'Intolerance kills harmony' | LETTER

'Intolerance kills harmony' | LETTER

I WOULD suggest to your correspondent of last week ("Multiculturalism Kills Harmony") that multiculturalism only kills harmony when accompanied by intolerance.

When we see our way of living - our cultural perspective - as superior to others, then we demonstrate considerable arrogance.

I greatly value the contributions that the various waves of migration have brought to our country.

Gone are the meat and three veg meals of my childhood. Instead now a rich variety of recipes and flavours offer diversity.

A favourite story for me from the First World War is the Christmas Truce of 1914. Here the troops on the front line got out of their trenches, fraternised and exchanged gifts in defiance of their superiors.

Evidently their leaders were concerned that it might make continuing the war difficult.

Getting out of the trenches, understanding the other's perspective and sharing our common humanity is by far the best way forward with our race relations.

It is easy to stay in our "trench" and demonise others, but it is so counter-productive.

Following the Lindt siege, in Sydney, a Muslim woman tweeted that she, with her distinctive head-dress, was fearful of travelling alone on public transport. Another lady tweeted back "I'll ride with you" and started a large movement on Twitter.

This response must have been very disheartening to those seeking to foment intolerance. Isn't that a far better way to respond, rather than forcing women to discard their burqa?

I want to be part of a society that responds to racism like that.

JOHN AGNEW, Naracoorte.