WSS Opinion: As A Mother


As a mother, I was appalled by Sonia Kruger’s comments on the Today show yesterday, however, going by comments on social media (particularly Facebook), unfortunately she seems to be “speaking on behalf” of a huge group of Australians.

Sonia has every right to her opinion and to voice it but I think, for someone who is in the media, it is very dangerous for her to say all Muslims need to be banned from coming to Australia. This promotes and justifies more division and hate in our society.  Speaking of hate, I don’t condone the online bashing she has received for her views. Bullying and abuse is never ok.

To be honest, the group of Australian’s who believe all Muslims are evil really have no idea or maybe just don’t understand it. For a start, there are many different sects of Muslims, however, there are three main sects; Sunni Islam, Shia Islam, and Kharijites  and different teachings of Islam. Just as there are with different sects of Christian denomination; Catholic, Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans or Baptists, which are the larger of the Christian groups. Then you have  Seventh Day Eventist, Uniting, Jehovah’s Witness, Fundamentalist Christianity, Pietism, Evangelicalism, Pentecostalism and the Holiness movement. There are literally, hundreds of different branches of Christianity the world over. Would you say all Christians are evil because of an extremist group? What if people based all Christians on the Westbro Baptist Church, who seem to be full of hate? 

You can’t persecute all Muslims because of terrorist groups and lone nutters acting in the name of Islam. How many nutters cause deaths in the name of God? My Dad grew up in Ireland where Protestants and Catholic’s were killing each other in the name of religion. There will always be some nutters who want to cause problems/ violence in the name of religion. It’s their excuse for doing so. 

Of course, what has happened in France and Belgium is terrible and we need to be doing more to combat ISIS. Although, their numbers are dwindling and experts have said that the attack on Nice was a desperate effort to promote their cause, as they are losing in the Middle East.

Australia has one of the most stringent immigration laws in the world. Whether a terrorist was to move here or here in on holidays, if he/she has connections to terrorist organisations, they wouldn’t be allowed in. Well, apart from Man Monis who the ALP let in (he was wanted on fraud charges in Iran) and actually advocated for him but that is another story and one we don’t need to debate here.

Muslims have been in Australia for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a country town in Northern Victoria, my Nan’s next door neighbours were Turkish of  Muslim faith. My Mum grew up and was good friends with their daughter. They were the loveliest people you could ever meet and very hard working. A local Muslim business owner who owns a kebab shop, donates food to those less fortunate and helps the SES and CFA. I’m sure there are plenty of stories of Muslims who are active in their communities and help others.

Hate breeds hate. If a Muslim child is growing up in Australia reading and hearing that all Muslims are bad and a majority of Australian’s hate them, doesn’t that give that child an incentive to be lead into extremism? As we have scene in the last year or so, it is mainly disenfranchised teen Muslim boys who have been lead into joining extremist groups. Unfortunately, the extremists know how to draw the teens in with targeted propaganda and a cause to believe in ie. if they feel hated by their own country the extremists play on this mindset.

Over the past couple of decades, the term “terrorist” has come into widespread use to describe acts of terror perpetrated primarily by members of groups who use their distorted and corrupted interpretations of Islam as their justification. These groups include al-Quiada, ISIS, Boco Haram, Hamas, and Hesbala, among others.

By naming “Islam” and “Muslims”  in regard to the criminal acts, it wrongly validates the suspects’ claimed religious justification for undertaking these actions. Fear and hate towards Muslims is what these terrorists want as it gives validation for their cause ie. that everyone from the west is bad and hates them, so this gives them justification to kill in the name of Islam.

A friend of my son’s Facebook page is starting to look quite scary with a lot of hate speech towards white people. She is from a Sudanese background and works at a local McDonalds. I can see where she is coming from with all the hate towards Sudanese at the moment. I’m sure if there wasn’t so much hate towards her background, she wouldn’t have so much hate towards white people. I think this is where problems stem from, as I wrote before, hate breeds hate.

I honestly think this has come from the media, who feed off fear and hate for clickbait, which the perpetually offended and redneck racists love to get a hold of and use this information to help their cause of hate.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of teens causing issues in the Melbourne community, not just Sudanese but of course, the media are focusing on one group and the hate towards Sudanese on social media is quite scary. People are even talking about getting together vigilante groups to “show them a lesson”.

The APEX gang (I hate that name, as people confuse them with the wonderful community group, Apex Australia.) are causing a lot of issues in Melbourne since the Moomba festival and the media have been all over any activity by people of Sudanese appearance, which has been car jackings and burglaries. Mind you, aggravated burglaries were also carried out by two Caucasian men and two groups of white teenagers in the last few weeks too but reporting on those instances doesn’t get the same reaction. The calls for “send them back to Sudan” and “don’t let them in here in the first place” is quite loud.

Interestingly, Victoria had the highest proportion of overseas born prisoners (25% or 1,551 prisoners). Of these, the most common country of birth was Vietnam (20% of overseas born prisoners or 313 prisoners) and New Zealand (ref. ABS). Are we going to ban Vietnamese and New Zealanders from entering the country?

It’s interesting to see how hate towards certain groups has changed over the years. When Pauline Hanson was first elected over 10 years ago, her whole stance was against Asians and Aboriginals, now it is towards Muslims. It seems that people like to jump on the latest hate bandwagon. Remember the Cronulla riots and the hate towards Lebanese at the time?

Maybe minorities don’t assimilate because of how others treat them? If we were more inclusive of people from overseas, would we have communities who tend to stay within “their own”?

There have always been some type of gang activity here. From the Italian mafia, Asian drug gangs to bikies, there has always been a criminal element somewhere. If luxury cars are being stolen, who are paying the kids to steal them? There has to be a higher chain along the way, which I’m sure the police are onto.

I’m sure a lot of this trouble has to do with our lax court system. The police arrest offenders, but as they are teens, they are let out on bail and end up getting a slap on the wrist. Where is the deterrence? Maybe community service will sort these kids out? I know the juvenile remand system isn’t the answer either, as most kids learn more while in the centres than they would outside of them.

Maybe parents need to be held accountable for their children’s actions until they turn eighteen? I’m not sure what the answer is there. I just know that my kids wouldn’t be out wandering the streets at twelve to sixteen years of age on their own or without knowing where they are or up to.

Youth unemployment seems to be an issue too and has been for the last ten years. With the access to easy money, a sense of entitlement and knowing they can get away with doing illegal activity, it gives them “something to do”. Drugs is also a huge problem in our society and people are getting more and more desperate to get money to pay for their next hit.

In brief, I don’t think that not letting Sudanese people into our country will solve anything, as it is the kids who are born here are the issue. Just as it is with teen Muslim teens getting involved with extremism.

As far as my boys are concerned, I don’t want them growing up in a country where people hate (or are scared) of others because of race, religion, colour, gender or sexual preference.

As most people will know, I have quite a conservative view. I’m not religious and I support the Liberal Party. So, I’m definitely not a leftist socialist but I have always taken people as I see them and think all people should be treated equally. We cannot taint all people of the same race or religion as evil because of a few.

The boys attend a Christian Lutheran school, which has a very multicultural diverse student population. The students are taught the importance of community, to accept all and treat people equally. They have a community garden which donates produce to a local welfare organisation to distribute to those in need and the children are taught about helping those less fortunate than themselves and each other. Kids don’t see colour, race or religion, so why would we?

Of course, the main reason we sent our boys there was because of the high standard of education (and the assistance our ASD son needed but couldn’t receive in a government school) but I am quite impressed with the level of community engagement and promotion of good morals and values.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone just accepted everyone else as being of one race, the human race? We need to condemn the actions of these terrorists but you can’t ban a whole religion or race because of a few.

What do you think?

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