The whole issue of wearing religious items in public is flaring up again in the media. It's driving me crazy. I think that religious items should be able to be worn, within reason. But this is part of a bigger problem. It is the complete lack of any compromise which really urks me.
When you leave your country, it is obvious that you cannot recreate the same situation you lived in, in your previous country. There may be some positive elements from your previous country that you may have to leave behind, but you trade it off for the positive things your adopted country brings to you. Sure, some of these can be kept, but wanting to recreate your previous country is unrealistic. You weigh up these two options to decide if moving overseas is right for you.
I know of an Indian man who brought his family to Australia, but when he saw just how "bad" or "immoral" it was in his personal eyes, he made a decision that this was no place to raise his daughter. He subsequently moved back to India after 2 or 3 months.
The issue I'm talking about though are mainly Muslims. The wearing of a hijab, a simple head scarf is fine in my eyes. It's not very conspicuous and can be put down to retention of culture. But what about the full Burka I see many women wearing. I don't think wearing one is acceptable. You have to have a certain degree of assimilation when you move to another country. When I went to Indonesia, I was told not to wear singlet tops because it may be construed as inappropriate. Not offensive or against ones religion, just inappropriate given what everyone else is wearing. Naturally the people I was with and I wore other clothes, despite us being very unaccustomed to the heat and humidity (Melbourne boys).
We made that sort compromise when we were on holiday, if we lived there we'd almost certainly do the same. If we lived in Saudi then I would not expect any female I was with to wear a short skirt or whatever, even though I wouldn't mind one little bit back here.
The number of Muslims in Australia is less than 2 per cent of the population. A suburban pool in Melbourne was also segregated, thanks to some Muslims not willing to compromise and accept the rules of Australia again. In Shepparton, a taxpayer funded local government pool was transformed into the type of pool you would find in Saudi Arabia. This is a pool visited by Australians, of all backgrounds. Now there are designated bathing times for Men only and Women only. No men would be allowed to work at the pools that day, only women staff and windows would be blockaded.
This is simply not the Australian way. If they want to live like this, they should a.) open their own private pool for Muslims only or b.) Decide whether or not Australia is the right place for them? Not transform tax payer funded public facilities into their own retreats. If I as a male, taxpayer pay for a pool, I expect reasonable access to it.
Another example is in Sydney somewhere. An annual fair in a fairly Lebanese area was stopped from serving any pork or related products. Why? Because a lot of Muslims were in attendance and objected to it being served. I would think that if they didn't want to eat pork, they don't have to buy it.
This is not an attack on Muslims, I am friends with a few Muslims who have assimilated but have also retained both their religion and their culture. It is not paradoxical to do so. There are my rants for the day