Town moves against Islamic school

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Munkey

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With its lace curtain bungalows and steepled Anglican church, the once tranquil town of Camden in New South Wales seems the most improbable of settings for a row that combines race and religion.

Proud of its rich history, the town promotes itself as "the birthplace of the nation's wealth", for it was here, in the early 19th Century, that the sheep and dairy industries first began to flourish.

Now the town, which lies on south-west fringes of Sydney, is confronting a very 21st Century issue: the proposal to construct an Islamic school for some 1,200 Muslim pupils.

Behind the proposal is the Sydney-based Quranic Society, which has purchased 15 acres of land on the fringes of town, and produced detailed plans and designs.

None of them reference any obvious Islamic influences. Functional and non-descript, the two-storey school could easily be a light industrial development.

Camden council is currently deciding whether to grant planning permission and allow the controversial development to go ahead.

'Wrecking Australia'

At the council's headquarters, 12 bulging ring-binders hold more than 3,200 submissions from the public. Only 100 are in favour of the development.

The council will deliver its verdict either later this month or early next.

Twice the town has managed to rebuff the fast food giant McDonald's. Now it has mobilised to block the construction of the Islamic school.

Back in November, more than 1,000 local people took part in a public meeting. Many participants expressed themselves with little regard for political correctness.

"This has to be one of the nicest places in New South Wales," said one woman, who has lived in Camden for the past nine years.

"Everywhere is being destroyed. Why don't we tell the truth. They're wrecking Australia. They're taking us over," she said.

"Why hasn't anyone got any guts? They've got terrorists amongst 'em... They want to be here so they can go and hide in all the farm houses... This town has every nationality... but Muslims do not fit in this town. We are Aussies, OK."

Some of the loudest cheers of the night greeted a speech from a local man in his late 70s.

"Can I just say this without being racist or political?" he said. "In 1983, in the streets of London a parade by Muslims chanted incessantly 'If we can take London, we can take the world'. Don't let them take Camden."

Some speakers focused solely on the environmental impact of locating an urban-scale school in such a bucolic setting; and, in particular, on the traffic congestion it would bring.

One speaker implored the crowd to stick to planning issues, and not let the campaign be contaminated by racism or xenophobia.

When the chair of the meeting invited anyone in favour of the development to speak up, no one stepped forward.

Camden does not harbour a large Muslim community - census figures suggest about 150 families.

Most of the pupils at the proposed school would therefore be bussed in from Sydney, a journey that takes about an hour each way.

'Planning issue'

Andrew Wynnet of the Camden/Macarthur Residents' Group showed me the site of the proposed school, and focused on its unsuitability and undesirability.

"When you have no Muslims living in Camden, why have a Muslim school here?" he asked.

He was also concerned about its long-term, demographic impact.

"The character of the town will change. When you have a large facility like this, the parents will follow. That amount of parents will change the character of the town."

"If you introduce 1,500 Muslim people to the town they'd be a majority. And that's not what this town is about."

Bravely, given that local council elections are due later in the year, Mayor Chris Patterson has adopted a neutral stance.

Presumably, it would have been more politically expedient to veer towards populism.

"This is not a nationalistic issue, it's not a religious issue, it's a planning issue, and it will be addressed on those merits," he says.

Determined that the planning process should be allowed to play out, Mr Patterson does not want to prejudge it.

Acrimonious

Many locals fear that the campaign is being hijacked by right-wing, nationalist groups with their own agendas.

The Australia First organisation has been advertising for members in Camden, and says it plans to field a candidate in September's local elections.

Pauline Hanson, the former leader of the One Nation Party, has also paid a visit to the town, though the local paper, the Camden Advertiser, reported that she mistakenly thought the proposal was for a mosque rather than a school.

The increasingly acrimonious and race-charged debate has also crossed into mainstream politics.

Camden is part of a Liberal-held parliamentary constituency which was high on Labor's target list at last November's federal election.

Campaigning in nearby Campbeltown, the then opposition leader Kevin Rudd said that the local infrastructure could not support such a large school, and that he therefore opposed it on "planning grounds".

The Quranic Society has kept a low public profile and was not available for comment.

But its position has been that Australian parents have the right to educate Australian children wherever they wish, regardless of race or religion. If the council rejects its planning application, it could appeal to the Land and Environment Court.

Camden residents will not give up easily.

"This town has fought all sorts of developments," Andrew Wynnet. "It will take on all-comers regardless of religion."

Source BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7416145.stm
 

Munkey

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Quite an interesting story that has made front pages down under. My friend told me about this story over the phone, I had not come across it in the British Media and was surprised that none of the tabloid media picked up upon this story.

The story raises some interesting points about the effects of immigration and a racially segregated school being built in your community. At first it sounds like the people of Camden are just being being xenophobic but once you start to really consider the long term effects of such a school in their community one would tend to possibly share the views of the Camden locals.

This is a community that has petitioned and won against a McDonalds being built, this is a community that refuses to be politically correct and holds political correctness in low regard when considering the possible fate of their town and protecting what is historically theirs. This town considers itself as the birth place of Australia's wealth and the town is mainly full of white non Muslim residents. Why would they need a muslim only school on their door step? Why would muslims want to build such a school in such a community where there are hardly any muslims at all?

To me every child deserves the right to whatever education they can have under the laws of that country. In Australia you are free to attend whatever school you want. If this town was to give the planning permission to the school of 1500 pupils it is highly likely that there would be much more traffic and congestion with school buses bringing children to and from school. It is only a question of time before parents would naturally want to live closer to the school and therefore move into Camden. If 1500 families were to move into Camden it would change the towns demographics forever and it could hardly be considered a quite rural Australian community. What do the Camden locals have to gain from such a school being built there? Their children are not allowed to attend the school so it does not benefit the community and promotes segregation amongst young children based upon their religious beliefs. It doesn't promote integration so what possibly could the new school provide for the local residents of the community.

Australia is a very very large island, there is ample room for the school to be built else where where there would be much less of an impact on such a historical town. Australia has extremely high numbers of immigrants living in their country and they pretty well live with all communities in harmony yet. It does seem however that they want to protect themselves from the rise in muslim terrorism by not promoting segregation in their communities which seems very fair to me.

Common sense should prevail and they should refuse planning permission. The school can be built somewhere else, its as simple as that.
 

digidude

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if you ask me, its plain simple arrogant racism























against the residents of camden!

/rant mode on.

it makes me sick that theres so many 'muslim only' ' black only' anything thats not white only' clubs, schools, colleges and whatever the hell esle all over the world, yet can you imagine someone ANYWHERE wanting to open a 'whites only' school?

fook political correctness, fook where you come from and what you believe in, if you cant fit in with everybody AROUND YOU then you are the problem, not them, and playing any race or religion card is pure self centered obnoxiousness

with crap like this going on its no wonder there are tensions all over the world, australia is fookin huge, you could throw 20 darts at a map of it and not one of them will be within an hour of a town

buy a bit of scrubland in the middle of nowhere and build it there instead of imposing on peoples way of life then complaining that youre being victimised

/rant mode off.
 

bugsbunnyisdead

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if you ask me, its plain simple arrogant racism























against the residents of camden!

/rant mode on.

it makes me sick that theres so many 'muslim only' ' black only' anything thats not white only' clubs, schools, colleges and whatever the hell esle all over the world, yet can you imagine someone ANYWHERE wanting to open a 'whites only' school?

fook political correctness, fook where you come from and what you believe in, if you cant fit in with everybody AROUND YOU then you are the problem, not them, and playing any race or religion card is pure self centered obnoxiousness

with crap like this going on its no wonder there are tensions all over the world, australia is fookin huge, you could throw 20 darts at a map of it and not one of them will be within an hour of a town

buy a bit of scrubland in the middle of nowhere and build it there instead of imposing on peoples way of life then complaining that youre being victimised

/rant mode off.

Normally don't like getting into polictical discussion as it always goes off at a tangent. But what you and munkey have to say is bollocks. It like saying that if an area is an all white area than blacks/brown/chineses etc should not lived there cos it might upset thethe white folks and their way of life. Oz is a multiculture society so let them start getting use to it.

At no point in the article does it say that non muslims are not allowed to attend the school - I'm sure they would fine with it if it was a RC school but the racism stenching out the town says it all.
 

digidude

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At no point in the article does it say that non muslims are not allowed to attend the school - I'm sure they would fine with it if it was a RC school but the racism stenching out the town says it all.

what is the point in opening a muslim school where the population isnt muslim? i can just see the non muslim cheerleading team going down well, along with the non muslim ladies surf squad doing well as well m8.

this is pre planned to pring the racist / xenophobic cards into play. dress it as you want, call it racism if you want, but in my view, there is no need to force this upon the people of that town then brand them racist for not wanting something that theyve never needed


It like saying that if an area is an all white area than blacks/brown/chineses etc should not lived there cos it might upset thethe white folks and their way of life.

but we all know its not like that though is it m8, its the people who are already there who have to change so as not to upset the newcomers
 

nara

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if you ask me, its plain simple arrogant racism























against the residents of camden!

/rant mode on.

it makes me sick that theres so many 'muslim only' ' black only' anything thats not white only' clubs, schools, colleges and whatever the hell esle all over the world, yet can you imagine someone ANYWHERE wanting to open a 'whites only' school?

fook political correctness, fook where you come from and what you believe in, if you cant fit in with everybody AROUND YOU then you are the problem, not them, and playing any race or religion card is pure self centered obnoxiousness

with crap like this going on its no wonder there are tensions all over the world, australia is fookin huge, you could throw 20 darts at a map of it and not one of them will be within an hour of a town

buy a bit of scrubland in the middle of nowhere and build it there instead of imposing on peoples way of life then complaining that youre being victimised

/rant mode off.

Well I've read and re-read Munkey's two posts and for the life of me I can't find any reference to anybody complaining about being victimised. :confused:
 

bugsbunnyisdead

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what is the point in opening a muslim school where the population isnt muslim? i can just see the non muslim cheerleading team going down well, along with the non muslim ladies surf squad doing well as well m8.

this is pre planned to pring the racist / xenophobic cards into play. dress it as you want, call it racism if you want, but in my view, there is no need to force this upon the people of that town then brand them racist for not wanting something that theyve never needed


They are not opening the school for the town people - if the law of the land state that schools can be built where ever they like then why can't muslims build a school where they want. Are the muslims that are building the school not aussie themselves. Otherwise, what you are suggesting is the same as apartided in south africa.

Edit: OK say the muslims move they school to another town and the people say that they don't want it - where does it all stop.
 
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Dutcho

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Is it really the scholl they are oppossed to or just further development around their town ? They kicked up a fuss about Mcdonalds as well, maybe they are anti fatty as well.

This story didnt appear then though did it, it the pc crew going mad.
 

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Edit: OK say the muslims move they school to another town and the people say that they don't want it - where does it all stop.

with the size of australia m8, anybody could build anything they wanted, and nobody would be able to see it for miles, why approach a small town where not only is a muslim school not needed, but the actual building itself will be unlike anything around it
 

beany_123456

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This article proves that some people are so narrow minded...

so does that mean white people cant build in MUSLIM populated areas because it wouldn't fit in?

What happen to FREEDOM??? Or sorry thats only VALID in IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN....
 

rajaster

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i'm muslim... some of the views are down right xenophobic.. but whats with the fuss.. muslims taking over and all that.. theres a church there no for crying out loud.. if the people want to complain about it being their land they should move out as it belonged to the aborigenes..

the muslim guys should have thought about implications before they purchased the land.. pretty well not thought it through... not very thought through and leading to problems.. on pure planning it was dumb and they shouldnt have bothered.... a small mosque for the community and a school located else where would have sufficed...looks like the whole of austalia have the same views as john howard. i'm glad the local senator didnt comment.
 

bugsbunnyisdead

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with the size of australia m8, anybody could build anything they wanted, and nobody would be able to see it for miles, why approach a small town where not only is a muslim school not needed, but the actual building itself will be unlike anything around it


I thought you were going to mention something about that.
Look at the article again and you will see
'None of them reference any obvious Islamic influences. Functional and non-descript, the two-storey school could easily be a light industrial development. '

So it won't look like an islamic building - just a normal building that will blend in with the surroundings.

I agree Australia is a big place and the building can be built elsewhere - but my point is if segregation is allowed to happen cos one town want it then other towns may want the same thing and you will have a similar situation to south africa where white and black lived different lives as blacks were treated as second class citizens.
 

nara

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Come to think of it, what is the point of this thread anyway?

:wtf:has a school in New South Wales got to do with DW, other than to allow the usual suspects to let off steam?
 

digidude

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i did see

the two-storey school could easily be a light industrial development

which is also part of what they are against

I agree Australia is a big place and the building can be built elsewhere - but my point is if segregation is allowed to happen cos one town want it then other towns may want the same thing and you will have a similar situation to south africa where white and black lived different lives as blacks were treated as second class citizens.

its already happening all over the place m8, how many stories have you read in our papers that also say this
 

bugsbunnyisdead

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"This has to be one of the nicest places in New South Wales," said one woman, who has lived in Camden for the past nine years.

"Everywhere is being destroyed. Why don't we tell the truth. They're wrecking Australia. They're taking us over," she said.

"Why hasn't anyone got any guts? They've got terrorists amongst 'em... They want to be here so they can go and hide in all the farm houses... This town has every nationality... but Muslims do not fit in this town. We are Aussies, OK."

Some of the loudest cheers of the night greeted a speech from a local man in his late 70s.

"Can I just say this without being racist or political?" he said. "In 1983, in the streets of London a parade by Muslims chanted incessantly 'If we can take London, we can take the world'. Don't let them take Camden."

Can't see anything in the article that says it it doesn't like the designs for the building - this is what they are in uparms about.

Edit: which has nothing to do with the school or the building - just their racist points of views.
 

digidude

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it makes me laugh how anyone who doesnt want something to change can be branded a racist.

a racist person is somebody who will actively go out of their way to make like uncomfortable for another person because of their creed or colour, and now also includes religion

so they dont want a fast food joint in their town, they dont want (or need) a new school for 1500 pupils, whether theyre muslim, RC, jedi knight, pastafarian or virgin blood drinking satanists. theyre proud of their town, its herritage and the overall look and feel of it, and they want to preserve it

does this then make me a racist for opposing a jail being built on the edge of the town where i live?
 

chaddy

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it makes me laugh how anyone who doesnt want something to change can be branded a racist.

a racist person is somebody who will actively go out of their way to make like uncomfortable for another person because of their creed or colour, and now also includes religion

so they dont want a fast food joint in their town, they dont want (or need) a new school for 1500 pupils, whether theyre muslim, RC, jedi knight, pastafarian or virgin blood drinking satanists. theyre proud of their town, its herritage and the overall look and feel of it, and they want to preserve it

does this then make me a racist for opposing a jail being built on the edge of the town where i live?

most sensible post in this thread,if people dont want something they dont want it end of!!!
and as for putting a racist slant on subjects like this makes me laugh ,bet no one from maccy d's screamed racism as these aussies didnt want anything american in there town but as soon as religion comes into it its racist,

just say the story was the other way round,a roman catholic organization wanted to build a school on the edge of a muslim town,does anyone actualy believe it would ever get built,not a chance,
 
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nara

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most sensible post in this thread,if people dont want something they dont want it end of!!!
and as for putting a racist slant on subjects like this makes me laugh

just say the story was the other way round,a roman catholic organization wanted to build a school on the edge of a muslim town,does anyone actualy believe it would ever get built,not a chance,

Do they have muslim towns in New South Wales? Or Catholic, Protestant or Jewish for that matter? I don't get your point.
 

digidude

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Do they have muslim towns in New South Wales?

what sort of daft question is that?

do they have roman catholic communities in muslim countries?

lets all get together to fund a casino with 24 hr bar and lapdancers next door to the taj mahal, the amount of tourists there we'd make a fortune

we respect the views and beliefs of others though so dont impose our way of life in their faces, a bit of common sense at the very start of the planning stage would have saw this coming
 

chaddy

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in this day and age no one wants to upset the muslim communities in fear of being branded racist as has happend in the story,muslims want something, people protest so they must be racist
 
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