An Inevitable Shift in Contemporary Thought/ Marcelle Mansour

Contemporary Australian society is characterized by cultural diversity and openness to the world.  Australia has proved to be successful in its commitment to the preservation of multiculturalism, and therefore we see Australia shows more sympathy and interaction with humanitarian issues and oppressed peoples than any other countries in the world.
Australia adopted the application of contemporary social philosophy based on the principle of multiculturalism or cultural diversity since the early seventies, which replaced the policy of “White Australia” or “Anglo-Saxon”.  Australia accepted and absorbed immigrants from all different countries around the world, of diverse races and nationalities, religions and cultures, in the hope of integration into the Australian society and expecting those cohorts of immigrants to become an active part of its ingredients.  Not surprising, if we know that Australia today has more than 220 ethnic origins speaking 225 different languages that all compose cultural diversity.  This undoubtedly requires all to live in peace and mutual respect for others within the atmosphere that allows freedom, democracy and equal opportunity, as a means to promote harmony among all people irrespective of their religion and ethnicity.
On the other hand, the Australian government expects from those ethnic communities to loyally respond, by acting real good citizens and being able to engage and adapt in today's new Australian nation, and making positive contributions to building their new home Australia.
With the worsening of conflicts in the Middle Eastern countries, and the emergence of extremist fundamentalist groups, and terrorists, we have witnessed an increase in the fissures between ethnic communities in general, and the gap began to widen in the whole one society, even among Muslims themselves. At present, there are some indicators that draw attention to the emergence of extremism in some places like schools and centers of prayer, and also to the rapid growing of extremist ideology. This growing phenomenon is observable in the number of young (teen agers) Australians who want to travel abroad, to Syria and Iraq to join the ranks of terrorists of Daash. It has already become a concern to the security authorities in the country, which compelled to suspend their actions from traveling outside Australia or return to it.
Therefore, we (Australians) firmly believe that there is an urgent need to re-examine the social, political and cultural aspects, including educational and religious curriculum, as well as recognizing the importance of arts, literature and music to bridge the knowledge gaps and to bring communities together. That is why it has become more important than ever - in this turbulent era - that we certainly need a radical change, in terms of having the ability to rethink and to be more creative, in making new collective efforts to revise the curriculum in terms of religion, citizenship and humanity in order to build mutual trust, and to give hope to young people, to achieve security, harmony, love and peace.
It should be noted here, to highlight the importance of the Australian Arab solidarity in this area, and how much we need to have a moderate responsible leaders of Arab origin, especially if we know that the number of Muslims and Christians constitute together more than half of the world's population (%55).  It is certain now that a great part of the world’s future will depend on the success of interfaith dialogue between religions, in order to effect transformation in the human mentality and to make the change occurs at both the individual and collective levels, to what be recognized as suitable to our contemporary time.
Talking about our contemporary time, may raise more than one question: How can transformation happen? Transformation of what? Transformation to what? Why? How can we change? How can we move from old thought to new thinking? How is it possible to remove the old black extremist thought and make rebirth of moderate bright one? Are these ideological thought which prevail at present will shrink the concept of cultural diversity, and perhaps will be phasing it, especially some community members tend to stick to the traditions of the mother country at the expense of Australia's new home? This is followed at a later question?
How has the Arab community affected the Australian society in terms of cultural diversity? And how they interacted and to what extent? And if so, was it positive or negative impact? Has the Arab community in Australia brought about contemporary thinkers/theorists/ scholars/ philosophers to discuss the concepts of "freedom" or "democracy", "justice,", " equality "," respect for others ", for example? How to defeat terrorism ideology? Or talk on the issue of absorption of the concept of "contemporary”?  So much need today to innovate , to rethink for foreseeing a new vision that can take the goodness of both (old and new) and recreate them in a new mould, like producing  fresh juice,  that is suitable to nourish the emerging contemporary generations.
Australia has always lead the way to drink from cups that full of important and necessary concepts in our lives, such as high values that already mentioned above, and we have to work together to blend this new juice with the contemporary spirit . This will enable us to shift from backwardness to progress, from freeze state to dynamic. We can weave a new fabric of thought to fit our present time, and to produce a new mixture of juice to drink, until it becomes a new blood runs in our veins, and grow in our bodies, and renew our minds and our souls.



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