Examples of Letters to the Editor
Published in the West Australian on Tuesday, 3rd December 2002.
A political thinker said after the September 11 attacks that "the people in the advanced countries now face a choice: we can express justified horror, or we can seek to understand what may have led to the crimes. If we refuse to do the latter, we will be contributing to the likelihood that much worse lies ahead".
We can be simplistic and suppose that the attacks on the Western world are no more than unjustified attacks on freedom and democracy. Or we can choose to consider that there are reasons for everything and seriously look at the motivations, actions and effects of many nations, including Australia and the US.
It is time that we all embrace the fact that we are all part of one fragile world and that the citizens of all nations need understanding, respect, trust and proper care. We need active interest by ordinary people in the workings of the world. We must have principled negotiation, mediation, trust, re-distribution of resources, proper care of the environment and the establishment and honouring of international treaties and conventions for non-lethal security provisions if we are to avoid destroying ourselves.
"Below the belt?"
The U.S. and Britain are going to belt Iraq if it doesn't do what they say and Australia is going to give them a hand. India says Iraq is a friend and will stand by it. India also says it's fed up with Pakistan and is going to belt them again because the first three fights haven't solved anything.
John Howard is now going overseas to belt anybody first, before they hit us.
I'm starting to get the picture. If my neighbour plays his music loud once more I'm going to belt him. He's bigger than me so I'll take a couple of mates and everything will be peaceful again.
Published in the West Australian in January 2003
"Don't judge by my looks"
A.J. Bradley (Letters, 6/1) suggests that Muslims should not wear a particular form of dress to avoid harassment. I would like to point out that it is not just what people wear that causes some people to harass others.
I am an inter-country adoptee and I was raised in Perth since I was a baby. I was brought up in a family with parents who emigrated from the UK. I am an Australian. However, just because I look Asian I have been subjected to harassment because some people like to think that anyone who simply looks Asian is a cause of certain problems.
I don't wear any form of clothing that is different from the Australian mainstream, but I am sometimes perceived to be Asian even though I am fully integrated into Australian society. I know of no other way of life.
It is not looks that count but how a person behaves. If people like me and those who choose to wear a particular form of clothing are law-abiding citizens who contribute peacefully to Australian society and bring benefits to it, then I see no reason why they should be used as scapegoats.
You could say that some bikies wear a certain form of clothing. Does this mean all those people adhering to that code of dress should suddenly not do so to integrate into society?
There is no point in anyone harassing me because I feel just as much Australian as those who would harass me. You can't judge a book by its cover. it would be nice if people were treated on individual merit, not on how they look.
Please note: With reference to "Don't judge by my
looks", the original letter submitted to the
Editor was much longer, but it was edited by the newspaper, to produce the above
shorter extract for publication.
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