Stopping Muslim immigration: be careful what we whinge for

Is it that time of year already? Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party, has called for an immediate halt to Muslim immigration. Last year (or was it the year before?), he was calling for the niqab to be banned on the apparent grounds that bombs might be hidden inside it. Why terrorists might choose a woman conspicuosly dressed as a Muslim to hide their bombs was, of course, never discussed.

Reverend Fred Nile, the longest-serving member of the NSW Legislative Council, made the comments at a gathering in the Sydney suburb of North Ryde yesterday.

He said there has been no serious study of the potential effects on Australia of more than 300,000 Muslims who are already here, and Australians deserved some breathing space.

Well, here’s one study, conducted by a Muslim organisation, that might reassure Mr Nile and the rest of the community that Muslims, particularly Muslim youth, are settling in just fine:

AUSTRALIA’S disadvantaged young Muslims are so directionless and fearful of being excluded by the broader community many are turning to drugs and contemplating suicide.

Ninety-eight per cent of 150 Sydney-based young Muslims surveyed had considered suicide as a “way out” of the conflicts in their life as a Muslim in a non-Muslim society.

The All Eyes On Youth study found eight out of 10 young Muslims aged between 12 and 25 considered the education system of no assistance “in making lifetime choices”, and 94 per cent lacked a clear goal in life.

Or maybe not.

Regardless, one must wonder to what extent the picture Muslims paint of our own community shapes the opinions and views of the broader society. As Baybers notes in the previous post, some Muslims seem to spend a lot of time and effort painting the Muslim community as, to put it delicately, somewhat troubled. Our youths, we are repeatedly told, are disgruntled, disenfranchised, dysfunctional, disatisfied, and, at least potentially, dangerous ticking time bombs who might easily become terrorists should a suitably fully sick radical preacher descend on the Sunni triangles of Sydney and Melbourne.

This portrayal might work well when pitching for a grant to help all these troubled yoofs but perhaps it doesn’t go down as well in non-Muslim Australia. Yes, we have problems but these problems are limited to certain sections of the Muslim community. We also have an increasing number of middle class, educated and productive Muslims and this should be highlighted even more. For most of us, the faux gangsta subculture with its drugs, misogyny, and antinomianism is as foreign and as confronting as it is to everyone else.

And this is what it comes down to: if Muslims are really as troubled and troublesome as some of the Muslim leaders want the world to believe, then why should the government and non-Muslim Australia support continued Muslim immigration? This is, unfortunately, the natural consequence of constantly promoting our victimhood. It seems we can’t have it both ways.