506 Multiculturalism, Islam and Islamism



I have received some feedback on my blog 500; thanks ... always appreciated …

 



This is my answer to the writer of the feedback (the full emails below):

 

Indeed, Islam is spreading (I hear in Australia Christiany is spreading; any religion spreading is a worry, methinks); it’s a fact that Islam is spreading … the problem is, how do we deal with it!? You reckon (correct me if I’m wrong) we must stop the spread of Islam. I think that is impossible; and it becomes harder and harder the more we disenfranchise certain Islamic groups, like the Palestinians. 


(Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is Einstein's definition of stupidity; I agree [I often use that quote myself], and I apply it here: Doing what has been done to the Palestinians - for near on three generations now - has radicalised Muslims in the past, radicalises Muslims presently and, if it continues - [and it looks like it will, because Mr. Netanyahu insists on building more settlements in occupied territories; and now with his new partners in government, the issue will be even more inflammatory] - will keep on radicalising Muslims.)


The only solution I can see is that we do include Islam under the umbrella of multiculturalism, as difficult as it may be with the minority of Islamists who resist integration. It does mean that we have to engage with Muslims through dialogue … and it truly could mean that moderate Muslims need to be convinced that Islam may have to be reformed - see my blog 496 point two, and 487 as well as 418 - which of course must happen from the inside. More dialogue and education; this is the thing: The more we talk to, support and give (educational) resources to moderate Muslims, the more they will positively impact (and hopefully neutralise) radical Muslims.

 

You say  Multiculturalism works well for cultures who wish to assimilate  … sure, but most Muslims (probably 100 % of moderates) fall into the category of assimilators. So we must deal with those who don't assimilate ... what shall we do with them? Again, I reckon dialogue, education and support of moderate, cooperative Muslims.


Islamists have a value system which is incompatible with our society.  This indeed is true too, as regards orthodox Islamism (= Islamic militancy or fundamentalism) ...


Wikipedia: Islamism - also known as Political Islam - is a set of ideologies holding that "Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life". 


Islamism is a controversial concept not just because it posits a political role for Islam but also because its supporters believe their views merely reflect Islam, and that the contrary idea that Islam is - or can be - apolitical is an error. 


Islamist views emphasize the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law) and of the selective removal of non-Muslim - particularly Western military, economic, political, social or cultural - influences in the Muslim world, that they believe to be incompatible with Islam.


... for that reason it is just that much more important that moderate Muslims and Islamic groups which are already adjusted to - and integrated into - our society, indeed are supported and encouraged to counter Islamism and its doctrines.


I believe it is very important that we differentiate between Islamism, on the one hand and Islam, on the other. It is obvious, the two are different, indeed fundamentally different (pun intended). I agree with the writer of the feedback to my blog 500 that in our society Islamism must be opposed fervently; the obvious question is: How do we do that? I think I've made a good case as to how we can work toward a society, a community (here in Australia), where fundamental Islamists do not take a hold ...

 

... let me ask: How do  you  suggest we deal with them? This is the moment of truth; allow me to be blunt too: With all you’re saying in your response you’re not making any workable suggestions as to how to deal with the problem ... other than saying it is a problem. In my blogs (and my comments above) I try to make a point of arriving at solutions that - while they are hard work - would be a way forward. You may say, the solution is not to allow any more Muslims into the country … but that is quite unworkable, and you know it: It would most likely radicalise moderate Muslims (and if not that, then it would awaken sleeper cells of radical Islamists) and lead to terrorism unlike anything Australia has seen ... suicide attacks, car bombings and beheadings. But even if it could be done … then what do we do with the ones living and having babies here? So you may even say: Go back to where you came from; my response: Same reasoning as above, but even more so.


Anyway, it is acknowledged that there is a problem with extremist Islamism (and never forget: They are a small minority in Aus; and if we're clever about it, they will remain small) ... you didn’t by any chance miss this paragraph in my blog 500:

 

(… the point is being made, to pursue this course [of tolerance, liberalism and open-mindedness] may be dangerous in regard to Muslims and Islam.) 


This is an issue that needs to be addressed ... the fact is, Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. It will not be possible to wish Muslims away, like them or not. And the expansionism inherent in Islamism is not just theory, it's reality. I have talked about the topic, blogs 496487, where the point is made by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, that Islam may have to reform, or even have a revolution.   

 

You say: You have missed the point completely ... It is not about “multiculturalism”

I am not sure which point I have missed … indeed if it is not about multiculturalism, then what is it about? Here in Australia we accommodate many different cultures, and successfully too ... Islam is one of them.


I believe your beliefs are misplaced.

Very well then, but what do you realistically suggest can be done about the Islamists, who in Australia are not yet (but may become) violent extremists ... other than communicate with them, educate them, mellow them and integrate them?


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Update: 

This is an article from last year, in the  SMH  by Glenn Mohammed, a lawyer, an officer with the Australian Army Reserves and Convener for the Immigration, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Forum for the Liberal Party in Victoria, making suggestions on the issue ... from the point of view of a Muslim.


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Update; I have received this comment:


Carsten,

If you believe dialogue, discussion, multiculturalism and inclusiveness will protect us from this destructive and brutal culture that has been relentless for 14 centuries … I think this is denying reality. I’m not saying “don’t try” dialogue but it is not substitute for definitive action of the type you know I support eg. stopping muslim immigration.

 

I do not deny the reality of the Islamist's destructive and brutal culture; but our reality here in Aus is described by the fact that we have a Muslim community in our midst, which - as it happens - is not destructive and brutal. The members of that community are largely benign ... we have had no serious terrorism activity in Aus; whenever our authorities have to step in and prevent attacks, the perpetrators turn out to be lunatics (not Islamists) like that Monis character, or misguided teenagers. There's little we can do about Monis-like crazies, but educating and guiding those teenagers must be our priority; remember, they are not imported from hot war zones, they're home-grown. As ever, our prime concern must be to prevent radicalisation of Aus Muslims who are peaceful and have (currently) no motive to engage in violent jihad. 


However, there is one sure way to radicalise Muslims in Aus who have no prior intention of engaging in terrorist activities:  Attempt to stop Muslim immigration  ... just the attempt would be a disaster. We would, at one fell swoop, create dozens, indeed maybe hundreds of would-be terrorists. I can't think of anything we could do that would motivate Muslims more to take up arms, bombs, suicide vests - i.e. create a destructive and brutal Islamist culture right here on home-soil - than attempting to deprive them of the opportunity to bring to Aus relatives, business associates etc.

 

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Update:


Isn’t the first step to stop or at least diminish the increase in % muslims in the culture? Everything else is secondary - just common sense.

 

No, I don’t agree ... not at all. Everything else is secondary  how can you say that? Common sense is to ensure the existing Muslim population is not pushed toward being radicalized. Seconday is if there are more Muslims coming into the country ... who cares (what’s your guess the number of Muslims is in Aus? It’s 2.2%) as long as they fit in, are well adjusted, integrated and don’t subscribe to extremism; that is multiculturalism at work.  It is impossible to stop the Muslim community growing  ... it'll grow along with the rest of the community, probably even more so (as is being predicted).  What you attempt to do is not workable, and potentially dangerous ... don’t forget, we are a multicultural community; that is the fact we have to work with.

 

The bottom line is: We don’t want terrorism in Australia. So far we are doing well. There is only one way to keep it that way: We must be fair to every ethnic minority, including Muslims. It is said Islam is growing all over the world; we will not be able to stop that in Aus … and in our multicultural society, do we even have a right to do so? What is paramount, though, is that we do not give anyone - from any minority community - reason to resent our (perceived) attempt to "keep Australia white”. Would any community put up with having the immigration of their brethren curtailed? Anyway, how would you justify it? What would you say to Muslims when they ask ... “Why do you want to stop Muslim immigration to Australia?” 


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The original feedback on my blog 500 underlying this blog:

 

Carsten,

The argument about "multiculturalism" as you would know is not really about multiculturalism.

(Multiculturalism works well for cultures who wish to assimilate)

It is about the Muslim problem which is clear as dog's balls to all.

It is also not about a "phobia" which is an unfounded or exaggerated fear.  It is about actual events and real concerns based on fact.  Xenophobia is just a PC platform without substance and it allows the accuser to avoid world reality.

The PC defence of the Muslim world using trumped up racism, phobias and "multiculturalism" based on humanitarian grounds is wearing very, very thin in light of world reality and everyday events.  The world obviously (doesn’t) need the spread of Islam.  It needs the spread of human rights.

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Sent from my iPad

 

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Carsten,

Blog 500....OMG.

You have missed the point completely.

It is not about "multiculturalism".........

It is not about "xenophobia"..........

I really don't know what to say except that the Islamists have a value system which is incompatible with our society.  

Don't look for discrimination, xenophobia, racism etc.....all these are labels to take a PC approach to argue the impossible when commonsense fails.

It is time to place blame where it should be.

Sorry to be so blunt but Islamists are different from Greeks, Italians, Chinese etc etc.....all of which fit in well and contribute to most societies where they immigrate.

What you are attempting to do is to deflect the argument ...... 

The Danes, the Dutch and the French have tried it your way...........the results are clear.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is Einstein's definition of stupidity.

You are trying your best to see the bright side and be optomistic and a humanist but I believe your beliefs are misplaced.

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