Australia: Mural Rage in the Making

This mural has appeared in the trendy Sydney suburb of Newtown.

  • Henry Budd/Daily Telegraph
  • Ban the burqa mural ‘not anti-Muslim’ says artist

    Note the dumb, disparaging slant by reporter Henry Budd. He also finds it necessary to mention that  “2000 Muslims held a peaceful protest in Lakemba”….. (no s#*t, really?)

    Glass sculptor Sergio Redegalli outside his studio in Newtown, today, where he has painted a mural saying no to burqas

    A MURAL urging governments to outlaw the burqa has appeared in the trendy inner-city suburb of Newtown.

    Local artist Sergio Redegalli painted the “Say no to burqas” sign on the outside of workshop this week to start a debate about the practice of wearing face-covering veils.

    Redegalli said burqas and niqabs are symbols of religious extremism and were becoming more prevalent in Australia.

    He said the image was not anti-Muslim, anti-Islam or anti-women.

    “If you let it [the practice of covering your face] go, someone, somewhere down the line will say we would like Sharia Law,” he said.


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    Mr Redegalli said the image has already been defaced twice since he began painting it on Monday.

    Mr Redegalli also drives a ute with stickers on the front saying “Australians have nothing to hide, say no to burqas”.

    About 2000 Muslims held a peaceful protest in Lakemba last Saturday, angered by growing local and international pressure to restrict the wearing of veils in public.

    The rally was a response to recent bans in Europe and two failed attempts by Christian Democratic Party MP Fred Nile to have a Bill banning burqas and other face veils in public introduced in the NSW Legislative Council.

    50 comments on this story

    12 thoughts on “Australia: Mural Rage in the Making”

    1. If there’s something strange
      in your neighborhood
      Who you gonna call?

      If there’s something weird
      and it don’t look good
      Who you gonna call?

      (Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr)

    2. I wonder if Mr Redegalli would be interested in doing a run of prints, or maybe glass, depending on price / demand. A print would look good on my lounge wall.

    3. Last two pars of Punch article above:

      [In a statement to The Punch, the local authority, Marrickville Council, said that while it had no legal right under graffiti laws to remove the mural, it was “continuing to pursue other means of having the image/symbol removed.”

      The local mayor, Sam Iskandar, said: “I strongly condemn this action which goes against the values which the Marrickville community has believed in and practiced for generations. I believe this is an isolated incident which is not supported by the broader Marrickville community.” ]

      Sam Iskandar – a local lad?

      Mayor, Councillor Sam Iskandar

      [Clr Sam Iskandar arrived in Marrickville in 1977 from Lebanon. He has lived and worked in the Marrickville area since his arrival. Sam is married with six children and this is his third term as a Councillor. Sam has a Diploma of Physical Education and he is also a language teacher.]

      [As well as being a member of Marrickville Council, Sam is an active member on various committees for the Arabic community and youth and sporting clubs.]

      Sam Iskandar

    4. I wonder if the wearing of burkas is supported by the “broader Marrickville community”, or whether they will be given an opportunity to express their will on burkas, sharia, and other aspects of islamisation?

      I think I know the answer.

    5. Nice, Mullah.

      Perhaps we should write to “Mayor, Councillor Sam Iskandar” and ask him what the values are in which the “Marrickville community has believed in and practiced for generations.”

      If Iskandar believes “this is an isolated incident which is not supported by the broader Marrickville community” then perhaps he should call for a local referendum….. (now what is the Arab-Muslim population in Marrickville? Have they got the majority or do they have the right to rule under the sharia?)

      Obviously, he’s a Mohammedan, Labor (of course) but at this point we know little apart from him founding the ‘Arabic society’ and there isn’t much publicized about what they do. Stay tuned…….

      Found something much more interesting from 2007:

      Iskander is a Hamas supporter!

      THE war in the Middle East has come to the inner west. Marrickville Council last night voted to formalise a sister city relationship with the City of Bethlehem Council, drawing fire from a Jewish community group.

      The Marrickville councillor Sam Iskander, who put forward the idea, says he wants to promote peace and understanding. (SMH)

    6. A more complete article in the local paper, Sheik…

      Anti burqa mural vandalised in Newtown

      [Is it unAustralian to dictate what people wear?]

      [Mr Redegalli is using his shop, Cydonia Glass Studio, to create discussion about the issue because he believes state and federal governments are too scared to bring the issue up.

      “This mural has come from frustration that political correctness has gone so far you can’t say anything about Muslims without getting in trouble,” he said.

      “This is a stance on rights for ourselves, we can say something peacefully without having violence.”

      Mr Redegalli said he also believes Australian’s have the right to see another persons face when people are speaking to them.]

      * My comment, if it gets published:

      I would be willing to buy a small print or glass reproduction for my lounge room, as it is more likely to reflect Australian values than the burka, which might be appropriate in places already largely absorbed into the Dar al-Islam such as Lebanon, but not in the remnant of the Dar al-Harb (Unconquered World), including Australia.

      Bravo, Mr Redegalli!

      Perhaps Mayor Sam Iskandar, rather than condemning the action, would be willing to hold a local referendum to ascertain the true feelings and values of Marrickville’s residents?

    7. * Iskander is a Hamas supporter!

      Nice find – why am I not surprised? I was searching on “Sam Iskandar” + sharia when I found the Inner West Courier article.

      Good blog on Aussie Bagel about your SMH article & Iskandar at the time:

      [Sam Iskander is very active in the Arabic community, he teaches Arabic at a school in the councils area and is the original founder of the Arabic Community school. An active member of the Arabic community, It would seem that Sam has kept himself rather busy advocating on Arabic issues since migrating from Lebanon in 1972.

      Now none of this is in any way negative, he is an active member of the community, which is praiseworthy in itself but, he busies himself advocating for Arabic issues. Does it not also make the Councils statement that the Sister City relationship has not been done on political grounds a rather shaky construct? Could not Sam Iskander have put forward that a town in the West Indies, Africa Europe or the Americas might make a suitable sister city partner?]

    8. * he wants to promote peace and understanding

      How about the muslims blow up the Cydonia Glass Works and build a cultural centre dedicated to P&U on the site?

    9. I support your painting of the Newtown Mona Lisa, sadly it has been defaced in the same way Moslem men deface their women.

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