Hijab-wearing Aussie Scot honoured by Rome


turkish hijab style 4

The pictures are linked to relevant information.

I might add that I greatly admire the work of the historical Mary Mackillop. I also recall my anti-Catholic grandmother put aside her prejudices when it came to the “brown nuns” whose work she respected.

Mary Mackillop and her brown nuns also reflect a degree of multiculturalism even in 19th century Australia, a time when cultural diversity was not all that highly favoured. In 21st century Australia much greater cultural and ethnic diversity exists and is generally accepted, despite some bigots or others who are variously dubious about it. But ethnic and race riots are in fact extremely rare, while acceptance of core Australian values and laws is the rule rather than the exception, phenomena that make me proudly Australian.

Of course we do live on a multicultural planet. That is simply a fact. Nationalism is the Johnny-come-lately, thanks largely to the Romantic movement of the late 18th and 19th centuries. A high degree of cultural diversity was a feature of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and of course is by definition a feature of the European Union. The more within our nation states we learn to practise the necessary acceptance of others the better off our nations and the world will be.

Not so Germany, where Angela Merkel seems to be labouring under the delusion that Germany (over 90% ethnic German) has been having a multicultural experiment which, it appears, has failed. Rather I would point to Germany’s monocultural experiment in the 1930s and 1940s as the greater danger, and it did fail spectacularly and at a great cost to the world as well as to Germany.


7 thoughts on “Hijab-wearing Aussie Scot honoured by Rome

  1. Thanks Neil, the German story disturbs me. My mother’s partner is German and they would never say multiculturalism failed for them, even after 35 years together.

  2. Merkel appears to have it right. You don’t. You should find it strange that you associate skin color with culture. But you don’t. That’s frighteningly racist.

    Multi-racialism is fine, it’s neither good nor bad, since races are pretty much the same. On the other hand, multi-culturalism is explosive. It always has been. The sooner it is stamped out, the better.

  3. Kevin, in no way am I so stupid as to confuse race and culture. I stand by what I say and am confirmed in it by Australia’s own policy of multiculturalism which has by and large been successful.

  4. You know Kevin, as someone who disagrees with Neil from time to time, I have to say that Australia is a multicultural society and has been for a long time. I see no problem with that; my sometimes disagreement with Neil relates to the attachment of ism to multicultural. I see little problem in the presence of multiple cultures so long as it does not divide the main society. There is little evidence in the Australian context, outside specific cases such as Pauline Hanson that stand out because they are exceptions, that it does.

    Rather than arguing whether or not Australia should or should not be a multicultural society, we just are, I think that we should just get on with what we have. We really have no choice.

  5. Compare Irfan Yusuf

    Tim Soutphommasane is one of the few regular opinion writers for The Australian who is not certifiably mad. He has penned an interesting comparison between Australian and German multiculturalism in response (it seems) to angela Merkel’s statement at one of her Party’s gatherings that multiculturalism has “utterly failed”.

    (From my limited knowledge of German history, the last time multiculturalism failed there was when Germany’s political leadership decided that people from certain undesirable backgrounds should be rounded up and shot or gassed or have nasty medical experiments performed upon them. Yep, nothing like a good dose of Western European Enlightenment philosophy.)

    Merkel’s conclusions about German multiculturalism are … well … perhaps a little premature. There’s no point saying your failed at something before you’ve even tried it…


  6. Compare John Quiggin 24 October:

    Angela Merkel’s recent denunciation of German multiculturalism marks another step in the tightening of ties between the market-liberal right and ethnic-national tribalism, evident in other European countries and in the US (most obviously with the rise of the Tea Party). …

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