Saturday, December 18, 2010

Are these the people we want to welcome?

I made the mistake tonight of watching a little of the seven news.

A report on the protesters at Phosphate Bay was the first thing I saw.

Protesters were apparently complaining, and not gently, about the people who drowned in the swell off the cliffs of Christmas Island. Some of them lost family members. They were blaming the Navy.

It is unfortunately the culture, nature, teaching, upbringing, psychology of these people to blame everyone else when things go wrong.

The blame issue, the lack of self responsibility, is explained in this article from Nikolai Sennels, from the section Locus of Control:
There is another strong difference between the people of Western and Muslim cultures; their locus of control. Locus of control is a psychological term describing whether people experience their life influenced mainly, by internal or external factors. It is clear from a psychological point of view that Westerners feel that their lives are mainly influenced by inner forces – ourselves. This is reflected in our points of view, our ways of handling our emotions, our ways of thinking, our ways of relating to people around us, our motivation, our surplus, and our way of communicating. These internal factors are what guide our lives and determine if we feel good and self confident or not. Every Western library has several meters of self help books. Every kiosk has dozens of magazines for both women and men that tell us how to create happier and more successful lives for ourselves. Our phone books have columns of addresses for psychologists, coaches and therapists. All these things are aimed at helping us to help ourselves create the life that we want. Some might argue that all this introspectiveness is too much and that just doing what is useful for oneself and others here-and-now would be more constructive, but this is how our culture is.

All these things do not exist in Muslim culture and countries. The very little psychiatry and psychology that is taught, in only a few universities in the Muslim world, is imported from the West. It is mostly taught by teachers educated at Western universities and does not have roots in the Muslim culture.

But Muslims have something else. They have strict external rules, traditions and laws for human behavior. They have a God that decides their life's course. "Inshallah" follows every statement about future plans; if God wants it to happen. They have powerful Muslim clerics who set the directions for their community every Friday. These clerics dictate political views, child rearing behavior, and how or whether to integrate in Western societies.
In western society we are taught to keep a lid on our temper and not to show aggression or make threats. Tantrums are not rewarded, anger must be managed. By losing your temper you lose face, it is an embarrassment to lose your temper. In the muslim world it is a sign of weakness not to show agression.
In the Muslim culture, aggressive behavior, especially threats, are generally seen to be accepted, and even expected as a way of handling conflicts and social discrepancies. If a Muslim does not respond in a threatening way to insults or social irritation, he, not "she" (Muslim women are, mostly, expected to be humble and to not show power) is seen as weak, as someone who cannot be depended upon and loses face.
When talking about "radicalisation", we could look at this observation by Sennels as an explanation of the sudden radicalisation of terrorists, the difference on how people in the west bring up their children and how muslims allow their children to grow up without much guidance:
This way of starting with a short leash is actually very normal in our Western way of raising children. We start with strict expectations concerning school, doing homework, and behaving properly. Then, as children get older and more mature they will receive more freedom from their parents. When they are 21 years old they are expected to have learned enough to be able to handle life and are free to choose whatever education, partner, religion, life style that they want.

In Muslim culture it is different - especially for the boys. They have lots of freedom in their early lives and as they get older more and more cultural/religious restrictions and expectations appear to support the family structure. By the time they are 20 years old, their parents often have already chosen their future wives or husbands. Other choices are also less free: the expectation, for instance, to either achieve high status in education or to work in the little family run shop, to support the family's reputation by attending Friday prayers in the local Mosque. The "education pyramid" is standing upside down in the West; less freedom in the beginning, more self responsibility as one gets older. In Muslim culture the pyramid stands with its wide end down; few expectations to follow civilized behavior as a boy, and less freedom as one grows more competent, to support one's own family and religion.
It is the nature of islam to keep people under control, to make them soldiers of islam who will defend to the death their 'religion', to protect their prophet from being mentioned in any bad light, and an insult to the prophet is an insult to islam. Anyone who insults islam is in danger of attracting the wrath of muslims who will seek out that person and "punish" them for their insult to islam. This punishment can range from destruction of property to murder. In fact the koran says that the punishment for anyone who shows disrespect* for islam is death. Defending the honour of islam by murder on this earthy plane to me shows a pretty weak god.

The concept of honour in muslim society is not the kind of honour westerners would recognise:
If you had ever spent time in a Muslim community you experience this very clearly. You would find yourself constantly trying not to offend anyone and you’d treat everybody like a rotten egg. Jokes, irony and, especially, self-irony is as good as non-existent. It creates a superficial social environment where unhealthy hierarchies appear everywhere because nobody dares to, for instance, point out the weaknesses of childish men and make fun of the powerful. There is an old Danish fairytale about a little boy that points out the nakedness of the King; "He has no clothes on!!” embarrassing the proud King wearing his non-existent magic clothes, which are only visible to "good people" (actually, the King was just naked - because the tailor had cheated him!). Such a story could never have been written in a Muslim culture.

Many young Muslims become assailants. This is not just because of the Muslim cultural acceptance of aggression, but also because the Muslim honor mentality makes them into fragile, insecure men. Instead of being flexible and humorous they become stiff and develop fragile, glass-like, narcissistic personalities.

Unfortunately, most journalists and media people use the term “honor” when describing cases of violence where the offender makes excuses for himself by stating that his honor was offended. Since the concept of honor is completely integrated in the social rules of Muslim culture, it is seen to be justifiable when honor is threatened. This extends to beating or killing women who want to claim such basic human rights as to choose, for themselves, their own sexual partners. By using this term, as used by the offender, the media automatically takes the perspective of a clearly psychopathic and narcissistic excuse for treating other people badly. Instead, we should take our own Western culture as a basis when describing such crimes. Terms like “family execution”, “childish jealousy,” “control maniac” or “insecure” would be much closer to our cultural understanding of such behavior.
*glossary note: disrespect is stating anything about islam which muslims consider to be disrespectful, this includes any criticism or discussion by non muslims - remember, muslims aren't allowed to question islam.

You can read more of Sennels' paper here.


Indi Warrior said...

what a load of waffle.....

Anonymous said...

Quite agree Indi

looks like an other bigoted hateful xenophobe here.

Merilyn said...

Indi and Anonymous then why did you even bother to read the article, since you are both against it?
Or was it closer to the truth then you would have liked?

Anonymous said...


it would be really really foolish to comment on something one did not read, don't you agree?

Indi Warrior said...

well said anonymous.

Merilyn, truth is not something those on the right easily relate too......but I like to 'look over the fence' once in a while anyway

Minicapt said...

On the other hand, commenting on that which one read but did not comprehend is spiffy and progressive and indi-like. And self-assumed warrior-hood can only be like rum-flavoured icing on a almond cheesecake.
Apparently 'Anon' and 'Indi-Warrior' have imbibed of something akin to Laphamite wisdom.


Wand said...

No they are not the people that we want to welcome.

This post over at Gates of Vienna gives the full story about Islam and what it 'represents'. It's a long post but worth reading. Now could the same things happen here and could these people be part of the changes imposed? Most certainly!