Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nazeem Hussain says an irresponsible Pauline Hanson is doing ‘the same as ISIS

Nazeem Hussain is a Muslim, and of course a Lefty. He says, “When Pauline Hanson says things irresponsibly she is doing exactly what ISIS is doing.”

Isis have been murdering people by the thousands, blowing them up, sawing off heads with kitchen knives, shooting, burning, drowning, crucifying,... etc. They enjoy creatively killing anyone they hate, which is anyone other than themselves. Isis and Jihadists all over the world are committed to killing or supporting the killing of non-muslims.

Yet Nazeem Hussain says that Pauline Hanson is doing what Isis is doing.  Come again?  He also says that Isis and Pauline Hanson are trying to “divide” Muslims and non-Muslims. But Isis is not trying to divide Muslims and non-Muslims, they are trying to kill, enslave or convert non-Muslims through terror, which is the means of conversion encouraged in the Koran.

He is a stupid man. He should reassess himself and apologise for his stupid statements. I doubt he will though.

COMEDIAN Nazeem Hussain has accused right wing politician Pauline Hanson of playing into the hands of Muslim extremists.

“When Pauline Hanson says things irresponsibly what she is doing, is doing exactly what ISIS is doing,” Hussain told campmates in the South African jungle on Channel Ten’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!

“When tragedy happens, I always think, what is going to happen to us? Are we going to become what ISIS wants us to become, a world where there is Muslim and non-Muslim. What happens time and again, and this just shows the Australian spirit, is that we actually find ways to use that opportunity to strengthen bonds and we come closer together. It is weird me being emotional about politics like this but it is personal for me.”

Hussain, 30, broke down to tears as he spoke out about the pressure and responsibility he feels at being a Muslim in Australia today. He describes his commitment to his faith as being “devout” and prays five times a day, even when in the South African jungle.

“I am Australian, I love my country. I want to make my community and society better,” he said. “I feel like I need to be also using my platform to help people understand each other and to kind of bring people together.”

Hussain continued: “Before September 11, Muslims were just another ethnic community. But after September 11, Muslims in Australia suddenly became this political community that were ideologically opposed to the Australian way of life. We often talk about each other, Muslims and non-Muslims but we never really speak and have friendships with each other.”


Coal proves its worth while the Left tilts at windmills

Kevin Rudd breezed into the Sky News studio in Canberra last week to decry the lack of “deep, strong, committed national leadership” since the electorate’s foolish ­decision to turf him out of office.

It was “nuts” to remove the carbon tax, he said. “Where we are now can be summed up in three words: dumb, dumb, dumb.”

Australia’s energy market could be dumber still if Labor wins office and pursues its vanity target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. The plight of South Aus­tralia, the canary in the turbine blades, demonstrates what happens when an economy becomes hostage to unreliable sources of power.

Yet Rudd was unapologetic. Coal? Don’t get him started. “The message for coal, long-term globally, is down and out,” he informed us. We need “a heavy mix of renewables”, which was why he was proud that the government had introduced the renewable ­energy target.

In the real world, the one outside Rudd’s brain, the RET is nothing to be proud of. It is one of the most expensive public policy disasters of the century, market intervention on a massive scale with unfair and unintended con­sequences that will haunt Aus­tralians for decades.

Rudd, determined to tackle the era’s “greatest moral challenge”, upped the target by more than 450 per cent in an uncosted promise before the 2007 election.

It was crazy, as the Productivity Commission politely tried to tell him in a 2008 submission. The target would not increase abatement but would impose extra costs and lead to higher electricity prices, the commission warned.

It would favour existing technologies — namely wind and solar — while holding back new ideas that might ultimately be more ­successful.

Rudd, of course, knew better. Not for the last time, he ignored the Productivity Commission and pushed ahead with his renewable target of 45,000GWh by 2020, of which 41,000GWh would come from large-scale wind and solar.

If the policy was designed to punish Australian consumers, it was a roaring success. Household electricity bills increased by 92 per cent under the Rudd-Gillard governments, six times the level of ­inflation.

Rudd went further, spending $4.15 billion on dubious clean ­energy boondoggles. He put $1.6bn into solar technologies, delivered $465 million to establish the research institute Renewables Australia, gave $480m to the Nat­ional Solar Schools Program to give schools “a head start in tackling climate change and conserving our precious water supplies”. Easy come, easy go; the money tree seemed ripe for picking.

The cost of meeting Rudd’s windmill and solar fetish has been extraordinary. Wind-generated power is roughly three-times more expensive than traditional energy, and large-scale solar even pricier.

It has taken cross-subsidies of $22bn to keep renewables viable, according to a 2014 review for the federal government. The economy-wide cost was put at $29bn.

It amounts to industry welfare on steroids. Corporations that jumped on the clean energy gravy train have benefited from assistance on a far greater scale than that we once lavished on the car industry.

Wind farm operators work in splendid isolation from the risk and uncertainty that trouble ordinary businesses. Their share price is not driven by supply and demand for electricity, but by the funny-money world of large-scale generation certificates.

When the LGC spot price shot up from $52 in July 2015 to $86, the value of Infigen’s stock ­quadrupled.

Coal energy producers, on the other hand, saw their fortunes decline. The Alinta power station closed at Port Augusta in May last year, ground down by operating losses of about $100m.

The result of Labor’s ill-considered RET policy should shame the social justice party into silence. Shareholders in the likes of Infigen have grown rich by squeezing coal operators out of business with all that entails: the loss of 440 jobs at Port Augusta, for example, and the threat the closure presents to jobs in other South Australian industries.

They have grown rich through a scheme that has made the electricity grid more unstable and reduced the reliability of supply.

They have grown rich through a scheme that has more than doubled the cost of running an air­conditioner, a detail that probably won’t trouble Infigen’s executives on the 22nd floor of their five-star energy-rated Pitt Street, Sydney, headquarters but would make life uncomfortable for a pensioner surviving on $437 a week in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

On paper, the case for abolishing the RET is strong. Deloitte’s estimates the reduction in electricity prices would add $28.8bn to GDP by 2030 and create 50,000 jobs.

The politics of liberalising the energy market would be punishing, however, and all but impossible to negotiate through the Senate.

The status quo — a 23.5 per cent renewable target by 2020 — will require doubling the capacity of wind and solar and will further erode the viability of coal plants. The doubling of energy future ­prices that followed the announcement of the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is a sign of things to come.

Rudd’s claim that coal is “down and out” will come as news to the Japanese government, which is planning up to 47 coal-fired, high-energy, low-emissions plants burning high-quality Australian black coal.

It would be viable in Australia, too, if energy providers enjoyed a free market. With gas prices high, ultra-supercritical coal generation would fill the demand for base-load power.

Yet the uncertainty of Labor’s greener-than-thou policies — not just a 50 per cent RET but a price on carbon, too — could yet make the end of coal a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Academic rigour is a welcome change in new NSW curriculum

The new NSW senior school courses prove why it is best to give the states and territories control over Years 11 and 12 and not force them to adopt a national curriculum model, as we have for Foundation to Year 10.

While the devil is in the detail, the new NSW senior school courses in English, history, maths and science look to be an improvement on drafts released for public comment last year.

Compared with the other states and territories, it also appears these courses represent a more academically rigorous approach to the curriculum.

In history, the inclusion of topics such as the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Age of Imperialism and the Industrial Age are vital if students are to understand past events and movements that shaped Western civilisation.

Saying that English must include a mandatory course with “explicit reference to structure and grammar, spelling, vocabulary and punctuation”, while stating the obvious, is essential if students are to successfully communicate and this should also be welcomed.

One criticism of the draft science course released last year was that there was not enough emphasis on maths; the fact that the final syllabus design includes increased maths content is also welcome.

Emphasising critical thinking and not just “a recall of facts” — even though both are important — is also beneficial because by Years 11 and 12 students should be expected to master higher order, more abstract skills.

Where there is a slight misgiving is when the new maths syllabus says there will be an “increased focus on problem-solving, applied to real-world problems”.

Often what is most important in maths is mastering complex algorithms and procedures that might not have “real-world” application but are vital to the discipline.

As always, when designing curriculum, the real test will be what happens when it is delivered by teachers in schools and how well students are prepared for further study and a world of work.

Some of the best syllabuses, no matter how well designed, fail the classroom test and prove that what is intended does not always eventuate in practice.


How do you solve a problem like sharia?

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, an Islamic activist, has been paid by the Australian government to visit countries such as Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Qatar, it is said, “to promote Australia”. Far from offering criticism of the misogynistic sharia laws on the books in those countries, Abdel-Magied recently stated that Islam is “the most feminist” of all religions. Confronted with the abuses that are committed against women in the countries she visited, Abdel-Magied replied: “I’m not going to deny, some countries run by Muslims are violent and sexist, but that’s not down to sharia. That’s down to the culture and the patriarchy and the politics of those … countries.”

That is absurd. Abdel-Magied fits into a familiar pattern, where the government of a free society such as Australia invests a considerable sum in an individual or a group in the hope that the person is a “moderate” Muslim and will advance the assimilation of their Muslim minority through constructive engagement. Then the supposed moderate the government has invested in is exposed as a closet Islamist, in this case sympathetic to sharia law. The government is left red-faced. Others simply see red.

In a televised exchange on ABC, Australian senator Jacqui Lambie challenged Abdel-Magied’s views, holding that those who support sharia law should be deported from Australia. Remarkably, the televised debate was followed by a demand for an apology by the ABC from a collective of 49 Muslim scholars, lawyers and self-appointed individuals who claim to speak for all Australian Muslims. The petition alleged “Islamophobia” and criticised ABC host Tony Jones for not upholding the “values of respect and fairness” and for failing to provide a “safe environment” for Abdel-Magied.

Yet what set of principles is less safe for women than sharia? As a moral and legal code, sharia law is among the most dehumanising, demeaning and degrading for women ever devised by man:

 *  Under sharia law, a woman’s testimony is worth half of a man’s testimony in court (Koran 2:282).

 *  Under sharia law, men are the “guardians” of women; women are to be obedient to men, and husbands may beat their wives for disobedience (Koran 4:34).

 *  Under sharia law, a woman may not refuse sexual access to her husband unless she is medically incapable or menstruating, a teaching based partly on Allah himself saying in the Koran, “Your women are a tillage for you; so come unto your tillage as you wish” (Koran 2:223)

 *  Under sharia law, a woman inherits less than a man, generally half as much, again based on holy writ: “Allah enjoins you concerning your children: the male shall have the equal of the portion of two females” (Koran 4.11, 4.12).

 *  Under sharia law, men and women who commit fornication are to be flogged. As to the punishment for fornicators, the Koran says: “Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment” (Koran 24:2).

 *  Under sharia law, a man may unilaterally divorce his wife through talaq, whereas women are limited to divorce either under specific circumstances, such as the husband’s impotence, or with the husband’s consent and payment of a certain amount of money (khul).

 *  Sharia law permits fathers to contract binding marriages for their children so long as they are minors; and although a boy married against his wishes may exercise his power to divorce his wife unilaterally once he matures, a girl’s exit from such an unwanted marriage is much more difficult.

 *  Under sharia law, the custody of children is generally granted to ­fathers, and mothers lose custody if they remarry because their attention is supposed to go to their new husbands.

 *  Although majority-Muslim countries have in practice abolished slavery (Saudi Arabia did so mainly as a result of foreign pressure in 1962), slavery still has not been abolished in sharia law. Sexual slavery was common in Islamic history and is accepted by sharia law.

Defenders of sharia note that in some respects, Islamic law improved the position of women in 7th century tribal Arabia, for instance by categorically banning female infanticide. Yet surely, in the 21st century, we can set the bar higher than that?

Contrary to the claims of Abdel-Magied, the problematic tenets of sharia are not some relic left over from the cultural practices of the 7th century. Today, sharia law is applied in many countries as a matter of reality, and it is also enforced in many Muslim communities in matters such as marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance proceedings.

Indeed, the countries Abdel-Magied visited are proud to call their legal code sharia law.

Saudi Arabia’s Basic Law states: “The regime derives its power from the Holy Koran and the Prophet’s Sunnah, which rule over this and all other State Laws”, all “within the framework of the sharia”. Likewise, Kuwait’s constitution declares that “Islamic law shall be a main source of legislation”.

Sudan’s interim 2005 constitution states: “Nationally enacted legislation having effect only in respect of the Northern states of the Sudan shall have as its sources of legislation Islamic sharia and the consensus of the people.”

Qatar’s constitution requires the ruler to “swear by God, the Great, to respect the Islamic law”. Egypt’s 2014 constitution holds: “The principles of Islamic sharia are the principle source of legislation.”

In Iran, the marriage of girls at a young age is permitted, based on Mohammed’s consummation of his marriage to Aisha when she was nine. Was marriage at such a young age uncommon, given the cultural norms of the 7th century? No. Should such a historical precedent be emulated today? No.

It is therefore plainly false to say, as Abdel-Magied does, that the subjection of women in these countries is “not down to sharia (but) down to the culture and the patriarchy and the politics of those … countries”.

However, an important distinction can be made between “sharia lite” and “sharia forte”. Sharia forte is applied in the legal system of theocracies such as Saudi Arabia (which Abdel-Magied visited) and Iran, and by organisations such as Islamic State and Boko Haram. It does not apply in the West for obvious reasons.

But sharia lite is informally enforced within Muslim communities in Western countries, including Australia. In Australia, Islamists rely on sharia law to arbitrate divorces and inheritance disagreements. In 2015, a journalist writing in this newspaper observed that “given the undercover application of sharia law, often within mosques, there is little scrutiny of the process and the fairness of the adjudications”.

There is another problem: the general mindset of some Islamic “leaders” in Australia. In 2006, Australians were shocked to find the country’s most senior Islamic cleric, Taj el-Din Hilaly, refer to unveiled rape victims as “uncovered meat” that was left out in public. When a cat comes to eat the meat, the sheik reasoned, “the uncovered meat is the problem” because “if she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred”.

The ensuing public controversy led to Hilaly’s retirement, but his views were not out of line with Islamic law.

Sharia manuals such as Reliance of the Traveller hold that a husband may forbid his wife to leave the house and the wife must obey, and that a woman may not draw attention to herself in public.

In the Islamist mindset, Muslim women in Western countries should not enjoy the legal protections of the societies they live in. Two recent studies conducted by Elham Manea and Machteld Zee into British sharia “arbitration councils” offer clear evidence of this.

Abdel-Magied and the Islamist collective that is demanding an apology from ABC are not interested in this kind of inconvenient truth. They want to deflect attention away from the problems inherent in sharia law.

In my view, the Australian government should stop funding people such as Abdel-Magied, and the other partners they have, and instead find progressive, reform-minded Muslims who will help with the vital task of assimilating Muslims into Australian society.

The only way to resolve the fundamental challenge to women’s rights posed by sharia law is to criticise its problematic aspects openly.

The successful assimilation of Muslim immigrants in Australia is an achievable goal, but not on the basis of the hypocrisy and phony indignation in which the likes of Abdel-Magied specialise.


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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