Hijacking Democracy? Spatialised Persecution and the Planning Process
This chapter explores the struggle of nationalist groups and their sympathisers to produce the city in their image by presenting specific historical and spatial imaginaries. These imaginaries distort how common placemaking processes and practices are interpreted, experienced, and discussed. The chapter uses a case study from the regional city of Bendigo, Australia, to show how protestors and formal objectors to a proposed mosque sought to exert their power over political debate about the future -symbolically, materially, and spatially. However, their engagement with the planning system led to feelings of persecution, as their urban imaginaries were confronted with the institutional and moral imperatives of a multicultural society. ‘Hijacking Democracy?’ reveals the conflicts that arise with urban transformation and highlights the need for policy makers, journalists, and others to identify and recognise the rational elements of extremist views, to better engage with people who might be attracted to anti-Islamic ideology.
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