Jayde Birse and Tyler Bampfield write for The Courier’s youth platform SHOUT:
We still need to break stereotypes about Islam
There are some things you need to understand.
We know that some media portray Muslim people in ways that brain washes the rest of the world. There are so many horrible stereotypes about Islam even 20 years after the September 11 terror attacks in the United States where 19 violent men deliberately crashed two planes into New York’s Twin Towers, another plane into the Pentagon and they tried to target Washington DC but this plane crash into the field.
Almost 3000 people from more than 90 nations were killed and 10,000 treated for injuries.
The people who conducted these terrorist attacks were apparently Muslim people but actually are they were extremists as the Islamic faith is all about peace.
There any many negative stereotypes around Islam.
Often people assume that woman are treated poorly, don’t have a voice or that are made to wear hijabs but for many actually it’s a choice to wear their headdress because it’s part of their religion and some women want to maintain privacy and to feel closer to their god.
People think that Muslim people who either wear a hijab, niqab or burka are hiding something because most people don’t understand the Islamic religion and choose to believe everything the media portrays on the news.
People often assume that Muslim people are involved in the terrorist attacks around the world when actually they are the most targeted group of people.
Australia is a country rich in diversity and everyone, no matter their religion and beliefs, has the right to feel safe and included.
In order to stamp out racism we need to never make assumptions based on religion or skin colour.
It is very important that we know that if we are unsure of something we ask questions and learn from what people share with us.
To embrace diversity, we need to think about the language we are using and how words can affect a person.
We need to educate not only kids in schools but our community, our country and the whole world.
I believe that Muslim people shouldn’t have to live under these stereotypes.
We need to have harsher penalties to stop racism or we will never be able to reduce its impact. There needs to be huge on the spot fines and jail time, and we need to call out and stand up to racism in every setting.
It’s time for the world to come together, and fight this together, so we can embrace diversity.
Growing up Indigenous and becoming proud Kamilaroi man
One thing I’ve always had a problem with, and I know other young indigenous people do too, is being told I’m too “white” to be Aboriginal.
I have never really felt like I was an Aboriginal man until this year, actually. Since speaking to my mother about it, she told me this great analogy: “It doesn’t matter how much tea you have in a cup, it’s still tea”.
So, we’ve all heard about the debates about the change of Australia Day, I personally believe that the date should be changed due to the amount and severity of the actions done on the January 26 when Australia was invaded.
A lot of things changed for our First Nations people on this day: they were tricked with poison, thrown off cliffs and murdered in a lot of different ways.
A lot of the Aboriginal culture has been lost since that day.
And then there is the Stolen Generation – some of our grandparents suffered from those actions, some of them still not knowing where they originally came from or even who they are related to. They were stolen from their parents at a young age, weren’t allowed to contact anyone they were related to, not allowed to speak their own language and had to marry white men or women to get rid of the colour of their skin and any facial features that resembled their Aboriginality.
For me now, I’m proud to be an Aboriginal man, I know what tribe my ancestors were from Kamilaroi Country and I love learning more about it.
One thing I would like to see changed isn’t just the treatment of lighter skinned Indigenous people, but I do I want to see the stereotypes eventually disappear such as “Aboriginals are just alcoholics” and “Aboriginals are violent, thieves and get free stuff from the government”.
I am a proud Kamilaroi man. Aboriginal to me means STRONG.
I want to see our culture and our past taught in our younger generations. Not only will these change the stereotypes, it will bring back our culture and other young men and women will begin to be proud of who they are as an Aboriginal just like I have since being taught about my culture, my ancestor past and actually being recognised as a Kamilaroi man.
– Tyler Bampfield