HERE’S what should have happened on the Sydney bus this morning when ABC journalist Jeremy Fernandez was subject to a torrent of racist and ugly abuse from a fellow passenger.

What she said… Picture: AFP

Someone should have stood up. They should have made a beeline for the gutter mouth and stood between them.

“Hey,” they should have said, “Cut that crap out,” before turning to Fernandez and his two year old daughter and checking if they were alright.

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  • mikem says:

    06:53pm | 08/02/13

    This incident makes me ashamed to be an Australian, and if as now reported the bus driver asked Mr Fernandez to hop off the bus then that bus driver should lose his job.. Tony verification should be easy given that there will be witnesses and the incident should be recorded… Read more »

  • Counterpunch! says:

    06:52pm | 08/02/13

    I think the point was…if you are in a situation that might turn violent, it’s best to walk away, (isn’t that what we are encouraged to do?), regardless of who is in the right. I’m a little perplexed that as a man he couldn’t defend himself against a woman. Could… Read more »


I have been asked by The Punch to offer a different point of view about Muslims in Australia. Being a white, Christian, male living in Australia’s most populated Muslim suburb, I should be the most vilified person in Australia according to some fellow Punchers.

Just another street in just another suburb

Well the truth is, I’m not.

My background has many different layers and stepping stones to it. I was born in the mid 80s in Broken Hill to a dad that was local and a mum that was from Wilcannia. Growing up, she was one of the only few white families in town but never had a bad word to say about Aborigines, irrespective of how the situation is there now.

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  • Colin says:

    03:40am | 25/04/12

    under the destructive, discredited, failed doctrine of state multiculturalism (which only australia practises), immigrants and all of their descendents are encouraged to lead different lives, in different enclaves/ghettos, talking in different languages and practising different customs/traditions. there is no social cohesion, only social disintegration, the fragmentation of society, the balkanization… Read more »


This is the final in our Adelaide Festival of Ideas series - the brainfest begins today. In this column Paul Collins talks about how important it is to recognise and protect religion pluralism.

A unique religious celebration in Thailand. Pic: Getty Images

Richard Dawkins and his atheist mates have done us a real disservice by caricaturing all religion as fundamentalist claptrap. The problem is that by pretending that all religions are the same, he obscures the important differences that have to be negotiated if we are going to live in a more peaceful and tolerant world.

This is especially true when we come to negotiate that most important contemporary divides between the West and the Islamic world. At the heart of this is the negotiation between Christianity and Islam, two faiths that really need to talk to each other for all our sakes. But this isn’t going to be easy.

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  • Tasha says:

    08:05am | 12/10/11

    So Islam has a “fundamentally warlike nature”. Wow. Gee you have really studied Islam. I am a Muslim and your stupidity (rather than Islam) that makes me feel violent. Read more »


Sometimes all you need to turn a bunch of disparate and disgruntled souls into a united angry mob is a slogan.  Well, search no longer, ye of the red-faced rage and the impotently clenched fists.

Arrrgh it's all so UNFAIR! Photo: thinkstock

For someone has indeed provided you with the lightning rod you need – the Tolerance is our Demise website. And it’s not just a website – for like all righteous movements it sells that most passive aggressive of tools, the bumper sticker. Whatever your gripe, your petty bigotry, or indeed your genuine criticism of the current state of politics, tolerance is apparently to blame. And thus, presumably, intolerance the answer.

It’s a broad church, this intolerance one. Everything from taxes to immigration to overseas funding (presumably they mean aid) to political correctness to soft sentencing to the carbon tax and man-made climate change – all of these need a more intolerant approach.

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  • John says:

    01:13pm | 08/09/11

    “I’d list racism and other bigotries amongst those. “ The communist brainwashed mind! This mind set is false, it’s a fictional. This notion that humanity is equal is contradicted by statistics and historical accounts. Look at all the western nations that embraced immigration and multiculturalism, their crime statistics are rising… Read more »

  • Joel B1 says:

    08:50pm | 07/09/11

    “chillout” Bleugh! Read more »


Former Premier Jeff Kennett has urged Australians to be vigilant about ethnic threats and told the Herald Sun that migrants should accept our way of life.

Altogether now! We are the world… Pic: Tom Lee

He was commenting in the wake of a claim by British Prime Minister David Cameron that multiculturalism had contributed to the threat of terrorism within the UK.

Multiculturalism is a hot button topic. And in Australia the topic is plagued by empty, yet dangerous phrases such as ‘way of life’.

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  • Michael says:

    02:06pm | 17/10/12

    People fail to realize the long term effects of Multiculturalism (MC) and Population Growing in Australia. It can lead to serious consequences. What I’ve learned living in a MC world is that there is nothing special about? the Western culture. MC has weakened nations instead, using Havoc as a tool… Read more »

  • Craig says:

    02:09pm | 16/03/11

    This is crap perpetuated by the multiculturalists who don’t want Australia to have its own culture (unless Aboriginal) so they try to pretend we never had one. Read more about multiculturalist lies here: Read more »


I’m sitting in my lounge room looking at the swag of contemporary political philosophy books I own, simmering with resentment at the noise the uneducated wogs downstairs are making.

Sign of the times: from

My family moved to Balmain when I was a teenager and until recently I’ve mainly lived in the Inner West of Sydney. I tried the Eastern Suburbs for a while but decided it was too cashed up and pretentious for my left-wing sensibilities. So I stayed close to Glebe and Newtown, went on the right marches, studied the right subjects at uni, and voted for the right political party.

But a couple of years ago my boyfriend and I found ourselves priced out of the inner city rental market - a direct consequence, I told myself, of my lack of materialism and desire to pursue a modest creative life.

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  • pete says:

    03:57pm | 11/08/12

    Racism is in our DNA. Survival of our tribe when surrounded by people of different culture and ethnicity. I was people-loving hippie before I settled in Australia. Here, I becam a racist. I tried to fight it. I cant help. Read more »

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    01:29pm | 27/04/12

    I’m looking over this publish and it appears to be fantastic! I like your writing style and you have mentioned some outstanding points about this issue. Read more »


From my observation it is never Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims or even Scientologists who get upset when a nativity scene goes up in a chicken shop at Christmas.

Secular purists, not Muslims or Hindus, are more likely to find this scene offensive.

I am not surprised, because as people of faith they understand that their religious freedom is only as safe as it is for those who hold a different belief.

For this reason I have always been perplexed as a professed Christian by objections to Australian women wearing a hijab in public. I recently walked the Kokoda trail with one young Australian woman who wore it the entire way – quite an effort.

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  • says:

    12:42pm | 02/10/12

    Dean QB has been a model of inconsistency. Kassel was selected three times charger last week in their 37-20 loss. In Cassell’s defense, he absolutely did not help the defense, as Dean found themselves down by 17 in the first quarter. Jamaal Charles did not find any rhythm and Dean… Read more »

  • Mr Pastry says:

    10:06pm | 20/08/09

    I’m sticking with the Dream Time and the Rainbow Serpent, more believable than the Bible and no doctrines strapped on by evil church bureaucrats. Read more »


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