Penolakan Sekolah Muslim dan Ujian “A Fair Go”

Aussie sangat bangga dengan jargon “a fair go”-nya, yang intinya tiap orang berhak dapat kesempatan yang sama dalam segala hal, tanpa membeda-bedakan ras, agama, suku, gender, dan sebagainya. Kebijakan ini sangat jelas dan digembar-gemborkan di mana-mana, termasuk di situs pemerintah.

Slogan a fair go dapet ujian, apakah bener-bener mencirikan karakter Aussie atau hanya sebatas jargon kosong, dengan kasus penolakan sekolah muslim di Sydney, akhir Mei ini. Jadi, ceritanya The Quranic Society Dar Tahfez El-Quran mengajukan rencana pembangunan sekolah muslim dengan kapasitas 1,200 siswa di Camden, sebuah wilayah council di New South Wales, satu jam perjalanan dari Sydney. Pengajuannya tahun lalu dan tanggal 28 Mei kemaren Council menolak aplikasi tersebut. Dijelaskan bahwa dari selama 8 bulan sejak pengajuan aplikasi tersebut, Council telah menerima 3083 submission dari warga dan 3042 diantaranya menolak usul pendirian sekolah muslim tersebut.

Mayor Camden, Chris Patterson, dengan tegas menyatakan bahwa keputusan ini bukan berdasarkan masalah agama atau ras, melainkan murni masalah lalu lintas dan hilangnya lahan pertanian. Ditegaskan pula bahwa The Quranic Society Dar Tahfez El-Quran dipersilakan untuk mengajukan ulang propposalnya di tempat yang berbeda. Berikut ini komentar-komentar sejenis yang berusaha menegaskan kalo permasalahan ini bukan dilandasi sentimen keagamaan.

“Camden is surrounded by a flood plain, it is agricultural land … and a development of this scale … that doesn’t represent local need, is going to create anxiety in any local community,”

The council staff report cited potential traffic troubles at the intersection of Cawdor and Burragorang Roads, parking safety risks, inadequate footpaths and a high reliance on private transport among the reasons the school should be refused.

The report dismissed a raft of concerns raised in public submissions, including that the school would cause Camden to lose its status “as an Australian country town”, that crime would increase, that house values would drop, that there would be Arabic signs in Camden, that the Christmas Light Up Festival would stop, and that the school would have a negative impact on “heritage listed cacti”.

“The view going down from the old coal road is quite nice and I would hate to see that view stopped”

“Simply because they had the temerity to question a development which is out of character for the area and does not meet a local need.” Camden-based upper house Liberal MP Charlie Lynn. Mr Lynn said residents who opposed the school plan were concerned about its impact “on the historic rural integrity of the area and the resultant destruction of scarce prime agricultural land”.

Laurie Armstrong said he did not oppose a school, but it was the wrong site. The road was too small and “a couple of hundred cars” every day would “be an absolute nightmare”, he said.

Meskipun begitu, media juga mencatat bahwa ada sisi lain dari kasus yang emang nyerempet-nyerempet isu agama, dan rasial. Dimulai dengan adaya demontrasi yang melibatkan hampir 1000 orang yang menolak sekolah muslim ini. Puncaknya adalah demontrasi pas bulan November 2007, ketika itu dua kepala babi beserta bendera Australia dipancangkan di logam dan ditempatkan antara demonstran dan calon lokasi sekolah muslim.

Berita di situs ABC juga menunjukkan kondisi ini. Sementara satu foto berisi foto Mayor Chris Patterson dengan tulisan ,” Religion not an issue.” Foto yang satunya lagi berisi foto warga Kate McCulloch, dengan kutipan ‘We don’t want Muslims here.’

Situasi diperpanas dengan ucapan Christian Democrats MP Reverend Fred Nile, yang bilang kalo dia berusaha melindungi masa depan Australia dengan menolak pembangunan sekolah muslim tersebut.

Rev Nile gave a speech about Islam’s opposition to Christianity, telling the meeting some Muslim schools overseas had produced terrorists.

Rev Nile says he is concerned about the Islamic attitude towards Christmas. “Let’s celebrate Christmas and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, which is condemned in the Koran, which is a textbook of Muslim schools,” he said. “The textbook says anyone who serves Jesus Christ, the son of God, is a corrupt or perverted unbeliever, ‘God assail them’. That’s my concern.”

Berikut ini komentar-komentar sejenis tentang kasus ini:

Dressed in a hat decorated with Australian flags and a long yellow dress, a resident, Kate McCulloch, emerged from the meeting declaring a victory for “decency” – and insisted Muslims were incompatible with the local community. “The ones that come here oppress our society, they take our welfare and they don’t want to accept our way of life,” she said.

If the council had no cultural concerns, residents did. One, Simon McCarthy, said: “I’ve been rolled before and we came out here for the quiet life. The fact is that Camden has been a strongly white community for a long time and the people here are scared. I’m not a racist person – that’s just a statement of fact.”

Camden McArthur Residents Group president Emil Sremchevich said the council’s decision was “good news” as it signalled a win for the majority view. “There are no Muslims living here, they have a community that lives 20km from Camden … at Leppington they have a small school there, so what’s wrong with them?” Mr Sremchevich said.

“We are the champions,” one man said as he left the civic centre

“Christians would not be able to construct a school in the Middle East, so why should an Islamic school be built in a Christian community?”

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

“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.”

Andrew Wynnet of the Camden/Macarthur Residents’ Group showed me the site of the proposed school, and focused on its unsuitability and undesirability. “When you have no Muslims living in Camden, why have a Muslim school here?” he asked. “The character of the town will change. When you have a large facility like this, the parents will follow. That amount of parents will change the character of the town.”

“If you introduce 1,500 Muslim people to the town they’d be a majority. And that’s not what this town is about.”

Mr Bingham acted for a businessman whose plans for a Muslim prayer hall in Sydney’s north-west were rejected – a decision later overturned in the courts. “If there are not legitimate planning grounds for refusal then they will be tested,” he told Fairfax from London. ”(The decision) is hysteria based on fear and misunderstanding. “If it was a Catholic, Anglican or Jewish school there would be no objection.”

A fair go kah?

Tentang Maman Firmansyah

Seorang pegawai yang gak jelas kerjaannya, selain apa yang disuruh atasan. Suami dari seorang istri dan ayah dari dua orang anak.
Pos ini dipublikasikan di Life in Adelaide. Tandai permalink.

5 Balasan ke Penolakan Sekolah Muslim dan Ujian “A Fair Go”

  1. antick berkata:

    Kalau untuk alasan lingkungan dan tata letak kota, I don’t mind at all but for any other reasons,yes certainly “a fair go” in on questions…

  2. Maman Firmansyah berkata:

    Yah, jawabannya kadang tergantung posisi kita ajah. Kalo kita jadi mayoritas, kita diminta untuk toleransi sementara kalo kita jadi minoritas, kita diminta buat sabar dan tau diri?

  3. Salim berkata:

    Mas, sebenarnya aku agak khawatir lho kalo jalan ke sana kemari di Brisbane.
    Di Indonesia, memang masyarakat kita seolah-oleh toleran terhadap WNI Tionghoa, tapi jauh di lubuk hati ada semacam “antipati” terhadap mereka.
    Gimana ya sebenarnya perasaan orang-orang Aussie terhadap orang-orang Asia? Dari luar mungkin mereka cuek, tapi di dalam?

  4. Maman Firmansyah berkata:

    Terus terang aku gak terlalu paham sama Brisbane, kondisinya mungkin beda sama Adelaide.

    Soal perasaan orang Australia sama kita, aku juga sama gak mudengnya sama Salim. Yang jelas sih, kita gak bisa over-generalisasi, sebagian mungkin biasa-biasa ajah, sebagian lagi mungkin rada-rada kesel juga sama kita. Wallahu a’lam.

  5. feri berkata:

    masih aja pada sensi ya orang2 sana…
    Di kita juga sebenernya sama kaya begitu seandainya akan dibangun gereja di kota/daerah kecil yang mayoritas dari dahulu penduduknya Islam yang kuat.
    Mungkin akan beda cerita kalau membangunnya di kota besar yang masyarakatnya lebih bebas?

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