Mildura Weekly : Friday February 10 Vol 11 No 14
10 OPINION MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2017 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR MUCH has been made in recent days of newly-minted US Presi- dent Donald Trump’s closure of his country’s borders to Mus- lims. But, it should be pointed out it is not closed to all Mus- lims – just those coming from countries that the President be- lieves are breeding grounds for murderers in the name of reli- gion. There have been protest marches the world over, attract- ing thousands. But for all that, no-one should be surprised by the Pres- ident’s move. He telegraphed it early dur- ing his election campaign. An election he won. So, for every person on the streets marching against the Presiden- tial edict, there must be more at home who agree with his move. So what drove the President to sign this unprecedented Ex- ecutive Order? Pure and simple. Fear! Americans well remember 9/11 and they do not want a re- peat. They have also watched re- cent events in Europe, and that has further frightened them. Many fear the Muslims among them. And they welcome a move they feel will make their country safer. And, it could certainly be argued that Muslims have, to a point, brought this on them- selves. OK, not all those who follow the Islamic religion are terrorists, but you would have a hard time arguing that the ma- jority of terrorist acts now being committed across the globe are not being perpetrated by people identifying as Muslims. It is time Islam, as a reli- gion, stood up and denounced these atrocities being commit- ted in the name of their religion loudly. After all, the silence of mod- erate Muslim leaders, and the rank and file who follow the religion is, all too often, deaf- ening in the wake of atrocities committed in the name of their religion. Is that because they too fear the hard-line arm of their reli- gion? A hard-line that past expe- rience has shown is not afraid to kill its own. Or is it because they lack a pathway to have their views aired in the media? Maybe both, but their cause is not helped by quite a few of their religious leaders, and self- styled leaders in this country and others, actively spreading a hateful message from the pul- pit. It is a pity that we often heard about the American body count in Middle East conflicts like Iraq, but not about the numbers of peaceful Muslims murdered by groups like Is- lamic State amongst the civilian population. I believe these Muslims killed by Muslim deaths need to be decried just as vigorously. Islam may well consider itself a peaceful religion, but there is a lot of evidence that refutes that. Thankfully, there is another side to this coin. Mildura, for example, has been home to a mosque and Islam for decades. Muslims here have lived peace- fully besides Catholics, Protes- tants and Greek Orthodox fol- lowers (to name a few religions represented in our community) for years. This is as it should be. Mutual respect and toler- ance are cornerstones of our ci- vilisation. Here our religions co-exist so peacefully that I wager there are people living in our city, and wider Sunraysia, who do not even know the mosque exists! No fear, no hate and no reli- gious-based violence. Maybe the wider world could take a leaf out of our book. – GRANT MAYNARD Maybe the world can learn from us OPINION Say yes to green waste bin! Sir, I absolutely agree with Vinnie Rodi’s sugges- tion for Mildura Rural City Council to intro- duce a green waste bin (Friday, February 3). This is only common sense, and will free up the general rubbish bin for everyday food waste etc. Just because we are a rural town doesn’t mean we can’t be progressive like the cities. Karyne Scheer Mildura Library closure needs more thought Sir, Closing the Irymple library because it costs money does not make sense. Since when did our library service have to make a profit? It’s a community service. Paid for with our rates. Reducing services and then charging ratepayers for them begs the question ‘Why?’ Could it be a case of poor financial man- agement? Roger Trinne Mildura Kinder children deserve best start Sir, Recently, more than 75,000 children enjoyed their first day at kindergarten in Victoria, many of those in Northern Victoria. Over the course of the year, early child- hood teachers and educators will use their expertise and knowledge to build those chil- dren’s social, emotional, literacy and numer- acy skills, their critical and creative thinking, their perseverance, sociability and self-esteem. These children will directly benefit from the Universal Access funding agreement, which sees 15 hours of kindergarten per week provided at low cost to families for children in the year before school. Research clearly links kindergarten par- ticipation with better school performance, and improved job prospects and higher wag- es on entering the workforce. It represents a shared commitment across Australian governments to investment in early education, and to the social and eco- nomic benefits that follow. We don’t want the class of 2017 to be the last year that has access to this vital early education. Under the National Partnership Agree- ment on Universal Access to Early Child- hood Education, Victoria pays for more than two-thirds of government funding of 15 hours of kindergarten in the year before school, with the Federal Government con- tributing the rest. The current agreement is set to run out at the end of 2017. In 2017, every single one of Victoria’s 2300 funded kindergartens will be provid- ing children with 15 hours of quality, teach- er-led preschool education in the vital year before school, showing how in demand this additional support is. • Continued next page CARE CONSULTATION WHEN YOU WANT TO MAINTAIN YOUR LIFESTYLE BUT YOU NEED A LITTLE EXTRA SUPPORT – REGIS HOME CARE IS HERE TO HELP. 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