Freo's View

THE SAD STORY OF ANNE FRANK

Posted in city of fremantle, fascism, Uncategorized, war by freoview on September 16, 2017

 

 

The moving Anne Frank exhibition officially opened last night in the Fremantle Woolstores Shopping Centre and I highly recommend it for all, especially school students.

The sad story of WorldWar II and the occupation of the Netherlands was made so much worse with the persecution of Jewish people by the fascist Hitler regime.

Anne Frank and her family had to hide in a secret annexe in a house in Amsterdam, but sadly they were discovered after two years in hiding and transported to concentration camps.

From the family of eight only father Otto Frank survived the war.

Anne Frank’s diary was published and became very famous.

 

Roel Loopers

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ABRAHAM DAY FULL OF QUESTIONS

Posted in city of fremantle, notre dame university, reigion, Uncategorized by freoview on September 14, 2017

 

 

I probably ended up with more questions than answers, but the yearly ABRAHAM DAY at Fremantle Notre Dame University also left me with a sense of envy and admiration that people can just believe there is a God, and the feeling of comfort and belonging it must give them.

There is something surreal about having a Sheik, a Rabbi and an Archbishop sitting peacefully together, when the world is in mayhem because of people who claim to kill in the name of their God.

Yes, I am confused, but delighted that Notre Dame gives us the opportunity to listen to the religious leaders and ask them questions.

On Thursday afternoon in the packed Drillhall of UNDA Catholic Archbishop Timothy Costello, Sheik Muhammad Agherdien and Rabbi Dovid Freilich debated the theme of the day; Welcoming and Standing up for the Other.

Notre Dame’s Vice Chancellor Celia Hammond did the introductions and said that engaging with someone who is the other helps to find commonality. How do we welcome and build a relationship with the other, she asked.

Archbishop Costello said that to welcome someone is altogether a different thing from welcoming them and standing up for them, and asked, who is the other?

Rabbi Freilich said that religious people need to show respect and love for those who are not related to God.

Abraham was the first person to argue with God, when he begged for the life of the people of Sodom and Gomorra. We should care for the life of every human being, the Rabbi said, and that Abraham was the quintessential example for hospitality.

Sheik Agherdien said that it is important we stand up for each other in the spirit of Abraham and that the three religions teach to care for another.

During the Q&A the Sheik said that religions are under attack and that these are common challenges faced, while the Rabbi said that young people are absorbed to make ends meet and that there is little time left for them to live. How can we make them see the beauty of God? He asked.

In the affluent society the question of God does not arise as easily as in poorer countries, but there is so much anguish and distress in the modern world that the deep questions are not asked, and people do not reflect and meditate.

Rabbi Freilich said that there is so much noise in our world that we cannot concentrate on the inner self, and Sheik Agherdien argued that some are unfortunate to have not been born within a faith. It was very important that people questioned more.

The highlight for me was the prayer at the end of the debate by the Sheik, and I have asked him to email it to me, so I can write in more detail about it.

When I left I pondered why I am so often cynical about what I consider the hypocrisy of religious institutions, but far less about moderate religious people, and I wondered if that is the reason more people turn away from religion. If this is where the problem is, that will also be where the answers and solutions can be found.

Roel Loopers

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ABRAHAM DAY AT NOTRE DAME UNI

Posted in city of fremantle, notre dame university, reigion, Uncategorized by freoview on September 4, 2017

 

The very interesting ABRAHAM DAY, which was held at Fremantle Notre Dame University for the first time last year, will be held on September 14 at 2.30 pm.

It will celebrate the religious traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, that share a common origin in Abraham.

Although I am a non-believer I really liked last year’s event and the fascinating discussions, so am looking forward to this one.

Welcoming and Standing Up for the Other is the theme of the afternoon that will be debated by Archbishop Timothy Costello, Sheik Muhammad Agherdien and Rabbi Dovid Freilich. There will also be a Q&A.

It is at the Drillhall in Mouat Street and a free event, but needs RSVP: http://www.nd.edu.au/events/abrahamday

I would like to know why religions are talking about equality, but are really very patriarchal. There are no female Imams,  and a female will never be the Pope as long as the circle of Cardinals is made up of males only.

The other question I have is why religious scripts are so ambiguous that they can be misinterpreted by fanatics, who claim God/Allah wants them to kill in his name.

 

Roel Loopers

 

REWRITING HISTORY IS NOT A SOLUTION

Posted in aboriginal, city of fremantle, history, racism, Uncategorized by freoview on August 27, 2017

 

The Sunday Times reports today that Fremantle Councillor Sam Wainwright is calling for the removal of historic monuments of people who have committed atrocities against Aboriginal people in Australia.

Before anyone starts yelling, this is a personal opinion of Wainwright and has nothing to do with Fremantle Council!

I like Sam, but don’t agree with his views on this.

History is very complex, and times were very different when the first explorer went far away from their home countries to find new lands.

Racism was unfortunately the norm, rather than the exception in those times and was committed by the Dutch, French, Portuguese, English, Spaniards, etc.

Religion was very black&white and fanatic and there was little respect for people of different beliefs, cultures or skin colour.

The world has changed, and while there is still far too much racism in Australia and around the world, we are improving and have made substantial inroads.

We can not rewrite history and change what happened so many years ago, but we can learn from it.

Changing street names and removing historic monuments will achieve very little, and it also fails to recognise the incredible achievements of the early explorers. They were adventurous, brave, greedy and also racists, but they are also part of us, and they are the roots that helped us grow and learn.

We should make a bigger effort and learn from the mistakes of our past, no longer fight wars, have more respect for different cultures and beliefs, and grow into a tolerant nation. Changing the history books is not the solution, Sam.

 

Roel Loopers

HEY PAULINE. FISH&CHIPS IS HALAL!

Posted in city of fremantle, fishing boat harbour, food, islam, Uncategorized by freoview on August 1, 2017

 

 

Fish&Chips is not only multicultural but it is also multi-faith, as these delightful students of a Perth Islamic college showed at Kailis in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour today.

They’re just normal kids in school uniform enjoying one of the delights all kids love to eat.

If only Pauline Hanson had realised she was selling halal food when she had her Fish&Chips shop.

 

Roel Loopers

FOUNDERS WEEK AT NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY

Posted in city of fremantle, education, notre dame university, Uncategorized by freoview on August 1, 2017

 

FOUNDERS WEEK 2017 of Fremantle Notre Dame University is coming up, so here some details:

1.     Feast of the Assumption Mass (Tuesday 15 August 12.30pm @ Holy Spirit Chapel)
2.     Appreciation Breakfast (Thursday 17 August 7.30am @ Drill Hall)
3.     Open Day (Sunday 20 August 10am)

Founders Week began in 2014 when Notre Dame celebrated its 25th anniversary and is a good week for present and past students to (re)connect.

The public is welcome to attend. Contact UNDA for details and rsvp.

Roel Loopers

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SHEILAS UP BUT RELIGION DOWN IN AUSTRALIA

Posted in australia, fremantle, multicultural, Uncategorized by freoview on June 27, 2017

 

The fear that Australia is being swamped by a tsunami of Muslims has been proven unfounded by the latest CENSUS 2016 statistics, which shows that Buddhists are closing in on the only 2.6% of Australian residents who claim to be Muslims, while 2.4% are Buddhist.

In general people who claim to have no religion increased to 29.6% in 2016, compared to 0,8% in 1966.

The good news for us blokes is that there is a small majority of females with just over 50 %.

There have been 1.3 million new immigrants to Australia since 2011 and the most common countries they came from were China and India.

And the Turnbull government does not have to worry too much about the language skills of migrants with 72.7%  of CENSUS participants stating that they speak English at home.

The most important thing we should not underestimate is the enormous contribution immigrants to Australia are making. Without them we would not be the great multicultural and tolerant community we are!

Roel Loopers

 

ART OUT OF AFRICA

Posted in art, fremantle, Uncategorized by freoview on June 22, 2017

 

PS ART SPACE in Fremantle’s Pakenham Street is in my opinion the best art space in Fremantle, and probably all of Perth. The huge cavernous heritage warehouse is such a gorgeous space to exhibit art in, as is shown again at the Antipodes Urban Axis exhibition.

Contemporary art from the African continent by 47 artists from countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Congo and South Africa make a beautiful installation in the stunning space.

The exhibition runs until July 22, so make sure to go and visit and while there try the great coffee and food at the Studio 37 cafe.

Roel Loopers

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MOST IMMIGRANTS ARE GOOD

Posted in citizenship, fremantle, immigration, Uncategorized by freoview on April 21, 2017

If Australia, as the Prime Minister claims, is the most successful multicultural country on the planet then we need to embrace that multiculturalism when accepting new citizens.

Immigrants to Australia have made immense contributions to our country and many did so without ever being able to speak English to native standards. Look at the many very successful Chinese, Vietnamese, Italians and Croats. Go to Chinatown and experience that some of those who serve you in restaurants barely speak English, and there are quite a few old Italians walking around Freo who have lived here for sixty plus years whose English language skills would not be good enough to get Australian citizenship today.

Fact is that holding on to one’s language, culture, food, traditions and religion when one migrates gives a sense of belonging, safety and security in a foreign country, even more so for those who were forced to leave their countries.

But it does not matter because the actual integration starts with the children and grandchildren of the original immigrants, and see how they too are successful with many immigrant children being the top students at high schools and in universities, to the benefit of Australia because they will become our future leaders.

By introducing questions about domestic violence to obtain citizenship the government emphasises difference in culture when it should realise that people change when migrating and most of them will accept the rules and laws of their new country, because most have been brought up to be law-abiding people no matter where they live.

Christians don’t break the law and kill people because the Bible preaches and eye for an eye, so why would Muslim men break Australian laws and beat their wife because the Koran says they can?

Domestic violence is rampant in Australia where drunken men beat up their female partners. Muslims don’t drink alcohol so it is more likely that there is less domestic violence in their culture because of that.

We need to have a bit of a reality check in our country. Politicians always talk about values when often they set the standards very low themselves, and many Australians still believe the urban myth of fair go and that we are the best country in the world.

As someone who was born in the Netherlands, where I lived for 19 years, and who lived in Germany for 13 years, before migrating to Australia 35 years ago, I have often been staggered by the racism, ignorance and lack of tolerance of many Australians. There is no doubt in my mind that Australia is more racist than those two countries.

The difference between the countries is that many Australians only tolerate foreigners and different cultures while the two European countries I lived in actually accept and respect migrants for what they are. That is a big difference we in Australia still need to work on.

The cute thing about it all is that all these bogans who get drunk on Friday night and eat kebabs, curries and fish&chips don’t realise they are eating Hahal food often prepared by Muslims.

Migrants from all over the world generously contribute to Australia. They volunteer in community groups, schools, mosques, churches, sporting clubs, etc. and their respect for their new country and involvement with their community makes up for their lack of English language skills.

My own personal experience travelling the world has been that most people are good, caring, compassionate, hospitable and law-abiding, but that there are morons and criminals in every culture and religion.

Accepting and respecting difference should be one of Australia’s core values because it enriches all of us and we should welcome those who want to commit themselves to become new Australians.

Roel Loopers

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HAPPY FREO EASTER ALL!

Posted in Easter, fremantle, multicultural, Uncategorized by freoview on April 16, 2017

 

wattle

 

It’s Easter and the wattle is starting to blossom in Fremantle. It’s a brilliant morning that does not deserve or require negativity and it is a special and important day for Christians, so let us celebrate life instead of finding an excuse for attacking our Muslim brothers and sisters, as a columnist in the Sunday Times today does.

Religions are important and valuable for those who believe in their gods and who gain strength from it and it is not up to anyone to judge people because of their religion.

It is so irrelevant if some Muslim women don’t shake hands with men as culture, tradition and religions are all different. I have been to countries where I was told not to touch children on their head because of culture or religion. No big deal.

When I arrived in Australia 35 years ago it was the norm for men to shake hands with men but not with women. I never embraced that practice because I was brought up in the Dutch culture of shaking hands with men and women, but it never was a big deal, just different and for me slightly awkward to observe.

Many religious traditions have over hundreds of years become more cultural traditions with people often not knowing what it is we celebrate. How many of us will reflect today on the biblical Christian belief that Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ who was nailed to a cross? This is very meaningful to all Christians but pretty meaningless to other religions and non-believers. No big deal.

Easter eggs and Easter bunnies have probably very little to do with Jesus Christ, but that is not a big deal either, as long as we all try to live peacefully and with mutual respect for each other.

This weekend is perfect to celebrate our great Australian multiculturalism and the acceptance of all different religions, cultures and traditions. When you walk around the Fremantle International Street Arts Festival the next two days that is what you will be witnessing; people living together in near perfect harmony.

Have a great Easter!

Roel Loopers

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