Our governments have no hesitation in spending taxpayers’ money on their vanity projects and also to help out their friends. Taxpayers themselves would much rather their hard-earned money be spent on essential services, such as health, education, infrastructure and appropriate levels of social security.
But our governments of course do not care for the opinions of taxpayers, it just spends their money on whatever it deems important. It certainly does not care about size of Australian Government Debt which current stands at $573 million.
One of their favourite things to spend money on is cultural institutions and events, it makes them feel like they are culturally enriching Australia and of course it gets them a pat on the back from the media and cultural elites. Often these grants to cultural institutions are not simply to those that could not survive on the free market, but are instead a top up payment so governments can show they care about culture.
It’s one thing for governments to give grants to organizations that don’t really need it, it’s completely another thing to give grants to an institution which Australians would strongly object to. In fact, Australians would be quite shocked if the full list of cultural grants governments provide was released.
So, it should be partically concerning that the both the Victorian and Australian Governments are funding the Islamic Museum of Australia located in Thornbury in Melbourne’s inner North. Given that Australians have already made their opposition to Islamic immigration known, it is a further insult by our government to directly fund the promotion of Islam in Australia.
It is also interesting to mention the other partners of the Museum, which would display it is not a project that is really strapped for cash. Its patron and founding benefactor is Ahmed Fahour who was the former CEO of Australia Post who was paid the obscene salary of $5.6 million a year.
The rest of the Fahour family is mentioned which includes Ahmed’s brother Ali Fahour who is the disgraced former AFL Diversity Officer. Another Partner is Etihad Airways, one of the government controlled Airlines of the United Arab Emirates. Yet taxpayers are expected to top up this Museum. In case it hasn’t got enough funding, keeping in mind that tickets for adults to see the Museum are $35, it has a gift shop and you can also donate additional money to the Museum.
It describes its goal as “to showcase the rich artistic heritage and historical contributions of Muslims in Australia and abroad through the display of various artworks and historical artefacts”. This is quite ironic as Islamic State have been busy destroying scared sites throughout the Middle East for not representing Islamic society.
The events its hosts feature prominent Islamic activists. It has an annual Women’s Only Morning Tea (wouldn’t be Islam without gender segregation), the 2016 Morning Tea was with none other than Yassmin Abdel-Magied who they described as “hugely popular”. In 2015 the keynote speakers at the Morning Tea were Mariam Veiszadeh and Monique Toohey.
Of course, our politicians have been all too eager to visit, none other than the Prime Minister himself Malcolm Turnbull who came with Social Services Minister Christian Porter (allegedly a conservative) for a tour of the Museum. Turnbull of course likes to give money to Islamic causes, as he recently gave $625,000 to the Bachar Houli Cup.
The centre also provides educational resources for primary and secondary schools, plus professional development training for teachers. It also partners with other Islamic organisations including the Islamic Council of Victoria and the Board of Imams Victoria. To give it some credit at least it has launched a campaign to counter domestic violence against Islamic women.
But this sort of soft diplomacy as it is known still does not fix the major problems we are seeing with Islam in Australia, which we have documented numerous times. If these Islamic activists want to have an Islamic Museum that is fine, but please don’t ask taxpayers to contribute to it. This also applies to other cultural groups who receive government funding, pay for your culture yourself. The message to governments of course is sticking to funding essential services, and use our tax money wisely.