Earls, Nick: Australia once banned Catholics from mass and vilified the Irish

Earls, Nick

Australia once banned Catholics from mass and vilified the Irish. Haven’t we learned anything?Guardian Australia, 22 July 2016

Reminiscences about the historical treatment of Irish in Australia – and other immigrants – and draws some parallels with treatment of Muslims today. Drew nearly 500 comments across a range of opinions.

It is not enough [says the author] to say to my Muslim neighbours, “I know you’re Australians too, like me”, or to say, “times change and it won’t always be your turn”. We’re largely a nation of immigrants and their descendants. We should be better at this by now; better at distinguishing difference from threat, and better at valuing the great things difference can bring.

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