'Merry Christmas' equal to murder?
Mosque tells members greeting amounts to congratulating killer
A Canadian mosque has warned followers that wishing someone a Merry Christmas is like congratulating a murderer, reports the Toronto Star. The e-mailed alert went out on the Khalid Bin Al-Walid mosque's Internet message service on Christmas day, stating that congratulating non-Muslims on their festivals "is like congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone or having illicit sexual relations and so on." It instructs its readers to stop greeting colleagues on Christmas with "Merry Christmas" and to avoid Christmas parties.
"If they greet us on the occasion of their festivals, we should not respond, because these are not our festivals and because they are not festivals which are acceptable to Allah," the message states, according to the Star. "Whoever wishes someone a 'Merry Christmas' exposes himself to the wrath and anger of Allah," the notice continues.
Mosque director Abukar Sheikh Hussein told the Star the e-mail had been sent out by a junior employee without his approval. This is not our position," agreed Said Omar, one of the mosque's board members who was called in to speak with a Star reporter. "We didn't give permission to the person who sent this e-mail. We love the prophet Issa (Jesus Christ) more than anyone else because he is one of the prophets of Allah."
However, two regular worshippers at the mosque who were also brought in to speak to the reporter, agreed with the message. "For myself, it's a sin exactly," said Salah Suad, an immigrant from Iraq. "Wishing someone a merry Christmas goes against what the prophet Muhammad advised: 'Do not share any celebration with non-Muslims, for if you share with them, on the Day of Judgment you'll be with them too.'" Fellow worshipper Alfaaz Karamat added: "This is no one else's concern. This is our belief and we have the right to practice in that way."
Members of the Muslim Canadian Congress, a group formed six months ago to promote a liberal and pluralistic Islam in Canada, denounced the message as shameful hate-mongering. "These are the kind of bigots we don't need in our religion and we don't need in Canada," Syed Sohail Raza told the Star. Raza is a founding member of the group who fled Pakistan for Canada in 1989 to escape religious persecution.
"Although Canada is a democratic society, there is no room for hate-mongering and inciting people against other faiths. If I can't wish you a 'Merry Christmas' on your most holy day, what kind of relationship am I going to form with co-workers and neighbors and with school children? This is the kind of thing that has to stop," he said. Another founding member, Tarek Fatah, said the e-mailed message contradicted the spirit of pluralism espoused in the Quran. "The Quran very specifically states - chapter 109, line 6 - 'To you, your religion, to me mine,'" he said. "This is the hijacking of my religion," he added.
Marriage is good for you
Or maybe it is better-functioning people who marry
Marriage may be out of fashion but it still confers considerable benefits to adults and children, according to a comprehensive study on the state of the family. The Office for National Statistics has published definitive proof that married couples live longer, enjoy better health and can rely on more home care in old age than their divorced, widowed, single and cohabiting peers. Children who live with their married parents are also healthier, and can expect to stay in full-time education for longer, whatever their economic background.
It has always been thought that marriage had a positive effect on health, but the findings are the most solid evidence yet that, despite rapidly changing social attitudes and an end to the stigma of divorce and lone-parenting, marriage is still good for you. It will add fuel to an already heated political debate on the family. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has promised tax cuts for married couples, and to change the tax credit system so that couples with children receive as much as single parents. Labour has said that the money should be directed to the poorest families regardless of whether they are married, divorced or headed by single parents.
The ONS study, Focus on Families, suggests that married couples will be outnumbered by cohabiting couples and single-parent households within a generation if present trends continue. It found that the number of cohabiting couples had risen by 65 per cent in the past ten years to 2.3 million, while single-parent families increased by 8 per cent to 2.6 million. Over the same period, the number of married couples fell by 4 per cent to 12.1 million.
When the data on family structure was merged with health statistics, it emerged that widowed men and single mothers had the worst health, suffering more acute and chronic conditions. Married people of both sexes enjoyed the best health.
Mortality rates are also greatly affected by marital status. The mortality rate among single men under 34 is about 2r times higher than that for young married men. Widowed and divorced men over 80 have a mortality rate one third higher than married men. Single, widowed and divorced older women all have higher mortality rates than their married peers.
Children who have married parents, no matter their social background, are more likely to be in full-time education at 17 than any other group. Children's risk of long-term illness was highest in the care system, and in single-parent households. It was lowest in married-couple households.
The benefits of marriage are also marked when it comes to care in illness and old age. Across all age groups, the provision of unpaid care by married adults for sick or elderly relatives and disabled children was higher than for cohabiting couples.
Experts said that that had profound implications for government plans, since the present system relied on unpaid relatives providing most care. Mike Murphy, Professor of Demography at the London School of Economics and one of the authors of the report, said he had expected that society's greater acceptance of divorce and single-parenthood would have eroded the benefits of marriage, on health in particular, but this did not appear to be so. "The evidence of both mortality and morbidity data suggest the link between health and the family remain strong," Professor Murphy said. "Some of the benefits of marriage can be explained by wealth, as the marriage rate is higher in higher socio-economic groups. But all the evidence shows that there is something in marriage itself that is a benefit."
Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory leader who heads the party's Commission for Social Justice, said that the ONS study confirmed his findings. "In the two reports we have published we have noted that marriage confers enormous benefits on adults and children. There is a higher rate of break-up among cohabiting couples with young children compared to their married equivalents, and higher rates of crime, drug abuse and debt are strongly lined to family breakdown," he said. "The decline of marriage is a difficult social trend to reverse. It would be too simplistic to argue that a tax break will reverse this trend and we have made 29 recommendations on the subject, including more education on how to sustain relationships."
Most of the data used by the ONS predates the introduction of civil partnerships in 2005. In any case, the effects of civil partnerships on health have yet to filter through.
Australian policy on troublesome African immigrants defended
Both the conservative government and the Leftist Opposition are defending the big cut in the number of African refugees accepted. No glass jaw over "racism" allegations in evidence in Australia
Colleagues have leapt to the defence of embattled Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews, while Labor admitted to agreeing with the new policy on Sudanese refugees. Mr Andrews' decision to cut the number of Sudanese refugees coming to Australia was not racially based, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile says. Mr Andrews has been accused of racism while defending the government's decision last week to cut the quota of Sudanese refugees.
Meanwhile, Labor has admitted to agreeing numbers of African refugees should be cut, but also denies its policy is race-based. Mr Andrews said the decision had been made due to concerns that they were failing to integrate and were becoming involved in crime.
Mr Vaile said the government's intake of migrants was greater than any other Australian government and it had a choice of who to accept. "This decision is absolutely not racially based," Mr Vaile told the Nine Network today. "Every government in Australia's history has always had the opportunity to adjust the mix if you like in the immigration policies of the day to benefit the nation and to benefit the migrants coming in and particularly refugees," Mr Vaile said.
He said he respected the view of Victoria' federal member for Mallee John Forrest that there should be more Sudanese refugees accepted into Australia. "He comes from an electorate where historically they've always been stretched in terms of getting a solid unskilled workforce if you like to work in their industries in the Sunraysia," [Fruit picking] Mr Vaile said. However, Mr Andrews' decision took in the interests of the broader community, he said, despite Labor's insistence the decision was born of incompetence.
Mr Andrews drew accusations of racism earlier this week when he declared Australia had reduced its African refugee intake because some, particularly Sudanese people, were failing to integrate and were becoming more involved in crime. His statements were totally at odds with his reasons in August for reducing the African intake - namely that Australia needed to accept more refugees from countries like Burma and Iraq and it had already filled its African quota to July 2008.
Labor agreed with the government's decision to cut back the African intake, but immigration spokesman Tony Burke today said he was mystified as to why Mr Andrews' had used this "new rhetoric". "I don't understand it," Mr Burke told ABC television. "I've got to say I think with Kevin Andrews you can't look past the possibility of incompetence. "I don't think you can discount incompetence in him misrepresenting the reasons that have been given." Asked if he thought the government was playing racist politics, Mr Burke said: "I hope not with something like this, I genuinely hope not. "I hope they're not dealing with it in that way." Mr Burke said police Not police in general. Just one very ideological police chief], who have disputed Mr Andrews' assertion that Sudanese people are over-represented in crime statistics, were a "more reputable source". "(Mr Andrews) has provided anecdotal evidence but he hasn't been willing to put publicly or provide directly to the opposition all of that information, he's just put out snippets of information," Mr Burke said.
What Australia's "noble savages" are really like right now -- after years of politically-correct "respect"
An excerpt from a recent speech by Mal Brough,Federal minister for Indigenous Affairs
Recently I was in South Yarra with about 200 people for breakfast, and I gave them a warning before I spoke that I would be honest with them, I'd be frank with them and, as such, some of them may find that a little difficult to take their breakfast, because there is nothing palatable whatsoever about what you see and hear in indigenous communities. And unless the rest of Australia actually understands that, the depth of despair that people are in, and the lack of culture that is resulting as a direct result of that despair, then we are going to lose not only another generation, we are in fact going to lose the last remnants in many places of what was a very rich culture.
The focus has been on the Northern Territory, and there are those who like to think this is just a problem of remote Australia, but last week I was not in the Northern Territory, I was in Western Australia. And I'm here to tell you the circumstances in Western Australia, not just the East Kimberleys, not just the Pilbara, but also the Central Desert and also in the suburbs of Perth, are worse than many of the circumstances in the Northern Territory.
And those who have not read the report, Little Children are Sacred, its two authors visited 45 communities in the Northern Territory. They didn't find sexual abuse in some of those communities, they didn't find it in most of those communities, they found it in every single community; 45 out of 45. Think about that, the enormity of that for a moment. People coming forward with the most horrendous stories. We have children as young as three with gonorrhoea, we have twenty-four year old grandmothers, we have so many babies being born with alcohol foetal syndrome that their - a capacity to pass on the oral history of their people is gone before they're even born. We have physical and sexual abuse of boys and girls and men and women. It knows no boundaries. That is the reality in the Territory and it also in South Australia, it is also in Western Australia, it is in New South Wales and Queensland to differing degrees.
The reason that the Federal Government has acted in the Northern Territory is simply because we have the capacity and the power to do so. Let me answer right up front the allegation that is thrown at me and thrown at the Prime Minister as to why didn't you do this for the last 11 years? Well, this time last week I was in South Australia before 700 indigenous childcare workers. And the first question that was thrown at me was by a white woman who said you have stood before us today and said that most of these interventions have come from direct requests from indigenous people to you, and that's true. And I'll articulate some of those as we go through.
She said, but tell me who told you to breach the Racial Discrimination Act, the Human Rights Act, and the Land Rights Act? I said, well, funny thing that, no-one, because no-one talks about it in those sort of terms when the children haven't been fed or they've been bashed the night before, or the situation they're living in is just horrendous. They actually talk about surviving. They talk about not being stabbed. They talk about some form of normality around their circumstances. And the crowd actually all applauded her for asking that question, long and loud, because I have breached the Racial Discrimination Act in a positive sense.
So the last question that was put to me on that morning was first of all the lady said I'm from Darwin. She said the first thing I want to say is thank you for what you've done. Then she went on to say that why didn't your government do this some time in the last 11 eleven years. And there was the same raucous applause, and I thought isn't it interesting the same audience can have two totally different perspectives. One, why did you breach the Racial Discrimination Act, and point up that that's wrong, and then 15 minutes later applaud when challenged for why I didn't breach it 10 years ago.
Now, that is what we get every single day. People dress up, and I think the comments by Noel Pearson that were quoted at the outset say it all: they dress up self-determination, they dress up land rights, they dress up all sorts of nuances of arguments that really in their heart are saying that the right of a child to be born and to be safe and to have an education and to have an opportunity in this country is somehow below that of these other niceties that don't even reflect anything of what occurs in their life.
Do you know how many times that I've had raised with me the issues of the stolen generation? Once in the Northern Territory in Darwin by a woman who wanted to be connected to family. The other time was at ANU by people who are not part of the stolen generation.
Treaties: never is it raised to me by Aboriginal people in the communities, it's raised by white people in universities. They don't seem to understand the disconnect between where people are today and where they want to be and the fog that they're living in. Most of you probably don't realise that there is a thing called kava. Kava is used in the South Pacific for ceremonies, and it is coma inducing. That's what it does. People sip it. But no, in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory it's been legal for years. Why? Because it stops people having violent outbursts. Instead, they're just comatosed under trees, they don't feed their children. Their children don't go to school and white fellas thought that was a better outcome because there were less people going to hospital.
When I discussed that with Galarrwuy Yunupingu, who was one of the champions of land rights, who is one of the most powerful lawmen in the Northern Territory, and I said, well, I understand why they did it, is to protect people from the violence of alcohol, and he said that's rubbish. I said, how do you mean? He said the reality is that the women are so comatose they get raped, but the difference is they don't actually fight back. He said this is another insidious drug that white man has inflicted upon us that needs to go. Alcohol needs to go, marijuana or ganja, as it's known, needs to go. Kava needs to go.
Let me take you to Kalumburu. Kalumburu is up in the East Kimberleys. It is a town of about 300. There are only 90 males in Kalumburu. It's isolated by the wet for a good part of every year. The wet will set in some time this month. Of those 90 men, in the last two months 15 have been charged with child sex offences. Fifteen out of 90 men. These are the charge sheets. Not one page, not two pages, not three pages, four pages. They're all an offence against a child, predominantly penetrating a girl or a boy under the age of 13. Who were these 15 men? They were the mayor, the deputy mayor, two other councillors, the police liaison officer, a truancy officer, two wardens. What does that tell you? These are people of authority. These are the people that white fellas like me and bureaucrats turn up to, who go to consult with about answers to their communities, who we give money and more empowerment to and we walk away saying, haven't we done a good thing.
I was one of them. I went there 18 months ago and I thought that this place had a smell of decay about it. It worried me. But you talk to the leaders. One of those leaders, who was the police liaison officer, was a man who I had great faith in. He was a man that the local police sergeant had great faith in and thought he would be an indigenous sworn police officer soon. He and his wife were doing good things. They asked for money from me to assist them to take young boys out of the community who had been truant or had come with brushes to the law to take them back onto the homelands to teach them cultural ways. We provided that money to him.
He has been procuring children as young as five and six. He sat before the police sergeant who he had worked with - and you need to hear this - and said to him, and by the way, there are no paedophile rings in these places they tell me. But you tell me what this is. He said, a friend of mine told me how to procure children. He said, what you do is you say to a six year old, a seven year old, a 12 year old, here, here's some cigarettes, here is some ganja, come with me. And they came with me, he said, and it worked. I tried it and it worked, so I did it. The depths of depravity, if you wish to look at them, are in these charge sheets. That's bad enough.
This week, or last week, I went back. Last week I went back because Magistrate, Dr Sue Gordon, who's heading up our work in the NT and is dealing with all the women's groups, she is a children's magistrate in Western Australia. She said to me, the problem with Kalumburu is that so many adults have just left their children behind. The adults have gone and left their children behind, just blown through. She said we can't actually find the parents to deal with these issues. This community needs some of your support. They need to know that you care, they need to know that even though we've got these criminals out of there, that we can do more.
So Professor Judy Atkinson, we organised for her to do some healing work up there over the next few years. I organised for the AFL, Australian Football League, to go up and to actually do work with the kids. But on Monday of last week, the one child protection officer discovered that the six and seven year olds in the community were running amok in a really unreasonable fashion. And it came to light on Monday of last week that eight six and seven year olds had been sexually penetrated by 11 to 15 year olds. They've been charged this week. What does that tell you about the society in that town, is that not only has it been passed from one generation to another, but it's been seen to be so normal that it is happening between children. Not just when they're becoming adults, but child to child.
This isn't a culture. This is not part of indigenous culture. This is not part of any sane culture. This is a culture that is being destroyed. And the people that stood outside there today were not prepared to come in here and hear this, because they're confronted by it. We should all be confronted by it.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.