A possie in Aussie

August 19, 2009

Complaints of racism from Australian Somalis

Filed under: African,race relations,racism,refugee — Nayano @ 8:19 am
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Voice of America (VOA) reports that young Somali immigrants in Australia say they face racism and feel unwanted.

Four men from Somali backgrounds were charged with planning a suicide attack on an Australian army bases earlier this month.

VOA reports that community groups say that Somali refugees often are stuck in a kind of “no-man’s land” between their own culture and mainstream Australia.

The Somali immigrant community suffers high unemployment. Many refugees have problems learning English or experience the lingering effects of torture and trauma. Alienation can leave some vulnerable to the influence of criminals and extremists.

Others complain of racism from mainstream Australia. Somalis Gather to Discuss Racism, Alienation in Australia

This report has been reposted by many Somali sites, including Hiiraan.com and Bartamaha.

By the fault posts this report by World Focus Online about extremism among Somali youth.

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more about “Somalia emerges as birthplace of terr…“, posted with vodpod


August 6, 2009

Fred Nile a Somali terrorist?

Filed under: African,media,racism — Nayano @ 10:04 am
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I was very concerned to see the headline on the front page of the Australian:

Out of Africa, a new terrorism threat dawns.

I work in settling Sudanese humanitarian entrants into their new lives in Australia, and I know only too well that most native born Australians think of Africa as an amorphous blob, and so to expect them to distinguish Somalis from Sudanese is impossible. And there is nothing like TERRORISM to incite racism of the worst kind.

Irfan Yusuf at Crikey took issue with this statement from the body of the report:

Followers of the al-Shebaab group “shun alcohol, cigarettes, music and videos, choosing an austere, violent interpretation of Islam”.
Irfan says:

“Most Muslims I know (including myself) shun alcohol (though I’m just a teetotaller, not a teetotalitarian) and cigarettes. Avoiding music and naughty videos also isn’t uncommon among Muslims, though largely for similar reasons as conservative Christians. Thankfully our law enforcement and intelligence services don’t use such indicators to identify potential terrorists or else they’d be taking Fred Nile into custody.” Planet Irf

August 5, 2009

Terrorist thought twisting from Mr Bolt

Filed under: African,media,race relations,racism,refugee — Nayano @ 11:16 am
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Andrew Bolt has leapt in to the furore of words in Australia and around the world released by the news that  Police ‘foil terror raid’ on Sydney army base

In his blog post Religion is an issue he resurrects ‘political correctness’ arguments, so beloved of Pauline Hanson.

He quotes from the Victoria police Lexicon on Terror that would be sent to instruct officials and politicians them not to use words such as “war on terror”, “Islamic terrorism”, “Islamo-fascists” and “moderate Muslims”.

Andrew labels these ‘feelings-hurty’ words. Most are, however, ‘thinking-twisted’ words.

There is no ‘war’ on terror – never has been. You don’t make war on a few criminals. Using this phrase implies that we are at war against nations – and you know who you think of!

‘Islamic terrorism’, ‘Islamo-fascists’ and “moderate Muslims”?

Try this test. Substitute ‘Christian’ or ‘atheist’ or just ‘Australian’- what works?
I reckon that, on this test, ‘moderate Muslims’ is quite OK. We certainly have extremist Christians.

‘Islamo-fascists’ doesn’t work so well. Fascist Australians are quite possible – indeed, we host the pro-Nazi Adelaide Institute in my home town. ‘Australio-facists’? Hear the implication that both parts somehow belong together?

Don’t see what’s wrong with ‘Islamic terrorism’. Muslims who carry out terrorist attacks usually justify their actions on an Islamic basis. As have Jewish terrorists. And some days it is quite easy to imagine Christian terrorists!

I do think that political correctness, or being careful with words, can go too far, however. Stopping people expressing some attitudes can lead to excrescences like Hanson.

But ‘feelings-hurty’, Andrew?  Those of us who are concerned about the impact of words on thought are not all childish, Mr. Bolt!

Andrew twists things in a really dangerous way later in the post when he implies that Australia’s multicultural policies condone cultural practices as the genital mutilation of girls!

Words do matter – if you want more proof, read this disturbing post on Online Opinion Racist attacks raise fears

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