For those who don’t know, in Australia and in New Zealand we commemorate our soldiers/veterans on ANZAC Day - ANZAC being an acronym of Australian and** New Z**ealand Army Corps - our first combined unit in WWI
Anzac Day 'may offend’
April 12, 2007 12:00am
ANZAC Day commemorations may offend some religious and ethnic minorities, a
new report has claimed.
The study commissioned by Multicultural Affairs Queensland found some
immigrants associated Anzac Day with the “increased nationalism” expressed
most graphically at the Cronulla riots in 2005.
The report also claimed a “climate of fear” has seized Queensland’s Muslim
community, which it blamed on federal immigration and anti-terrorist
policies and the media.
The situation is so dire that some Brisbane Muslims suspect they might be
sent to concentration camps, while others live in fear of bomb attacks.
Some refugees even told researchers they felt safer in their countries of
origin than in Australia.
But RSL state president Doug Formby said they were wrong to associate Anzac
Day with racism.
"Anzac Day is purely to recognise the deeds of our servicemen and women,"
Mr Formby said.
“No one is forced to attend and no one should take offence at a
long-standing tradition in this country.”
Dr Mohamad Abdalla, an imam at Brisbane’s Kuraby Mosque and head of the
Islamic Research Unit at Griffith University, agreed.
"Embracing events such as Anzac Day does not contradict Islamic teaching,"
Dr Abdalla said. “Muslims have joined the Australian armed forces and
received medals. Anzac Day events are not factors in inciting hatred. In
fact, they can help Muslims and non-Muslims interact positively.”
The report, carried out by Victoria’s Monash University and the Australian
Multicultural Foundation, was based on interviews with 183 people in
Queensland and Victoria.
Its aim was to assess the impact of events such as the September 11
attacks, Bali bombings and the Darfur crisis on multiculturalism in
The study, which received two grants of $35,000 from Victoria and
Queensland, praised Premier Peter Beattie and his Victorian counterpart
Steve Bracks for “upholding the principles of multiculturalism”.
However, Dr Abdalla was unenthusiastic about some of the suggestions in the
report, such as legislation “to prevent the media from inciting violence”,
compelling schools to teach Islamic history and the scheduling of exams
around the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
“It’s not sufficient for Muslims to say others have to take action,” he
said. “The onus is also on them to go out and engage with non-Muslims.”