Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Photograph of women in hijabs on billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations sparks heated online debate

One would think that Australia day would celebrate Australia as it is.  It is definitely NOT Muslim. They are a small minority and a poorly assimilated one that that. They are distinguished mainly by their high rate of welfare dependency, meaning that the positive contribution they make to the rest of us is minimal

I can see a case for celebrating Australia's diversity with a picture that included someone from our largest minority -- people of Han Chinese ancestry.  They have fitted in brilliantly and differ from Caucasians mainly in their superior educational achievements.  With the many services they provide to us all -- from medical specialists to restaurateurs, we are lucky to have them. That could indeed be celebrated

A billboard advertising Australia Day celebrations in Melbourne sparked debate online for appearing to feature two women wearing hijabs.

A picture of the huge sign showed it having an Australian flag on the left with the two smiling women on the right underneath the event details. There were no other people in the design.

It was said to be by the side of a road in Cranbourne, in Melbourne's southeast, and first shared by far-right groups on Facebook on Friday.

The debate attracted hundreds of comments with a variety of opinions, and was shared thousands of times.

Some commenters were outraged that Australia was only represented by a pair of Muslim women instead of a more diverse crowd.

'Some culture doesn't belong! Meh all this multi cultural bs being rammed down our throats,' one angry Facebook user wrote.

'Muslims on that is a disgrace... I don't know what's going on in this country... It's just going downhill... Muslims are not the face of Australia,' another said.

'PC to the extreme. There's nothing wrong with including people from different backgrounds as Australia is more or less a melting pot of different cultures,' a third wrote.

'But to represent Australia as just Muslim people (as the billboard implies) is just as ignorant as assuming Australians are all Caucasian,' they added.

'I find this advertisement for Australia day offensive yes I'm proud that we are a multi cultural nation but sorry to all the bleeding heart public and politicians when it comes to Australian views on Muslim values,' another wrote.

But the billboard also had its supporters, with many pointing out that Australia was a diverse nation of different people that should be celebrated. 'It doesn't matter what is on the board. Only thing is Australia is [a] multicultural county and everyone who lives there must be proud [of] Australia. So stop that nonsense,' one wrote.

'I don't get why people seem to think that one race or any race owns any land more so then the other. Those views are so close minded. We share this earth together, even if you don't like it,' another said.

A third person replied to another commenter claiming the billboard was evidence of the government 'bending down to the minority to make them feel better about themselves' and that Australia would slowly become Muslim.

They replied: 'No one seems to be suffering mate, our country is multicultural and if you've got a problem with that then you've got a problem with Australia.'

The billboard was advertising a RACV Australia Day Festival at the King's Domain Gardens in the centre of Melbourne, including a parade and flag raising ceremony.


Shocking research reveals babies as young as five months are victims of female genital mutilation in Australia

A study into the female genital mutilation has revealed a startling number of young girls are undergoing the procedure.

Researchers from the Australian paediatric surveillance unit at Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney found 59 girls around the country were given the most extreme form of the FGM procedure as far back as since 2010, the ABC reported.

The victims' ages ranged from as young as five months old to 18 years old.

Professor Elizabeth Elliott, Consultant Pediatrician at the Children's Hospital at Westmead, said of the 59 girls reported eight experienced complications.

'About 20 per cent of them had had infibulation - that is [the] removal of the clitoris - and external genitalia removed and sewing up of the opening,' she said.

'Many of these girls were experiencing physical complications such as urinary tract infections, difficulty passing urine, difficulty with menstruation, but a lot of them were also suffering from psychological consequences of having had the procedure.'

Professor Elliott said that most of the procedures were performed overseas, while only two were performed in New South Wales. 

'We really have no idea of the prevalence and we suspect this is a gross underestimate of the number of girls who have been affected by this procedure,' she said.

To help make changes, she said a revision of the policies was necessary to help victims so paediatricians and health service professionals could determine if a patient had the surgery and if they need to call the authorities.

FGM is a criminal offence and is recognised as physical abuse across all Australian states and territories.



Unholy matrimony and the Islamic culture’s hidden stain

Piers Akerman

AS much as it may discomfort the multi-culti crowd, Australia must realise that there are some appalling aspects of ­Islamic culture that can never be embraced here.

In the 2015-16 financial year alone, the Australian Federal Police investigated 69 ­incidents of forced marriage, more than double that investigated the previous year.

Just last week, an imam, a Muslim religious leader, faced a Melbourne court after allegedly forcing a child into marriage, while the 34-year-old “husband” of the minor appeared via videolink charged with sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16.

Ibrahim Omerdic, 61, appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday over an alleged forced marriage at Noble Park, in Melbourne’s southeast, along with the husband, who cannot be identified. The latter is also charged with being a party to a forced marriage.

Ibrahim Omerdic was charged with forcing a child bride to marry him against her will. Picture: Nicole Garmston
The court heard that a DVD of the ceremony being conducted at a mosque last year may form part of the evidence. ­ According to The Weekend Australian no person has been convicted of arranging or being involved in a forced marriage in Australia despite the number of referrals of possible offences soaring since 2013, when the act was criminalised, according to data from the Attorney-General’s Department.

In 2013-14, the Australian Federal Police received 11 referrals of allegations of forced marriage. The AFP received 33 in 2014-15 and 69 in 2015-16.

Mr Omerdic is the imam of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Islamic Centre and Mosque at Noble Park and reportedly said in 2005 that there was no “clear proof” Osama bin Laden was behind the 9/11 terror attacks.

The Victorian Board of Imams released a statement earlier this week condemning marriages that are illegal in Australia.

“Imams are advised to meet both the bride and groom in person prior to the nikah ­(Islamic marriage) ceremony to ensure they are of marriageable age and both are consenting to the marriage,” the statement said.

“As Australian Muslims, we are required to observe and ­respect the laws of Australia.”

The average reader might well assume that the Victorian Board of Imams aren’t ­unhappy with forced child marriages in other countries. Little wonder that young Australian Muslim girls are at risk of being spirited abroad to marry older men.

Given the imams’ collective responses to the case of the imam charged in Melbourne on Friday, the young girls might be better advised to look elsewhere for protection.

The Islamic Council of Victoria also released a statement condemning forced marriage.

“It is true that marriage at a younger age is permitted in other countries and cultures, but this is not a justification for marriage below the legal age or child marriages here in Australia,” they said.

Which might make some readers wonder why the Islamic Council members didn’t say they think forced child marriage is absolutely abhorrent wherever it is practised?

Do they think that they lack the stature to condemn this disgusting tradition or are they afraid that by doing so they will open up the obvious questions which surround the marriage of their Prophet Muhammad to his child bride, Aisha, who, according to traditional sources was married to Muhammad when she was six or seven though the marriage was not consummated till she was nine or 10, and he was then 53.

School principals and teachers have reported girls as young as nine being taken overseas, where they are forced to marry, the NSW government has said.

Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard is in no doubt about the magnitude of the problem. He said data collected by his department since a telephone hotline was set up in July 2014 left him in “no doubt that there is a tsunami of young girls, some as young as nine, who are being taken overseas and being forced to become child brides”.

During a 2016 press conference he said the Muslim community needed to be vocal opponents against the practice.

Given the imams’ collective responses to the case of the imam charged in Melbourne on Friday, the young girls might be better advised to look elsewhere for protection.

As these young girls are most at risk from their families, there is a huge reluctance on their part to report the crime because of the shame and ­embarrassment that conviction and publicity would bring.

The same goes for the hideous cultural practice of ­female genital mutilation.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF data, as many as 83,000 women and girls in Australia may have been subjected to FGM, a statistic that rests on the fact that a girl is most likely to be subject to this procedure if her mother has had FGM.

It is estimated that 5640 girls under 15 may be in danger and 1100 girls are born every year to women who have had FGM. The extrapolation was cited by Professor Gillian Triggs, the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, in April 2016.

Professor Triggs and her ­organisation would be among the first to defend multiculturalism and just behind them would be Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Why not, it’s been a howling success across Europe, hasn’t it? Even the queen of multi-culti, Germany’s leaderene Angela Merkel, has been forced to admit the policy stinks.

Time our leaders did the same and dumped it.


Australian energy bills soar in shift from coal power stations

Electricity companies have begun hiking consumer prices around the country, blaming the closure of coal-fired generators and the increased cost of renewable energy for higher-than-predicted increases of more than $130 this year.

EnergyAustralia and AGL have increased electricity tariffs in Victoria by $135 and $132 on average for the year respectively — greatly exceeding state government modelling that concluded bills would rise by $27 to $100.

The Victorian price rises will flow from this week but the companies’ customers in other states, including South Australia and NSW, face a yet-to-be announced price rise in June.

Red Energy, the retailing arm of Snowy Hydro, informed customers in NSW its rates would increase this week because of “increases in the wholesale cost of electricity and the large-scale renewable energy certificates”.

Some tariffs were raised by almost 25 per cent.

The consumer price rises will increase political pressure on state and federal governments to deal with escalating energy costs that have sparked business warnings that rising power charges are undermining competitiveness.

The Australian Energy Council has warned the impact will be greatest in Victoria and South Australia, which face the biggest wholesale price increases.

The South Australian government is under pressure over its heavy reliance on renewable energy, particularly with the closure of the Northern power station and blackouts sparked by severe storms. Queensland, which has a regulated market, is reviewing its energy tariffs with results expected by the middle of the year.

The Energy Council’s corporate affairs general manager, Sarah McNamara, said the Victorian wholesale price increases were a “byproduct of the reduction in the state’s generation capacity by around 20 per cent, a direct consequence of the upcoming closure of the Hazelwood power station in March”. The Energy Council, which represents major electricity and gas producers, has repeatedly called for a national strategy to deal with supply issues and price volatility as older power stations are retired and an increasing amount of large-scale renewable energy is made available.

An EnergyAustralia spokesman said the average $11 a month increase in Victoria reflected “higher generation, general business and government green-scheme costs”. In that state, there was an increase in the cost of buying electricity for 2017 from about $40 a megawatt hour in January to more than $60 a megawatt hour in November, he said.

“The closure of the Northern power station in South Australia, increased demand for gas by large LNG projects in Queensland, reliability issues and … the market’s reaction to the closure of Hazelwood were among the main factors,” he said.

AGL, through a spokesman, said residential electricity prices would rise by $2.59 a week, on average, or a 9.9 per cent increase, while small and medium-size businesses would see costs increase by 13.4 per cent.

Despite the higher charges, the closure of Hazelwood could boost earnings at AGL, which owns the Loy Yang A power station, by up to 10 per cent, according to analysts at investment bank JP Morgan. That analysis, released late last year, assumed the closure of Hazelwood would increase wholesale prices by 15 per cent in Victoria and 10 per cent in NSW.

Victorian coal generators will also face increased royalty costs this year, with the subsidy intended on making renewable energy more attractive rising to 22.8c a gigajoule for companies mining brown coal from 7.6c, netting the government about $250 million over four years.

The Minerals Council’s Victorian executive director, Gavin Lind, said the brown coal royalty increases introduced by the Andrews government were harmful and ignored the practicalities of the electricity market.

“The expected increase in electricity costs will hit Victorian businesses hard, especially the manufacturing sector where uncertain economic conditions are already placing the industry under strain,” he said. “The Victorian government seems intent on increasing the state’s dependence on expensive and part-time energy sources and committing Victorian households and industry to higher energy prices. It will pass the cost of the scheme on to electricity users via their energy bills. In so doing, it will subsidise uneconomic renewable energy projects while driving out affordable, reliable coal-fired energy.’’

A government spokesman defended the increase. “The royalty rate has not changed in a decade, and this will simply bring Victoria into line with the other states. We are ensuring Victorians get a fair return for the use of our state’s natural resources,” he said.

In Queensland, the state’s Competition Authority is in the final stages of setting electricity tariffs for 2017-18, with the Palaszczuk government unveiling a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 that could slash earnings at the government-owned electricity generators.

Renewable energy schemes were blamed by Red Energy for this week’s increase in retail prices, although Snowy Hydro declined to provide details about the increases. “There are a number of factors that can push energy prices higher for consumers and the need to source renewable energy certificates to cover a portion of the energy consumed by customers is one of them,” a spokesman said. “We cover the resulting REC liability through a combination of RECs generated by the Snowy Scheme with the remainder sourced from the market.”

The price of those certificates has jumped in recent months, netting some electricity retailers windfall gains, as concerns grow that Australia will not reach its 2020 renewable energy target.

The spot price of those certificates rose to about $87 at the end of last month compared with an average of $54 in 2015, although the largest retailers can obtain RECs as part of the normal course of business or at lower contract rates.


Pauline recognized by Trump

ONE Nation leader Pauline Hanson has confirmed she was sent “gifted tickets” to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration this weekend.

The One Nation leader - who drank champagne on the steps of Parliament House the day Trump was elected - said she was still deciding whether to go.

Senator Hanson posted on social media this morning that it was an honour to be invited.

“Would you believe it? I have been gifted tickets to the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of @realDonaldTrump - what an honour,” she said on Twitter.

The senator quickly followed with a tweet saying she was still deciding whether she could attend because of her duties to the people of Queensland and Australia.

Australian Ambassador to the US Joe Hockey will officially represent Australia at the 45th President of the US’s inauguration on January 20.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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