a distance. The mere opening of a wallet sufficed and the nod of approval given. You were in with the rest of them and accepted.

Many of the clubs gave excellent value. Dinners of fish and chips for instance for pensioners still alive on a Thursday night would be treated to this delightful dish for just $ 5.-. Hzanna and her husband generally avoided the pensioner special night. The carefully built-up aura of ‘business acumen’ might get a bit of a knock if the proprietors of The Azzopardi’s Meat Solutions were seen to hob-knob with those whose sole achievements in live did now depended on the $5.- Fish & Chips special. Of course, the pious ‘Halal’ and ‘head scarf wearing facade’ as so subtly presented in the Azzopardi’s Meat Solutions Shop would need some caution when entering those hallowed gambling and drinking venues. Hzanna thought it rather devious when they had to walk by the club and around the block when a known and solidly financial customer was spotted whose preferences in the carnivorous world was known to include Halal obligations.
Of course, once inside those concerns could be jettisoned. No believer of Islam would ever consider getting near those dens of alcohol beverages and gambling machinery.

Once through those glass doors and past the membership card desk, the Azzopardis would quicken their steps, relieved that their ethics (or their dodgy religious ardour) weren’t spotted by their devoted customers.
The walk towards the dining table would be over a bright blue soft surface which had a mix of solid red British Commonwealth stars and green Royal bangles woven into the hard wearing and mainly acrylic floor covering. This walk would glide them past an area where most of the noise piped to the outside was coming from. A mixture of music, rattling of coins and TV sporting noise. A cacophony of noise of many an Australian club that would travel (tsunami-like) and repeat itself over the thousands of kilometres throughout the time zones of the Southern Hemisphere of Australia. To compliment the carpet there would be on many walls a happy mixture of framed and glassed hand-signed football heroes’ T-Shirts with a couple of youthful Queen Elizabeth’s, flanked by Phil, hung in between it all, just for good measure.

If anyone could be bothered to investigate the noises including of rattling coins a bit closer, he (or indeed a she) could do no better than to hone in on a room separated from the rest, somewhat clad in darkness but with a night-club glitter and sparkling lights. Indeed with some poetic license (and a couple of beers,) it almost resembled a sky lit-up by fireworks on a New Year’s Eve. The noise was not so much from the people inside the room but from loudspeakers and screens mounted around a (con)-agglomerate of flashing lights and spinning wheels, all encased within a cabinet in front of which would be seated a stubbornly silent club member in deep and serious concentration focussed on those rotating and spinning wheels. Every now and then, he or she would lift an arm quickly and push a button that would then result in a renewed and vigorous rotating of the wheels. Those wheels seemed to have playing cards on them. This was playing poker at its most convenient. Chairs were provided and you did not have to talk to others. All one did was feed coins or notes into it.

The Azzopardis remained deeply puzzled by this past time. They were still too much Maltese to understand getting together and then still not converse and talk. Why the silence? Why indeed. Things are just different, that’s why!