CONSUMED WITH HATE
What is wrong with us? Islamophobia is consuming Australia, and this is very worrying. I am not someone of Islamic faith, but I am scared and worried for my Muslim friends.
The recent news about the now disendorsed Liberal candidate Jessica Whelan with regards to Islamophobic and xenophobic online comments is disgraceful. To think that someone with such views could potentially be representing Australia in the federal parliament, is beyond belief.
I find it impossible to comprehend, that those who're supposed to lead the country - media, our leaders and those who have the power to influence the masses, time and again have failed us, miserably, without acknowledging this failure and with no proposals to act against this ridiculous targeted hate against a group.
We have no right to claim we're one of the most multicultural country in the world, when we do not value it's meaning. Being multicultural means reciprocating, willing to understand each other's differences, respecting and accepting them.
That's far from who we're as a country at the moment. We're consumed with hating each other, far from trying to listen and understand each other. Phobia, as it is defined, is an irrational fear about something which we do not understand.
Therefore, the first thing we should be doing, is to try to understand said irrational fear before anything else, and certainly before publishing Islamophobic and xenophobic comments on social media.
Narayan Khanal, North Wollongong
TIME FOR MERRIGONG
'Escarpment' is a geological term (linked to mining) and a vague and detached description for the extraordinary natural backdrop that defines Wollongong - the golden sandstone cliffs of Robertson look out, Mount Keira and Brokers Nose - and the deep coastal rain forests of Mount Kembla, Mount Ousley and Mount Pleasant
The name Merrigong' in fact predates the term 'Escarpment' by at least 20,000 years. It is part of our deep heritage and identity - not just visually, but culturally - and as Margaret Gleeson would suggest - spiritually as well. I challenge both the Illawarra Aboriginal Land Council and our Lord Mayor to restore the original name - 'Merrigong' (The Illawarra Escapement).
More information on the story of Merrigong can be found in Michael Organ's UOW paper Illawarra Aborigines - An Introductory History (which is available on line).
Dr Rob Goodfellow, Wollongong
GETTING SET TO SAIL
Amid the apparent blunders and obfuscation about Labor's refusal to release important policy details i.e. uncosted 50 per cent energy and electric cars et al, a looming maritime crisis has been lost in the haze.
As I put this opinion together an armada of maritime economic opportunists is marshalling along the shores of Indonesia transit posts, with compasses set for waters contiguous to Australia.
Within a matter of days after Labor, the nominal favourites, is announced as general election winners a farrago of overcrowded and unseaworthy boats, coupled with the real prospect of drownings, will begin in earnest.
Heaven help us.
D J Preece, North Wollongong