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As a psychiatrist who visits jails, I see a lot of overlap between locals who are lured towards terror and many clients from Middle Eastern backgrounds I see in the legal system.
While the cries for calm and cohesion are laudable and the fears among the Muslim majority of being tarnished by a tiny minority appropriate, there remains a wholesale denial within sections of the Muslim community that the bad apples have any connection to the apple tree. Khaled Sharrouf was not an isolated individual, but a man with a family which was linked to a community.
There remains a marked difference in the way males are raised within some Lebanese groups which predisposes them to greater acts of anti-social behaviour. It is a fairly specific segment of the Lebanese community and a result of the migration of poorer farmers and lower-class Lebanese Muslims after the civil war in 1975. Their numbers and concentration are greatest in southwestern Sydney.
There is a rampant anti-social character to some youths from this segment which stems in part from unsuccessful child rearing. The horrific moves towards terror acts can be seen as an ideological extension of a propensity towards bad behaviour, combined with an unshakable victim mentality.
There are clear trends in the clients I see from Arab groups in jails. They come from large families. The fathers were often absent while they worked unskilled jobs trying to provide. The mothers lacked the extended family support they may have had in their ancestral lands. Parenting focused on the daughters, for in the world the mothers knew girls needed more discipline and attention for opportunity and marriage to beckon. The men were placed on a pedestal with few behavioural limits. The relatively absent fathers, who might have disciplined the sons, compounded the problems.
I see further key psychological differences among these groups, particularly the Lebanese or the children of refugees from Iraqi or Afghan backgrounds. They are likely to see anger in different ways to Westerners or migrants from more educated ethnic groups. While expressions of anger and threats are a quick way to lose face in polite Western society, it is more acceptable within Arab groups. At its worst, calm, measured responses to conflict may be seen as weak.
This is outlined by Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennell’s groundbreaking work visiting Muslim criminals in jail, where he makes reference to the Arab notion of “holy anger”, which is completely foreign to English.
Another key difference is the psychological idea of “locus of control”. This refers to whether we believe our lives are driven primarily by internal or external factors.
Western thinking teaches that we have some control of our destinies. In its most optimistic forms, it is the basis for the self-help industry. Applying these kinds of ideas to my Muslim patients, particularly first-generation or less educated migrants, is extremely difficult. There is simply no such concept in Arab cultures.
What Arab cultures have are strict external rules, traditions and laws for human behaviour. They have a God that decides their life’s course. “Inshallah” follows every statement about future plans: if God wills it to occur. They have powerful Muslim clerics who set directions for their community every Friday. These clerics dictate political views, child-rearing behaviour and whether to integrate into Western societies.
In societies shaped under Islamic influences there is little emphasis on guilt and a greater likelihood to demand that society adapt to one’s own wishes.
Muslim youths have unique difficulties in coming to terms with their identity, especially when they have conflicting value systems at home compared with school or work. This can produce greater deviance, a point better measured in Britain where South Asian youth suffer from mental illness at three times the rate of the general population.
But there are Muslim youths from many different countries living in Sydney. Other Arab Australians from Egypt, Jordan or Iran do not have the same problems. If you meet them, they will be quick to point out that their community’s migration was from a more skilled base. They had smaller families, focused on their children’s education and integrated more easily.
There is no doubt Muslim communities throughout the Western world have been under the pump since the age of terror unleashed itself this century. But for all the interfaith work, awareness building and cries for tolerance, there continues to be a significant tendency to externalise all blame.
Reproduced here under the terms if its creative commons license originally published here
In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:
The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].
Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry.
The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:
(1) Problems with opening fire
(2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward
(3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it
Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed:
The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).
It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.
The truth is often far from pretty Comrades
by Ray Dixon (a Victorian and not-a-muslim-basher)
Bendigo woman Monika Evers would not approve of the above – not in her town.
No Burqas for Bendigo is Monika’s mantra and sworn belief.
You see, Monika hates Muslims so much (or ‘fears’ them so much she hates them – same thing) that she lodged a VCAT objection against the Bendigo Council’s approval of a Mosque proposed to be built in the regional Victorian City of Bendigo. One of 432 such objections (from a population of over 100,000).
Monika also joined (or formed) a local protest group whose arguments against the Mosque included such gems of genius as these:
Opponents said the mosque would bring violence to Bendigo and the city would be overtaken by Sharia law.
“If you’re Muslim and you want a mosque, go back to the Middle East. This is Australia,” one member of the public said.
The protest group asked what councillors were doing to protect the city from terrorism and accused the council of failing to consult the community.
“Bendigo people own Bendigo, it’s their town, they have the right to say mosque or no mosque,” one person said.
“We’re not racists.”
But Monika went further than that and started up an anti-Mosque Facebook page, Stop the Mosque in Bendigo. Not surprisingly, the Facebook page contains very little about the actual proposed building itself but a shitload of anti-muslim sentiment and reports and commentary on Islamic matters from far and wide, none of which seems relevant to Bendigo, which has had an established Muslim community for over 15 years that has peacefully co-existed with the “owners”, i.e. with “Bendigo people”, you know, the real “owners” of Bendigo, got it? Read it if you like but it doesn’t make much sense or have any coherence – just a lot of hate speech (GD might enoy it though?)
So Monika trots off to VCAT and what does she do? Well, she applies to have her name suppressed because, according to her, she’s received “online death threats” and “fears for her safety”. What a surprise.
Despite claims by her advocate that “the alleged threats to her safety have led to Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police checking in on her a number of times”, VCAT rejected the suppression application, saying there was a lack of credible information to support Ms Evers’ safety threat claims, which I guess means neither ASIO or the Police found any evidence of them either.
Oh dear, what does a true blue Aussie girl just trying to protect herself and her fellow Bendigoites from:
Halal sausages and
… then go and do?
Well she leaves the court in tears of course (under police guard) while attempting to hide her identity ….
…. like this:
Oh, the irony.
I’ll give the last word on this episode of anti-Muslim madness to a member of Bendigo’s Islamic community and to the Victorian Government’s Minister for Planning Matthew Guy (who is a Liberal MP, GD please note):
A member of Bendigo’s Islamic community said he was grateful the local council had decided to support plans.
Heri Febriyanto said the local Muslim community was growing, and has nowhere to pray or celebrate.
“We are also the local community in Bendigo,” Mr Febriyanto said.
“We have been living here for more than 15 years, so we are same as the locals in Bendigo, we are working as well.
“So I think we should have the equality of rights, then we would like to live in harmony within the community of Bendigo.”
Victoria’s Planning and Multicultural Affairs Minister, Matthew Guy, has backed the council’s decision and criticised the comments of some of those opposing the application.
“People making those kinds of comments are silly, I mean that’s not what we expect in this country, particularly on a planning matter like this, people should be respectful and sensible,” Mr Guy said.
“They’ve considered it (the mosque application) on its merits, it’s got through, if people want to appeal it they should, but it should be on the grounds of planning law and not on emotion.”
Thank you Heri – when did you get off welfare again? GD wants to know how (and why) you did that, you bludger.
And thank you Matthew Guy. For a while there I was losing my faith in my fellow Victorians and was contemplating a move to
Western Sydney Wellington, New Zealand.
We are ‘The Smarter State’ after all.
I’ve been following the recent events in Iraq with some dark bemusement because it seems to me to be the obvious demonstration of the brutality of Islam and the absolutely pernicious outcome when you mix a religion that preaches the primacy of the next world and the requirement for mechanistic totalitarian obedience with in this life to secure a place in the next. Add to that the centuries old schism between the Sunni and Shia incarnations of Allah’s faithful and you have the recipe for greater death and destruction than either of the last two wars in that blighted land.
The US government is, quite rightly, not rushing to get involved and I certainly do not expect to see any US boots on the ground anytime soon. The news that Shia Iran is lending support to the Current government may well provide a bulwark to the Iraqi government and its rather wonky military who have not shown much intestinal fortitude at all in the face of the ISIS insurgents. The only bright spot for the west is that with the involvement of Iran in the conflict we may well see a replay of the Iran Iraq wars that predated Gulf war one. I can almost hear the usual suspects screaming with horror at my suggestion that such a war could be a bright spot but my reasoning is quite simple; If the Sunnis and Shias are concentrating on killing each other in Iraq they will expend a great deal of resources (in terms of men, materials and money) on the fight and ultimately neither will win, further the utter brutality of Islam will be on show for the world to see finally every Jihadist killed in this coming war is one less that we have to worry about. Oh yeah lets not forget that we can leave Allah to choose just who is fighting for the just cause and who is on the side of Satan
The usual suspects will of course be arguing that we and the entirity of the west are in some sense culpable for this conflict (cue Richard Ryan) and that we will have to accept more “refugees”. I say bollocks to that fro a couple of reasons. Firstly this conflict shows us that the followers of both sides of the schism in Islam are incapable of letting go of the animosities of their history and they are much more than willing to perpetuate them for the rest of time. This alone should be sounding very loud alarm bells warning us to chose anyone else but Muslims for our humanitarian programs. The Bleeding hearts will , sadly keep insisting that we should continue to pretend that Islam is warm cuddly and benign when it is very evidently anything but benign. That said lets see how things play out on the ground there but I don’t expect any “Sunshine and Lollypops” .
Does this sound familiar?
The aphorism that we should all heed here may be at odds with my personal lack of faith but all that I can say is “there but for the grace of god go us” this is the ultimate end of the trail for political correctness and frankly its not somewhere that we ever want to be.