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Ted Szukalski

Gallery of fine art photography.

Asian girl with a vitamin drink

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Photo used for illustrative purposes only
In the last days of 2008 conservatives MPs, led by Fred Nile proposed a law to ban topless women from NSW beaches citing protection for Muslim and Asian communities as a reason. Well, this means these are racial and religious reasons. If such law passed would it not discriminate against the communities and religions where such practice as topless sun baking is not a taboo? Should the state law be based on religious believes or practices of people of other nations or should it be secular and focused on Australians?

What’s next Rev. Nile? Will you ask all the girls in Sydney to cover up top to bottom? Isn’t there a war somewhere in the world over views just like that? Isn’t there Australian blood spilt over protection of human rights there?
Will the mini skirts and short dresses be banned next? Or perhaps the buttons of every blouse have to be done up Victorian style all the way to the top? How about you get them to cover their faces for good measure too?

There is a magic word used often when it comes to the Australian people mix: tolerance. No, it does not mean lowest common dominator, it does not mean submission to one view, it does not even mean regulation or even understanding. Here is the definition of tolerance by UNESCO: “Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance is harmony in difference.”

Intolerable tolerance

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This group of protesters tried hard to make themselves noticeable amongst the pilgrims in the Hyde Park. Their message? “We have nothing against Catholics… There is no God… it is not a sin to be gay… it is not against religion to use condom”.

Media reported later on there were heated exchanges between the protesters and World Youth Day attendees. Yes, some people took offence and exchanged words with the protesters. However, what was not reported or shown on TV was the fact the young pilgrims turned their backs on the protesters and simply walked away, ignoring them completely. After brief moment even media moved on.