Camden is a town of about 50,000 people in New South Wales that has recently stumbled into a spot of bother about Muslims and their planned Islamic school. Feelings about the school among local residents are running high: last fall two pigs’ heads with an Australian flag draped between them were left at the site of the proposed school.
According to the BBC:
Town moves against Islamic school
With its lace curtain bungalows and steepled Anglican church, the once tranquil town of Camden in New South Wales seems the most improbable of settings for a row that combines race and religion.
Proud of its rich history, the town promotes itself as “the birthplace of the nation’s wealth”, for it was here, in the early 19th Century, that the sheep and dairy industries first began to flourish.
Now the town, which lies on south-west fringes of Sydney, is confronting a very 21st Century issue: the proposal to construct an Islamic school for some 1,200 Muslim pupils.
Behind the proposal is the Sydney-based Quranic Society, which has purchased 15 acres of land on the fringes of town, and produced detailed plans and designs.
The Quranic Society (which, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, is also known as Dar Tahfez El-Quran) has left only a small footprint on the Internet. By trying various internet searches, the only mentions I can find — besides news stories and blog entries about the proposed school — are bare-bones directory listings like this one :
– – – – – – – – –
Name: Quranic Society
Category: Islamic Organisation
Address: 42 Haldon Street, Lakemba, NSW 2195
In the USA, tracing the pedigree of an organization like this one usually reveals it to be a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate backed by Saudi money. Presumably the same holds true for many of the seemingly innocuous Muslim “charitable” organizations in Australia.
The residents of Camden are not giving in without a fight:
Camden council is currently deciding whether to grant planning permission and allow the controversial development to go ahead.
Back in November, more than 1,000 local people took part in a public meeting. Many participants expressed themselves with little regard for political correctness.
“This has to be one of the nicest places in New South Wales,” said one woman, who has lived in Camden for the past nine years.
“Everywhere is being destroyed. Why don’t we tell the truth. They’re wrecking Australia. They’re taking us over,” she said.
“Why hasn’t anyone got any guts? They’ve got terrorists amongst ‘em… They want to be here so they can go and hide in all the farm houses… This town has every nationality… but Muslims do not fit in this town. We are Aussies, OK.”
Some of the loudest cheers of the night greeted a speech from a local man in his late 70s.
“Can I just say this without being racist or political?” he said. “In 1983, in the streets of London a parade by Muslims chanted incessantly ‘If we can take London, we can take the world’. Don’t let them take Camden.”
And this is significant:
When the chair of the meeting invited anyone in favour of the development to speak up, no one stepped forward.
No local resident was willing to speak up in favor of the school. So where are its proponents? Evidently most of them are not residents of Camden:
Camden does not harbour a large Muslim community — census figures suggest about 150 families.
Most of the pupils at the proposed school would therefore be bussed in from Sydney, a journey that takes about an hour each way.
So one would expect there to be about 300 or so school-age Muslim children in Camden, yet the school’s pupils will number four times that many. Perhaps the strategy of shipping them from Sydney to a relative backwater is to draw less attention to what is going on.
The BBC is careful to note that the issue risks being co-opted by dangerous right-wing extremists:
Many locals fear that the campaign is being hijacked by right-wing, nationalist groups with their own agendas.
The Australia First organisation has been advertising for members in Camden, and says it plans to field a candidate in September’s local elections.
And, needless to say, Australia has its share of dhimmi multiculturalists ready to weigh in with the usual formulations:
One speaker implored the crowd to stick to planning issues, and not let the campaign be contaminated by racism or xenophobia.
For the time being, the racists and xenophobes in Camden seem to be winning. The Council will rule on the issue tomorrow.
Hat tips: Lugundum and Steen.