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The Author Erik’s family emigrated from Britain to the island State of Tasmania then lived in the woods. The family home schooled, helping to pioneer the home education movement in Australia. The Blog …explores ways to create a sustainable and just community. Explores how that community can be best protected at all levels including social policy/economics/ military. The Book Erik’s autobiography is a humorous read about serious things. It concerns living in the bush, wilderness, home education, spirituality, and activism. Finding Home is available from Amazon, Barnes&Noble and all good e-book sellers.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Ten years from Cronulla - Islam, Australia and the West


 

Muslim Kurdish women fighting ISIL terrorists who are backed by the USA and Turkey
 

Facts. Oh those rare shining things that appear like gold among the slush and slime of prejudice, ideology and ignorance that passes for public discourse these days. But on this almost tenth anniversary of the Cronulla riots it’s time to reflect on Islam’s relationship with Australia and the West. I am not going to state a position because there is no point. The Australian public has only the vaguest notion of comparative religion and almost no instruction in history or civics so rational discussion is almost impossible if not actually illegal.

 

But being an optimist and to help things along I have comprised a table which lists the world’s major religions and philosophies against a list of indicators ranging from terrorism to gay rights. Oh, and I include Neo Nazis because people who question the dogma about multiculturalism tend to get called that.

 

I have also stated some very basic FACTS about some very basic things including the following definitions. I hope this will encourage some actual thinking which might then help folk say something sensible in public life.

 

Here goes….

 

A Muslim believes that God (Allah) is one. That Mohammed is his prophet and that the sayings of the prophet as recorded in the Koran are divinely inspired. A Muslim seeks to emulate the prophet in life and faith, does ritual prayer from three to five times daily, practices hospitality and charitable giving, and hopes one day to visit Mecca.  A Muslim hopes to win paradise by obedience and good works but can only be guaranteed of heaven by dying in a holy war.

 

A Neo Nazi believes in the natural supremacy of the Aryan race (whatever that is), and wishes Western Europe to be ethnically and culturally homogeneous.  Neo Nazis are anti semitic and blame Jews for many of Europe’s problems due allegedly to Jewish involvement in international banking. They have a generalised hostility to persons of colour. To the extent that they have a religion it is most likely pre-Christian Nordic paganism. Some groups identify with Hitler.

 

A Protestant believes that God is a triune being conceived of as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A Protestant believes that God the Son was incarnated as Jesus born to Mary at Christmas, was crucified by divine intent to pay the penalty for everyone’s sin (karma if that offends you), and rose from the dead. On the strength of Jesus’ teaching and resurrection Protestants look forward to eternal life and forgiveness appropriated through faith and repentance.

 

A Roman Catholic believes the above but also believes that the Pope is the sole representative of God on earth and is infallible in matters of faith and doctrine. A Catholic believes that forgiveness is administered by the hierarchy of the Church. Traditionally it was believed that only the Church can grant a person’s soul access to heaven though this has been moderated since Vatican II. All Christians believe the Bible to be divinely inspired but none of them agree wholly what it means.

 

A Jew believes that God (Jehovah) revealed himself to the prophets and revealed the divine law to Moses. Jews believe that they are chosen by Jehovah as a special and separate people and express this by (among other things) Sabbath keeping and circumcision. Judaism has diverse views on life after death but focuses on ‘right’ by observing the Torah. Jews do not generally seek to make converts and Judaism is largely racially based.

 

A Hindu believes in any one of around one million deities based on the Hindu scriptures and culture but there are a handful of key gods like Shiva which represent aspects of spiritual reality. A Hindu believes in reincarnation and that life’s circumstances are determined by karma which is penalty or reward for things done in past lives. This has evolved into a social caste system in which social justice is seen as contrary to the right order of things.

 

A Buddhist believes that Buddha achieved enlightenment through the realisation that the world and suffering are merely illusion. A Buddhist seeks to connect to the true reality by transcending personal identity and desire through meditation. Buddhists also believe in karma and reincarnation but seek a better reincarnation by accumulating merit through compassion and charitable works.

 

An Atheist believes that only the observable material world exists and that any belief in divinity, a soul, an afterlife or any form of spirituality is delusional. Atheists tend to have a generalised hostility towards religion which they see as primitive and backward.

 

A Secular Humanist is unconvinced about divinity but sees it as a private matter having no place in public life. Humanists prefer to focus on rationality as the way to solve real world problems and emphasise human achievement over (alleged) divine intervention. Humanists cease being tolerant when religion intersects with their values such as freedom of sexual expression.

 

Fact: as a matter of simple rationality all the above cannot be true because these beliefs contradict. It follows that most of humanity is wrong about most of its core beliefs most of the time.
 

This suggests that a certain amount of humility is called for and we should look carefully for facts wherever possible. The following table might assist:

 



 
Islam
Neo Nazis
Protestant
Catholic
Judaism
Contains large factions which use violence to force conversion or impose dominance aka terrorism/extremism
Y
Y
Not since the seventeenth century
Only in Palestine
 
Involved in violent internal struggle between opposing factions
Y
N
Not since the seventeenth century
Not since the first century
 
Rejects pluralism and represses alternate beliefs
Y
Y 
Mixed record
Maintains internal conformity
 
Associated with genocide (see notes below)
Y
N
N
Y
N
Associated with violence towards other religions and places of worship
Y
Y
Not since the 17th century
Not since the 17th century
Only in Palestine
 
Sees women as inferior and/or subordinate
Y
 Y
Mixed record
Y
 
Rejects freedom of sexual expression
Y
Y 
Y
Y
Y
 
Rejects homosexual activity
Y 
Y
Conflicted
Y
Y
 
Believes in the sanctity of life before birth
Y
Only if white!
Y
Y
Y
 
Sanctions or involved in slavery and sex trafficking (See notes below)
Y
N
See notes below
N

 

 
Hindu
Buddhist
Atheist
Humanist
Contains large factions which use violence to force conversion or impose dominance aka terrorism/extremism
N
N
Yes in the case of communist insurgency
N
 
Involved in violent internal struggle between opposing factions
N
N
N
N
 
Rejects pluralism and represses alternate beliefs
N
N
Yes in the case of communism
Yes in the case of GLBT activism
 
Associated with genocide (see notes below)
N
N
Yes in the case of communism
N
Associated with violence towards other religions and places of worship
Yes in the case of the recent Hindu nationalist movement
N
Yes in the case of communism
N
 
Sees women as inferior and/or subordinate
Inferiority based on caste
N
N
N
 
Rejects freedom of sexual expression
N
N
N
N
 
Rejects homosexual activity
N
N
N
N
 
Believes in the sanctity of life before birth
Y
Y
N
N

 

Notes on Genocide: Muslim Turks massacred one million Arminian Christians circa 1910. Javanese security (Muslim) forces massacred a quarter of a million Christian Timorese circa 1975.

Janjaweed militia (Muslim) ongoing genocide of Christians in North Sudan

ISIS/ISIL (Muslim) genocide of Christians and minority Muslim sects in all captured territories ongoing


The Spanish Catholic conquest of South America 500 years ago amounts to genocide but no involvement in anything comparable since that time.


The forced starvation of mass millions of peasants by Communist officials in Russia, China, Cambodia and Vietnam amounts to genocide and is still in living memory.


Zionist Jews (with support from some Protestant groups) are exterminating the Palestinians as a national and ethnic grouping and dispossessing them, but this is not genocide per se.


Christians have not massacred Muslims since the middle ages. Western armies have and continue to wreak havoc in the Middle East but these are national armies and are not religiously motivated.


Notes on slavery: in the nineteenth century both white and black slavery was a major economic activity for Britain and America. Christian activists put an end to slavery in Britain through civic action. The Americans had a civil war. Slavery and sex trafficking continues with semi official endorsement in Turkey and Pakistan. It is a standard activity for ISIS/ISIL and other Muslim militias in Africa, predominantly of Yazadis or Christians. It is also endemic in the culturally Buddhist countries of Thailand and Myanmar though this is not supported by Buddhist leaders.


OK those are the basic comparisons to consider when looking at whose values and track record are most compatible with a pluralist democratic society. Humanists and Buddhist come out rather well, other less so. Christianity’s major conflicts were resolved by the end of the 1700’s. The track record is markedly different to Islam’s. Some other basic facts that you will likely not hear acknowledged on the ABC or SBS are:


FACT: wife beating, honour killings, female circumcision, burning churches, and killing people who convert from Islam is considered socially acceptable or obligatory in parts of Palestine and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Pakistan, Islamic State of the Levant, and large parts of North Africa.


FACT: the majority of victims of Islamic terrorism are fellow Muslims


FACT: the majority of people fighting Islamic terrorism are Muslims


FACT: the majority of terrorists in the world are Muslims


FACT: the major sponsors of Islamic terrorism are Saudi Arabia and the USA


FACT: Saudi Arabia is a vicious seventh century Islamic state that enjoys complete protection by the USA.


FACT: the ideology behind Islamic ‘extremism’ is a very literal interpretation of the Koran and Hadiths that seeks to return Islam to its ‘pure’ seventh century form. This ideology is sponsored by the Royal House of Saud and the Saudi clerics.


FACT: although loathed by many Muslims this ideology is making massive roads into Islam assisted by Saudi oil money which is sponsoring the construction of up to 400 Mosques in the UK and Germany (historically key Christian countries).


FACT: the Saudi’s sponsor terrorism for ideological reasons, the Americans for geopolitical reasons (get rid of Assad, get rid of Gadhafi, bleed the communists in Afghanistan, punish Serbia, break up the Russian federation etc).


FACT: the causes of violent death in the USA post 9/11 have been in order of greatest number to smallest:

  • Abortion
  • Domestic/neighbourhood violence
  •  Police violence 
  • White extremist groups
  • Islamic terrorism

(I have not included suicide which is very high among Gulf War veterans and far exceeds any form of terrorism).


….and if you want to find out more about what actually happened at Cronulla ten years ago buy my book.


Now go form your own views. May the force be with you....