Saturday, 24 November 2012

Why are Australian's 'Apparently' So Concerned About Illegal Boat Arrivals?

Having a rational discussion on this topic seems hard for some, lets however try!

"What’s behind our national obsession around boat arrivals?" 

(Cricky article excerpt) - Larry Schlesinger - A "Privileged Economic Migrant" and Journalist - Aug 16, 2012

He writes "For all the eight years I have lived in Australia — I am now a permanent resident — I have never understood the obsession we have with people who arrive by boat and the apparently desperate need for some sort of policy that “stops the boats”. “Stop the boats” — these three words make me think of an invading horde, not a group of mostly desperate people taking extreme and dangerous (often life-threatening) measures to make a life in Australia."

Only one commenter came close!

CML "Having followed the asylum seeker “problem” for many years, I think it is more a dislike of fundamentalist religious types, rather than anything to do with racism. There are known religious groups who do not readily integrate into western societies - witness what is happening in places like France - and maybe many people here in Oz do not want to see the same social problems erupt here."

I might suggest here that it's not just a religious problem, it is a broader cultural problem. Arabs, Afghans, some Iranians and Pakistanis (to use a few of examples) have a different set of ethics and cultural values than most Australians.

Will they Integrate over time? Probably Not

Integration Example: Malaysia and Singapore

In Malaysia and Singapore, the majority of inter-ethnic marriages are between Chinese and Indians. As for the Malays, who are predominantly Muslim, legal restrictions in Malaysia make it less common for them to intermarry with either the Indians, who are predominantly Hindu, or the Chinese, who are predominantly Buddhist and Taoist. It is however not uncommon for Arabs in Singapore and Malaysia to take local Malay wives, due to a common Islamic faith.  In Singapore as at September 2007 interracial individuals were about 2.4% of the population and in 2007, 16.4% of all marriages in Singapore were inter-ethnic.(1)


Malays in Malaysia are Muslim. If a non-Malay wants to marry a Malay they must convert to Islam. If a non Malay will not convert the authorities will not grant permission. In the case of a female if she caught by religious authorities it is likely she will be charged with a range of 'crimes'. This is more complicated by the fact if a Muslim attempts to renounce their religion (which is strictly forbidden) punishments can be harsh and in extreme situations lead to such acts as whipping and/or incarceration in 're adjustment camps' to undergo and counselling (brainwashing) until the individual is willing to re-embrace Islam.

An Islamic Legal Opinion I Found

The law on marriage is as follows: 'Inter-marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims is prohibited in the Quran and Sunnah, thus not permissible in any way. The only exception to this general rule is the marriage of Muslim men with Christian and Jewish girls and that also with certain conditions.'

"A question may arise here, that if the difference between Muslims and people of the book is considered to be lighter as compared to other faiths, then why is it unlawful for Muslim girls to marry Christian and Jewish men?

The answer to this question is that, women are somewhat weak and emotional by nature. Then the husband has been given a care-taking and controlling role over the wife. As such, it is very likely that the Muslim wife may fall prey and become impressed with her husband's faith. The chances of the husband becoming affected by his wife's faith are remote, thus the difference between the two situations is clear."(2)

By the way, marriage to Hindus, Seikhs, Buddhists, Taoists and other non Abrahamic religions is strictly forbidden


An Indiviual Malaysian Example Revathi Massosai

Revathi Massosai is a Malaysian woman who was raised as a Hindu but her identity card designates her as a Muslim. She has declared her religion to be Hindu and has petitioned unsuccessfully to have the word "Islam" removed from her identity card. Massosai married a Hindu man, but her marriage is not recognised by the Malaysian government because of the religion issue. Massosai was incarcerated for six months in an Islamic re-education camp because of her attempts to renounce Islam in favour of the Hindu religion.  Revathi was denied the guardianship of her new born baby and was not allowed to meet her Hindu husband.(3)


A Norwegian Perspective

Walid al-Kubaisi is a respected Norwegian journalist and a Muslim who came from Iraq.  He is concerned about radical Islamic elements within an otherwise law abiding Muslim community.

"We have a problem," he said emphatically. "All deny. Nobody says that we have a big problem. But this will give a bad result in the future."

"As in other European cities, parts of Oslo are now Muslim zones and may be subject to Sharia law or to the rule of local imams.

"Most of the areas where the Muslim is the majority, the Norwegian feels that they are not in their country, that they're not in Norway. They feel like [they are in] a Muslim country," al-Kubaisi said." (4)


The Author of this 'Sacrilege'

Now before you leave a comment know this. I am an Australian born here of white Anglo Saxon - Church of England, Irish Catholic and Jewish decent. The closest I can get to a religion is I guess agnostic. My Wife is a Chinese Catholic and my daughter-in-law is Japanese (I have never asked her about her religious beliefs). My Grandson is therefore all those things plus half Japanese. I don't mind what religion he takes up (if at all) however I would do all I could to dissuade him from adopting Islam (or Scientology or…).

I have lived in Malaysia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, amongst other places and count amongst my good friends people of many races and religions.

Am I a racist no, am I anti Islam? yes… (until adherents can chose to renounce/leave it)! For that matter I'm not overly impressed with the local Catholic hierarchy either, bring on the Royal Commission.  Am I against the boats… well that depends who's on them… one case at a time.

So why are Australians so concerned about 'illegal' boat arrivals... you tell me if I'm wrong... the elephant in the room!

p.s. Thank you to my pizza friends for the stimulating discussion.