Posts Tagged ‘australian politics’

Peter Dutton is Australias official Immigration Minister and has recently come under fire for some of his statements about immigration in this country. He recently spoke out in parliament being very critical about former Prime Minister Malcolm Frasers decision in the 1970s to allow an influx of Lebanese and Muslim refugees from “rural areas” into Australia because the newest generation of Lebanese Muslim youth appear to be terrorists or conspirators of terrorism.

Now before i am found guilty of quote mining and misrepresenting Mr. Dutton, let us see exactly what he says because right after his statistics of fear he does provide a little disclaimer – albeit in the wrong order- before he is jeered by the opposition party. Mr Dutton says:

I thank the leader of the opposition leader for his question, if i said that i have….out of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist relations in this country- 22 of those people are from second or third generation Lebanese Muslim background. I’m not going to allow people who are hard working, who’ve done the right thing by this country, who have contributed, who have worked hard, who have educated their children- I’m not going to allow these people to be defined by those people who are doing the wrong thing and who have been charged with terrorist offences, or who are involved in crime otherwise.

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Were Peter Duttons comments necessary or beneficial?

Did Mr. Dutton state the truth statistically? Well yes he did, those numbers do appear to be accurate and of course we should all be concerned about the safety and security of our entire Australian community. Yet when we look at the maths behind these statistics we find a number that is so underwhelming and irrelevant that bringing this up in Parliament appears to have been nothing more than a political push to promote our dwindling past, current and future dealings with refugees and immigrants.

You see approximately 200,000 people fit within the mould of second and third generation Lebanese in Australia. Twenty Two is the number of those charged with terror related offences. Divide the numbers up and we find that 0.011% of the entire second and third generation Australian Lebanese community have been involved in terror offences.

That is right, our immigration leader is speaking out against a former prime minister for letting in these Muslim Lebanese populations in the 1970’s because it appears they produced 0.011% of the terror related population in this country today.

As a matter of fact Peter Dutton statesThe reality is Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in, in the 1970s, and we’re seeing that today. We need to be honest in having that discussion. There was a mistake made.

You see this is where his statement hits home hard and heavy for me personally. Although i am only half Lebanese his comments do offend me and my family. Mr. Dutton is talking specifically about my fathers generation and my generation. He is addressing both my Father and I. A Lebanese, Muslim man from “rural Lebanon” who came to this country with his family in the 1970’s during Malcom Frasers leadership. Calling my fathers migration to Australia a “mistake” is essentially calling ME a mistake. His comments almost negate my existence, it is like Mr. Dutton is pointing his finger at me saying he wishes i weren’t here and that i was a mistake, along with my father. Not exactly the welcoming language you’d expect from an immigration minister.

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My Father and I- 1985. Two direct recipients of Mr. Duttons criticisms. A 1970’s Lebanese Muslim Immigrant and a Second Generation Child.

Peter Duttons argument is basically this. We should have not allowed Muslim Lebanese people from “rural Lebanon” into Australia because a few generations later they would breed little potential terrorists. That would be like me saying we should not have allowed Anglo Saxons into this country because a few generations later they would wipe out almost the entire Aboriginal population of Tasmania. Or they would later be responsible for the most drink driving deaths on the road”.

Would it be fair if Mr. Dutton made his comment like this? “Out of the last 100 people who have been charged with drink driving in this country – 60 of those people are from second or third generation Anglo Saxon Australian background.

This is where his little disclaimer fails him abundantly and even though members of his party have defended him saying he is being taken out of context, he clearly is not. His statement worked within this format. Firstly he speaks to the media and insults a former Prime Ministers handling of immigration calling his acceptance of Lebanese Muslims a “mistake”. Then in parliament he hits us with a  “statistic” which reveals a dismally small percentage of his case study. Then he says BUT we cannot allow this minority to represent the majority.

You cannot negate your clear fear mongering via the media and the parliament using extremely explicit language about a very distinct community relating to both race and religion to the Australian parliament and people within this hostile climate – and then in the end say “We cannot allow the minority to represent the majority” when very clearly your statements show you are allowing the minority to represent the majority.

The fact is highlighting these figures and statistics even though they are factual is absolutely unnecessary. Do you see anybody relating to figures in regards to any topics when the total number of their example is 0.011%? Imagine if parliament spoke about every issue highlighting such statistics? It’d be tossed up and trashed in any market of academia yet suddenly it’s okay for our Immigration Minister to push these statistics of fear?

 

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I thought we were moving forward from this? Cronulla Riots. 2005.

Look the Lebanese community and the Muslim community are far from perfect, the bad apples exist just like in all communities. Yet My father, myself and the majority of my family who are of Lebanese Muslim background are contributing members of this society and i will never accept being labelled a mistake. My father came here with little English, low education from the cesspool of civil war and has established himself well here. I myself am another example of this generation that Mr. Dutton seems to look at with suspicion and tunnel vision.

I do believe what Mr. Dutton said was irresponsible and he can scream out “facts” all he likes but his position comes with a responsibility for the people. He needs to ensure that he is unifying and not dividing. His language, statements and comments about the Lebanese Muslim community in particular have been detrimental to our current social climate.

Eleven years ago we had people on a beach chanting “Fuck Off Lebs” after a race riot and we have worked so hard within the decade to bridge that gap and come together as first and foremost Australians. Yet forgive us for feeling a little uncomfortable with being labelled as “mistakes” by our own immigration minister. I think the only mistake is your own irresponsible rhetoric in parliament. 

Salam
R.E

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It’s been a pretty loud and vocal week after the devastating Terror attack in Nice that killed many dozens of people (including 34 Muslims) and indeed it has been a somber time as such attacks seem to be amplified in volume, whether in Iraq, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France or Germany- we could all attest to the fact that we are living in some dangerous times.

Politicians and public figures have recently been “Speaking out” against Terrorism yet with a much more distinct and specific flavour– echoing the already loud calls of the potential next President of the United States Donald Trump.  Here in Australia we have had politicians and celebrities have their say about their fears of terror, indicating to the public that their fear runs so deep that indeed the only logical solution to stopping terrorism is to Ban Muslims altogether. That is right, no more Muslim immigration and no more Mosques and while we’re at it let’s try to get rid of Halal as well.

Now i promise to approach this matter fairly and with non Biased glasses because as a Muslim, of course, naturally i am inclined to defend Islam and rise up against what i deem to be bigotry. Yet let’s face it, this fear has to come from somewhere and this fear has to be addressed, why are people so scared? What could be done to ease the tension and settle the minds of my fellow Australians. ?

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TV presenter Sonia Kruger states that Muslim Immigration in Australia must stop.

First thing is first, i will address TV presenter Sonia Kruger who last week made a statement on public television supporting an outright ban on Muslim Immigration. What i will do is quote and address each of her concerns and i will tackle these concerns with factual information that is very easy to absorb and hopefully such facts could put her mind and your mind at ease!

Sonia Kruger starts off by stating: “There is a correlation between the number of people who are Muslim in a country and the number of Terrorist Attacks.”

This statement may sound convincing to some people, yet it is a blanket statement that is inaccurate. Obviously depending on the country, its political stability, civil environment and security we have different outcomes. Now nations like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, The United States, Afghanistan & Britain for example are all nations that have been involved in conflict and foreign intervention, which leads to a lack of settlement, instability and tensions within the population which obviously would lead to an increased potential of terrorism. The fact that many of these nations has a high Muslim population is coincidental and does not mean in essence that Muslims are more violent, yet it does mean that Muslims have been exposed to more Violence due to Domestic terrorism, Foreign invasions, bombings, drone strikes and political unrest.

So nations like the ones that i mention above would certainly strengthen Sonia Krugers point, yet there is a deep flaw within her argument. You will notice that other Muslim and Non Muslim nations that have NOT been exposed to political instability, civil strife and military foreign intervention have seen high levels of a Muslim population blended with high levels of Non Muslims and pretty much no terrorism has occurred.

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Due to political unrest, civil warfare, foreign military involvement. Places like Iraq are NOT a fair example to indicate Muslims are violent.

For example The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a population of 1.1 Million Muslims, whilst it has a whopping 1.8 Million Non Muslim Expats who live and work in this Middle Eastern Hub. If Muslims wanted to attack and kill non Muslims this would be their playground, yet instead we see people living in coexistence and in relative harmony.

What about Oman, also in the Middle East? I have been to Oman with my Christian Mother and we never felt safer. It has a 86% Muslim population and a 14% Non Muslim Population, here they have the upper hand in numbers and easily could terrorize their Non Muslim minorities- yet it is not happening. Am i making sense yet?

Now what about Qatar? Yet again deep in the Middle East. We have a 74% Muslim population and a 26% non Muslim population and yet again we are seeing no Terrorist Attacks occur here against Non Muslims.

Finally what about Kazakhstan in Central Asia? The population is 70% Muslims with a 30% Non Muslim population. It has yet to see a single terrorist attack against its 1/3 Non Muslim civilians. I hope you get my drift now.

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Me and My Christian Mother in Oman, Middle East 2012. A nation of 86% Muslims where we felt very safe at all times.

Now you are probably going to ask me what about Non Middle Eastern countries and Non Muslim countries that have a sizeable Muslim population? Aren’t they committing Jihad left, right and center just like they are in France or the USA? The answer is no, not necessarily. Let me give you a few examples.

We have Cyprus on the Mediterranean. A European nation with a 23% Muslim population. This means that almost 1 in 4 people in Cyprus are Muslim and yet there has been no Terror Attack there.

How about Singapore with its 15% Muslim population? This country is a melting pot just like many other civilized nations around the world with a very considerable Muslim population and yet people live together without the “fear” that Sonia Kruger is shivering about on National Television.

We also have Austria with a Muslim population of 7% and even though there are concerns in the nation for the potential of terror attacks, at this stage, thank Goodness we have not had an attack against the people of the nation by the significant Muslim population.

Let us talk about Fiji, the Pacific Island Nation. The terror level is low and constantly remains low in this tropical paradise even though it carries a 7% Muslim population within it. Do you wonder why?

A final example is Mongolia. 5% of the Population are Muslims and all it takes is one person to commit an act of terror and yet the nation has been terror free as far as i can see.

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Places like Cyprus with a strong 23% Muslim population are highly void of terror attacks.

Do you notice how all of the above nations are stable and have had no play in foreign military intervention that has caused unrest and warfare? Now let me refer you back to Sonia Kruger and the example of a nation she uses as a benchmark to Muslim Immigration. Here she states:

Look at Japan, it has a population of 174,000,000 (million) and 100,000 people who are Muslim and we never hear of terrorist attacks in Japan

So all the examples i gave you above range of a Muslim Population between 5% – 86% and this range proves that the number of Muslims does not necessarily mean more terror.
Yet in order for Sonia to propagate her banning of Muslim immigration to Australia she states that Japan is a perfect example of “just enough” Muslim Immigration in order to keep a society safe.

Just calculate that for a moment.  100,000 people from 174 million is a total of 0.1%.
She thinks that 0.1% of an entire countries population being Muslim is the limit in order for it to be considered “Safe” for her and her family. Those are some quite dismal numbers yet its a sneaky attempt at trying to highlight that No Muslims equals a safer society.

The Muslim Population of Australia is approximately 3%, so that is clearly 2.9% too many for Sonia Kruger, yet seeming she can’t do anything about the Muslims already here, she hopes to halt Muslim immigration by stopping it at 3% because apparently 3% of the population are causing sleepless nights for this poor woman.

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Sonia Kruger claims Japans 0.1% Muslim Population is just enough to consider “safe”.

One thing that i found to be very condescending and quite cliche in Sonia Krugers speech on television was that she used the “I have [Insert Minority] friends!“. Yes, Sonia claims she has many wonderful and beautiful Muslim friends before continuing on her quite hardline train of thought. You see that argument doesn’t stick because you’ll hear that many racists say “I have many black friends” and many homophobes would say “I have many gay friends” and obviously Islamophobes would use the famous “I have many Muslim friends”. Yet this doesn’t strengthen their argument, in fact it makes them look more ridiculous because she is using tolerant language before coming to an intolerant conclusion. NO MORE MUSLIMS!

In saying that- i understand peoples fears, people are scared and indeed we are all scared of terrorism. Regardless of ones race or religion we all could be victims of terror and indeed it could reach our shores. Yet banning Muslims is simply not the answer because open discrimination and xenophobic policies are the perfect recipe for radicalization. Just like extremist preachers subdue the minds of suicidal maniacs we find that such language puts a megaphone to the hate preachers mouths and lets them yell out to Muslims to avenge such hostilities. It is a bridge that could lead to Muslims already in a country to be brainwashed much easier in the thought that their country hates them. The scare campaign continues yet the fact of the matter is the Media and the Politicians sleep in the same bed, at the end of the day us PEOPLE only really have each other.

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This mentality does NOT help terrorism.

The onus isn’t only on everyone else though, of course the Muslim community can and must do more to not disenfranchise their youth from their own mixed communities and they must steer away from preaching segregation and violence. Not only that i also agree with strong immigration policies with vivid screening and background checks, whereas for example i think the over generosity of the German Immigration Influx may be problematic.

The best way to stem terrorism is to befriend Muslims and make them feel part of the greater community. Go to a Mosque and engage, ask many questions and interact. Learn more about the religion itself and find out if killing innocent civilians and non combatants is truly a pillar of Islam. Attend Muslim festivities and festivals and look at how Muslims are interacting in this place we call home. They are riding on rides, eating fairy floss and laughing with their families while making delicious Sunday barbeques. For the most part Muslims are not to be feared yet what we must fear is a civil breakup between communities because it gives the vultures power from both ends of the spectrum.

It opens the gateway to right wing politicians who take pleasure in dividing a nation and trying to enforce Nazi style doctrine among the people and it opens another door to making the radicalized mouth pieces more confident in recruiting young minds who do not feel in place in a country that actively seeks to ban their future existence. I am a Muslim and i invite you to speak to me if you have any concerns about Islam or Muslims. I welcome you to have a chat to me and i will be honest. From my 1,060 Facebook friends i have ever had three (3) people speak to me about my faith, whereas at least a dozen others simply speak ABOUT my faith. Let the dialogue begin.

PEACE, Salam Alaykum

 

-Ramey. E

 

Let me say briefly, i never voted for Tony Abbott. Yet i also do not blame people that did. When the Australian Labor Government fell on its knees and made an embarrassment of itself from its rise of Julia Gillard and fall of Kevin Rudd, we all were keen on a new leadership. Someone we could trust and a government that was Solid with the interests of not only Australians in mind but society and the World as a whole.

An elected government could quickly change the demographic of the nation and i have noticed this with the current Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. I have been alive for just over 30 years in this country and there are many things i notice about the climate of the population. Sometimes people will Mirror the sentiments of their leader, yet what is evident is the low lives of society that remained dormant for many years have suddenly risen with this new government and never have the bigots felt so confident to come out and offend our current social climate.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made some questionable decisions.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made some questionable decisions.

Let me give you an example, years ago under many other Australian governments i had never heard of groups like “Reclaim Australia” or the “Australian Defense League”. These are borderline fascist Neo Nazi’s that hate all things immigrant. So far this year there have been “rallies” in many Major Australian cities conducted by these Nationalistic groups that were thankfully challenged by Other groups in public squares. Yet these protests turned violent and another one is planned this month in July 2015.

These “protests” were attended by people with Swastikas on their heads and clear affiliation with other groups that are high on the crazy scale. Even though these protests were violent and full of hate, we barely heard about them in the media. Yet when a bunch of Australian Muslims ran around spewing their disgust in a distasteful matter about Prophet Muhammad cartoons, we barely heard the end of it. The bottom line is the bigots feel protected by this government to come out of their dungeons and to cause civil unrest- like members of the Australian Defense League going to a Mosque and taunting people whilst they mind their own business after prayer services.

Groups like the Australian Defense League feel protected by this current government.

Groups like the Australian Defense League feel protected by this current government.

Why are people surprised by former Olympian Dawn Fraser telling misbehaving Tennis Players to Go back to where their parents came from”? This was the language many people were afraid to speak of with other governments that held stronger stances against stereotypes and xenophobia. Yet under Tony Abbott, people are not only taking aim but firing away with their derogatory comments about their fellow inhabitants in this nation.

Why are people so surprised when we have the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs on public television telling Australian born and bred citizens that were accused of terrorism but acquitted of those claims “I’d be happy to look you straight in the eye and say that I‘d be pleased to be part of the Government that would say that you were out of the country.I would sleep very soundly at night with that point of view.”

Our foreign Minister openly tells an Australian Citizen to get out of Australia on public television.

Our foreign Minister openly tells an Australian Citizen to get out of Australia on public television.

This was before Zaky Mallah said that oh so shocking quote about ISIS yet nobody blinked an eye when we had our Minister Of Foreign Affairs actively telling an Australian Citizen that was NOT charged with Terrorism that he would “Like him [permanently] out of the country“. Again such brazen comments made with a daring confidence highlights something to me, due to the current political climate we are in and seeing how our current Government views its minorities, immigrants and indigenous Australians, we find that never before have we seen such an influx of Nationalistic, Paranoid and Power Obsessed political figures and citizens come out from the dark.

This attitude of mine does not come out of thin air. I did not suddenly wake up and say I hate this government and what it stands for, yet it is a series of progressive decisions made by our government and its reaction from the Australian Public of which i see where the problem lies. Sometimes the people are a reflection of the government and sadly my Fellow Australians are Mirroring this Parliaments shortsightedness and i think we need to make changes- fast.!

Another nail in the coffin was the recent decision by the Australian Government to shut up Australian workers in foreign detention camps where “illegal” immigrants are currently being held, including children. The Tony Abbott government recently made a new rule claiming that all doctors, hospital workers, guards and other staff have no rights in reporting ill behaviours in these detention camps. That is right, if Human Rights abuses are being conducted (and there is evidence to suggest that they clearly are) the government has paralyzed the right of these Australian Citizens to report the cruelty with the lurking threat of 2 Years Jail for such a “crime”.

Our government no longer allows workers on out Detention Centres to report misconduct or abuse- instead they face jail.

Our government no longer allows workers on our Detention Centres to report misconduct or abuse- instead they face jail.

Not only that, our current government has also allowed Meat Headed “Guards” in these detention centres that have a clear hatred for Immigrants and Xenophobic attitudes. Recent evidence has shown that many of these guards carry Anti Immigrant tattoos, hateful social media posts and open sentiments of intolerance including photos with the infamous political bigot Pauline Hanson. These guards that the Australian Government has entrusted to these vulnerable people LOATHE them. Yet the most horrific fact about this situation is that the guards potential abuse of these people cannot be reported. It is illegal to report them! Obviously there is something to hide. Such laws are being passed and Australia is letting it happen.

These issues will now even filter down to our schools and education system here in Australia. The impending threat of 0.02% of the Australian Muslim population (100 from 500,000 who went to join ISIS) has now  reared its ugly head into our schools. The Australian Government is trying to implement a new “Jihadi Watch” scheme in our schools where teachers and students are taught on how to “spot” a Jihadi among their midst. Apparently if a fellow student “Gets in trouble” or “Argues with people of different ideologies” or “drifts away from their friends” this constitutes suspicious behaviour that would leave that student singled out and watched by fellow students and teachers. That’s odd that they formulate general “Naughty” behaviour in school to Jihadi links, they might need to actually reconsider what a Jihadi actually is.

Our government proposed

Our government proposed “Jihadi Watch” schemes in our schools where kids can be reported as potential terrorists by fellow students and teachers.

Just think about that for a moment, if one day Sarah at school decides to wear a Hijab and Abdul decides to grow his beard,  then their friends distance themselves from them and their teachers and fellow students ostracize them as potential terrorists- how on Earth would that be productive to our current social condition? How do you expect to counter terrorism by making almost anyone a suspect? It’s absolute nonsense. Will our schools then introduce “Domestic Violence Watch” schemes or “Drug addict schemes” or “Alcohol fueled violent schemes”? ALL of these examples pose a much bigger threat to Australians, yet there is no government initiative against them on a federal level.

The voice of the reasonable like us is suddenly being muffled by these flag waving bigots holding up scary signs with words like “Halal” and “Sharia” whilst they start protests, vandalize mosques, send death threats and degrade fellow citizens. Which is why Sydney and Melbourne are holding COUNTER Rallies against these groups of hate. The No To Racism, No To Facism and No To Islamophobia counter rally will be held at Martin Place, Sydney on July 19th.

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Our Detention Centre “Guards” posing with Right Wing politician Pauline Hanson- in an Anti Islam rally.

Remember this is a COUNTER rally against hate. It was never a rally that was meant to exist. Yet it is about time we respond to this rush of ignorance in our beautiful country and we cannot allow them to take the Microphone and become the spokesmen and women of Australia. We cannot change the government right now, yet when that moment comes ladies and gentlemen we must make a change. Australia cannot afford such leadership, nor such a following.

Peace, Salam! 🙂

Ramio1983