Mary and Mohammad

Cape shank 3

In a Compass episode on ABC TV last year, Mary, like many in her small community, is bitterly opposed to Tasmania’s first detention centre opening nearby (‘Mary and Mohammad’). There are fears of Muslims and riots, of children no longer being able to play in the front yard, of asylum seekers getting support while locals miss out. One man even says to the camera,

‘They should sink one or two boats; that would stop them coming.’

Does he know what he’s saying? Does he mean Australia deliberately drowning children and their parents at sea? When her knitting club makes beanies for the asylum seekers and plans to visit the detention centre to present them, Mary only comes along because she’s curious to see what it’s like inside. She returns from the visit smiling, delighted – the asylum seekers were so courteous and hospitable, they bought their visitors tea and biscuits using their limited credit points, they were interested in her photos and overjoyed with the beanies. She visits again and over time gets to know Mohammad. Continue reading “Mary and Mohammad” »