Spoke to mum who has been fighting with friends in the Jewish community who have completely come out as hating and fearing Muslims, wanting no refugees to enter Australia, etc. Mum is not known for her 'liberal' or anti-racist sentiments yet even she can see the irony of a community, nearly all of whom fled the Nazis and came to Australia as refugees, wanting to shut the borders to others in need, other people in fear of their lives - just because of their religion.

I always said the school I went to, a Jewish school, taught me to hate Arabs and fear Muslims generally. My parents were angry with me when I said this, saying hate is a strong word. Judaism, like all religions, is about love and respect for humankind. True, but religions (or ideals) are interpretted through our humanity - or lack of it.
Hatred surfaces when we are afraid.

For a few years my work has been about this, how victims of oppression can also be perpetrators. I saw this clearly in my own community at first. It took me a while longer to recognise it in myself.

But as much as mum is arguing with friends about their racism, she still articulated some seriously unfounded ideas of Muslim nations. I know it can be hard to get a perspective on other cultures, other nations when all we get in the media is the bad stuff - wars, famines, despotic dictators - anything which props up already established stereotypes. We know when our own communities are being misrepresented by the media, by films, tv, newspapers, but we suspend disbelief when the 'information' is about someone else. Then it has to be the truth, doesn't it?

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