Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Is Australia Racist?
The question above by SBS (an Australian public broadcaster) is absurdly broad. Of course there are some racists in Australia but who are they and how many of them are there? And what do they do? Do they attack minorities or do they just abuse them? And is it only some groups that get abused? But the story below is just a media stunt so none of those questions are posed let alone answered.
There is however no doubt about the group from whom most racism in Australia emanates: The political Left. They are obsessed with race. See their complaints about "white privilege" and their support for "affirmative action" of various sorts. Both those obsessions single out people for discriminatory treatment solely because of their race. Some people call that positive discrimination but there is no such thing. If you give something to one group, you take it away from another group.
There does appear to have been some attempt at science below -- in that a survey of 6,000 people is referred to -- but were those people a representative sample of any definable population? The research desciption is here and it shows that the research is the sort of lazy rubbish that is all too common these days. It is an online survey. In other words, it got answers from computer-savvy people only and even then it heard only from those who were interested in the topic and could be bothered to answer the questions.
And there have been various occasions when such surveys gave very different answers to more labour-intensive surveys. How representative the survey was is therefore unknown. Its figures cannot be relied on.
And they did not in fact sample racist incidents. All they did was ask what people thought. And ever since the work of La Piere in the 1930's we have known that what people think may not be expressed in action at all.
The survey does however draw one conclusion which rings true: Most of the antipathy was towards Muslims and African blacks. There was no data given on (say) attitudes to our large Chinese minority. Since the Chinese don't wage jihad towards up or break into our homes, I am guessing that there was very little antipathy to the Chinese. In short, people have got good reasons to disapprove of the hostile behaviour that emerges from the African and Muslim populations. If people would like to see all Muslims and Africans begone, that is a perfectly rational fear for their own safety.
The basic premise underlying the story below is that we should not illtreat individuals because they come from a problem population. But we do not. A few exceptional white Australians may say critical things towards various minority members but official policy is not to discrimiate at all against members of any minority. But minority members are unreasonable if they expect people to ignore the bad behaviour of the group to which they belong. People are right to be wary of them. In the absence of a mind-reading machine, there is no way to know whether they are one of the hostiles or not.
And because there is no way of knowing that, the only way to protect ourselves from the outrages emanating from these groups is to deport the lot of them, which is Pauline Hanson's policy. There seems little likelihood that it will soon become official policy, though. Australians generally seem to be willing to tolerate attacks on themselves in order to avoid unfair treatment of innocent minority group members. The rise of Mr. Trump may however suggest that the patience concerned is wearing thin.
One notes that there is no mention below of the appalling behavior emanating from the two minority groups concerned: No mention of what may lie behind suspicion of the group-members concerned. One is apparently supposed to assume that Muslims and Africans are disliked purely because of the evil racist nature of mainstream Australians. Such an assumption is itself grossly offensive -- particlarly considering the large number of genuine refugees that Australia has taken in from all over the world
"Where's your f---ing face? What are you hiding from? F---ing Allah?"
These questions were among the abuse caught on shocking hidden-camera footage of a random hate-filled attack on a young Muslim woman by herself in a shopping centre.
A 50-something white male is seen launching into an angry tirade of abuse against the woman, in a prime example of the extent of the bigotry and hate endured by the Muslim community on a daily basis.
Research has found that a staggering 77 per cent of Muslim women in Australia have experienced racism on public transport or in the street.
The hidden-camera footage is one of many incidents featured in Is Australia Racist?, which aired Sunday night and is an hour-long documentary exposing the random, everyday bigotry and racism endured by ethnic groups across the nation.
The documentary kicks off SBS's Face Up To Racism week, which features a series of special programming putting the spotlight on prejudice in Australia today.
The woman in this incident is targeted because she's wearing a niqab – a veil which covers the head and face but not the eyes – in an attack triggered only by the fact she had the misfortune to happen to cross paths with the abusive man.
Unbeknown to her abuser, however, she's a volunteer for the documentary, which follows a number of people of different ethnicities with hidden cameras to reveal the ugly truth of racism on the streets.
It's the experience of the Muslim woman, Afghan refugee Rahila Haidary, that is the most shocking example in the program and a blunt insight into the vitriolic levels of Islamophobia in current society.
The man is seen approaching Haidary, telling her, "You're in my face like that", before launching into an intimidating attack.
"You're in our country because we helped save you from where you came from, from where you've been persecuted and you wear things like that," he shouts.
She responds by asking what should she do, to which he says she should dress like other Australians and become part of the culture.
She asks how Australians dress, to which the man explodes with rage at his lone, diminutive female target.
"They dress with a f---ing face," he says, gesticulating angrily. "Where's your f---ing face? What are you hiding from? F---ing Allah?"
It's a confronting scene as the man, who is much taller than Haidary, continues his verbal abuse.
"Your f---ing Muhammad? You know he's a paedophile," he tells her.
It's at this point that two women passers-by stop and realise what's happening and start to move in to intervene. The man storms off, adding "f--- off"as he goes.
The whole incident is little more than 40 seconds but its impact highlights the damage that can be done in just a matter of moments.
Haidary, who doesn't usually wear a niqab, is visibly shaken by the experience.
"It's shocking to see that sort of hate," she says. "I can't imagine how those women who dress up like that would get along every day."
It is clear the man did not know he was being filmed. Legally, it's permitted to film people without their permission provided it's in a public space where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy.
An SBS spokesman said: "All filming featured in Is Australia Racist? was captured in public spaces and all relevant filming laws have been adhered to, along with SBS's own Codes of Practice, in the making of the documentary.
"The program shines a light on racism and prejudice in Australia today through a series of social experiments capturing racism and the reactions of people witnessing it, through the eyes of those who experience it."
Out of all the poisonous threads of racism featured in the program, Islamophobia appears to be top of the list in current times. The program notes that in 1998, 3 per cent of the population had negative views towards Muslims, now that proportion is 32 per cent.
Worse, as seen in the on-screen incident, the bullying targets women, with 77 per cent of Muslim women in Australia experiencing bigotry in a public place.
Of the 6000 people questioned, it found that one in five people have experienced racism in the past 12 months, with 35 per cent of those surveyed saying they had experienced racism on public transport or on the street.
There are glimmers of hope, however. On many occasions, the hidden footage shows bystanders instinctively intervening when volunteers are targeted in hate attacks.
There's also evidence that the younger generation have much greater support for cultural diversity.
"There are things to be done," says Martin at the show's conclusion. "But it's not all gloomy."
Australians aren’t as Islamophobic as we’re led to believe, says Muslim researcher
It depends what you mean by "Islamophobia". The report by Riaz Hussein below is a reasonable bit of orthodox survey work. He even claims to have used a random sample, though he does not say how it was gathered. At any event, this is the most credible work on the question so far.
His innovation over earlier work is to use five different questions describing five different situations in which a Muslim may be encountered and asking how respondents felt about each one. He combimned the answers into what psychometricians call a "Likert" scale and found that, overall, Australians were not very wary of Muslims. They were wary in some situations but not in most.
There are some things I could quibble about in the work (I would have liked to see more Bogardus-type questions included, for instance) but, overall, it is an orthodox psychological approach and certainly shows that few Australians are really bitter and twisted about Islam. They can be bothered but are not easily bothered. There is certainly no basis for claiming that Australians generally have a "phobia" (irrational anxiety) about Muslims. So Prof. Hussein's work is certainly an authoritative rebuff to the SBS circus.
The big omission of the survey is that questions concerning immigration were not asked. So previous findings that show high levels of opposition to Muslim immigration remain standing. Combining that information with Prof. Hussein's study leaves us, then, with the summary that few Australians are "Islamophobic" but around half of Australians would nonetheless like to see Muslims begone. Muslims really have blotted their copybooks in Australia. They are their own worst enemies
Over the last few months, several reports have indicated a significant number of Australians hold anti-Muslim attitudes. In September 2016, The Australian newspaper reported an Essential poll showing 49% of people surveyed were in favour of a ban against Muslims entering Australia – compared to 40% opposed.
More recently, another Essential poll found 41% of those surveyed supported a Donald-Trump-style ban on people from Muslim countries entering Australia. Another 46% opposed a ban and 14% didn’t know.
Meanwhile, a Newspoll found 44% of respondents believed Australia should take similar measures to Trump’s executive order while 45% opposed doing so. Add this to the increasing support for the anti-Muslim One Nation and it’s no wonder some Muslims may feel unwelcome in Australia.
Anti-Muslim and anti-Islam attitudes displayed in these surveys are largely the result of increasing migration from Muslim-majority countries and fear of terrorism. All this has given rise to a new field of study relating to Islamophobia. Research in the US and Europe shows Islamophobia is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, which is not captured in single-item surveys.
For instance, another recent survey by the Pew Research Centre in the US found Australians welcomed diversity as much as Americans, despite some uncertainty over Muslim integration.
In a survey conducted in late 2015 and early 2016, we used a battery of questions to ascertain Australians’ attitudes towards Muslims and Islam. It is the first study that explored the multidimensionality of Islamophobia in Australia.
The resulting nuanced and comprehensive profile of Islamophobia in Australia actually showed few Australians are truly afraid of those of Muslim faith.
What is Islamophobia?
A 1997 report described Islamophobia as a shorthand way of referring to dread or hatred of Islam and unfounded prejudice and hostility towards Islam and Muslims. This included practical consequences of hostility such as discrimination and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political and social affairs.
In 2011, influential political scientist Erik Bleich defined Islamophobia as “indiscriminate negative attitudes or emotions directed at Islam or Muslims”.
Indiscriminate and negative attitudes and emotions encompass a wide range. This includes aversion, jealousy, suspicion, disdain, anxiety, rejection, contempt, fear, disgust, anger and hostility. They also cover the “phobic” dimension, which implies a persistent and irrational fear of a specific object, activity or situation which is excessive and unreasonable.
Multidimensionality makes Islamophobia a graded phenomenon with levels ranging low to high. Islamophobia scales have been developed to measure its prevalence in society.
How Islamophobic are Australians?
The scale we used to measure Islamophobia consisted of seven statements. These were:
Just to be safe it is important to stay away from places where Muslims could be.
I would feel comfortable speaking with a Muslim.
I would support any policy that will stop the building of a new mosque.
If I could, I would avoid contact with Muslims.
I would live in a place where there are Muslims.
Muslims should be allowed to work in places where many Australians gather such as airports.
If possible, I would avoid going to places where Muslims would be.
We randomly selected a sample of 1,000 adult Australians. The respondents were asked how they felt about each of the statements. The five options were: strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree and strongly disagree.
To obtain a single summary score, strongly agree, agree, undecided, disagree and strongly disagree were given scores of one, two, three, four and five respectively.
In questions one, three, four and seven, “strongly agree” and “agree” reflect anti-Islam attitudes. In the other three questions, the same responses reflect the opposite. We reversed the scores for items one, two, four and seven in order to compute the values ranging from one to five. One represents low levels of Islamophobia, while five is high.
These findings are reported in the table below.
Our findings show almost 70% of Australians appeared to have a very low level of Islamophobic attitudes.
But the individual item responses provide a nuanced understanding of the intensity of such feelings and attitudes. We found 20% were undecided about how they truly felt. Less than 10% fell into the highly Islamophobic category.
Pockets of Islamophobia
We performed further analysis to ascertain levels of Islamophobia by state, capital city, gender, age, educational attainment, labour-force status, occupation, political affiliation and contact with Muslims and religious affiliations.
Our results showed Islamophobia increased with age and declined with level of education. On average, residents of Victoria were less Islamophobic than their New South Wale counterparts. There wasn’t much difference in the other states.
Those from non-English-speaking background were more likely to be Islamophobic compared to those born in Australia and those from English-speaking backgrounds. Respondents not in the labour force were also more likely to score higher on Islamophobia.
Capital-city and non-capital-city residence, gender and employment status had no effect. Liberal and National party supporters were more likely to be Islamophobic than Labor and Greens voters, and people with no political affiliations.
Australians who regularly come in contact with Muslims and those who believe immigrants make important contribution to society are significantly less Islamophobic.
So while there are pockets of antipathy towards Muslims, an overwhelming majority of Australians don’t share that antipathy.
Swedish policeman blames migrants for the majority of country's rapes and shootings and accuses politicians of 'turning a blind eye'
A Swedish detective who has triggered a row by blaming violent crime on migrants has gone one step further and accused politicians of turning a blind eye to the problem because of 'political correctness'.
Earlier this month Peter Springare, who has spent more than 40 years in the police, aired his anger on social media when he was told not to record the ethnicity of violent crime suspects.
Springare, 61, who is based in the central city of Orebro, wrote: 'Countries representing the weekly crimes: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown, unknown country, Sweden.
'Half of the suspects, we can't be sure because they don't have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they're lying about your nationality and identity.'
Prosecutors launched an inquiry, suggesting he had incited racial hatred, but later dropped the charges.
Now Springare has told The Sunday Times: 'The highest and most extreme violence - rapes and shooting - is dominated by criminal immigrants.
'This is a different criminality that is tougher and rawer. It is not what we would call ordinary Swedish crime. This is a different animal.'
In his Facebook post Springare wrote: 'I'm so f***ing tired. What I will write here below, is not politically correct. But I don't care. What I'm going to promote you all taxpayers is prohibited to peddle for us state employees.'
He wrote: 'Here we go; this I've handled Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, off of, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, Rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment.
'Suspected perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again, again Christopher... what is it true. Yes a Swedish name snuck on the outskirts of a drug crime, Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again.'
Springare said he was due to retire soon and therefore no longer feared the disciplinary proceedings which might be brought against a younger officer for disobeying their superiors and raising the issue.
Sweden hit the headlines recently when US President Donald Trump warned of crime caused by migrants and told a rally in Florida: 'Look at what's happening last night in Sweden.'
He was mocked on social media and forced to admit that he was referring to a report on Fox News rather than an actual event.
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said he was 'surprised' by Trump's comments.
But Springare said: 'The politicians have reacted to Trump like teenagers when someone criticises their hair as ugly. I hope he has opened their eyes.
'The common people don't need Trump to do that. They already understand the ideas I have brought up.'
Trump supporters' harassed at anti-Oscar protest
An anti-Oscars protest in Los Angeles has turned violent as Donald Trump supporters call for a boycott of the Academy Awards in revolt against the 'arrogant hypocrites' in Hollywood.
Two young women physically clashed with a Trump supporter in Hollywood on Sunday near the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars will be held.
Footage of the ordeal showed one girl breaking a sign in half that belonged to a woman wearing a 'Make America Great Again' hat.
Fists then flew between the woman in the hat and two Trump-hating opponents. The girl who broke the sign was then seen being arrested.
It came as Trump supporters called for people to boycott the Oscars by refusing to watch the glitzy awards show on television.
The boycott originated in a widely shared Facebook post from Arizona women's group 'Tempe Republican Women,' which urged followers to vote with their remote controls and switch off the Oscars.
'It is important that we, the deplorables, show the likes of Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Alec Baldwin, Cher ... that we, the backbone and decent people of America, are more united than the bitter, unhappy, angry, divisive people of the entertainment industry,' the post said.
The angry Facebook post went on to call Hollywood liberals 'arrogant, pompous, pampered soulless individuals' who are 'evil-hearted.'
It fumed over pop stars like Madonna dancing in 'little-to-no clothing,' 'movies that depict women as whores, sluts, and gold-diggers dependent on their bodies for survival,' and Ashley Judd talking about her periods 'a vile manner.'
'The wearing of pink does not negate the black hearts that these people have for our country and our Constitution. 'Nor does it negate the disdain and contempt they have for the American people and our political process.'
It called on those who agree to switch off the Academy Awards show and to share the post online.
'The left is now up to their old tricks trying to bully the rest of us into feeling guilty,' it read. 'Let them know that their selfish, vulgar, and unpatriotic behavior over this past week will not be tolerated. 'Let them know that we will not be silenced and that we are no longer going to be shamed for what we believe. We must continue the fight!'
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.