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Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia (Read 3408 times)
Sappho
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Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Apr 6th, 2011 at 4:23am
 
This is a true story and my reason for telling it is because I want advise from the Muslims on this forum.

My son was raised in a multicultural environment and subsequently has friends from many cultures except the non-secular religious cultures. Religious cultures tend to be insular... and that is not a problem by the way... just a fact.

As a result it would be fair to say that my son is not racist, and never has been. Rather, he celebrates difference and has been encouraged by me to do so. But it goes further than that... my son is just not capable of hate... he loathes it as an illogical and negative waste of time which does more harm to the hater than the hated.

Equally, my son was raised to be most polite. I taught him that the key to social success throughout all the strata's of society is good manners. He is also known to be a good listener and so becomes privy to matters which others do not. Finally he is a smoker.

He works in a security/ customer service role doing various shifts. He shares his smoko with the security guards on duty who are most often Muslim. They like him, enjoy talking to him and disclose more than they perhaps should of their attitudes towards the broader community.

Because of these conversations mainly and lately he has incorporated trash news commentary also... his attitude towards Muslims has profoundly changed. He finds them disrespectful. He has no tolerance for their attitude towards women which is profoundly derogatory... even the way they speak about their respective wives as all are married is offensive to him.

He hasn't told these smoke buddies of his dislike for them... he continues to listen and remains polite... but he tells me about it and it concerns me deeply in many ways.

First, I am concerned because I worked hard to teach my children that a multicultural existence is better than a mono-cultural existence... but this Muslim question is threatening that idea.

Second, my son is so tolerant and moderate that hearing the stories affects my attitude towards Muslims and multiculturalism also. I cannot doubt his stories as he is not given to exaggeration or hatefulness.

Third, he has been working with these Muslims and listening to their attitudes for a few years now... and finally my son's attitude has changed. He doesn't like Muslims and doesn't want them influencing our culture.

So, my question to the Muslims on this board is how do i respond to this? I am not accustomed to this line of argument from my son... nor am I accustomed to arguing against my long held and strongly held support for multiculturalism. So all I do is listen.

What on earth is going on that decent and moderate people who were raised to praise our multiculture, should find themselves at odds with that multiculture with regard to Muslims?
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abu_rashid
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #1 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 6:28am
 
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He has no tolerance for their attitude towards women which is profoundly derogatory... even the way they speak about their respective wives as all are married is offensive to him.


This is where the alarm bells are raised. If they even mention their wives, and especially in a negative light, then it's quite obvious their practice or adherence to Islam is absolutely zero. A good practicing Muslim would not even mention his wife in a conversation to other men, as mentioning them is considered disrespectful to begin with.

Let me ask you a question Sappho, if he were having these conservations with non-practicing Christian guys (ie. your average Aussie Anglo), would he be associating their views and behaviour with Christianity?

This is the major problem with people's attitudes today, is that anything remotely related to a Muslim, or even an Arab Christian is taken as an absolute representation of Islam, whilst the same would never be done for Christianity.... Why? What makes people so biased and inaccurate in their appraisal of Islam?

It may be partly because Islam is more a part of the identity of Muslims, even if they don't practice it, whereas Christians who don't practice even abandon the identity altogether, but I think there's also a lot of misidentification that occurs due to ignorance. In your mind, or your son's mind, if they have any inkling of being Muslim, then every single action or word that comes from them, instantly must be representative of Islam, yet no way would you apply the same standard to Christianity and Christians (ie. secular Anglo-Aussies). I've been absolutely mortified by some of the stuff I've seen from people of Muslim background, but to me it's quite obvious those people had absolutely no connection to Islam at all, other than the fact they happened to have been named Muhammad or Ahmad.

You may have taught your son to be tolerant of other cultures, but it doesn't appear you taught him to hold them to the same standards as his own kind.
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Sappho
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #2 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am
 
abu_rashid wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 6:28am:
Quote:
He has no tolerance for their attitude towards women which is profoundly derogatory... even the way they speak about their respective wives as all are married is offensive to him.


This is where the alarm bells are raised. If they even mention their wives, and especially in a negative light, then it's quite obvious their practice or adherence to Islam is absolutely zero. A good practicing Muslim would not even mention his wife in a conversation to other men, as mentioning them is considered disrespectful to begin with.


let's be fair here abu... this is a real scenario and not some kind of set up that warrents alarm bells.

I never said that the Muslims spoke disrespectfully about there respective wives... I said that my son took offense to what they had to say about there wives. Big difference.

My son is an active listener and people enjoy talking to him. If they mention their wives... my son will ask about there wives and what they do yadda yadda yadda... just feeding off the conversation to create more conversation. The structure of their Mulsim families was explained to him... with the man as they head and the wive subordinate to that. It was explained respectfully and within the context of Islam. My son finds offense with this because it denies equal consideration which he was raised to believe... which our society is encouraged to believe... which our laws are supposed to protect.

When the muslims spoke about western women they were disrespectful... but again, in context, they work in the city and there is a significant minority of women who have an obviously slutty look to their dress sense. These mulsims have generalised this slut image to make it meaningful across all western womanhood... just as my son is starting to generalise his muslim experiences across all of Islam.

Quote:
Let me ask you a question Sappho, if he were having these conservations with non-practicing Christian guys (ie. your average Aussie Anglo), would he be associating their views and behaviour with Christianity?


They are not non practicing muslims. I asked. They have a prayer room... one carries a little carpet to work with him. I'm not after moral equivalence Abu... I'm after advice. How do I speak to my son about this?

Quote:
This is the major problem with people's attitudes today, is that anything remotely related to a Muslim, or even an Arab Christian is taken as an absolute representation of Islam, whilst the same would never be done for Christianity.... Why?


Because christianity is a dying faith and islam is a growing faith.
Because christianity does not hold to their religious texts and islam does.
Because american fundamentalist christianity does not attract the media and islam does.
Because we are not at war with christian nations but we are at war with muslim nations.

And in my son's case... because personal experience has affected their world view.

I should also point out that my son is not christian nor was he raised a christian. Not even easter did we celebrate... I would take them instead on a camping trip to a celebration called Confest... a hippy/ alturnative thing. 

Quote:
What makes people so biased and inaccurate in their appraisal of Islam?


In my son's case... talking with these 3 muslim men who work at the same place as him... is what has done it.

Quote:
In your mind, or your son's mind, if they have any inkling of being Muslim, then every single action or word that comes from them, instantly must be representative of Islam,


My son had no attitude towards Muslims until meeting them and getting to know them over the years... through smoko's. He still has smoko with them... still listen to them disrespect our society whilst praising their own ways.

My son has always been tolerant until this getting to know muslims phase. He still is tolerant... but that is changing... and that is not what I like.

Quote:
yet no way would you apply the same standard to Christianity and Christians (ie. secular Anglo-Aussies).


He calls real christians who follow the bible such as the jehovah witness's do... jesus freaks and accepts that they are harmless and not influencing secular society in ways that change the secular nature.

Quote:
I've been absolutely mortified by some of the stuff I've seen from people of Muslim background, but to me it's quite obvious those people had absolutely no connection to Islam at all, other than the fact they happened to have been named Muhammad or Ahmad.


I have tried that approach. I pointed out that there is good and bad in all cultures... and that has prompted my son sending me video of new items in which muslims are the offenders.

If I point out that aboriginals are as a group the largest offenders to society... he will point out the abuses that past govts have inflicted upon them, their victimhood ect.

If I point out that other ethnic groups have had issues settling into society... he will point out that there is a vast difference between teething issues when settling into a society and the abuses of our secularism that muslims defiantly engage within.
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Sappho
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #3 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:54am
 
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You may have taught your son to be tolerant of other cultures, but it doesn't appear you taught him to hold them to the same standards as his own kind.


let's face it abu... real christians are a rarity in this country. And where they are found, they tend to be insular, in the same way that real Jews are insular, in the same way that Muslims were once insular.

Again... I pointed out to my son that Muslim have been in Australia for decades upon decades to which he then asks why are they now making demands upon our secular society that go against our secular beliefs.

I'm stumped... I don't know how to address this.
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chicken_lipsforme
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #4 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:02am
 
Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 4:23am:
This is a true story and my reason for telling it is because I want advise from the Muslims on this forum.

My son was raised in a multicultural environment and subsequently has friends from many cultures except the non-secular religious cultures. Religious cultures tend to be insular... and that is not a problem by the way... just a fact.

As a result it would be fair to say that my son is not racist, and never has been. Rather, he celebrates difference and has been encouraged by me to do so. But it goes further than that... my son is just not capable of hate... he loathes it as an illogical and negative waste of time which does more harm to the hater than the hated.

Equally, my son was raised to be most polite. I taught him that the key to social success throughout all the strata's of society is good manners. He is also known to be a good listener and so becomes privy to matters which others do not. Finally he is a smoker.

He works in a security/ customer service role doing various shifts. He shares his smoko with the security guards on duty who are most often Muslim. They like him, enjoy talking to him and disclose more than they perhaps should of their attitudes towards the broader community.

Because of these conversations mainly and lately he has incorporated trash news commentary also... his attitude towards Muslims has profoundly changed. He finds them disrespectful. He has no tolerance for their attitude towards women which is profoundly derogatory... even the way they speak about their respective wives as all are married is offensive to him.

He hasn't told these smoke buddies of his dislike for them... he continues to listen and remains polite... but he tells me about it and it concerns me deeply in many ways.

First, I am concerned because I worked hard to teach my children that a multicultural existence is better than a mono-cultural existence... but this Muslim question is threatening that idea.

Second, my son is so tolerant and moderate that hearing the stories affects my attitude towards Muslims and multiculturalism also. I cannot doubt his stories as he is not given to exaggeration or hatefulness.

Third, he has been working with these Muslims and listening to their attitudes for a few years now... and finally my son's attitude has changed. He doesn't like Muslims and doesn't want them influencing our culture.

So, my question to the Muslims on this board is how do i respond to this? I am not accustomed to this line of argument from my son... nor am I accustomed to arguing against my long held and strongly held support for multiculturalism. So all I do is listen.

What on earth is going on that decent and moderate people who were raised to praise our multiculture, should find themselves at odds with that multiculture with regard to Muslims?


Perhaps this has more to do with the individuals concerned rather than being a Muslim issue.
These few that work with your son should not be considered as being representive of the billions around the world that follow this faith.
Just the same as not all Catholic priests are kiddy fiddlers, and not all Irishmen want to blow up Catholics.
I think your son works with a few idiots, and he should not lower his  high standards.
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #5 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:37am
 
chicken_lipsforme wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:02am:
Perhaps this has more to do with the individuals concerned rather than being a Muslim issue.
These few that work with your son should not be considered as being representive of the billions around the world that follow this faith.
Just the same as not all Catholic priests are kiddy fiddlers, and not all Irishmen want to blow up Catholics.
I think your son works with a few idiots, and he should not lower his  high standards.


Unfortunately this is not just a few idiots, but a widely held attitude amongst muslims, particularly those originating in the middle east. Over the last decade or so I have had dealings with people from all over the world on a regular basis and I can safely say that the majority of muslims have a totally negative attitude to our society and its laws and conventions.
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #6 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:55am
 
chicken_lipsforme wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:02am:
Perhaps this has more to do with the individuals concerned rather than being a Muslim issue.
These few that work with your son should not be considered as being representive of the billions around the world that follow this faith.
Just the same as not all Catholic priests are kiddy fiddlers, and not all Irishmen want to blow up Catholics.
I think your son works with a few idiots, and he should not lower his  high standards.


I've tried that approach... in fact it is my standard line when ever I hear racism... that is: There are good and bad in every culture... but mostly good.

When I do that however, Tom then refers to the numerous media reports of secularism being held to ransom by mulsim minorities who want for that which is against our systems of equality and opportunity.

I've been watching this attitude develop over the years... I've even debated his attitude pretending it to be my own... both here and at another forum in the hope that I will get a counter argument I can use to moderate my son's view... but nothing.

I even went to a Muslim board to explore their views only to find whilst most Muslims there were moderate towards society... the extremists tainted the board and presented cultural conflict which the moderate muslims could not deny or excuse.

And this is the real problem... How can we turn the views of those who have become bias when there are those, to whom the bias is directed, who will feed constantly into that bias?

I dunno... sometimes I think it might be best if Muslims took a leaf out of the jewish book and lowered their profile and returned to insular living. Better for them. Better for us. Better for attitudes on both sides.

But then I say... if they want to become more inclusive within society... our rights and values must allow that too.
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #7 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 11:12am
 
Belgarion wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:37am:
Over the last decade or so I have had dealings with people from all over the world on a regular basis and I can safely say that the majority of muslims have a totally negative attitude to our society and its laws and conventions.  


From my experience on a muslim forum... when muslims talk about themselves and their cultural faith, they are lovely, positive people and when they talk about being muslim in a secular society they are negative, wary and derogatory (politely so).

Abu is yet another example of that... rather than giving me advise on how I might address this with my son... he says... oh yeah... well christians do this and that too... so ner ner.

Well that solves nothing Abu... that just creates another group that my son can be bias against. You are promoting disharmony.
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #8 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 12:28pm
 
Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:55am:
chicken_lipsforme wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 10:02am:
Perhaps this has more to do with the individuals concerned rather than being a Muslim issue.
These few that work with your son should not be considered as being representive of the billions around the world that follow this faith.
Just the same as not all Catholic priests are kiddy fiddlers, and not all Irishmen want to blow up Catholics.
I think your son works with a few idiots, and he should not lower his  high standards.


I've tried that approach... in fact it is my standard line when ever I hear racism... that is: There are good and bad in every culture... but mostly good.

I even went to a Muslim board to explore their views only to find whilst most Muslims there were moderate towards society... the extremists tainted the board and presented cultural conflict which the moderate muslims could not deny or excuse.



As you just stated, "most Muslims there were moderate towards society, however the extremists tainted".......
It was the same with the Catholics in Ireland three decades ago, and with the Inquistion and Puritans a few centuries back in Europe.
Most people then were moderate, and did not agree with the church persecuting them.
The Salem witch hunts in the 1500's saw many women burnt alive at the stake in the US after being accused of witchcraft, the church believed there were witches (and they found them all too).
There are extremists in all societies on the planet, and I suspect that will never change.
There's even a small group of Orthodox Jews in Israel, that pray for the destruction of Israel because the modern faith to them is 'wrong' and the State of Israel is an abomination to them.
It helps to remember these kooks are in the minority.
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #9 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:05pm
 
Sappho your son is right and you should congratulate him for finding his own path. Instead of being so concerned about challenging his views, allow him to challenge your views. Otherwise this issue may have a negative impact on your relationship. The world is fraught with irreconcilable problems and you do not need to provide a solution for every one in order to be a good parent. You have provided him with the mental faculties to decide for himself, which is the greatest gift you can give. Your lucky numbers are 7 and 9.
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Re: Changing attitudes towards Muslims in Australia
Reply #10 - Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:32pm
 
Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
let's be fair here abu... this is a real scenario and not some kind of set up that warrents alarm bells.

I never said that the Muslims spoke disrespectfully about there respective wives... I said that my son took offense to what they had to say about there wives. Big difference.


Well it seems you didn't really make yourself very clear in the opening post then, as it seemed to me you were saying they spoke disrespecfully about them.

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
My son finds offense with this because it denies equal consideration which he was raised to believe... which our society is encouraged to believe... which our laws are supposed to protect.


Well I find it offensive that your son thinks a husband and wife should be equal. Boo-hoo for me. Sorry but that's just ridiculous. Offensive? Tell him to get over himself. Quite frankly it's none of his business.

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
They are not non practicing muslims. I asked. They have a prayer room... one carries a little carpet to work with him. I'm not after moral equivalence Abu... I'm after advice. How do I speak to my son about this?


As I said, it seems to me you misrepresented the issues in the first post. My advice in general is to tell your son to be honest with people, because if he's not presenting his views to them honestly, then how can he expect them to do the same? Just as he is facetiously sitting and going along with what they say, likewise they may be just saying things they think he agrees with.

Honesty is the best policy.

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
Because christianity is a dying faith and islam is a growing faith.
Because christianity does not hold to their religious texts and islam does.
Because american fundamentalist christianity does not attract the media and islam does.
Because we are not at war with christian nations but we are at war with muslim nations.

And in my son's case... because personal experience has affected their world view.


These things do not justify treating Islam any different than any other culture.

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
My son had no attitude towards Muslims until meeting them and getting to know them over the years... through smoko's. He still has smoko with them... still listen to them disrespect our society whilst praising their own ways.


And being dishonest with them....

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
I have tried that approach. I pointed out that there is good and bad in all cultures... and that has prompted my son sending me video of new items in which muslims are the offenders.


So send him videos of Anglos committing evil. Not to say "see they do it too ner ner ner", but to show the stupidity and idiocy of judgeing an entire people based on what some individuals do (ie. what I've done here, and you and others time and again fail to comprehend).

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
If I point out that aboriginals are as a group the largest offenders to society... he will point out the abuses that past govts have inflicted upon them, their victimhood ect.


Tell him Muslims are victims too, far more than aboriginals. In fact most Muslims here have come from countries the West has turned into cactus....

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
If I point out that other ethnic groups have had issues settling into society... he will point out that there is a vast difference between teething issues when settling into a society and the abuses of our secularism that muslims defiantly engage within.


I honestly don't get this "abuse of secularism" crap, sorry. Can you elaborate on what this really means? How do I "abuse" secularism exactly?

Thanks.

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
Again... I pointed out to my son that Muslim have been in Australia for decades upon decades to which he then asks why are they now making demands upon our secular society that go against our secular beliefs.


Actually well over a century, Muslims were instrumental in pioneering this country. Not to mention people such as myself whose ancestry here is almost 200 years old.

Sappho wrote on Apr 6th, 2011 at 9:50am:
Abu is yet another example of that... rather than giving me advise on how I might address this with my son... he says... oh yeah... well christians do this and that too... so ner ner.


You fail to see the point. It's not about Christians, it's about the ludicrous nature of claiming the actions of an individual define the whole.
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