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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More on the Cronulla Riots: "Is Islam the Problem?"

There is an excellent article in The Sydney Morning Herald that provides further insight into the recent riots in Australia:

Is Islam the problem?

Australia does not have a race relations problem. We have a clash of cultures and that's a big difference -- and maybe the problem is certain forms of Islam.

Of course, the marauding boneheads who rampaged through Cronulla on Sunday don't make this distinction. If they did, perhaps they would realise that when they screech "Lebs out" they are also referring to the majority of Lebanese Australians who are Maronite Christians, in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

By their chants, they are also demanding the expulsion of NSW Governor Marie Bashir and her husband, Sir Nicholas Shehadie, two of the finest citizens this state has ever produced; and Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, one of the most outwardly knockabout political leaders in Australia. Lebanese all.

The problem is not the blood that runs through people's veins. Any form of discrimination based on race or ethnicity -- based on the colour of one's skin or hair or eyes -- is inherently immoral, illogical and evil.

But culture and religion are behavioural. They involve values.

People can be born into a particular culture or religion but sooner or later they reach an age of reason where they can embrace or reject their precepts. And if people freely embrace a culture that is antithetical to the prevailing social mores -- in our case, I would hope, liberal, enlightenment values -- then we are entitled to judge, object, censure and even discriminate.

Which brings us to this extremely prickly issue of radical Islam. . . Read entire article

For several previous recent articles on the Cronulla riots on this weblog, scroll down this page. (There are also some excellent recent articles here, here, and here).

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