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It's not a race war, it's a clash of cultures
Tha Australian ^ | 16 Dec 05 | Keith Windschuttle

Posted on 12/15/2005 3:51:03 PM PST by Fair Go

IT was inevitable, given the prevailing mind-set within government and the media, that Sydney's beachside violence this week would be called race riots. The NSW Premier, his ministers and many newspaper headlines all used the term. However, a more ungainly but nonetheless more accurate description would have been multicultural riots. For the doctrine of multiculturalism is really to blame.

The tensions that exploded this week were defined into existence by multiculturalist policies and ideas. It wasn't the youths at Cronulla beach who decided that all Lebanese constitute an ethnic group. That was done for them by politicians, bureaucrats and academics in the name of constructing ethnic communities. Those youths certainly can be blamed for trying to beat up a few outnumbered innocents but not for responding to people as ethnics in the first place. In earlier periods, Lebanese immigrants were not defined as an ethnic group. Lebanon is one of the oldest sources of Australian migration. People have been coming from that country since the 1880s. They were never defined as aliens under the old White Australia Policy and their numbers gradually grew from 601 in 1891 to 2670 in 1933.

Until 1975, almost all were Maronites or Christian Lebanese. They prospered here, married into the local community and, within two generations, became largely indistinguishable from the Australian mainstream. One of their offspring, Nick Shehadie, a former lord mayor of Sydney and the husband of NSW Governor Marie Bashir, captained the Wallabies in three of 30 Tests for his country. How Australian can you get?

After 1975, the onset of civil war brought Lebanese Muslims here on grounds of humanitarian resettlement. At the same time, the policy of multiculturalism was initiated by the Whitlam government and entrenched under Malcolm Fraser. Multiculturalism began and, until recently, was regarded by most Australians as a civilised concept to ease immigrants into their new environment.

But it became corrupted by partisan politics. As former Labor government minister Barry Jones has admitted, immigration became "a tremendously important element" in building up a long-term, non-English-speaking political constituency for his party. In the 1980s immigration policy switched from national interest to ethnic preference, from demographic and labour market need to family reunion. In the name of cultural diversity, the bureaucrats in charge used welfare and housing policy to promote ethnic community building. This concentrated non-English-speaking immigrants in western and southwestern Sydney.

Most affected were the post-1975 Lebanese Muslims. By 2001, 73 per cent of all Lebanese in Australia were living in these Sydney suburbs.

Multicultural policy was always justified by the assumption that the xenophobia of old Australia was the problem. This presumption still reverberates in the voices of politicians and journalists who have responded to this week's events as if Australian youths are the real culprits. Hypocritically, they denounce racial stereotyping of ethnic groups but freely typecast Anglo Australia.

Multiculturalism is also at odds with the core tenets of liberal democracy, where rights inhere in the individual, not the collective, and where people's representatives are elected politicians, not self-appointed ethnic spokesmen or godfathers. Multiculturalism is a reversion to tribalism that is anachronistic in a modern, liberal, urban society.

In Sydney it has been plain for at least a decade that, instead of ethnic communities living happily in the diversity of social pluralism, multiculturalism has bred ethnic ghettos characterised by high levels of unemployment, welfare dependency, welfare abuse, crime and violence. The social engineers responsible should have been well aware of the likely outcome, especially for young men.

All the evidence from the numerous studies of similar ethnic ghettos in North America and Europe show they produce much the same result, whatever the colour or ethnicity of their inhabitants. Ghetto culture for young men everywhere is characterised by interpersonal violence, sexual irresponsibility, incomplete education, substandard speech, a hypersensitivity about being disrespected and a feckless attitude towards work.

The Lebanese assaults on the Cronulla lifesavers that led to this week's mass retaliation were nothing new.

This behaviour has been with us for more than a decade. When the former principal of Punchbowl Boys High, a school dominated by Lebanese Muslim youth, suffered a breakdown and sued the NSW government, he gave an insight to the local culture.

Between 1995 and 1999, students armed with knives had threatened classmates, teachers were assaulted and gangs invaded classrooms. On one occasion, the principal had a gun held to his head by a Lebanese gang member who threatened to shoot him. One of his students was convicted of murdering a Korean schoolboy and three other students were jailed for their roles in some of Sydney's most notorious gang rapes.

In 1997, during a house fire in another Sydney ethnic ghetto at Auburn, known as Little Lebanon, police and firefighters were attacked by youths hurling rocks. An ambulance had a window shot out, ensuring all future ambulance calls to the locality were accompanied by police escort. Little Lebanon was a concentration of Muslim families from the same rural district who had come to Australia first as refugees, then as chain immigrants.

At the same time as all of this was going on, however, most Anglo Australians were giving the lie to the stereotype of latent racism. Outside the ethnic enclaves, instead of racist or ethnocentric attitudes to newcomers, old Australians were working with, marrying and having children with them.

Studies by Monash University's Bob Birrell of the most revealing test of immigrant integration, the marriage rate, showed that by the end of the '90s less than 10 per cent of second-generation marriages of people of European descent were to someone from their parents' country. Much the same was true of immigrants from south and east Asia. Only 6 per cent of Indians married within their ethnic group, as did only 18 per cent of Chinese. In short, most immigrants, whatever their race, married Australians of other nationalities.

However, for the Lebanese, of whom most of marriageable age were Muslims, these figures were reversed. No less than 74 per cent of Lebanese brides and 61 per cent of Lebanese grooms married within their own ethnic group. Moreover, these figures had increased since the early '90s, when they were about six percentage points lower. This pattern may have fulfilled the community-building objective sought by Lebanese political and religious leaders, but it has been a disaster for their constituents' relationship with the rest of Australia.

Put this week's beachside violence into its political and social context, and the conclusion is clear. It is not race that is the problem but culture. Multiracialism has been a success in contemporary Australia but multiculturalism has been an abject failure.

Keith Windschuttle's most recent book is The White Australia Policy (Macleay Press, 2004).

TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand
KEYWORDS: australia; clashofcivilizations; multiculturalism; sydneyriots
The Labour Party is Australia's answer to the Democrats. They have a lot to answer for.
1 posted on 12/15/2005 3:51:05 PM PST by Fair Go
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To: Fair Go
"... The Labour Party is Australia's answer to the Democrats. They have a lot to answer for."

Respectfully, sir, they don't. Not as long as they've got you to blame, that is.

2 posted on 12/15/2005 3:57:41 PM PST by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi!)
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To: Fair Go
When do they get around to blaming Bush for that?
3 posted on 12/15/2005 4:01:09 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Fair Go

The race war in Australia is an extension of the race riots we saw in France and in other places around the world.

It's not politically correct to say so but there is a worldwide jihad against whites by non-whites.

5 posted on 12/15/2005 4:11:32 PM PST by R.W.Ratikal
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To: Fair Go
After 1975, the onset of civil war brought Lebanese Muslims

It wasn't quite a "civil war" as most folks think of such a thing. Large numbers of "Palestinians" were ejected from Jordan, and many, in their so called leader, Yassir Arafat, fled to Lebanon. This was in 1970, after the PLO had more or less tried to take over Jordan, but even though they had aid from the Syrians, including a couple of hundred tanks, could not prevail against King Hussein's Arab Legion. Once in Lebanon, they upset the existing arrangements between Christians of various denominations and Muslims, likewise of various sects. As always they caused lots of trouble. They also managed to get the Syrian intervention, in pursuit of a "Greater Syria" legitimized in the eyes of much of the world. Later Syrian switched sides, fearing a too strong PLO, and supported the Christians (temporarily!). Then the Israelis besieged Arafat when they invaded Lebanon, because of constant PLO attacks on them. Of course the US brokered a deal (Forced the Israelis) that allowed Arafat to live and move to Tunisia.

The Muslim refugees from Lebanon, would have come about the time the Syrians switched sides, and continued as the Israelis invaded several years later as they tried to secure a buffer zone for their norther border, and provide security for the now outnumbered Lebanese Christians. Prior to that "civil" war, the Christians were the majority in Lebanon.

6 posted on 12/15/2005 4:16:06 PM PST by El Gato
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To: A CA Guy

That is a very good question. The authoritarian left (I prefer the term "authoritarian left" to "liberal" as they are about regimenting people) invariably blame Bush and the US Republican Party for most of the world's problems. John Howard also cops his share.

7 posted on 12/15/2005 4:16:11 PM PST by Fair Go
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To: Herodian
Islam is a modern day cancer of religion. People are trying to give respect to Muslims in the hope that there can be a nonviolent version out there they can all go by instead of the violent one, but I don't see that.
As a matter of fact, can anyone name any Islamic society where they have control where women aren't denied human rights and treated like dogs?

We know them by their fruits. Their fruits appear to be rotten to the core.

I've been following the Muslims more for years and as I see more and more of what they do and won't change, the more I believe we will have WW3, radical Islam against the modern civilized world on a grand scale.
I don't want that to be the case, but that is the direction Islam is going IMO.
8 posted on 12/15/2005 4:18:50 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Fair Go

The capitalists in the world as societies are a small percentage of the world. What, maybe 5%?

Do we ever expect the rest of the world to love us when we do not mirror them?

We are not a theocracy.
We are not a dictatorship.
We are not socialists or communists.

Where do these liberals expect all this love to America to come from and under what conditions?
They are retarded basically and for the most part not worth having discussions with because they are not logical and live in a fantasy world that only exists in their heads.

9 posted on 12/15/2005 4:25:01 PM PST by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Fair Go

In this politically correct age any altercation is a "race" thing if the participants come from different neighborhoods, if one guy has blue eyes and an opponent has brown eyes, etc.This is all a totally racist society, you see, except for those wonderful leftists who necessarily divide up all abilities and expectations by race, who insist on identifying everyone first by his imputed "race."

10 posted on 12/15/2005 5:08:52 PM PST by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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