She claims below that there is no Islamic forced marriage in Australia. But in her very own newspaper, The Australian, there was a report in 2005, in which the Victorian Islamic Women's Welfare Council talks of its concern for Muslim girls forced into unwanted marriages. The council said then:
"Girls in Year 10 are telling their career advisers, 'Don't worry about helping us, because we are just going to get married'," says one of the council's youth workers, Moona Hammoud, 21.
"Their expectations are not high and they think they have few options. They are not encouraged to continue their schooling or it's all getting too hard," says Hammoud, who has helped produce community newsletters discussing the issue.Below is Neigbour's piece, with the sub-head that basically says "it's ok folks nothing to see here, you can go back to sleep". My comments in [purple brackets]
Her [Hirsi Ali's] warning against Muslims barely matters in the Australian situation
WHEN it comes to Islam, says Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Australia is too laid-back for its own good. Our complacency could be dangerous, as the Muslims among us push for the "gradual Islamisation of Australia". Our leaders must acknowledge these "alarming realities" and amend our immigration policy accordingly.
These provocative assertions, made by the internationally acclaimed author and anti-Islam polemicist in these pages last weekend, have provoked intense debate.
In this land of immigrants, immigration is always a touchy subject, even more so in an election campaign in which population growth, asylum-seekers and security are touchstone issues.
Hirsi Ali's intensely personal outlook on Islam was forged by the ordeal of growing up in tribal Somalia, where she underwent genital mutilation at the age of five, and later fled to escape an arranged marriage, securing refugee status in The Netherlands.
There she became a member of parliament and a vocal critic of Muslim migration, an explosive issue in a country with the second highest Muslim population in western Europe -- 945,000, or 5.8 per cent -- and a rabid right-wing anti-immigration movement. She collaborated with filmmaker Theo Van Gogh on a controversial film, Submission, about women in Islam, which prompted Van Gogh's murder by an Islamic extremist. Since then she has lived in fear for her life. [The “rabid right-wing” party is Geert Wilders; I’ve seen him talk on numerous occasions and also read most of his stuff. He’s not “rabid”; that’s a calumny. He speaks clearly and cogently about the issues, and the label is just a distraction]
"Ayaan Hirsi Ali's anger and frustration over fundamentalist Islam is understandable," says Ameer Ali from Murdoch University. "She was the victim of a very strict Islamic orthodoxy mixed with tribal cultural values that drove her to seek asylum in the West. However, her wholesale condemnation of Islam and Muslims is over the top." [Question to Ameer Ali: “are Hirsi Ali's observations and "condemnations" correct?”. That's the real question. They may be “over the top” just because what is being identified is “over the top”]
Hirsi Ali's assessment of the situation in Australia, made after a week-long trip through NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, is debatable, to say the least. The differences between Australia and Somalia are obvious. Forced marriage, enslavement of girls and the pre-Islamic practice of clitorectomy thankfully have no place here. [Forced marriages have no place? In The Australian itself, there is report of forced marriages in the Muslim community: see here. To excuse “clitorectomy” as “pre-Islamic” is weasel words; even if it were pre-Islamic, Islam embraced it and it’s now heartily endorsed in the Umadt al-Salik, the classical manual of Islamic jurisprudence.] Besides, 38 per cent of Australia's 340,000 Muslims (about 1.7 per cent of the population) are Australian-born. [The 7/7 bombers in the UK were UK-born…]
The contrast between Muslim populations in Australia and Europe is also far-reaching, though more subtle. Andrew Zammit, a researcher with the Monash Global Terrorism Research Centre, who examined the subject in a PhD thesis on global jihadist radicalisation, points out the historical difference that whereas Muslims were imported en masse into Europe to help fill a labour shortage after World War II and were treated as temporary residents and second-class citizens, the Muslims who began arriving in Australia in the 1960s and 70s were welcomed under a policy of multiculturalism and equal opportunity.[That may be the case with Germany, but it is not the case in Britain, Italy or France, where the policies are closer to those of Australian, including refugees]
Many of Europe's Muslims live in ghetto-like segregation, receive second-rate schooling and experience much higher unemployment and economic disadvantage than their fellow Europeans or their co-religionists in Australia. [The US also thought that it was immune from locally-born terrorism because it had integrated its Muslim population, like Australia, as Neighbour here claims, but the US has had the largest number of home-grown terrorist attempts in 2009].
And in recent years geographic proximity and generous asylum policies made Europe a haven for jihadists from the Middle East.
"For these reasons and more, there is far more jihadist extremism in Europe than Australia," says Zammit. "In Australia, just over 30 people have been arrested on jihadist terrorism-related charges since 2001, while over 2000 have in Europe. [This] shows Europe's at far greater risk of homegrown jihadist terrorism than Australia."
Successive waves of immigrants, starting with the Chinese in the 1800s who represented the "yellow peril" that spawned the White Australia policy, have faced down accusations that their "alien customs" were incompatible with Australian culture. "Not long ago we were talking about being swamped by drug-trafficking, knife-wielding Asian gangs," says Monash University academic Waleed Aly. "Not long before that we fretted over dole-bludging, welfare-cheating Greeks and mafioso Italians. These days almost no one even remembers the problems with Croatian terrorist activity during the 1960s and 70s. [This is the myth of saying that all immigrants the same and, just as the earlier waves faced challenges and then integrated, Muslims will do the same. They won’t]
"[Hirsi Ali] is arguing that our most recent migrants reject the Australian way of life simply because they're Muslims. That's just defining entire communities by the attitudes of a fringe. Aside from guilt by association, there's very little to back this up. Muslims are not new members of our community. They've been here for over a century, and in significant numbers for about 60 years." [See Caldwell's “Reflections on the Revolution in Europe”. There is plenty to back it up. The problems are with the second and third-generations]
Hirsi Ali warns that Muslims indoctrinated in madrassas in refugee camps are taught beliefs that are "fundamentally incompatible with Australian values". [True]
However, the Refugee Council of Australia's chief executive Paul Power points out there are more Christians than Muslims among Australia's annual refugee intake of 12,000-14,000.
The single largest group is ethnic Karen and Chin Christians from Burma. The Sudanese and Somalis who have recently arrived in large numbers are also predominantly Christian. Power says there's no evidence that recent refugees -- among them Iraqis and Afghans -- have any more trouble integrating than previous ones.
Socioeconomic disadvantage in Australia's Muslim communities is growing, Zammit says, with Muslims only half as likely to own their homes as other Australians, Muslim children twice as likely to live in poverty, and their parents twice as likely to be unemployed, even though they're more educated than the average Australian.
These problems are most pronounced in the Australian Lebanese community, which accounts for two-thirds of the men convicted of terrorism in Australia. [The Lebanese Christian community, by contrast – about the same size as the Muslim one – has the same socio-economic parameters as the Australian population at large. So here you have the perfect experiment: the same ethnicity, same immigrant source, same cultures, and so on; the only difference is religion. In one, the Islamic, we find these “pronounced” problems; in the other, the Christian, they are just like other Aussies. Hmmm?]
Radical Muslim groups in Australia are closely monitored.com as they are in Europe and Britain. Hirsi Ali asks why the Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Britain but not here. This is incorrect. HT, which campaigns for an Islamic caliphate but publicly rejects the use of violence or terrorism, remains legal in Britain. A classified assessment to the British government last month rejected claims that HT is a "conveyor belt" to terrorism, and said such groups provide a "legal safety valve for extreme views". [Let’s see: that would be the same UK authorities who entered into some sort of pact with the devil prior to 7/7 allowing jihadis virtually free reign in London, in return for an “understanding” that there would be no bombing on UK soil? That British government? I do wonder about the “legal safety valve claim”. I’m not saying it’s dopey; it might be. I just don’t know about that one.]