Next stop - bloodshed?

Jeremy Halcrow

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Professor rebuked for 'racism'
Sudanese community leader, the Rev Bernard Suwa, says his anti-racism campaign has been ‘a success' despite Associate Professor Andrew Fraser's defiant claim he will ignore Macquarie University's decision to cancel his classes.

The row was sparked when Prof Fraser, a lecturer in law, was reported in the media as claiming that Africans were genetically predisposed to crime, because they had low IQs and high testosterone levels.

Mr Suwa, who met with Macquarie University Vice-Chancellor Di Yerbury, to complain about the comments on behalf of Sydney's Sudanese community said he was ‘very happy' with the University's response.

“I couldn't ask for more from the Vice-Chancellor,” Mr Suwa said. “She is genuine in her stance against racism. I don't think the University's decision is just about getting money from overseas students as Professor Fraser claims.”

However Mr Suwa wants to emphasize that he was never interested in Prof Fraser as an individual, but rather in addressing community-wide attitudes.

“The racial issue will always be there. In a way I am thankful to Andrew for bringing it to the surface so that we can correct the misinformation that some Australians believe.”

In the past weeks the Rev Bernard Suwa has fielded calls from Sudanese Anglicans in western Sydney who have been verbally abused and physically assaulted in broad daylight.

In one incident at Blacktown station two young teenage girls were set upon by a group of older white Australian women.

"The women were pulling them along by the hair," Mr Suwa says.

He is now pleading with Christians to stand united against racist attacks on the Sudanese community in western Sydney, before they escalate.

His call comes in the same week a Sudanese family has been forced to flee their home in Toowoomba in Queensland after being harrassed by locals, allegedly fuelled by a campaign by the racist White Pride Coalition. 

Mr Suwa believes the attacks are linked to comments by Macquarie University Law Professor, Andrew Fraser, opposing Asian and African immigration to Australia. (see fact box)

Prof Fraser has singled out Sudanese in western Sydney, saying "an expanding black population is a sure-fire recipe for increases in crime, violence and a wide range of other social problems'.

The Anglican Bishop of Western Sydney, Ivan Lee " the son of Chinese migrants - is backing Mr Suwa's plea for the Christian community stand against racism, and agrees that Professor Fraser's remarks are "entirely unnacceptable'.

Bishop Lee says Christians are compelled to take a stand against Professor Fraser's racist views "because it denies one of our core beliefs that the gospel is for all people'.

He says all people are capable of wrong-doing.

"The Bible tells us there is equality between all people," he says. "We are all fallen human beings and God came to save all nations."

Bishop Lee says that far from merely tolerating difference, Christians should love others.

"God does see the distinctives of people. I'd encourage Christians to seek the love God has for every human being."

Bishop Lee is thankful the attacks in Sydney "appear to be isolated incidents'.

"But nevertheless, they are very worrying." 

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