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paulie jay
2005-Dec-12, 01:32 PM
I never thought I’d see this day in Sydney. My city has become a battleground between warring factions of testosterone fuelled idiots and I fear that nothing will be the same again. Race riots - in my home city, happening at this moment.

As usual with this kind of thing, there’s no quick and easy explanation as to why these things are happening. Because most news services get this kind of thing wrong, I’ll attempt to briefly and impartially bring you all up to speed, but I’m feeling so many conflicting emotions at the moment that I may make a hash of it.

There has been for some time (years in fact) a growing animosity between white Australians and the Lebanese community. Let me clarify this slightly by saying that the real friction has been between white Australians and Australian born Lebanese people. This is a crucial difference in understanding that although these riots have been racially based, they haven’t been religiously based. There is a large Islamic community in Australia which has nothing to do with the appalling behaviour witnessed in the last couple of days. Although I don’t necessarily agree with what’s been happening, I can say that it has been a case of the locals finally snapping after a long and spiteful buildup.

The tension seemed to be centred around Cronulla Beach where local residents had complained for many years about large groups of Lebanese males arriving from the inner west of Sydney making nuisances of themselves, intimidating other beach goers, using threatening behaviour etc. This has been a growing feature of nightlife in Sydney too - large groups of Lebanese guys in cars stirring up trouble all over the city (we’re talking drive by shootings, the works). I really should point out that I am not painting all Lebanese men with the same brush – it is just the very conspicuous minority who have assumed the role of “gangster” in Sydney that I’m talking about.

The tension grew week by week and reached crisis point a week ago when two lifeguards at Cronulla Beach were savagely beaten by a large group of Australian born Lebanese men. There was a huge public outcry over this. It was, as far as the people of Cronulla were concerned, the straw that broke the camel’s back. A huge campaign of text messaging began urging white Australians to come to the beach on Sunday and “…take back The Shire…” - as the area is generally known. A couple of days later a young Arab man was bashed at Cronulla “in retaliation”. In the meantime local bikie and surf gangs announced that they would be heading down to Cronulla to “defend the Australian way”. The flashpoint was set.

Come Sunday and there was mass rioting at Cronulla. This largely consisted of white Australians going absolutely bananas. Later that evening the large Lebanese groups turned up in Brighton and Maroubra where a large campaign of destruction was waged (both of these suburbs are uncomfortably close to mine).

Come the next day (today) and there are news reports of an Australian flag being stolen from a Returned Servicemen’s League club and burnt in the street. You can not imagine the outrage that this single act has generated. Tonight I am now watching the news and there are camera shots of 1,000 people outside of a mosque in Lakemba with roads leading into the area blocked off by police. The news reports a huge turnout of bikies lying in wait at Cronulla Beach. The most notorious surf gang – the Maroubra “Bra” Boys (I know, I’ve heard all the jokes) – are waiting at Maroubra to defend the beach and have already had masses of weapons confiscated by the police. They report that a large group of cars (about 40) are heading towards The Shire filled with Lebanese males and large scale damage is currently happening to shops on The Kingsway – a street leading down to Cronulla.

There are already reports of an organised mass assault on Cronulla beach for this coming Sunday.

I’m sorry about this rambling post, but my home city is about to melt down and I just don’t know what to think.

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-12, 01:59 PM
I hate to be judgmental and glib, but as a Melburnian, I think I can safely say, something like this would never happen in Melbourne. And before one talks about large minorities being disruptive influences or whatever, that's absolute garbage, has nothing to do with it. We in Melbourne have a higher proportion of people foreign-born than there is in Sydney. About 32-33% of people who live in Melbourne were born overseas, I think in Sydney its about 26-27%.

There are several reasons why these troubles, IMO, can happen in Sydney but would not happen in Melbourne.

1) Layout of the City (& Suburbs)
2) Distribution of Activity Centres (And with that employment opportunities)
3) The Sydney Drinking/Yob "Culture" (There is nothing like that in Melbourne)
4) The Sydney "Shock-Jock" Radio "Culture"

The most pernicious of those is of course the 2nd point, because that has all sorts of effects, such as the concentration of wealth in Sydney's Eastern suburbs, and the vast areas of Western Sydney that in comparison are cultural and economic backwaters.

The design of Melbourne has ensured a much more even distribution of wealth around the whole of suburbia, and there are not such extreme concentrations of poverty in various areas as in Sydney.

Looking at what has gone at Cronulla though, I think the 3rd point comes into play a little. Going down the beach, or the pub on the beach, and having a few, or more than a few drinks, seems to have played some part in this, and that is, for me at least, associated with the drinking culture in Sydney epitomised in such places as the various Leagues Clubs where binge drinking is not just simply accepted and tolerated, but by various characters encouraged and celebrated, almost like its part of the Aussie way of life.

Nothing like that in Melbourne.

Also, there are no such things as shock-jocks in Melbourne. There are people on radio who have opinions, but nothing like their Sydney counterparties.

I love Sydney, but I see that a lot of work needs to be done up there to really bring the community together and indeed the images I've seen on TV are really shocking and disgraceful. One would hope that it rains for the rest of the week and everyone's temperatures cool down a bit.

Argos
2005-Dec-12, 02:21 PM
I wish you good luck. It´s shaken the image of a multicultural paradise a bit, but things are going to be settled, eventually. It´s interesting that we have a very large Lebanese community here too (I guess there are more Lebanese in Brazil than in Lebanon itself). As most of the Lebanese descendants are christian, and very influenced by the French culture, they integrate seamlessly (Brazil is strongly influenced by the French culture). Besides, they belong in the rich side of the social spectrum (like most Arabs here, for that matter).

planethollywood
2005-Dec-12, 02:55 PM
on hearing what happened leading upto last sunday, I couldn't , wouldn't believe that the situation could degenerate so quickly. I have learned since of the various situations behind this that are totally foreign to me here in Melbourne. My best mate is Muslim and I have heaps of Lebonese friends, some whom I've grown up with and played aussie rules with.

(On a side note, my Muslim mate is coming to my Christmas Family Lunch with his family, he enjoys a party just as much as anyone)

I would like to think it couldn't happen in Melbourne (we do have our share of knuckle heads across of all our various peoples) but I think its more due our police having a zero tolerence of any crime regardless of a persons background.

The NSW police seemed to have been hamstringed in dealing with organised crime for fear of offending political sensitivities. The NSW police have been successful in dealing with crime amongst WASP and Asian gangs but this minority amongst the Sydney Lebonese community have been left to develope into organised crime gangs.

It may seem racist of the people in Sydney to riot like they did but when we talk about the Mafia in the USA we do think of a specific ethic peoples. Of course it would totally ignorant to think that everyone of that ethnic group belonged to a organised crime gang but for the people in Sydney whom have had to endure the crime wave (car jacking , drug trafficing to name a few) it seems clear that the crime gangs are as singularly of a certain ethic group as the mafia were.

I just hope the Senior Police and State politicians pull their collective fingers out and deal with the rioters and deal with all criminals regardless of race and colour of the perpetrators.

This should be a lesson to everyone of what happens when Mobs rule and crimes go unpunished.

I'm just feeling so sad about all of this.

Swift
2005-Dec-12, 03:09 PM
Good luck to all our friends down under, sorry about your troubles. Maybe it is a good thing that the US has been dealing with race problems for a long time, 50 years or 140 or more, depending on how you look at it. At least it has forced us to try to deal with it, though there are still lots of issues.

One really sad thing, this is the first I heard about it. The only non-US news I heard on the TV (Today Show-NBC) this morning was that big oil fire in England and of course, Iraq news. It is the second story under international news on the American edition of CNN.com, but I didn't notice it till now.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Dec-12, 04:23 PM
First I've heard of it as well. The explosion in London is getting all the attention. Good luck, guys.

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-12, 04:34 PM
I read about it first thing this morning. According to http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051212/ap_on_re_au_an/australia_racial_unrest;_ylt=Ap.bwx7DdwL2TL5eOtAq7 .Os0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-
the above article, they're attributing it to rising tensions due to the 9/11 attack in the U.S. Sounds like paulie jay is correct in expecting the media to get it wrong.

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-12, 04:59 PM
I read about it first thing this morning. According to http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051212/ap_on_re_au_an/australia_racial_unrest;_ylt=Ap.bwx7DdwL2TL5eOtAq7 .Os0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-
the above article, they're attributing it to rising tensions due to the 9/11 attack in the U.S. Sounds like paulie jay is correct in expecting the media to get it wrong.

Well, there are obviously many reasons to things like these riots. The riots on Sunday were primarily of Anglo-Australians just going into beserk mode. As I said, many many reasons, and this is not to excuse them, but a large number of them, maybe a majority?, had drunk large quantities of alcohol.

It was quite a hot day, and under a blazing sun full of the amber fluid, many of these folk just went crazy, and perhaps the sentiments they expressed were underlying sentiments that in normal civil society wouldn't be exposed, but in this situation, the mob mentality really took over. That is not to excuse these guys, because obviously there are problems, but I don't think things are as bad as they might seem.

Monique
2005-Dec-12, 05:57 PM
paulie jay I do not post here about problem in France. Is complex and explosive subject, I do not have command of English to make points correct. I am glad you post, difficulties in France paint my country in bad way. Is not so simple. Is plenty stupidity for all to share, is not only French people to blame. Many French show much restraint, much patience.

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-12, 06:05 PM
paulie jay I do not post here about problem in France. Is complex and explosive subject, I do not have command of English to make points correct. I am glad you post, difficulties in France paint my country in bad way. Is not so simple. Is plenty stupidity for all to share, is not only French people to blame. Many French show much restraint, much patience.

I certainly agree there, I've been to France a number of times and I found it to be a very beautiful and welcoming country. There was a restaurant we visited, Hippopotamus? I think, very friendly people all round.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-12, 07:26 PM
IMHO, this topic risks getting bitterly political.

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-12, 07:32 PM
IMHO, this topic risks getting bitterly political.

There is a risk, but I bet if we're careful, we can avoid it. :)

Monique
2005-Dec-12, 07:33 PM
IMHO, this topic risks getting bitterly political.
I agree. Is complex subject with strong emotion.
Is unfortunate, similar issues cause riots in many places.
Is important to find compromise for all.

Wolverine
2005-Dec-12, 07:46 PM
There is a risk, but I bet if we're careful, we can avoid it. :)

All parties are urged to do precisely that.

Hugh Jass
2005-Dec-12, 07:47 PM
I hate not getting real international news, especially sports, first I’ve heard of this was here. 
IMHO things like this have as much to do with social attitudes that would appear on the surface to have nothing to do with the problems that arise. I spent just a bit of time in OZ a few years ago and hit as much of the country as possible. Sydney was our last stop, and although I loved it, just as I love my San Francisco, it did not seem to fit with the rest of the country. Whether it was the pace of life, or the population density I felt like I was already back in the states.
I hope this is all resolved quickly, but I personally don’t have a very positive feeling going forward.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-12, 07:48 PM
There is a risk, but I bet if we're careful, we can avoid it. :)Well, there already were some posts, IMO, justifying why the riots were excusable. It's natural that those of us who feel that these things are always inexcusable feel strongly tempted to reply--which is bound to lead to heated disagreements.

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-12, 07:50 PM
Well, there already were some posts, IMO, justifying why the riots were excusable. It's natural that those of us who feel that these things are always inexcusable feel strongly tempted to reply--which is bound to lead to heated disagreements.

Ah... see, I've learned to avoid temptation. ;) I stayed away from here until I could do exactly that. If I ever find myself weakening again, I will just take another break. :)

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-12, 07:50 PM
I hate not getting real international news, especially sports, first I’ve heard of this was here. 


Where do you get your news? I found this on Yahoo! first thing this morning in the top stories. :)

Monique
2005-Dec-12, 07:53 PM
Well, there already were some posts, IMO, justifying why the riots were excusable. It's natural that those of us who feel that these things are always inexcusable feel strongly tempted to reply--which is bound to lead to heated disagreements.
I do not see posts suggest riots were excusable.

Hugh Jass
2005-Dec-12, 07:53 PM
I avoid internet news like the plague unless I'm directed there by hearing about it from somewhere else like this for example. Radio, and sometimes TV.

[EDIT]oh yeah and the News Paper, but I usually only pick it up Friday-Sunday

Argos
2005-Dec-12, 07:56 PM
I hate not getting real international news, especially sports, first I’ve heard of this was here.

It´s interesting. The local media featured the news on the Sunday TV night shows, with fanfarre. I think Google news can give some good coverage of international "fringe" subjects.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-12, 07:57 PM
Ah... see, I've learned to avoid temptation. ;) I stayed away from here until I could do exactly that. If I ever find myself weakening again, I will just take another break. :)Well, now that Wolverine has warned us all to stay away from heated politics, I suppose the problem is "solved".


I do not see posts suggest riots were excusable.Some parts of Planethollywood's post sounded a bit apologetic to me...

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-12, 07:59 PM
I avoid internet news like the plague unless I'm directed there by hearing about it from somewhere else like this for example. Radio, and sometimes TV.That's funny, because I have almost the opposite attitude. It's getting to the point where I don't believe anything until I see it confirmed--and dissected--on the Internet. Just a curious aside. Now back to your regularly scheduled thread.

Reacher
2005-Dec-12, 08:01 PM
I sincerely hope things work out alright over there, and I'm glad that I can't see this coming to Perth any time soon.

The men chanting their racist chants on the news made themselves look like the white trash yobbos they are. The only consolation is that now all of Australia knows their faces. What utter morons.

Monique
2005-Dec-12, 08:02 PM
Well, now that Wolverine has warned us all to stay away from heated politics, I suppose the problem is "solved".

Some parts of Planethollywood's post sounded a bit apologetic to me...
I believe he point out that immigration bring good and bad. I believe for immigration from middle east is difficult to deal with bad. Community claim discrimination against Islam. Is element of difficulty in my country also.

Wolverine
2005-Dec-12, 08:06 PM
Some parts of Planethollywood's post sounded a bit apologetic to me...

I thought they offered caveats expressing such was not the case.

Argos
2005-Dec-12, 08:20 PM
I believe he point out that immigration bring good and bad. I believe for immigration from middle east is difficult to deal with bad. Community claim discrimination against Islam.

I think every person, every community, tends to feel a certain unease before what´s different. It´s a human trait. It´s up to us to fight those tendencies. Sartre has captured that and expressed it elegantly in his motto "hell is other people". But then that´s old news...

Monique
2005-Dec-12, 08:28 PM
I think every person, every community, tends to feel a certain unease before what´s different. It´s a human trait. It´s up to us to fight those tendencies. Sartre has captured that and expressed it elegantly in his motto "hell is other people". But then that´s old news...
I do not like everyone frightened of "power of Islam". I see that authority do not like to confront, are afraid for violence. I know is not popular opinion, I think need to say. Time magazine say in article, "Europe is Burning". Perhaps not correct, however perhaps not incorrect.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-12, 11:16 PM
Thankyou all for listening. I was in a bit of a state last night.

I've got a couple of quick replies to get through...


I would like to think it couldn't happen in Melbourne (we do have our share of knuckle heads across of all our various peoples) but I think its more due our police having a zero tolerence of any crime regardless of a persons background.
You have hit the nail on the head there. What I was unable to explain last night is that what has happened here has been an explosion of discontent over unequal application of the law. Sydney police have taken a “kid gloves” approach to some groups in Sydney in the spirit of political correctness. Whether right or wrong (well, just wrong actually) for Australians to be pushed to the stage of vigilante violence speaks volumes of the depth of the situation.


I read about it first thing this morning. According to http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051212/ap_on_re_au_an/australia_racial_unrest;_ylt=Ap.bwx7DdwL2TL5eOtAq7 .Os0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-
the above article, they're attributing it to rising tensions due to the 9/11 attack in the U.S. Sounds like paulie jay is correct in expecting the media to get it wrong.
Oh boy – 9/11 couldn’t be any further from the truth! This has been born purely from domestic tensions. They are right, however, in saying that this kind of thing only serves to attract white supremacists or neo Nazis, although they were not instrumental in getting things moving.


It was quite a hot day, and under a blazing sun full of the amber fluid, many of these folk just went crazy, and perhaps the sentiments they expressed were underlying sentiments that in normal civil society wouldn't be exposed, but in this situation, the mob mentality really took over. That is not to excuse these guys, because obviously there are problems, but I don't think things are as bad as they might seem.
I didn’t explain properly that after the bashing of the life savers there was a big campaign of text messaging among Anglo Australians to seek revenge on the Sunday. This was broadcast on the news all week, and the turnout at the beach (around 5000 people) was much, much bigger than it would have been had the news not got out.


Well, there already were some posts, IMO, justifying why the riots were excusable. It's natural that those of us who feel that these things are always inexcusable feel strongly tempted to reply--which is bound to lead to heated disagreements.
I think there is a big difference between explaining WHY they happened, and going as far as justifying them. What Planethollywood has written gets to the very nub of the matter. That doesn't mean that either of us are happy about it or would gladly join in.

I'd like to also make another point. It will probably be misunderstood and I'll be branded a racist which will break my heart because I'm not. When I'm at work with Customs, as an agency we take great pains - greater than for any other group of people - to ensure that Middle Eastern people are not offended by our actions. We have "Understanding Islam" courses. We go to great lengths to show that we are not threatening or intimidating them. It is this same treatment by police which has lead to discontent amongst the greater community. We don't go to the same lengths for Indian people - we don't do "Understanding Hindu" courses. The result, I have found from direct experience, has been that a lot of the Middle Eastern people I have dealt with at the airport have developed a hyper-sensitivity to authority. If I ask more than two or three questions I'm accused "You're picking on me because I'm an Arab", which is just ridiculous, we ask everybody questions. And as much as it pains me to say it, I can't argue with statistics. In Sydney Airport there are more people getting of flights from the Emirates region doing something wrong than doing something right (whether serious or trivial). But to enforce the law fully would give the impression that we are singling out these flights. We just can't win, and I hate saying things like this because I have a great many friends from the Middle East.

What really shocks me is that it has actually happened. Even Australians make jokes about how we are too lazy to hold a revolution (!). We've never been the type to resort to mob action - and it's happening. The big test will be this coming Sunday. It seems that very big things are brewing.

Monique
2005-Dec-12, 11:25 PM
\
I'd like to also make another point. It will probably be misunderstood and I'll be branded a racist which will break my heart because I'm not. When I'm at work with Customs, as an agency we take great pains - greater than for any other group of people - to ensure that Middle Eastern people are not offended by our actions. We have "Understanding Islam" courses. We go to great lengths to show that we are not threatening or intimidating them. It is this same treatment by police which has lead to discontent amongst the greater community. We don't go to the same lengths for Indian people - we don't do "Understanding Hindu" courses. The result, I have found from direct experience, has been that a lot of the Middle Eastern people I have dealt with at the airport have developed a hyper-sensitivity to authority. If I ask more than two or three questions I'm accused "You're picking on me because I'm an Arab", which is just ridiculous, we ask everybody questions. And as much as it pains me to say it, I can't argue with statistics. In Sydney Airport there are more people getting of flights from the Emirates region doing something wrong than doing something right (whether serious or trivial). But to enforce the law fully would give the impression that we are singling out these flights. We just can't win, and I hate saying things like this because I have a great many friends from the Middle East.

I believe is true for my country also. We work very hard to be fair for Middle Eastern people. I think more hard then to others. We still do not win. I am tired of situation.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-12, 11:27 PM
I'd like to also make another point. It will probably be misunderstood and I'll be branded a racist which will break my heart because I'm not. When I'm at work with Customs, as an agency we take great pains - greater than for any other group of people - to ensure that Middle Eastern people are not offended by our actions. We have "Understanding Islam" courses. We go to great lengths to show that we are not threatening or intimidating them. It is this same treatment by police which has lead to discontent amongst the greater community. We don't go to the same lengths for Indian people - we don't do "Understanding Hindu" courses.Why is that? Are they the biggest minority where you work, for example?

Monique
2005-Dec-12, 11:35 PM
Why is that? Are they the biggest minority where you work, for example?
I believe question is go to far for those from middle east. Is same question in my country.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-12, 11:50 PM
Thankyou all for listening. I was in a bit of a state last night.

I've got a couple of quick replies to get through...


You have hit the nail on the head there. What I was unable to explain last night is that what has happened here has been an explosion of discontent over unequal application of the law. Sydney police have taken a “kid gloves” approach to some groups in Sydney in the spirit of political correctness. Whether right or wrong (well, just wrong actually) for Australians to be pushed to the stage of vigilante violence speaks volumes of the depth of the situation.

It's *always wrong to treat one group differently from another (under the law). If such really has been happening, I'm not in the least bit surprised that things are heating up. Any time you have a significant rift between the 'haves' and the 'have nots', and the 'have nots' have the means, things will get ugly.



Oh boy – 9/11 couldn’t be any further from the truth! This has been born purely from domestic tensions. They are right, however, in saying that this kind of thing only serves to attract white supremacists or neo Nazis, although they were not instrumental in getting things moving.

Heh - like they got Tienamen (sp?) square right? Supposedly big pro-democracy rally yadda yadda. Was a wage riot, where a FEW democratic leaners got in front of the camera (and all the other interviews were discarded)

I have no use for the Press, as a rule.



I didn’t explain properly that after the bashing of the life savers there was a big campaign of text messaging among Anglo Australians to seek revenge on the Sunday. This was broadcast on the news all week, and the turnout at the beach (around 5000 people) was much, much bigger than it would have been had the news not got out.

Couldn't that be considered 'incite to riot'?



I think there is a big difference between explaining WHY they happened, and going as far as justifying them. What Planethollywood has written gets to the very nub of the matter. That doesn't mean that either of us are happy about it or would gladly join in.


I, for one, never suspected either of you of that.



I'd like to also make another point. It will probably be misunderstood and I'll be branded a racist which will break my heart because I'm not. When I'm at work with Customs, as an agency we take great pains - greater than for any other group of people - to ensure that Middle Eastern people are not offended by our actions. We have "Understanding Islam" courses. We go to great lengths to show that we are not threatening or intimidating them. It is this same treatment by police which has lead to discontent amongst the greater community. We don't go to the same lengths for Indian people - we don't do "Understanding Hindu" courses. The result, I have found from direct experience, has been that a lot of the Middle Eastern people I have dealt with at the airport have developed a hyper-sensitivity to authority. If I ask more than two or three questions I'm accused "You're picking on me because I'm an Arab", which is just ridiculous, we ask everybody questions. And as much as it pains me to say it, I can't argue with statistics. In Sydney Airport there are more people getting of flights from the Emirates region doing something wrong than doing something right (whether serious or trivial). But to enforce the law fully would give the impression that we are singling out these flights. We just can't win, and I hate saying things like this because I have a great many friends from the Middle East.


Facts are facts. Here in the states, the legal entities use 'profiling' - statistics show that a person who meets such and so criteria is more likely to do this other thing. Other criteria indicate other offenses.
I lost track of the argument (many peopple claimed it unconstitutional), though.



What really shocks me is that it has actually happened. Even Australians make jokes about how we are too lazy to hold a revolution (!). We've never been the type to resort to mob action - and it's happening. The big test will be this coming Sunday. It seems that very big things are brewing.

No telling. FOrtunately, it seems to be restricted to Sydney and not spread all over the country (take, for example, the race riots here int eh states back in teh 60s - the worst were in LA and Chicago, but there were iterations all over the place).
The outcome will depend very closely upon what the politicians do (and, by proxy, the police)

I guess one question is: is the disparity in treatment by the police real, or percieved?

paulie jay
2005-Dec-12, 11:50 PM
Why is that? Are they the biggest minority where you work, for example?
No, not by a long stretch. It was thought that by understanding other cultures better we would be able to do our jobs more effectively. Understanding the discomfort that a passenger may feel if you touch their copy of the Koran (for example), or if you touch them on the head, or how you may inadvertantly offend them suggests, in theory, that these misunderstandings don't happen and everyone gets along hunky-dory.

But it only went as far as Islam. By making a special case out of them we alientate the remainder of society because we aren't treating them in the same way. By dancing around certain PC niceties a weak link in the chain has been exposed which can (and sometimes does) get exploited.

We end up with television footage of young Middle Eastern Australians abusing police officers on the beat, officers who would not put up with that kind of thing from anyone else.


Having said all that, I agree that a better understanding of different cultures is a great thing! Sadly, large sections of the "Lebanese" gangs are Australian born, have never been to Lebanon, yet continue to harrass Anglo Australians for racist reasons. There was a shocking series of rapes of Anglo Aussie girls a couple of years ago by large gangs (we're talking 20 and more people). These girls were told that they were raped because they were Australian. These things were probably still in the backs of the minds of those people who went beserk on Sunday.


Again - I'm not justifying it, I'm not saying that I agree with it, I'm just trying to give detail.:)

paulie jay
2005-Dec-12, 11:52 PM
Quote:
I didn’t explain properly that after the bashing of the life savers there was a big campaign of text messaging among Anglo Australians to seek revenge on the Sunday. This was broadcast on the news all week, and the turnout at the beach (around 5000 people) was much, much bigger than it would have been had the news not got out.

Couldn't that be considered 'incite to riot'?

Well, it really makes me wonder about the media's role in the whole sordid mess.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-12, 11:54 PM
I guess one question is: is the disparity in treatment by the police real, or percieved?
I suppose it both - it's real, and exaggerated. If that makes any sense:)

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-13, 12:03 AM
Again - I'm not justifying it, I'm not saying that I agree with it, I'm just trying to give detail.:)I understand that, and it's good to have first hand testimonies. The thing is that you seem to be inferring a causal link between the preferential treatment that (probably mostly foreign) Muslims get in Australian customs and the criminality of Lebanese immigrants in Australia. To me, the connection between the two is not at all straightforward.

I'm not trying to point fingers at anyone, and I know that these moments when our country (or a section of it) disappoints us can bring out strong emotional responses. But I do believe we should look at these problems rationally.

Monique
2005-Dec-13, 12:30 AM
I understand that. The thing is that you seem to be inferring a causal link between the preferential treatment that (probably mostly foreign) Muslims get in Australian customs and the criminality of Lebanese immigrants in Australia. To me, the connection between the two is not at all straightforward.

I'm not trying to point fingers at anyone, and I know that these moments when our country (or a section of it) disappoints us can bring out strong emotional responses. But I do believe we should look at these problems rationally.
I do not know about causal link, may be unrelated. In my country Muslims treated very careful. However, respond in anger.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-13, 12:38 AM
I understand that. The thing is that you seem to be inferring a causal link between the preferential treatment that (probably mostly foreign) Muslims get in Australian customs and the criminality of Lebanese immigrants in Australia. To me, the connection between the two is not at all straightforward.

I'm not trying to point fingers at anyone, and I know that these moments when our country (or a section of it) disappoints us can bring out strong emotional responses. But I do believe we should look at these problems rationally.

I suppose what I'm trying to do is illustrate by example of something that I'm familiar with (Customs), and using that to explain a larger situation involving the police. The dissastisfaction of the public when they percieve that one group of people is treated differently is not as large in the environment of the airport as it is in other areas. But I can use it as an example of how law enforcement agencies in Australia are, in effect, inconsistent in how they approach their jobs, whatever the reasons for it may be.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-13, 12:46 AM
I guess someone will stop us if this gets political. When I traveled to Australia and New Zealand many years ago, I had several experiences indicating a strong cultural or ethnic prejudice was alive and well. It was my understanding Asians were still resented years after WWII had ended.

And if anyone is interested the movie, Rabbit Proof Fence, was just excellent. It gives one a glimpse of the treatment of Aboriginal peoples in the past.

Now granted all these things are as far in the past as the prejudices that occurred here in the USA and I have no doubt things are quite different. But given the deaths in the Bali nightclub more recently, I am not the least bit surprised the riots of the last few days occurred. Prejudice dies very very hard.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-13, 12:47 AM
Well, it really makes me wonder about the media's role in the whole sordid mess.


my personal opinion is that they actively (maybe not *deliberately*. In fact, probably not) make it worse. Not always a LOT... and some of what they do is good. But the overall effect is definately bad

beskeptical
2005-Dec-13, 12:51 AM
You can't blame the media for something like this. The media contributes but couldn't cause the total picture one needs for such riots to occur.

EvilBob
2005-Dec-13, 12:52 AM
I suppose what I'm trying to do is illustrate by example of something that I'm familiar with (Customs), and using that to explain a larger situation involving the police. The dissastisfaction of the public when they percieve that one group of people is treated differently is not as large in the environment of the airport as it is in other areas. But I can use it as an example of how law enforcement agencies in Australia are, in effect, inconsistent in how they approach their jobs, whatever the reasons for it may be. Something tells me the motivation behind this might be a little simpler than that, although you do have a point. But it would appear the people involved are not so philosophically minded as to react to perceived preferential treatment, more than to get drunk and bash people who don't look like they do. And the revolting behaviour of radio personalities such as Alan Jones (http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/alan-jones-i-led-this-charge/2005/12/12/1134236003153.html) does infinitely more harm than good, in the name of notoriety and ratings.
I would like to think this kind of thing is caused by influences that are peculiar to Sydney, but it makes you wonder. I think most of the rest of the country is staring in amazement that such things could happen here. Hope all goes well for you Sydneysiders. We're thinking of you.

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-13, 12:59 AM
I understand that. The thing is that you seem to be inferring a causal link between the preferential treatment that (probably mostly foreign) Muslims get in Australian customs and the criminality of Lebanese immigrants in Australia. To me, the connection between the two is not at all straightforward.

No, I'm not sure that Paulie Jay is inferring any such link. As he has already mentioned, most of the so-called 'Lebanese' in these gangs are actually Australian born. However, the police and other authority organisations feel obliged to treat this particular community with kid gloves in order to avoid bruising sensitivities. This gives some members of that community a ready made excuse for ill behaviour.

In the horrific, grotesque rapes that Paulie Jay described earlier, despite the overwhelming evidence of their guilt and utter lack of any remorse by the gang leaders, they loudly & repeatedly objected to the trial stating that they were being persecuted because they were Muslim. Such statements must have horrified the vast majority of the Muslim community, who are overwhelmingly peaceful, law-abiding and valuable members of this country. The Qu'ran certainly would condemn their acts.

But to the knuckleheads (whose lips move as they read The Daily Telegraph to themselves and regrettably, with which Australia abounds - a friend refers to them as the 95 Percenters), these remarks provide an excuse to incite hatred against that sector of the community.

One thing (of many in the past week) that has surprised me is the number of people who have come out in the past few days saying that these riots and behaviour is "Un-Australian". For almost the past decade, we have had a divisive Government who has preyed upon the mentally weak, instilling at every turn an "us & them" fear - punctuated by their slogan during a recent election campaign that "We decide who comes to this country".

The events of the last few days are shameful, horrific, deeply depressing - but they are not, if our national 'leadership' is any standard, Un-Australian.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-13, 01:02 AM
In France and elsewhere in many countries, there seems to be a growing problem of a cultural clash of major proportions between the traditional Muslim communities and the modern world.

They will never be able to integrate as long as they continue to oppress women. And those of us in Western cultures can try to step around the issue by claiming to allow them their freedom to practice the beliefs they choose to practice. But under the surface the difference between the way women are viewed is just too great.

If you are a traditional Muslim, (not to be confused with believing the Muslim religion), you have to realize the Western world is a threat to your culture. How can you expect people with such a cultural divide to exist peacefully side by side? And if you are of a Western culture, how can you accept the way women are treated in traditional Muslim societies? It's one thing to accept one's different religious practices, it's quite another to think it OK for men to "lightly beat" their wives and follow other such written laws.

I think we are in for more of this to come and in more places than France and Australia. Either side may be the instigators but the conflict is rooted in the same place. There's a very big cultural divide and those that are divided can no longer keep from crossing eachother's paths.

EvilBob
2005-Dec-13, 01:04 AM
One thing (of many in the past week) that has surprised me is the number of people who have come out in the past few days saying that these riots and behaviour is "Un-Australian". For almost the past decade, we have had a divisive Government who has preyed upon the mentally weak, instilling at every turn an "us & them" fear - punctuated by their slogan during a recent election campaign that "We decide who comes to this country".

The events of the last few days are shameful, horrific, deeply depressing - but they are not, it seems, Un-Australian.
No, that had occurred to me. Trying desperately not to get political, but our politicians have fostered this very atmosphere of fear and divisiveness for a long time now. And our Prime Minister is saying now that he 'doesn't accept' that there is not underlying racism in this country. Unfortunately, his refusal to accept it does not make it false.

Monique
2005-Dec-13, 01:16 AM
In France and elsewhere in many countries, there seems to be a growing problem of a cultural clash of major proportions between the traditional Muslim communities and the modern world.

They will never be able to integrate as long as they continue to oppress women. And those of us in Western cultures can try to step around the issue by claiming to allow them their freedom to practice the beliefs they choose to practice. But under the surface the difference between the way women are viewed is just too great.

If you are a traditional Muslim, (not to be confused with believing the Muslim religion), you have to realize the Western world is a threat to your culture. How can you expect people with such a cultural divide to exist peacefully side by side? And if you are of a Western culture, how can you accept the way women are treated in traditional Muslim societies? It's one thing to accept one's different religious practices, it's quite another to think it OK for men to "lightly beat" their wives and follow other such written laws.

I think we are in for more of this to come and in more places than France and Australia. Either side may be the instigators but the conflict is rooted in the same place. There's a very big cultural divide and those that are divided can no longer keep from crossing eachother's paths.

Is heart of issue. Is freedom for individual in my country. Islam say only one way is correct. Immigrant Muslem culture say we steal children away with corrupt western values. They want place to live by their beliefs. We have no issue until they say we must change. I am not Muslim, I do not wish to follow Muslim custom or law.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-13, 01:18 AM
No, I'm not sure that Paulie Jay is inferring any such link. As he has already mentioned, most of the so-called 'Lebanese' in these gangs are actually Australian born. However, the police and other authority organisations feel obliged to treat this particular community with kid gloves in order to avoid bruising sensitivities. This gives some members of that community a ready made excuse for ill behaviour.If that's what's happening, then it seems like the flaw lies with the police, or whoever ordered it to act with kid gloves towards particular minorites. Doing so doesn't even seem very democratic...


In the horrific, grotesque rapes that Paulie Jay described earlier, despite the overwhelming evidence of their guilt and utter lack of any remorse by the gang leaders, they loudly & repeatedly objected to the trial stating that they were being persecuted because they were Muslim.And the courts took them seriously?

Monique
2005-Dec-13, 01:20 AM
And the courts took them seriously?
In many case, authority work very hard to show fair. Never seem enough for Muslim community in my country. I do not like.

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-13, 01:52 AM
If that's what's happening, then it seems like the flaw lies with the police, or whoever ordered it to act with kid gloves towards particular minorites. Doing so doesn't even seem very democratic...

I think this is a very complex issue. I see no problems at all with authority bodies such as the police, customs, etc, better understanding and appreciating cultural & religious differences and acting accordingly. That said, the laws of a country are what prevents that country spilling into anarchy and they must be respected and enforced evenly & fairly.


And the courts took them seriously?

No. They absolutely did not, and they ringleaders of the gang were sentenced to extremely lengthy gaol terms. However, the 95-Percenters don't see that - they just see headlines blaring that "Accused claim Oppression", despite the fact that this is simply & very evidently a furphy, and then they react ....albeit slowly at first, because it usually takes a while for the neurons to start clicking after a lifetime of inactivity & beer.

Then, egged on by vile radio commentators such as Alan Jones (for those with access, read David Marr's chilling article in todays SMH), fuelled by alcohol and a mob mentality, we get a result such as was seen last weekend.

EvilBob
2005-Dec-13, 02:06 AM
I've linked to the David Marr article in The Age in my post above. It's the same article. Link (http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/alan-jones-i-led-this-charge/2005/12/12/1134236003153.html)

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-13, 02:16 AM
I've linked to the David Marr article in The Age in my post above. It's the same article. Link (http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/alan-jones-i-led-this-charge/2005/12/12/1134236003153.html)

Thanks for the link, EvilBob.

For information - Alan Jones is consistently the highest rating morning radio presenter in the Sydney ratings. Why - I will never understand.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-13, 02:19 AM
I think what we've illustrated over the last several posts is that the issue has many layers to it. It's a bit like the old highschool essay question "Which event triggered the First World War?". We can identify a flashpoint, but it was only a flashpoint because of the many different situations leading up to it.

I suppose in a way the question is unansweable, or at least unexplainable in full. Just about the only thing I do know is that I hate it and I want it to stop.

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-13, 02:24 AM
Just about the only thing I do know is that I hate it and I want it to stop.

Amen to that.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-13, 02:28 AM
And by the way, your earlier paragraph was worded beautifully :)

Monique
2005-Dec-13, 02:28 AM
In my country I want right to live as I wish, not as Muslims wish.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-13, 04:32 AM
You know, what Monique is saying is vey close to what some people in Sydney are starting to say. Earlier I mentioned a series of sexual assaults on Anglo girls. When the well publicised trials were over and the verdicts read out, a prominent Islamic leader made a speech in which he said that the girls had no-one to blame but themselves because they chose to "show the world their beauty". Of course he was roundly condemned for his words, but people do have long memories about things like this.

In general Australians are fairly open to multiculturalism, but will always draw the line at being told how they should live. I think that this is another in the very long list of things that has led to the current situation.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-13, 04:42 AM
You can't blame the media for something like this. The media contributes but couldn't cause the total picture one needs for such riots to occur.

That's what I'm saying. They're not the root cause, but they tend to go out of their way to fan the flames. Example from the current crisis: From what I am reading here, the local press made sure to mention the text message tsumani everry day for a week. One... maybe two times I can accept, but EVERY day is irresponsible.

Monique is right - in many places the muslims are moving in and pressuring for a change in local law to accomodate their *traditions* (or law in 'the old country') - which largely abrogates any reasoning they might have had for moving in the first place!

(no, I don't think this applies to all, or even most of the immigrants).

Andromeda321
2005-Dec-13, 06:24 AM
First to paulie jay, AGN Fuel, and the rest of the Aussies on this board: my heart goes out to you for what's happening in your country. I was there last May and have never seen another place equal to your country, and the thought of something like this marring Sydney is nearly more than I can bear.
I'd also like to mention to the people who haven't travelled to the country something I noticed while there: while overall pretty laid back in things Australians are much more fierce about worrying who can enter their country than people in Europe and the States are. While I was there I read the paper every day, and with the exception of Miss Corby's case the lead stories were all about immigration (stuff about detention centers, another about someone illegally deported, a third about a man who claimed asylum, stuff like that). Most everyone in Australia has a feeling like they've recently come from somewhere and they are really happy to have had the chance, and whenever a new story came up it was met with nothing but sympathy and the feeling of regret that they couldn't just let everyone in. If this sentiment were taken advantage of enough it would act up in some way or another, and I think this might be part of that.
(Those more enlightened feel free to tell me I'm all wrong with the above statement.)

beskeptical
2005-Dec-13, 12:46 PM
What I find very interesting here is the fact these riots are taking place in two countries as far apart as France and Australia. Granted the basics might be quite different, but I think, actually I fear that we are driving toward a potential head on collision of cultures in the world.

I don't know that it may just be an economic event like the riots in the USA. In those cases, while they certainly were race riots, they weren't some big cultural clash. They were socio-economic. I just can't help thinking this is different. One group isn't fighting for fair treatment and jobs, instead, they are fighting to maintain a culture that is very different and probably incompatible with the other.

If you were a girl growing up in a traditional Muslim family and you saw how your Anglo friends lived compared to you, there's little doubt more than a few would run away. I have been very uncomfortable around some of the men in these groups because they truly treat you in a very disrespectful way. (Remember, I'm not talking Muslim religion here, I talking Mideast culture.)

So I just can't help thinking this is the tip of a big iceberg that is getting closer to turning over every day.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-13, 01:05 PM
In France and elsewhere in many countries, there seems to be a growing problem of a cultural clash of major proportions between the traditional Muslim communities and the modern world.I strongly disagree that these problems are essentially of cultural or religious basis.


They will never be able to integrate as long as they continue to oppress women.I guess we Western folk should never integrate either, then. :)


And those of us in Western cultures can try to step around the issue by claiming to allow them their freedom to practice the beliefs they choose to practice. But under the surface the difference between the way women are viewed is just too great.One's 'beliefs' are not the cause of how one treats women.


If you are a traditional Muslim, (not to be confused with believing the Muslim religion), you have to realize the Western world is a threat to your culture.I wonder how people here would react if I said the same about "traditional Christians"...


How can you expect people with such a cultural divide to exist peacefully side by side?It's happened before, many times. The world is full of multicultural countries. Just look at your own.


And if you are of a Western culture, how can you accept the way women are treated in traditional Muslim societies?By remembering how women were treated in the West just a few decades ago? And how they still are treated by some Westerners? Honestly, beskeptical! You know better than that.


It's one thing to accept one's different religious practices, it's quite another to think it OK for men to "lightly beat" their wives and follow other such written laws.And it's rubbish to talk as though only Muslim men ever do that.


I think we are in for more of this to come and in more places than France and Australia. Either side may be the instigators but the conflict is rooted in the same place. There's a very big cultural divide and those that are divided can no longer keep from crossing eachother's paths.I strongly disagree with the cause you've assigned to the 'conflict', there.
You also don't seem very well informed about what happened in France.

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-13, 01:14 PM
From what I've read about the French riots (http://direland.typepad.com/direland/2005/11/why_is_france_b.html), their causes are about as different as you can get from the Australian one.
The French one definitely looks like it's a fight for fair treatment and access to jobs.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-13, 01:20 PM
I'd also like to mention to the people who haven't travelled to the country something I noticed while there: while overall pretty laid back in things Australians are much more fierce about worrying who can enter their country than people in Europe and the States are. While I was there I read the paper every day, and with the exception of Miss Corby's case the lead stories were all about immigration (stuff about detention centers, another about someone illegally deported, a third about a man who claimed asylum, stuff like that). Most everyone in Australia has a feeling like they've recently come from somewhere and they are really happy to have had the chance, and whenever a new story came up it was met with nothing but sympathy and the feeling of regret that they couldn't just let everyone in. If this sentiment were taken advantage of enough it would act up in some way or another, and I think this might be part of that.
(Those more enlightened feel free to tell me I'm all wrong with the above statement.)I know some Australians. As I understand, the issue of immigration has been bubbling under the surface for a while, now.


What I find very interesting here is the fact these riots are taking place in two countries as far apart as France and Australia.They are geographically apart. I'm not sure they're that different in political and economical terms. Although it's worth pointing out that Australia, unlike France, is largely a country built on immigration and made up of immigrants.


I don't know that it may just be an economic event like the riots in the USA. In those cases, while they certainly were race riots, they weren't some big cultural clash. They were socio-economic. I just can't help thinking this is different. One group isn't fighting for fair treatment and jobs, instead, they are fighting to maintain a culture that is very different and probably incompatible with the other.As far as France is concerned, I believe you are wrong to think the riots had nothing to do with socioeconomic factors. See this. (http://hnn.us/roundup/archives/1/2005/11/#18073)


If you were a girl growing up in a traditional Muslim family and you saw how your Anglo friends lived compared to you, there's little doubt more than a few would run away. I have been very uncomfortable around some of the men in these groups because they truly treat you in a very disrespectful way. (Remember, I'm not talking Muslim religion here, I talking Mideast culture.)'Mideast culture'? Something tells me the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Iranians, the Saudis, the Turks, the Lebanese, the Syrians, etc., would be very surprised to hear that there is such a beast. Is it anything like 'North-American culture' (U.S. + Canada + Mexico + Greenland)?


So I just can't help thinking this is the tip of a big iceberg that is getting closer to turning over every day.With that much I agree.

Argos
2005-Dec-13, 01:42 PM
I do not know about causal link, may be unrelated. In my country Muslims treated very careful. However, respond in anger.

By carefully you mean the way we treat a pitbull, or a lion or something like?

Argos
2005-Dec-13, 02:29 PM
So I just can't help thinking this is the tip of a big iceberg that is getting closer to turning over every day.

Nobody can complain, because this trend, the so-called clash of cultures (in fact it is essentially a clash of classes), has been predicted (long time ago.)

Jakenorrish
2005-Dec-13, 02:54 PM
I was listening to BBC radio 2 in the UK about half an hour ago and they had a feature on this very incident. Firstly I'm apalled that there are people in Australia who are willing to take part in this mob culture, whether they be of lebanese origin or any other ethnic group.

They talked with a radio executive producer over there as well as a local politician (sorry didn't get the names), and both were minded to say that there had been yobs on both sides. I have no idea whether this is true, but it sounds like a lot of young alcohol fueled men caught the authorities unaware, and decided to take the law into their own hands. I pity anyone who was innocently caught up in this in the Cronulla beach area and hope that curbs in the sale of alcohol along with a much higher police presense will prevent further incidents this weekend.

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-13, 05:11 PM
Well, there have been further clashes on monday and yesterday evenings. Both nights, around a few thousand people gathered at a mosque in lakemba, W. Sydney, and then went on something of a rampage around that area. I think it was some sort of payback for what happened on Sunday. Absolutely disgraceful, the only thing that really calmed it down last night was the fact that it started raining and everyone decided to go home.

I just hope it keeps raining all week up there.

Monique
2005-Dec-13, 06:16 PM
By carefully you mean the way we treat a pitbull, or a lion or something like?
I agree are issues in my country. In post war period my country follow policies I believe should not be. I also agree there is conservative move in France to keep France for French. I have French father and Spanish mother, I am French. I do not like conservative move. Ethnic problem is issue and my country deal with this for some success.

Is new issue in my country with Islamic extremists who want to make country Islamic Republic. We work to relax many issues concerning practice of Islam in my country, but is never enough for extremists. Situation make worse by French Islamic extremists go to Iraq and come home to make Islamic revolution.

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-13, 07:52 PM
Nobody can complain, because this trend, the so-called clash of cultures (in fact it is essentially a clash of classes), has been predicted (long time ago.)

You're kidding right? I mean, one - who cares if it was predicted, unless it was in a scientific manner, and two - I can still complain. If someone tells me an asteroid is going to hit and nothing is done to stop it, if I'm alive, I will most definitely be complaining. ;)

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-13, 07:58 PM
One's 'beliefs' are not the cause of how one treats women.

By remembering how women were treated in the West just a few decades ago? And how they still are treated by some Westerners? Honestly, beskeptical! You know better than that.

I've certainly been disrespected and generally abused by both Christian and unChristian men.

There are certainly cultures in which the mistreatment (and by that I mean, mutilation and honor killings) of women is common, but I don't think we can generalize that to an entire region as you pointed out.

Monique
2005-Dec-13, 07:59 PM
Nobody can complain, because this trend, the so-called clash of cultures (in fact it is essentially a clash of classes), has been predicted (long time ago.)

I disagree. Many countries in Europe working to settle economic issues from past. Islamic extremists using issues to turn into clash of cultures. I do not want my country to live under customs for Islam. I do not care that children of some Muslims turn back on Islam is choice for children to make.

Argos
2005-Dec-13, 09:03 PM
You're kidding right? I mean, one - who cares if it was predicted, unless it was in a scientific manner

What other way to predict something? We should be smart enough to use observed trends to take preventive steps. We can´t avoid an asteroid, but the organized society can choose to avoid long heralded social disasters.

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-13, 09:35 PM
What other way to predict something? We should be smart enough to use observed trends to take preventive steps. We can´t avoid an asteroid, but the organized society can choose to avoid long heralded social disasters.

First of all, I'm pretty certain this would fall under a "soft" science, and thus, there are a number of possible theories. You're speaking as though this prediction is some sort of commonly held belief, and you sound bitter that anyone would dare to be shocked if it's coming true. There is no proof, as of yet, that this theory to which you refer is correct.

Secondly, I think everyone is really jumping the gun to think isolated riots in two different countries is leading to some sort of class revolution.

Argos
2005-Dec-13, 09:59 PM
I´d rank with those who think this is not a cultural problem. As an evidence, I cite the fact that there´s a large Arab community where I live, and there´s no cultural clash. You couldn´t tell a Brazilian Lebanese from other middle class 'western' people. The same for other Arab groups. They integrate seamlessly. They belong in the elite. On the other hand, African descendants, the former slave classes, are historically discriminated. They (the majority of them) haven´t got the opportunity to develop a middle class identity. In spite of recent advancements there is still a divide that can potentialy lead to a clash (bigger than the Australian and French combined) in the near future (the trends I´m talking about, SFC, and I think it´s not intelligent to ignore them). But there´s no hint of culture/religion involved. The problems have all an economic background.

Renderking Fisk
2005-Dec-13, 10:03 PM
I've been hosting news about The War On Terror on The Fedora Chronicles for over a year now... and all I can say is that this was bound to happen. I'm not saying that the riots are justified.

You have news stories a few times each month saying there's going to be a "Sept 11th" style attack in Sydney, officials pushing hard to put anti-terror laws in place... both which cause a lot of stress. When stress builds up, things fall apart.

Riots like this might actually cause a terror attack to happen sooner or later.

Monique
2005-Dec-13, 10:34 PM
I´d rank with those who think this is not a cultural problem. As an evidence, I cite the fact that there´s a large Arab community where I live, and there´s no cultural clash. You couldn´t tell a Brazilian Lebanese from other middle class 'western' people. The same for other Arab groups. They integrate seamlessly. They belong in the elite. On the other hand, African descendants, the former slave classes, are historically discriminated. They (the majority of them) haven´t got the opportunity to develop a middle class identity. In spite of recent advancements there is still a divide that can potentialy lead to a clash (bigger than the Australian and French combined) in the near future (the trends I´m talking about, SFC, and I think it´s not intelligent to ignore them). But there´s no hint of culture/religion involved. The problems have all an economic background.
Is not completely true. There is economic background, however, Islamic Extremists exploit issues. Extremists have complicated issues with religion.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-13, 10:42 PM
Everyone and their mother exploits these social tensions.

Monique
2005-Dec-13, 10:44 PM
Everyone and their mother exploits these social tensions.
Make solutions very difficult. Issues grow faster than solutions!!

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Dec-13, 11:18 PM
There was a letter to the editor is the Toronto Star today in which the writer thanks provenance that this could never happen in Canada.

How quickly we forget (http://archives.cbc.ca/500f.asp?id=1-71-101-618).

The harsh reality is that this can happen anywhere.

Renderking Fisk
2005-Dec-14, 12:11 AM
There was a letter to the editor is the Toronto Star today in which the writer thanks provenance that this could never happen in Canada.

How quickly we forget (http://archives.cbc.ca/500f.asp?id=1-71-101-618).

The harsh reality is that this can happen anywhere.

I predicted elsewhere that with in a few years we'll have the same riots here in The United States. With the execution of Tookie Williams and the controversy surrounding that, I give it months.

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-14, 12:15 AM
I´d rank with those who think this is not a cultural problem. As an evidence, I cite the fact that there´s a large Arab community where I live, and there´s no cultural clash. You couldn´t tell a Brazilian Lebanese from other middle class 'western' people. The same for other Arab groups. They integrate seamlessly.... The problems have all an economic background.

While it is a complex issue, I don't believe that I agree with this. I do not think that the riots here in Sydney were economic, they seem clearly cultural/rascist in nature.

The two opposing factions were of (for all intents & purposes) similar economic backgrounds. On the one hand, you have gangs of youths of primarily Lebanese descent hailing from the inner western suburbs of Sydney - on the other, you have gangs of 'surf-culture' youths of primarily Anglo-Celtic ancestry. Economically, there is no great divide between the two groups.

One issue (please note I stress, not a problem, but an issue) is highlighted by your comment: You couldn´t tell a Brazilian Lebanese from other middle class 'western' people.. That is NOT the case with these gangs, who often take pride in maintaining their cultural independence. As a result, often these groups do not integrate into the mainstream society, but maintain their own existence, almost as small but fiercely united enclaves.

Unfortunately, we have had a government that has strongly created an environment in this country where an 'Us & Them' attitude is encouraged. This sickens many Australians of all backgrounds, myself included, but this message is received enthusiastically by many others - and you saw the results of this ethos in your press.

Please note that I am acutely aware that I am walking a tightrope here - and I stress that I strongly believe that Australia is so much the richer for the cultural variety that exists here - my best friend, the Best Man at my wedding, is of Lebanese descent and I thank the day that his parents came to Australia. But I do believe that these riots were cultural & not economic in nature.

Monique
2005-Dec-14, 12:34 AM
Please note that I am acutely aware that I am walking a tightrope here - and I stress that I strongly believe that Australia is so much the richer for the cultural variety that exists here - my best friend, the Best Man at my wedding, is of Lebanese descent and I thank the day that his parents came to Australia. But I do believe that these riots were cultural & not economic in nature.
I believe in my country, economic issues used by Islamic Extremists to increase "us vs. them tensions". Is not limited to Islamic Extremists, is conservative element want to preserve France for "true French". I do not like. I do have some sympathy for the following quote. I do not know if true for all Islam, but I believe it true for extremist.


I submit that the religion of Islam, in its true form- as stated in the Quran, works against toleration, works against the freedoms and equality in the governmental forms of the West. It is inimical to the same. It breaks down the Civitas that holds together the Democratic forms of government. Something has to give... the religion or the form of government.

The culture Islam produces cultivates a sense of the superiority of remaining outside Western community. Of gaining from it, but not having any stake in building it.

http://truegrit.weblogs.us/archives/french_conflagrations.html

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-14, 01:03 AM
The two opposing factions were of (for all intents & purposes) similar economic backgrounds. On the one hand, you have gangs of youths of primarily Lebanese descent hailing from the inner western suburbs of Sydney - on the other, you have gangs of 'surf-culture' youths of primarily Anglo-Celtic ancestry. Economically, there is no great divide between the two groups.Two posts on the first page of this thread suggested that there were issues of income inequality and criminality related to Sydney's Libanese community...

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-14, 01:07 AM
Please note that I am acutely aware that I am walking a tightrope here - and I stress that I strongly believe that Australia is so much the richer for the cultural variety that exists here - my best friend, the Best Man at my wedding, is of Lebanese descent and I thank the day that his parents came to Australia. But I do believe that these riots were cultural & not economic in nature.

I know what you mean about the cultural variety. My significant other is a Croatian immigrant, and his mates are from Scotland, Germany, England, Ireland, the Ukraine, an Aborigine, etc. It was really cool seeing such diversity - so much so, that I'll be adding myself to the mix come May. I confess, however, I'm glad it's Melbourne I'll be going to, though that's primarily due to the funnel spiders. :)

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-14, 01:28 AM
Two posts on the first page of this thread suggested that there were issues of income inequality and criminality related to Sydney's Libanese community...

I saw one reference from JMMcCrann suggesting a number of reasons why such riots might occur in Sydney but not in his home town of Melbourne, one of which reasons was because he suggests that Melbourne has a greater equality of income distribution.

With respect, I suggest he is wrong. Firstly, there is no indication that the riots were related in any way to income distribution. They were turf wars between rival gangs of drunken, testosterone-fuelled yobbos. Secondly, I wonder if the inhabitants of (say) Spotswood think that they have an equivalent disposable income to the residents of, say, Toorak?

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Dec-14, 01:32 AM
Er, point of clarification? What's a "yob," exactly? I suspect it means "a hooligan or tough."

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-14, 01:37 AM
I know what you mean about the cultural variety. My significant other is a Croatian immigrant, and his mates are from Scotland, Germany, England, Ireland, the Ukraine, an Aborigine, etc. It was really cool seeing such diversity - so much so, that I'll be adding myself to the mix come May. I confess, however, I'm glad it's Melbourne I'll be going to, though that's primarily due to the funnel spiders. :)

Well, I certainly hope that a few funnel-web spiders won't stop you from at least visiting Sydney on occasions.

(The funnel-webs (http://www.avru.unimelb.edu.au/avruweb/Fws.htm) aren't that bad... give them a little tickle under the chin and they become as playful as kittens!)

EvilBob
2005-Dec-14, 01:43 AM
No, it's the drop-bears you've gotta worry about...

A 'Yob' is short for 'yobbo', usually stereotyped as a beer-swilling, slow-witted thug (almost always male), preferably in a group of similar, who enjoy bullying others, or making loud observations on the attributes of any passing female. Basically, anyone you've seen on news reports of this topic.

I'm sure each culture has it's own label for these people...

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-14, 01:44 AM
Er, point of clarification? What's a "yob," exactly? I suspect it means "a hooligan or tough."

From here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yobbo) - it's as good a description as any....


Today, within Australia, and to a lesser extent New Zealand, the term is used by a subsection of the community to describe themselves. The characteristics of these yobbos are heavy drinking, possibly to the point of alcoholism, low intelligence, fashionably ignorant (usually wearing flip-flops and cheap t-shirts and shorts) and usually a fan of Australian football or cricket.

The term is considered to be an insult by most, but some consider being a yobbo as part of an "authentic" Australian lifestyle.

In March 2005, several bar owners announced they will no longer be serving Bundaberg Rum as its drinkers were yobbos who abused bar staff and other patrons. Bundaberg fought back to fend off a reputation of being a drink for yobbos.

AGN Fuel
2005-Dec-14, 01:51 AM
The funnel-webs (http://www.avru.unimelb.edu.au/avruweb/Fws.htm) aren't that bad... give them a little tickle under the chin and they become as playful as kittens!)


Sorry - just noticed this quote from that link (my emphasis)...

Children are especially at risk, due to their lower body weight and the potential for multiple bites to occur if the spiders are handled.

...so children probably shouldn't tickle them under the chin.....

Andromeda321
2005-Dec-14, 01:52 AM
Without striking too political a note, I believe that the theory many people are referring to here in the relationships between cultures is that described in The Clash of Civilizations (http://www.alamut.com/subj/economics/misc/clash.html), which was published in 1993 and caused quite a stir. It's been suggested that 9.11 and on has been a confirmation that this theory is correct.

Monique
2005-Dec-14, 02:16 AM
Without striking too political a note, I believe that the theory many people are referring to here in the relationships between cultures is that described in The Clash of Civilizations (http://www.alamut.com/subj/economics/misc/clash.html), which was published in 1993 and caused quite a stir. It's been suggested that 9.11 and on has been a confirmation that this theory is correct.
Is my exact fear.

The Supreme Canuck
2005-Dec-14, 02:34 AM
Re: yobs. Ah, thanks, both. We just call them "idiots" or "losers."

SciFi Chick
2005-Dec-14, 02:46 AM
Well, I certainly hope that a few funnel-web spiders won't stop you from at least visiting Sydney on occasions.

Probably not. I have to see that Opera house in person after all. :D


(The funnel-webs (http://www.avru.unimelb.edu.au/avruweb/Fws.htm) aren't that bad... give them a little tickle under the chin and they become as playful as kittens!)

*shudder* I'm like Ron Weasley when it comes to spiders. :lol:

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-14, 10:34 AM
One thing I would like to point out regarding all these issue of race in Australia is that we do generally have a very good record of integrating migrants, and this is evidenced to some degree by a quick look at our state political scene.

For instance, the current Premier of New South Wales, Morris Iemma (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morris_Iemma) is the son of Calabrian migrants, and the previous Premier of NSW, Bob Carr (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Carr) was married to a Malaysian immigrant. And looking south to Victoria, our current Premier Steve Bracks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Bracks) is himself a man of Lebanese ethnicity.

So to generalise too much and talk about clashes of culture and civilisation is I believe a simplification of the whole situation. Many, indeed the vast majority, of immigrants integrate well into society here. Of the 5m people who live in Sydney around 1.5m were born overseas, and yet we're talking about a few thousand trouble-makers, likely many of which are either unemployed or perhaps under-employed, and many of those caught up in the problems were actually born in Australia.

There is undoubtedly some sort of cultural component to these disturbances, but wasn't it once said that nationalism is the last refuge of the scoundrel? Which points out that nationalism is in and of itself not the reason these people are scoundrels and trouble-makers, but the outlet they sometimes choose to express their frustrations through. Of course, there is much work to be done in the community to try and find harmonious and constructive solutions to the problems that ail the people involved in the ruckus, demonising and singling out various ethnic groups has proven to be very much the wrong path to go down in that regard.



I saw one reference from JkMcCrann suggesting a number of reasons why such riots might occur in Sydney but not in his home town of Melbourne, one of which reasons was because he suggests that Melbourne has a greater equality of income distribution.

With respect, I suggest he is wrong. Firstly, there is no indication that the riots were related in any way to income distribution. They were turf wars between rival gangs of drunken, testosterone-fuelled yobbos. Secondly, I wonder if the inhabitants of (say) Spotswood think that they have an equivalent disposable income to the residents of, say, Toorak?

AGN F, I do agree with you that there is inequal distribution of income in Melbourne, I don't deny that. I would argue strongly though that this distribution, although inequal, does not approach the scale of the inequality in Sydney.

One point in that regard is simply the nature of Sydney's geography. Its a very spread out city, and one thing I find amazing is the lifestyle of many of those in Sydney's West. A huge area with millions of people, I was shocked to learn many of the people who live out in Sydney's West really don't engage with those in the City or the Eastern Suburbs, at all. Many of the people who live out might not even visit the city in any given year.

Coming back to Melbourne, people from Spotswood and Toorak might not live down the road from each other, but its quite possible they'd hang out in similar areas, perhaps South Yarra, perhaps the City, perhaps even Brunswick. I think in that respect that although there is income inequality across Melbourne, the community as a whole is generally more integrated and not as insular. In a place like Cronulla, its very location lends itself to being something of an insular community. Surrounded on 3 sides by water, its a long drive to get from Cronulla to anywhere else. The layout and grid system of Melbourne means that getting from one area to another is not likely to involve more than a half-an hour drive for the vast majority of residents.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-14, 02:40 PM
It is true that Sydney is "segregated" into parochial regions. The southern beaches area (where the majority of the problems are happening) is known as The Shire. There is a similar area to the north of Sydney known as the Northern Beaches. There is also the Eastern Suburbs with it's many subdivisions, the Inner City, the North Shore, the Inner West and the Greater West. Each of these regions has it's own character and "patriotism" (for want of a better word).

The divide that's been exposed by these riots had definitely been along "turf" lines, not economic :)

kashi
2005-Dec-14, 04:06 PM
Parts of Melbourne (eg places like Frankston, Weribee and Dandenong) are definitely isolated too. I personally have only been to the Western suburbs maybe twice in my whole life. A lot of people who live in Melbourne's afluent East are much the same. Melbourne also has more private schools than all the other states put together. Since most of them have some kind of religious denomination, this could also be a source of racial division.

To correct a fact...Melbourne is equally as sprawling as Sydney, possibly more. It's a big problem when it comes to public transport and other essential services. Sprawl also seems to be conducive to the kind of race divisions we've just observed in Sydney. I don't think Melbourne is immune for a second, however I do think there is a generally greater acceptance and understanding of different cultures here.

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-14, 05:14 PM
Parts of Melbourne (eg places like Frankston, Weribee and Dandenong) are definitely isolated too. I personally have only been to the Western suburbs maybe twice in my whole life. A lot of people who live in Melbourne's afluent East are much the same. Melbourne also has more private schools than all the other states put together. Since most of them have some kind of religious denomination, this could also be a source of racial division.

To correct a fact...Melbourne is equally as sprawling as Sydney, possibly more. It's a big problem when it comes to public transport and other essential services. Sprawl also seems to be conducive to the kind of race divisions we've just observed in Sydney. I don't think Melbourne is immune for a second, however I do think there is a generally greater acceptance and understanding of different cultures here.

Melbourne is sprawling kashi, yes, particularly in relation to many European cities, but I would posit that the sprawl in Melbourne is of a different variety as to that in Sydney. As pauliejay pointed out, Sydney is much more parochially segregated than we are, and much less inter-connected.

Have you tried to drive around Sydney before? Getting from A to B can take a very long time at any time during the day, and that's because the layout of Sydney's road network is absolutely appaling and spaghetti-like. That complexity of road design in Sydney mitigates against communities becoming more integrated with other areas.

Looking at the Melbourne road network, its probably one of the simplest you'd find anywhere, a grid system, of one kind or another, covers much of Melbourne. It makes it a lot easier to get from A to B in Melbourne than it'll ever be in Sydney.

As for places like Frankston, Dandenong, Werribee, I'd agree they are their own mini-cities, but they are not isolated in the same sense that a place like Cronulla is. I did say that generally people from Western Sydney don't go to the Eastern side of town, but I only made the point about being insular when referring to Cronulla. Take a look at a map, there's nowhere in Melbourne that compares in location to Cronulla in its isolation.

In terms of people from Frankston, Dandenong, Werribee, I have friends from all 3 of those places and yet I live nowhere near them, and I know a lot of people from outer-suburban areas who would come into the city on a saturday night, or go to Chapel St., or St.Kilda beach on a sunny Sunday afternoon. That's the kind of thing that people from Western Sydney rarely do. They might go to Parramatta, or Liverpool on a Saturday night, but you won't see them in Sydney CBD, Darling Harbour or the Rocks. The difference between Western Sydney and Double Bay/Bondi/Eastern Suburbs up there is a greater than the difference down here between Dandenong & Toorak/South Yarra.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-14, 06:47 PM
Disinfo, you are totally missing the point. No one said women have not been abused or oppressed in the world and we are not certainly not talking about past history.

I doubt you could provide any new insights or knowledge about women's history or current affairs that I don't already know.

What we are talking about here is a culture that cannot exist unless it stays isolated from the rest of the world. And isolation is looking like it's reached its limits. The Arab cultures, (or however you wish to label them in this context), that have strong views on women's place in their society are encountering an outside world that is a direct threat to their beliefs both religious and their view of how things should be.

And while some women in those societies may claim they prefer it and feel protected, their daughters certainly don't all feel that way when they see how the rest of the world lives.

This conflict of cultures is not the same as the examples you have cited. If you want an historical comparison, it's more like when the North (USA) invaded the South and declared the South could no longer own slaves. And in the 50-60s when the civil rights movement again encroached on the segregated South and said you cannot continue on as you have been. In those cases, as now, one group's culture was clearly under threat from the other. Civil war and violence was the result, not the women's suffrage movement.

The conflict wasn't property rights or women's lib. It was a conflict of core beliefs and a way of life.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-14, 06:57 PM
Sorry, my bad. Weird board activity. I tried to post a quick reply and nothing happened. I had copied it, control a control b, so I re-copied it back to the reply box and posted it. But I must have copied the whole page instead of just my post so several posts got recopied, with mine turning up in the middle above renumbered as #100 and with the duplicated posts after. I can edit my duplicate posts but not everyone elses. Sorry.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-14, 07:10 PM
I have no idea now what is going on. I deleted duplicate posts and both copies disappeared. My last post is still in the middle of the page instead of the bottom.

So here are the deleted posts all in one from notepad. Ignore these they are not new but I'm putting them back for reference.


I strongly disagree that these problems are essentially of cultural or religious basis. I was actually going to post that after seeing more of the news on this that I was under a mistaken impression of the nature of the conflict. It almost seemed like teenage gang fights, which are common in many places. Except the car window smashing indicates at least some of those rioting feel kinship with the rioters in France.


I guess we Western folk should never integrate either, then. :)Immigrants coming to the USA have a hard time depending on the degree of differences between their cultures and ours. They suffer to see their children adopt the ways of the new country's culture. But by the second or third generation, families end up fairly well integrated for the most part.

The more an immigrant community stays within it's own group, the slower this process but it usually still occurs after time.

In the case of Middle Eastern immigration to the West, (as well as the Western culture immigrating to the Middle East), the first to arrive were well educated and did not have as much of a problem with the cultural differences. But now there is a much larger clashing of two very different cultures and there is a growing divide rather than a lessening one.


One's 'beliefs' are not the cause of how one treats women. ...I wonder how people here would react if I said the same about "traditional Christians"...I tried to make a point of saying religion had absolutely nothing to do with this but you apparently missed it. The other word choices I had were Arabs, Middle Easterners, Persians???? none of which were any less stereotyping. How would you describe the Middle East immigrants and residents who resent Western culture and see it as a threat to their faith and well being? Islam and male domination are the two main components to the group which I am referring to's culture and identity.


It's happened before, many times. The world is full of multicultural countries. Just look at your own.No disagreement here. But how many of those immigrant groups have as much to lose from the influence of the mainstream culture they are immersed in? When your way of life is faced with change, that's one thing. But if your way of life includes strong religious convictions that you feel are also at risk, the resistance to change takes on a different quality.

And for clarification, it isn't Islam or the Muslim faith here. It is Islam and the Muslim beliefs of a particular group within the Muslim community. That group's religion is integrated into their identity, but it goes beyond that. Western culture is not just different and disliked, it is sinful. It's one thing to not like what your children are becoming, it's quite another to think your children are going to hell because of their actions. Certainly this is not part if Islam, but only an interpretation of Islam held by a very specific group.


By remembering how women were treated in the West just a few decades ago? And how they still are treated by some Westerners? Honestly, beskeptical! You know better than that.No one said there wasn't prejudice against races here nor that our history didn't include some of the same components of giving women a lower status.

The world is changing. That is the problem. There is much pain in those changes for some people.

If you really think there is any parallel to our more recent past, say back to the 1800s, and the way women are dominated in the Middle East, I suggest you investigate a bit more. It isn't just some religious rituals like wearing a veil. Women are literally imprisoned in their homes, can be legally beaten, have no rights with their children or to any property. That's just a bit more than no property rights and no right to vote.


And it's rubbish to talk as though only Muslim men ever do that.Actually, no, they aren't the only ones. Women are burned and disfigured with acid in both India and Brazil without much legal consequence to the perpetrators. Women are slave laborers all over the world. With those injustices and tragedies, many impoverished men fair pretty poorly as well.

It still doesn't compare to the formal legal and cultural mistreatment of women in the Middle East. The suffering certainly compares and I am not making any judgment as to which is worse though I can see why you think I am. The difference is the treatment of women cannot be brought with you to your country of immigration. And other women traveling in the countries where women have such status as well as TV which comes in via satellite threaten to disrupt the status quo in a fairly dramatic way.

The fact I live a certain life isn't going to be a threat to a disgruntled husband who beats his wife in Brazil. But it is a threat to a whole system of oppression of women in the Middle East as the way the other half lives, so to speak, has to be a source of potential rebellion there.


I strongly disagree with the cause you've assigned to the 'conflict', there.
You also don't seem very well informed about what happened in France.Why don't you elaborate so I can be better informed?


Nobody can complain, because this trend, the so-called clash of cultures (in fact it is essentially a clash of classes), has been predicted (long time ago.)I think the clash of 'classes' is a very large part of this. Perhaps it is the main part with the clash of culture acting as a catalyst, or perhaps vice versa.

And I had said makes sense to me, Monique, re her post on "don't tell me how to live and if your kids don't follow your customs too bad it's a free country" or something to that effect.

I'm going to go walk my dogs and try to figure out this weird thing later.[shakes head]

beskeptical
2005-Dec-14, 07:14 PM
Ahhhh.....It did it again.

When I deleted my duplicate posts both copied disappeared.
Here they are for reference, not new posts!!!


I strongly disagree that these problems are essentially of cultural or religious basis. I was actually going to post that after seeing more of the news on this that I was under a mistaken impression of the nature of the conflict. It almost seemed like teenage gang fights, which are common in many places. Except the car window smashing indicates at least some of those rioting feel kinship with the rioters in France.


I guess we Western folk should never integrate either, then. :)Immigrants coming to the USA have a hard time depending on the degree of differences between their cultures and ours. They suffer to see their children adopt the ways of the new country's culture. But by the second or third generation, families end up fairly well integrated for the most part.

The more an immigrant community stays within it's own group, the slower this process but it usually still occurs after time.

In the case of Middle Eastern immigration to the West, (as well as the Western culture immigrating to the Middle East), the first to arrive were well educated and did not have as much of a problem with the cultural differences. But now there is a much larger clashing of two very different cultures and there is a growing divide rather than a lessening one.


One's 'beliefs' are not the cause of how one treats women. ...I wonder how people here would react if I said the same about "traditional Christians"...I tried to make a point of saying religion had absolutely nothing to do with this but you apparently missed it. The other word choices I had were Arabs, Middle Easterners, Persians???? none of which were any less stereotyping. How would you describe the Middle East immigrants and residents who resent Western culture and see it as a threat to their faith and well being? Islam and male domination are the two main components to the group which I am referring to's culture and identity.


It's happened before, many times. The world is full of multicultural countries. Just look at your own.No disagreement here. But how many of those immigrant groups have as much to lose from the influence of the mainstream culture they are immersed in? When your way of life is faced with change, that's one thing. But if your way of life includes strong religious convictions that you feel are also at risk, the resistance to change takes on a different quality.

And for clarification, it isn't Islam or the Muslim faith here. It is Islam and the Muslim beliefs of a particular group within the Muslim community. That group's religion is integrated into their identity, but it goes beyond that. Western culture is not just different and disliked, it is sinful. It's one thing to not like what your children are becoming, it's quite another to think your children are going to hell because of their actions. Certainly this is not part if Islam, but only an interpretation of Islam held by a very specific group.


By remembering how women were treated in the West just a few decades ago? And how they still are treated by some Westerners? Honestly, beskeptical! You know better than that.No one said there wasn't prejudice against races here nor that our history didn't include some of the same components of giving women a lower status.

The world is changing. That is the problem. There is much pain in those changes for some people.

If you really think there is any parallel to our more recent past, say back to the 1800s, and the way women are dominated in the Middle East, I suggest you investigate a bit more. It isn't just some religious rituals like wearing a veil. Women are literally imprisoned in their homes, can be legally beaten, have no rights with their children or to any property. That's just a bit more than no property rights and no right to vote.


And it's rubbish to talk as though only Muslim men ever do that.Actually, no, they aren't the only ones. Women are burned and disfigured with acid in both India and Brazil without much legal consequence to the perpetrators. Women are slave laborers all over the world. With those injustices and tragedies, many impoverished men fair pretty poorly as well.

It still doesn't compare to the formal legal and cultural mistreatment of women in the Middle East. The suffering certainly compares and I am not making any judgment as to which is worse though I can see why you think I am. The difference is the treatment of women cannot be brought with you to your country of immigration. And other women traveling in the countries where women have such status as well as TV which comes in via satellite threaten to disrupt the status quo in a fairly dramatic way.

The fact I live a certain life isn't going to be a threat to a disgruntled husband who beats his wife in Brazil. But it is a threat to a whole system of oppression of women in the Middle East as the way the other half lives, so to speak, has to be a source of potential rebellion there.


I strongly disagree with the cause you've assigned to the 'conflict', there.
You also don't seem very well informed about what happened in France.Why don't you elaborate so I can be better informed?


Nobody can complain, because this trend, the so-called clash of cultures (in fact it is essentially a clash of classes), has been predicted (long time ago.)I think the clash of 'classes' is a very large part of this. Perhaps it is the main part with the clash of culture acting as a catalyst, or perhaps vice versa.

And I had also said, sounds good to me to Monique's post about letting her live her life and if one's kids rebel they are free to do so as well

I'm going to leave now and hopefully when I come back the board will be fixed.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-14, 08:23 PM
Why don't you elaborate so I can be better informed?I posted a link to an article in my second post on the previous page. HenrikOlsen also posted a very good article.


I didn't mean economics wasn't a factor at all. Of course it is.Then why call it a "clash of cultures"?


OK, you can also give me a better name for the large group of fundamental [????] who believe the West is the "Great Satan", who completely oppress women in every aspect of their lives, and who now see Western culture as something to be at the least avoided and at the most, wiped out completely. I never said 'all' 'every' 'all of Muslim faith' or any term like that or if I did it was an error.And what relation is there between those people and the Libanese minority that's been involved in the Sydney riots?

Monique
2005-Dec-14, 08:31 PM
Why don't you elaborate so I can be better informed?
I posted a link to an article in my second post on the previous page. HenrikOlsen also posted a very good article.

Article cover some issues, but not all. See my posts on other issues.






l didn't mean economics wasn't a factor at all. Of course it is.

Then why call it a "clash of cultures"?

Is "clash of cultures" because Muslim extremists work to make so.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-14, 09:35 PM
If you really think there is any parallel to our more recent past, say back to the 1800s, and the way women are dominated in the Middle East, I suggest you investigate a bit more. It isn't just some religious rituals like wearing a veil. Women are literally imprisoned in their homes, can be legally beaten, have no rights with their children or to any property. That's just a bit more than no property rights and no right to vote.None of which is new under the Western Sun.


However, whatever the distribution, the property which women took into marriage, whether in goods, money, or land, passed into the ownership of their husbands, which was dictated by common law doctrine of coverture. This law also dictated that when women married, their legal personalities were subsumed into their husbands' (Shanley 8). Therefore, after marriage, women had no control of property disposal or distribution. Anne Laurence notes, "In English common law, wives could hold no freehold land (real property) except through their husbands; nor could they alter or dispose of property without their husbands' consent, even if it was their own inheritance" (228). In response to the accusations of the injustice of property laws, lawmakers claimed that "The rights of the husband over the property of his wife are given him in consequences of the burthens which on the marriage are imposed on the husband in respect to his wife" (Staves 52). A digest of the common law states, "After marriage, all the will of the wife in judgment of the law is subject to the will of the husband; and it is commonly said a feme coverte hath no will" (Laurence 227). The term feme coverte is the common law term for wife, and "wife" is the only status entered for women in the common law. The rationale of the law is that if husband and wife are "one body" before God, they are "one person" in the law, and that person is represented by the husband (Shanley 8).

property rights of women (http://www.umd.umich.edu/casl/hum/eng/classes/434/geweb/PROPERTY.htm)Sound familiar?


The State's analysis of state corrections and probation department data from 1996 through 2000 showed:

Offenders convicted of the most serious domestic violence charges—aggravated domestic violence or a third or subsequent domestic violence offense—often don't go to prison. The data showed that 1,728 defendants, or about 55 percent, convicted of either of the two most serious domestic violence offenses received probation instead of prison time. About 300 of the offenders eventually went to prison after violating probation or parole.

Offenders who do go to prison receive short sentences. About 45 percent of those convicted—1,403 people—were sentenced to prison on 1,665 charges.

Those convicted of the most serious charge—criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature—received an average sentence of just under three years for 583 charges. The maximum penalty is 10 years.

For the lesser charge—a third or subsequent domestic violence offense—offenders convicted of 1,082 charges received an average sentence of slightly more than a year. The maximum sentence for that charge is three years.

Offenders rarely serve their full sentences.

A study by the S.C. Sentencing Guidelines Commission showed that domestic violence offenders served, on average, about half of their sentences.

Brutal Abusers Often Not Jailed (http://www.vachss.com/help_text/archive/brutal_abusers.html)Friendly laws are nice--but what if most judges look the other way?


Having said that, it has to be recognised that there’s an extensive psychological literature dating back to the sexologists of the 19th century, immensely hostile to the feminist analysis and the concern to end sexual violence. The model of sexuality which these experts promoted was one in which women were expected to respond sexually to men’s sexual initiatives and their preferred practices. And the extent to which that kind of ideology was across the board was reflected in the writings of some quite respected in the field of sexology.

But you can get some idea of what fuses inside the minds of us men when you read Ellis, who as I say is held up by psychiatrists and psychologists as a kind of welcome, fresh air blowing through solid, stolid hypocritical Victorian society. But it was Ellis who wrote this: - he’s talking about rape - There can be little doubt that the plea of force is very frequently seized upon by women as the easiest available weapon of defence when her connection has been revealed. She’s been permeated by the current notion that no respectable woman could possibly have any sexual impulses of her own to gratif5s that in order to screen what she feels to be regarded as utterly shameful and wicked as well as foolish, she declares it never took place by her own will at all."

Male Violence: Dispelling the Myths (http://www.niwaf.org/Domesticviolence/dispelling_the_myths.htm)A progressive Victorian talking.

Argos
2005-Dec-15, 01:54 PM
Actually, no, they aren't the only ones. Women are burned and disfigured with acid in both India and Brazil without much legal consequence to the perpetrators.

Sorry beskeptical. This seems to be one of those stereotypes (everytime there´s a stereotype for anything evil Brazil is cited - it´s strange). I haven´t heard of anything like that. Recently a Lebanese woman came to Brazil to treat disfiguring injuries she suffered at home. Maybe you´re confusing the news.

I can´t think of any other place in the world where women can be as free as Brazilian women (including the sexual aspect). Again, Brazilian women (especially afro women) suffer from economic assymmetries, like women in any other place in the world. Of course there´s violence in the ghettos, but it is not a 'cultural' trait. Generally it is related to alchool abuse within disintegrated families (and there´s a whole lot of economic disintegration here - affecting Afros, mainly). There´s no macho culture. Violence against women is intolerable to Brazilian men (me included), just as it is for American men, and is treated accordingly.

Brazil is a western, democratic, industrialized, christian nation, with everything that goes with.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-15, 11:04 PM
Sorry beskeptical. This seems to be one of those stereotypes (everytime there´s a stereotype for anything evil Brazil is cited - it´s strange). I haven´t heard of anything like that. Recently a Lebanese woman came to Brazil to treat disfiguring injuries she suffered at home. Maybe you´re confusing the news.

I can´t think of any other place in the world where women can be as free as Brazilian women (including the sexual aspect). Again, Brazilian women (especially afro women) suffer from economic assymmetries, like women in any other place in the world. Of course there´s violence in the ghettos, but it is not a 'cultural' trait. Generally it is related to alchool abuse within disintegrated families (and there´s a whole lot of economic disintegration here - affecting Afros, mainly). There´s no macho culture. Violence against women is intolerable to Brazilian men (me included), just as it is for American men, and is treated accordingly.

Brazil is a western, democratic, industrialized, christian nation, with everything that goes with.Privileged Homicide in Brazil (http://www.hrw.org/about/projects/womrep/General-194.htm)
In the wife-murder cases investigated by Human Rights Watch, the courts seemed unusually willing to overlook evidence of intentional homicide on the part of the accused and focus instead on the behavior of the victim and its alleged provocative effect

Don't know if this is true (http://www.loveseesnoborders.org/brazil.html)
As a matter of fact, until 1991 husbands could kill wives in Brasil in what are so-called "honor killings."

But this seems to back it up:Domestic Violence in Latin America with an Emphasis on Brazil (http://lilt.ilstu.edu/psanders/litsearch/Domviol.html)

Types of domestic violence include murder, beatings, and rape (Saffioti,1994). Domestic violence in the past has been thought of as a private matter within the family but more is being done now to make it a public issue; this has resulted in husbands no longer having a legal right to kill or punish their wives (Lykes, Brabeck, Ferns, and Radan, 1992; Thomas, 1992). However, Brazil is one of only a few industrialized countries still allowing the use of men’s honor as a defense in trials concerning domestic violence, including wife murder (Lamego, 1993).

The burned wife who's husband went unpunished was on a documentary I saw a long time ago. It may be that burning is not the weapon of choice. But the lack of being held responsible was certainly at issue.

Argos
2005-Dec-16, 12:16 PM
Every obscure NGO feels free to slam Brazil. It´s a pattern. Now, citing Chile!!! It reveals a selective approach or ignorance, at best. The dogs bark and the caravan goes on...

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-16, 01:49 PM
If I'm not mistaken, Brazil's "honor killing" law was scrapped when the dictatorship ended, in the eighties.

A question, Beskeptical: do you blame those crimes you cited on Brazilian culture?



I don't know how I totally missed your first post. Sorry! My comments follow.


Disinfo, you are totally missing the point. No one said women have not been abused or oppressed in the world and we are not certainly not talking about past history.I think past history is very relevant in these matters, because it destroys the myth that Western societies (or Christian societies, or whatever) are just naturally kinder towards women than everyone else.
They're not. They may have come a longer way than others, but they started out pretty much the same.


I doubt you could provide any new insights or knowledge about women's history or current affairs that I don't already know.You may know a lot more about women's history than I do, but perhaps I'm not subject to some of the biases you have.


What we are talking about here is a culture that cannot exist unless it stays isolated from the rest of the world.

And isolation is looking like it's reached its limits. The Arab cultures, (or however you wish to label them in this context), that have strong views on women's place in their society are encountering an outside world that is a direct threat to their beliefs both religious and their view of how things should be.It is wrong to single out Arabic culture in that way, even if you use the plural. There are also traditional Indian cultures with strict attitudes towards women, traditional African cultures with strict attitudes towards women, traditional Southeast Asian cultures with strict attitudes towards women. This convinces me that "Arabness" per se has nothing whatsoever to do with the problem, and shouldn't even be mentioned.


And while some women in those societies may claim they prefer it and feel protected, their daughters certainly don't all feel that way when they see how the rest of the world lives.

This conflict of cultures is not the same as the examples you have cited.

If you want an historical comparison, it's more like when the North (USA) invaded the South and declared the South could no longer own slaves. And in the 50-60s when the civil rights movement again encroached on the segregated South and said you cannot continue on as you have been. In those cases, as now, one group's culture was clearly under threat from the other.

Civil war and violence was the result, not the women's suffrage movement.

The conflict wasn't property rights or women's lib. It was a conflict of core beliefs and a way of life.Again, I don't believe the conflict you're talking about is an exclusive of Arabic cultures, or of Arabic immigrants in countries with a different culture from their own. It happens in all societies, and all walks of life.

mickal555
2005-Dec-16, 02:07 PM
I hate to be judgmental and glib, but as a Melburnian, I think I can safely say, something like this would never happen in Melbourne. And before one talks about large minorities being disruptive influences or whatever, that's absolute garbage, has nothing to do with it. We in Melbourne have a higher proportion of people foreign-born than there is in Sydney. About 32-33% of people who live in Melbourne were born overseas, I think in Sydney its about 26-27%.

There are several reasons why these troubles, IMO, can happen in Sydney but would not happen in Melbourne.

1) Layout of the City (& Suburbs)
2) Distribution of Activity Centres (And with that employment opportunities)
3) The Sydney Drinking/Yob "Culture" (There is nothing like that in Melbourne)
4) The Sydney "Shock-Jock" Radio "Culture"

The most pernicious of those is of course the 2nd point, because that has all sorts of effects, such as the concentration of wealth in Sydney's Eastern suburbs, and the vast areas of Western Sydney that in comparison are cultural and economic backwaters.

The design of Melbourne has ensured a much more even distribution of wealth around the whole of suburbia, and there are not such extreme concentrations of poverty in various areas as in Sydney.

Looking at what has gone at Cronulla though, I think the 3rd point comes into play a little. Going down the beach, or the pub on the beach, and having a few, or more than a few drinks, seems to have played some part in this, and that is, for me at least, associated with the drinking culture in Sydney epitomised in such places as the various Leagues Clubs where binge drinking is not just simply accepted and tolerated, but by various characters encouraged and celebrated, almost like its part of the Aussie way of life.

Nothing like that in Melbourne.

Also, there are no such things as shock-jocks in Melbourne. There are people on radio who have opinions, but nothing like their Sydney counterparties.

I love Sydney, but I see that a lot of work needs to be done up there to really bring the community together and indeed the images I've seen on TV are really shocking and disgraceful. One would hope that it rains for the rest of the week and everyone's temperatures cool down a bit.

No offence(really) but I don't like melbourne it's a cold smoggy and flat ... I went there once It made me thing of england or something... all the black clothes! I can't see this happening there either...

Sydney need 1 big consill instead of all thoose little ones... Too many isolated patches- too many different bin colours...

Everyone should come to brissie...
Unless you like public transport...
It could happen here- but everyone would get lost, tired and fed up before long....


The media wanted this to happen :evil: they just kept building up tension till the day... :evil:

This country is going the way of the US.... :(:(
And I know why
I feel I may have to move to NZ in a couple of years...
Who is voting for Jh anyway... :confused:

boggles the mind...

Heid the Ba'
2005-Dec-16, 02:13 PM
Listing the faults of other nations is not helpfull. Every society has its flaws.

For example: the US has a more draconian prison system than Mexico, (http://www.slate.com/id/2132349/) treats blacks and hispanics (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?scid=5&did=184) disproportionately badly, tortures prisoners, (http://web.amnesty.org/pages/stoptorture-071205-news-eng) and so on.

Should this be an purely internal US matter, or should other countries condemn the US? Pots, kettles, etc.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-16, 05:03 PM
Every obscure NGO feels free to slam Brazil. It´s a pattern. Now, citing Chile!!! It reveals a selective approach or ignorance, at best. The dogs bark and the caravan goes on...NGO? Only one of the above citations is from an NGO, Human Rights Watch. The others are a blog, and a student's paper but it had its own citations.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-16, 05:50 PM
If I'm not mistaken, Brazil's "honor killing" law was scrapped when the dictatorship ended, in the eighties.One of the articles I cited mentioned that.


A question, Beskeptical: do you blame those crimes you cited on Brazilian culture?The idea of right and wrong certainly are cultural and certainly are reflected in a law which says if your mad at your wife for selected reasons that's an excuse to attack her.

But having never been to Brazil, I have very little knowledge of the overall culture and sentiments.


I don't know how I totally missed your first post. Sorry! My comments follow.You may not have. It was a very weird post day in that my post ended up in the middle of the page rather than at the end. I cannot explain this mystery.


I think past history is very relevant in these matters, because it destroys the myth that Western societies (or Christian societies, or whatever) are just naturally kinder towards women than everyone else.
They're not. They may have come a longer way than others, but they started out pretty much the same.There is a quantitative and qualitative difference in the Arab culture from others but even if you dispute that, the issue I speak to here is actually because one culture has changed and the other has not.


You may know a lot more about women's history than I do, but perhaps I'm not subject to some of the biases you have.Biases, but also experiences you may not have had as well. I have traveled extensively and much of that travel was alone. It definitely brings out behaviors and attitudes among those you encounter, some good, some bad, when a woman travels alone in foreign countries.


It is wrong to single out Arabic culture in that way, even if you use the plural. There are also traditional Indian cultures with strict attitudes towards women, traditional African cultures with strict attitudes towards women, traditional Southeast Asian cultures with strict attitudes towards women. This convinces me that "Arabness" per se has nothing whatsoever to do with the problem, and shouldn't even be mentioned.

Again, I don't believe the conflict you're talking about is an exclusive of Arabic cultures, or of Arabic immigrants in countries with a different culture from their own. It happens in all societies, and all walks of life.How many times must I repeat myself here? I am not talking about ALL of any group or culture or religion, and, I am not talking about ONLY Arabs. I'm getting very tired of that fact being distorted. Go back and read everything I have tried to say to describe the group of persons of whom I speak and stop accusing me of such absurd, ignorant stereotyping.

There is, however, with many subtle and not so subtle differences a cultural group which holds in common the belief that women are to be isolated and controlled, and that the restrictions imposed on the women of this group are ordained by their Islamic god. This culture cuts a wide swath across the Middle East. It includes many groups, not all* of whom consider themselves Arab. And certainly not all people in the region or all people of such a heritage hold those cultural beliefs.

This group does not include cultures that merely feel men are different from women and cultures where men and women are not equal under the law or in society. It makes a big difference when very strong religious belief complicates the picture, and the persons holding that Islam dictates women's behavior in such a severe way is unique among religions. Please note I said, "person's holding that Islam..." I did not say Islam.

There is no single word to label the group I am describing and I have said so more than once. I asked for those of you jumping to the absurd conclusion that I am that stupid to give me a better word for the group and no one has.

Now, on the other hand, if you wish to deny such a group exists, then I recommend a bit of travel in a few Middle Eastern countries. You will, in some* areas, not see a single female older than 5 or 6 on the street. In other areas* you will see varying degrees* of only women in chadors with escorts to only women in chadors in groups of women, to only women in chadors. You will see varying degrees of body parts covered with those chadors from all but the eyes which are veiled to faces uncovered. That tends to be determined by local custom. You will see varying degrees of Westernization from countries where the group of whom I speak is merely intermingled with those not so strictly behaving to areas of some countries where the citizens are completely uniform in their belief that women must follow strict behavioral rules.

*Not all: part of, not all, not everywhere, not every single one.......
*Some: part of, not all, not everywhere, not every single one.......
*Other areas: part of, not all, not everywhere, not every single one.......
*Varying degrees: part of, not all, not everywhere, not every single one.......

beskeptical
2005-Dec-16, 06:05 PM
I might add to the above that there was a very interesting interview with a sister-in-law of Osama Bin Laden's on one of the news programs shortly after 9-11-01. In it she described answering the door to their home when Osama came calling. She described that having been educated in a Western country as well as having lived in the West with her husband, one of Osama's brothers, she was wearing regular clothes. Osama immediately turned his back and refused to look at her. She was inside their home, mind you, not on the street and this was a relative visiting not a stranger. That's pretty extreme.

She went on to say the reason was Osama was, "very pious", and that, "many respected him because of it".

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-16, 06:08 PM
[...] I am not talking about ONLY Arabs. I'm getting very tired of that fact being distorted.
Beskeptical, in the first post of yours to which I replied in this thread, you wrote the following:


In France and elsewhere in many countries, there seems to be a growing problem of a cultural clash of major proportions between the traditional Muslim communities and the modern world.

They will never be able to integrate as long as they continue to oppress women. And those of us in Western cultures can try to step around the issue by claiming to allow them their freedom to practice the beliefs they choose to practice. But under the surface the difference between the way women are viewed is just too great.

If you are a traditional Muslim, (not to be confused with believing the Muslim religion), you have to realize the Western world is a threat to your culture. How can you expect people with such a cultural divide to exist peacefully side by side? And if you are of a Western culture, how can you accept the way women are treated in traditional Muslim societies? It's one thing to accept one's different religious practices, it's quite another to think it OK for men to "lightly beat" their wives and follow other such written laws.

I think we are in for more of this to come and in more places than France and Australia. Either side may be the instigators but the conflict is rooted in the same place. There's a very big cultural divide and those that are divided can no longer keep from crossing eachother's paths.

Monique
2005-Dec-16, 07:47 PM
Is point Disinfo Agent. Islamis is not only Arab religion.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-16, 09:06 PM
In her post after that one, Beskeptical wrote:


I don't know that it may just be an economic event like the riots in the USA. In those cases, while they certainly were race riots, they weren't some big cultural clash. They were socio-economic. I just can't help thinking this is different. One group isn't fighting for fair treatment and jobs, instead, they are fighting to maintain a culture that is very different and probably incompatible with the other.

If you were a girl growing up in a traditional Muslim family and you saw how your Anglo friends lived compared to you, there's little doubt more than a few would run away. I have been very uncomfortable around some of the men in these groups because they truly treat you in a very disrespectful way. (Remember, I'm not talking Muslim religion here, I talking Mideast culture.)To be quite frank, I think Beskeptical and I have been victims of her own imprecise language. In the first post which I quoted above, she seemed to be talking about traditional Muslims in general ('a cultural clash of major proportions between the traditional Muslim communities and the modern world').

In her following post, quoted here, she claimed to be referring to '[Islamic] Mideast culture'. Well, all Islamic Middle Eastern countries can be called 'Arab' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab), at least in some senses of the word.

By the way, I don't see that it makes much difference whether Beskeptical spoke about all Muslims or just a few, all Islamic Middle Eastern societies or just a few sectors within them. She's still singling out "traditional Islam" from other traditional religions, and the Middle East from other parts of the world--why?

Monique
2005-Dec-16, 09:38 PM
By the way, I don't see that it makes much difference whether Beskeptical spoke about all Muslims or just a few, all Islamic Middle Eastern societies or just a few sectors within them. She's still singling out "traditional Islam" from other traditional religions, and the Middle East from other parts of the world--why?
I believe Islamic Fundamentalism need to be single out. I and others believe that Islamic Fundamentalism reject all other cultural way. Result is culture that see all other tradition as wrong, as must adopt to Fundamentalism vision. I do not care if Islam is Middle East or Arab, I do not wish to be Muslim. I do not wish to see pressure on my country to conform to Islam custom.

Obviousman
2005-Dec-16, 09:44 PM
It's been the only day that I have ever been ashamed to be an Australian.

Regardless of whether either side of the debate has legitimate concerns or claims, violence like we saw that day is not the way to address or solve problems.

Monique
2005-Dec-16, 09:48 PM
Regardless of whether either side of the debate has legitimate concerns or claims, violence like we saw that day is not the way to address or solve problems.
I agree with my heart. I do not like to see violence in my country either. Violence have no purpose.

SeanF
2005-Dec-16, 09:50 PM
It's been the only day that I have ever been ashamed to be an Australian.
That's the wrong response, Obviousman.

You should only be ashamed that they are Australian. :)

Doodler
2005-Dec-16, 10:44 PM
It is wrong to single out Arabic culture in that way, even if you use the plural. There are also traditional Indian cultures with strict attitudes towards women, traditional African cultures with strict attitudes towards women, traditional Southeast Asian cultures with strict attitudes towards women. This convinces me that "Arabness" per se has nothing whatsoever to do with the problem, and shouldn't even be mentioned.

I believe if you do some checking into the cultures where those extremeties exist beyond Arabic, you'll see a common thread of Islam present in a large number of them.

Just because they aren't the only offender, doesn't excuse them for being a MAJOR offender.

As far as western cultures and their attitudes towards women, I'd like to point out to you that the worst offender of women's rights in western culture WAS brought down when Christianity was handed 20 pieces of silver and told to head for warmer climate by secular governments. Since the fall of Christianity from its peak of influence, women's rights have taken incredible strides forward, each step gaining more ground as the church's influence continued to wane. In fact, its only now that Europe is more secular than the US that women's rights in Europe have pierced further through the old glass ceiling than in the US.

Its a fascinating parallel, that women's rights are so strongly tied to the relative influence of a parochial, paranoid, male dominated religions, isn't it? That pattern carries through even in Hindu culture. The more traditionally religious the region, the more the male dominated paranoia is present.

Its only been the atheist governments of Bolshevist Communism, Nazism and Fascism that have managed to fully break from the sexist mold by basically thrashing EVERYONE's rights equally under their brutality.

Monique
2005-Dec-16, 11:26 PM
I believe if you do some checking into the cultures where those extremeties exist beyond Arabic, you'll see a common thread of Islam present in a large number of them.

Just because they aren't the only offender, doesn't excuse them for being a MAJOR offender.

As far as western cultures and their attitudes towards women, I'd like to point out to you that the worst offender of women's rights in western culture WAS brought down when Christianity was handed 20 pieces of silver and told to head for warmer climate by secular governments. Since the fall of Christianity from its peak of influence, women's rights have taken incredible strides forward, each step gaining more ground as the church's influence continued to wane. In fact, its only now that Europe is more secular than the US that women's rights in Europe have pierced further through the old glass ceiling than in the US.

Its a fascinating parallel, that women's rights are so strongly tied to the relative influence of a parochial, paranoid, male dominated religions, isn't it? That pattern carries through even in Hindu culture. The more traditionally religious the region, the more the male dominated paranoia is present.

Its only been the atheist governments of Bolshevist Communism, Nazism and Fascism that have managed to fully break from the sexist mold by basically thrashing EVERYONE's rights equally under their brutality.
I think comments of Doodler some to strong, but I agree that secular government is step forward over religious rule. I believe Muslims see Islam as highest authority. My research indicate Government/Islam is one for Muslim. In "Western Tradition" has been reform to consider all religion equal before law. I do not believe many followers to Islam ready for accept such concept.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-16, 11:30 PM
Hi.


Just because they aren't the only offender, doesn't excuse them for being a MAJOR offender.Generally speaking, I don't believe in blaming cultures, religions, or other groups of people for the wrongs of this world. It does more harm than good. I believe in holding individuals accountable for their actions.


I believe if you do some checking into the cultures where those extremeties exist beyond Arabic, you'll see a common thread of Islam present in a large number of them.

[...]

As far as western cultures and their attitudes towards women, I'd like to point out to you that the worst offender of women's rights in western culture WAS brought down when Christianity was handed 20 pieces of silver and told to head for warmer climate by secular governments. Since the fall of Christianity from its peak of influence, women's rights have taken incredible strides forward, each step gaining more ground as the church's influence continued to wane. In fact, its only now that Europe is more secular than the US that women's rights in Europe have pierced further through the old glass ceiling than in the US.

Its a fascinating parallel, that women's rights are so strongly tied to the relative influence of a parochial, paranoid, male dominated religions, isn't it? That pattern carries through even in Hindu culture. The more traditionally religious the region, the more the male dominated paranoia is present.I do agree that inequality towards women can be found in most religions and cultures, if not all. The issue of which religions and cultures have more inequality, and why, is one I was hoping to get closer to with Beskeptical.


Its only been the atheist governments of Bolshevist Communism, Nazism and Fascism that have managed to fully break from the sexist mold by basically thrashing EVERYONE's rights equally under their brutality.On this I must slightly disagree with you. Nazism and Fascism did try to wink-wink at atheism, but they were always ambivalent about it. In the end, they had important support from significant sectors of both the Catholic Church and Protestant denominations, and most of the leaders of the regime (e.g. Hitler) were, to the best of our knowledge, Christians. I am also unaware that Nazism and Fascism ever truly made any breakthroughs in women equality. Don't be misled by figures like Leni Riefenstahl. They were the token exceptions. The Nazi Party, in particular, was very keen on keeping German women at home, so that they would raise many little Aryan youths.

As to the case of communism, I think at least some of the gender equality they showed off was propagandistic. For example, the second Russian cosmonaut in space was a woman, Valentina Tereshkova--but after that media stunt was over, decades went by where Russian cosmonauts were all male. Looking at China today (assuming it's still fair to call them communists), I don't see any women in the upper ranks of the Party.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-17, 12:05 AM
I think comments of Doodler some to strong, but I agree that secular government is step forward over religious rule. I believe Muslims see Islam as highest authority. My research indicate Government/Islam is one for Muslim. In "Western Tradition" has been reform to consider all religion equal before law. I do not believe many followers to Islam ready for accept such concept.Some Islamic countries are secular (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Contemporary_Practice_of_Sharia_Law). Some of these have even had women heads of state. :)

Monique
2005-Dec-17, 12:10 AM
Some Islamic countries are secular (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharia#Contemporary_Practice_of_Sharia_Law). Some of these have even had women heads of state. :)
Is true. However, I believe Islamic Extremist movment cause troubles I post about. I believe is problem that cause much trouble in Europe. Perhaps not to blame for all problems, but have complicated process for find solution.

V-GER
2005-Dec-17, 12:35 AM
Is true. However, I believe Islamic Extremist movment cause troubles I post about. I believe is problem that cause much trouble in Europe. Perhaps not to blame for all problems, but have complicated process for find solution.

Part of that problem in Europe has been the governments' efforts to be as tolerant and multicultural as possible. This has lead to a situation were certain imam's have been able to preach hatred and whatever comes to their mind without any objections from the authorities. Freedom of speach should not be abused.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-17, 01:54 AM
Alright then folks, this thread has been hijacked enough. Back on track.

Over the last few nights there havs been a massive police presence on the roads of Sydney. Streets leading into The Shire and Inner West areas have been road blocked and all cars entering have been stopped/ searched/ turned around. Large quantities of weapons (including Molotov cocktails) have been seized. Community leaders, celebrities and atheletes have been making an admirable attempt at calling for a peaceful resolution.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is crunch day - it will all stand or fall on what happens (if anything) at Cronulla. Personally, I'm hoping for the biggest rainstorm the city's ever seen.

This link points to a three page Times article that does a good job of giving background and analysis.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1936837,00.html

beskeptical
2005-Dec-17, 08:43 PM
Beskeptical, in the first post of yours to which I replied in this thread, you wrote the following:Well if you want to cherry pick out of my posts, no wonder you missed my message.

"traditional Muslim, (not to be confused with believing the Muslim religion)"

I tried to clarify in that post and in my other posts that I was using the term "traditional Muslim" to describe a section of that population not the whole. Just as one might describe "Evangelical Christian" as a sub group of Christians.

You might have asked for clarification as to which group I referred rather than making the wrong assumption.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-17, 08:52 PM
In her post after that one, Beskeptical wrote:

To be quite frank, I think Beskeptical and I have been victims of her own imprecise language. Yes, that and the fact there aren't precise words to use. I can only describe the group precisely as I did above with a couple of paragraphs. But the group does exist, nonetheless.


By the way, I don't see that it makes much difference whether Beskeptical spoke about all Muslims or just a few, all Islamic Middle Eastern societies or just a few sectors within them. She's still singling out "traditional Islam" from other traditional religions, and the Middle East from other parts of the world--why?Because there is an incompatibility of beliefs and culture among two specific groups in the world today. The incompatibility exists on a continuum from mild to severe, but there is a difference in incompatibility here that doesn't equate to many other incompatible beliefs.

I can believe or not believe in God. It won't necessarily threaten the opposite group should we live in the same town. But if that belief entails completely different rules for all women in one group than all the women in the other group, AND, those rules involve much of life's activities, then Houston, we have a problem.

beskeptical
2005-Dec-17, 08:54 PM
That's the wrong response, Obviousman.

You should only be ashamed that they are Australian. :)Excellent point, Sean.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Dec-17, 08:56 PM
Well if you want to cherry pick out of my posts, no wonder you missed my message.

"traditional Muslim, (not to be confused with believing the Muslim religion)"

I tried to clarify in that post and in my other posts that I was using the term "traditional Muslim" to describe a section of that population not the whole. Just as one might describe "Evangelical Christian" as a sub group of Christians.
Beskeptical, you're the one who's missed my message:


By the way, I don't see that it makes much difference whether Beskeptical spoke about all Muslims or just a few, all Islamic Middle Eastern societies or just a few sectors within them. She's still singling out "traditional Islam" from other traditional religions, and the Middle East from other parts of the world--why?

beskeptical
2005-Dec-17, 09:07 PM
Hi.

Generally speaking, I don't believe in blaming cultures, religions, or other groups of people for the wrongs of this world. It does more harm than good. I believe in holding individuals accountable for their actions.This is just semantics ......(No one here blamed any religion. Everything I've read here blamed a sub group within a religion)......and idealism.....(to claim mob action never occurs or that there is no set of 'group beliefs' seems a bit idealistic to me).


I do agree that inequality towards women can be found in most religions and cultures, if not all. The issue of which religions and cultures have more inequality, and why, is one I was hoping to get closer to with Beskeptical.We were never far apart on this issue. But if you think that there's nothing happening here but the usual, then we differ.


As to the case of communism, I think at least some of the gender equality they showed off was propagandistic. For example, the second Russian cosmonaut in space was a woman, Valentina Tereshkova--but after that media stunt was over, decades went by where Russian cosmonauts were all male. Looking at China today (assuming it's still fair to call them communists), I don't see any women in the upper ranks of the Party.Definitely agree with you here. There are more women doctors in China and Russia, but I don't see more male nurses and their governments look pretty old, white* and male at the top as do most world governments outside of Africa.

*Maybe facial features differ but from my perspective they look a lot alike.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-17, 10:43 PM
Beskeptical, Disinfo Agent, you are both turning my thread into something that I didn't want it turned into. It was never my intention to have an argument over the Middle East OR Islam. Please debate your point via PM before the thread gets shut down.

Wolverine
2005-Dec-18, 01:31 AM
Beskeptical, Disinfo Agent, you are both turning my thread into something that I didn't want it turned into. It was never my intention to have an argument over the Middle East OR Islam. Please debate your point via PM before the thread gets shut down.

Yes, please.

paulie jay
2005-Dec-18, 01:07 PM
Well, today went by pretty peacefully, for which I am most grateful. There was once again a massive police presence and certain suburbs were actually "locked down". Many people with weapons (again, petrol bombs) were apprehended by police before they could get anywhere. I does seem as though the sting has been removed for the moment. :)

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-18, 01:14 PM
It is good to see that when there are issues of law and order the police do indeed have the capability to play a calming role rather than possibly inflaming tensions. I think the police have done a great job this week in really getting matters under control, and the reaction of the general community has been extremely encouraging in terms of side-lining those who would pursue unreasonably violent aims and ends.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-18, 05:58 PM
Glad to see that at least a semblance of sanity has returned.. not that I think Ozzians are all that sane.. I mean, come on Aussie Rules Football? What sane hunan would play such a game?

(don't take me wrong, I'm just teasing. I LOVE Aussie rules football. As a spectator. And, if I had to emmigrate from the US, I'd first try to move to OZ. If they'd have me)

beskeptical
2005-Dec-18, 06:16 PM
Sorry, it's hard not to respond when you feel your posts have been mis-represented. And clearly Disinfo feels the same. I don't get your last post at all Disinfo but rather than go on, I too am weary of this direction since I see no clarity on the horizon. IE, let's not carry this on in PMs either, we are getting no where.

And, since I really missed the details of the riots in the first place, my apologies to all. That's what I get for skimming the news. [I'm going to have to go read the FAQ on how to make the embarrassed smilie on this board. Is there one for foot in mouth as well?]:o

LurchGS
2005-Dec-18, 06:25 PM
as nearly as I can determine, Beskeptical, the Sydney rioting didn't make the news at all here in the states. Certainly not here in Denver (even after I wrote to each of the stations suggesting it would be a good story to cover.)

As for smileys.. we might have to draw a few new ones...

paulie jay
2005-Dec-19, 07:04 AM
Glad to see that at least a semblance of sanity has returned.. not that I think Ozzians are all that sane.. I mean, come on Aussie Rules Football? What sane hunan would play such a game?

(don't take me wrong, I'm just teasing. I LOVE Aussie rules football. As a spectator. And, if I had to emmigrate from the US, I'd first try to move to OZ. If they'd have me)
It's often been said that they called it "Aussie Rules" because no-one knew how to spell "Rafferty's" :)

LurchGS
2005-Dec-19, 07:39 AM
ok, I'll bite. How DO you spell "Rafferty's"? :D

EvilBob
2005-Dec-19, 08:23 AM
Errr... Rafferty's Rules (http://www.freesearch.co.uk/dictionary/rafferty%27s) is Aussie slang meaning "There are no rules"... Another dismissive name for Aussie Rules is 'Aerial Ping-pong'. My Grandfather always used to call it that. What kind of football is is where you can use your hands? And get a point for missing the goal?

Argos
2005-Dec-19, 12:40 PM
One of the articles I cited mentioned that.

The idea of right and wrong certainly are cultural and certainly are reflected in a law which says if your mad at your wife for selected reasons that's an excuse to attack her...

A little hijacking is necessary for the sake of truth. There´s never been such a law. The 'legitimate defense of the honor' custom, used to be linked to poverty and/or rural life, and old tribunals used to accept that argument. The last "crime of honor' occurrred in 1977 and the aggressor (a famous Brazilian playboy, Raul Street, of English descent - an exception) was ultimately convicted to 15 years. In the old Brazilian Civil Code, certain provisions recognized the male as the 'head of the couple' (but that code was dropped - there´s a new one). But that never happened to the Penal Law.

jkmccrann
2005-Dec-19, 01:18 PM
A little hijacking is necessary for the sake of truth. There´s never been such a law. The 'legitimate defense of the honor' custom, used to be linked to poverty and/or rural life, and old tribunals used to accept that argument. The last "crime of honor' occurrred in 1977 and the aggressor (a famous Brazilian playboy, Raul Street, of English descent - an exception) was ultimately convicted to 15 years. In the old Brazilian Civil Code, certain provisions recognized the male as the 'head of the couple' (but that code was dropped - there´s a new one). But that never happened to the Penal Law.

Well, no matter what the law says, or said, many males like to think they're the `head of the couple,' but common sense would often dictate otherwise.....

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Dec-19, 03:36 PM
Well, no matter what the law says, or said, many males like to think they're the `head of the couple,' but common sense would often dictate otherwise.....
Yeah ...

A Man, Should Always, Have The Last Word, In an Argument ...

And, That Word Is, "YES, Dear!"

:lol:

Monique
2005-Dec-19, 04:35 PM
Yeah ...

A Man, Should Always, Have The Last Word, In an Argument ...

And, That Word Is, "YES, Dear!"

:lol:
Is always so!! :razz:

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Dec-19, 07:59 PM
Is always so!! :razz:
Oh ...

My Fiancée, WILL Kill me, but ...

Yes, Dear!

:dance:

Doodler
2005-Dec-19, 08:21 PM
Is always so!! :razz:

Anything you say, dear. ;)

ToSeek
2005-Dec-19, 09:23 PM
Anything you say, dear. ;)

Just so long as she hasn't said, "Does this outfit make me look fat?"

Monique
2005-Dec-19, 10:29 PM
Just so long as she hasn't said, "Does this outfit make me look fat?"
You must use common sense!! :neutral:

:p

Doodler
2005-Dec-19, 10:45 PM
Just so long as she hasn't said, "Does this outfit make me look fat?"

Nah, I'm blunt with that one.

I respond with: "Can you breath? Can you sit? Can you walk without grabbing your crotch? If you answered yes to any two of these questions, you're good to go."

Needless to say, I tend not to get bothered with that question again, so one scowl and 20 minutes of cold shoulder are more than worth the indignity. :D

LurchGS
2005-Dec-20, 01:15 AM
Errr... Rafferty's Rules (http://www.freesearch.co.uk/dictionary/rafferty%27s) is Aussie slang meaning "There are no rules"... Another dismissive name for Aussie Rules is 'Aerial Ping-pong'. My Grandfather always used to call it that. What kind of football is is where you can use your hands? And get a point for missing the goal?


aaaah, I learned something today. cool!

LurchGS
2005-Dec-20, 01:18 AM
Yeah ...

A Man, Should Always, Have The Last Word, In an Argument ...

And, That Word Is, "YES, Dear!"

:lol:


tsk - in an argument, the person who is right should 'win'.
In a *fight*, the best answer is 'Yes Dear' (I do that to my wife all the time, though, just to annoy her. The fun we have with our spouses!)

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Dec-20, 12:32 PM
tsk - in an argument, the person who is right should 'win'.
In a *fight*, the best answer is 'Yes Dear' (I do that to my wife all the time, though, just to annoy her. The fun we have with our spouses!)
As Dr. Phil, Would Say:

Do you Wanna, Be Riight ...

Or, Do you Wanna, Be MARRIED!!!

:think:

Monique
2005-Dec-20, 04:31 PM
As Dr. Phil, Would Say:

Do you Wanna, Be Riight ...

Or, Do you Wanna, Be MARRIED!!!

:think:
I do not want either, I want love!! :)

LurchGS
2005-Dec-27, 02:46 AM
Dr Phill is a dork.

actually, it's not a matter of being right, but of reaching the right conclusion. Sometimes my wife is right (usually), sometimes I am...but in the end, we hash it out and move in the right direction

Of course, in a *fight*, neither partner is right.

montebianco
2005-Dec-27, 03:39 AM
For what it is worth, I spent about a week and a half, beginning Dec 13, living in a hotel with a view out my window of the first beach north of the Sydney Harbour inlet from the ocean. The only way I was able to tell any riots, heavy police presence, or any other such things were taking place, was to turn on the television news...