“Indigenous
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Pope-po shut us down

A letter from Alessandro Cowley.

The offending Ibis Pope. The offending Ibis Pope.
The offending Ibis Pope.
All hail Pope Ibis IV.

Dear Honi,

Teasing and ridiculing someone based on the colour of their skin, the way they speak or for an impoverished upbringing ought to be universally condemned by all respectable and reasonable people in our egalitarian society. Yet, modern, ‘tolerant’ Sydney University is descending to the bigotry of a bygone era. Teasing and plainly ridiculing someone’s religious beliefs are perfectly acceptable at this university. You need not look further than Week 2 of Honi Soit. No, not the Opus Dei feature article spread on a neat looking, coloured double page – something subtler, on the Honi Soit emblem. It featured the standard Ibis, but with a Papal tiara (not used by Pope’s since the 1960s), and a crucifix with a stick figure nailed to it, imitating Jesus. For some this might seem amusing, like the high school brat laughing at the new kid from overseas whose stuttering in their pronunciation of words. But for that kid, and for any Christian who viewed that material, it was tantamount to mocking, and a insolent lack of respect to that person’s dignity. More so, it was a violation of trust by the editorial team, who promised “an Honi that brings people together” (SEX for Honi Facebook page, September 2013). Society has changed from the days of sectarianism and racism, but the few people who cling to these ideologies have learnt the art of subtlety.

I commend the editors for their mastery of this art as well.

Alessandro Cowley
Arts/Law III
President of the Catholic Society