Friday, December 16, 2005

Aussie Riots: Gangsta Rap and Muslim leader enablers

Australia: Coming from Syndey Morning Herald which tends to flog the multicult excuse around is this sorta balanced piece.

"....Pride and shame are powerful forces - in rap and in the hearts of Lebanese Australians. For years while their country disappeared down the sinkhole of civil war Lebanese people felt mainly shame or, at best, embarrassment. Joseph Wakim, founder of the Australian Arabic Council, says: Now people are saying, 'I'm sick of this pressure to feel ashamed of who I am. I actually want to feel proud, to wear it publicly', and a generation later you're getting a very ugly manifestation of cultural chauvinism". The extreme behaviour of an extreme minority has created an aura that can be assumed by anyone who follows in their wake. A politics of fear, and demonisation by the media, has given these young men even "larger horns and longer tails" than ever existed, Mr Wakim said. Gangsta rap dovetails perfectly in the lives of those who want to instill fear. "If I walk around the streets, publicly promoting the fact that I am Lebanese and looking tough, there's going to be smoke preceding me even before I turn the corner. It's like a cowboy mentality, and people get an adrenaline rush," he said. While very few Australian men of Lebanese background choose to take advantage of it, a minority lacking pride in anything else revel in the power." "The one opportunity, the one forum, that gives them a sense of pride and meaning is to congregate with other people, in the safety of numbers, and pretend they are king of the streets," Mr Wakim said.
Listening to 2pac or adopting a gangsta lifestyle mean there is a void within the community that the parents and community leaders have either failed to fill or refuse to make the effort which enables this sort of behavior to go on.
"Radical clerics have exacerbated the power of victimhood, cashing in on the fight against terrorism. Their message is that "You're the victims; Australia is racist", suggested Mustapha Kara-Ali, a representative on the Muslim Community Reference Group, the Government's advisory body. "The youth are being trained on this message and so they can easily identify with a black minority in America that were oppressed and victimised by the 'white man'." An isolationist message is often reinforced at home and, once an attitude of rebellion takes root, it can spiral out of control. Silma Ihram, Principal of Noor Al Houda Islamic College in Strathfield, believes some parents are really struggling with their children. In Lebanon, family control is maintained under the watchful eyes of the wider community. "Here the kids might be dealing drugs up the street [and no one knows]. It's a completely different environment.
Radical clerics can't operate without the community letting them operate and when the government wants to do something about it, the same community whines. Parents losing control is also an issue of adaptabilty to your new host country. If you are going to raise kids in a new homeland where you know the culture/norms are different, you have to make the extra effort to parent. But lets not leave the kids/young men out as being fools who are being brainwashed.
The idea of some young Australian Lebanese Muslims caught between the mosque and the street has an appealing simplicity. It was also a furphy, said Scott Poynting, co-author of Bin Laden in the Suburbs. "They're not lost at all. They're actually very skilful at moving between different cultures, at navigating between them and blending them creatively and they do so quite strategically depending on the social context. But the problem had to be dealt with now, Mr Wakim said. "They become like mini-terrorists and the deeper they go, the harder it is to reform them."
You can't act the victim while being "street" without having the common sense to do it.

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