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Prejudice and Discrimination.

Ivory11

Star
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Location
Australia
I feel this is a good time to post this.

As you all may know, recently in Sydney, Australia (my home country) a radical islamist took a building full of people hostage right in the heart of the CBD and in the wake of such a terrible event, the subject of discrimination in regard to muslims has been heavily discussed here in Australia.

Some say security agencies should be given more powers to moniter muslim organizations and mosques while letting other religious groups such as Hindus, Sikhs Buddhists etc... maintain their freedom of privacy since it's islamic terror groups operating on such a scale, while understandable others are trying to express solidarity with the muslims of australia and of course... some are trying to blame the "evil white man" or "the jews" or someone else.

Anyway, in light of this, I thought I would share this interresting video on the subject of discrimination and prejudice. It looks at the phenomenon of prejudice and discrimination from a logical and scientific standpoint, not just an emotional standpoint, and I found the points made here would make for great conversation pieces on the nature of prejudice and discrimination.

[video=youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P0iP2Zm6a4[/video]

Please express your thoughts and opinions on this, and yes, we all know prejudice and discrimination are wrong, but we're trying to think logically here.
 

DeusExMachina

Planetoid
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Let's cut right to the point here, the question asked here is can we somehow justify targeting Muslims for more security checks and basically religious (not racial, since Islam is not a race) profiling based on the recent events.
In the case of the recent hostage situation in Australia we have to be extremely careful not to jump to conclusions. As someone who has at least a solid familiarity with criminal profiling I can tell you that it is important to first view the case as completely isolated and establish the facts. Then we can start linking it with other cases or the religion in general for example.
What's the point of this some may ask and it is actually pretty easy to see, we want to figure out why he did this. Was it because he was a Muslim? Was it because of his faith or were other factors way more important and the faith only a contributing factor in the end?
Once we have established this we can then move on to the next question. In case his faith was a major factor for causing his behavior we have to find out whether this behavior is supported, condoned, justified, accepted or condemned in the Islamic faith.
And this is were things get a little tricky or rather sensitive. If you examine the holy scriptures of Islam you find a lot of references towards violence and a somewhat unfavorable attitude towards women. I know I'll attract a lot of hate for saying this but at its core Islam is not a peaceful religion.
It grew up in times of war and discrimination and was spread by the sword.
While it once has been somewhat of a beacon of knowledge, mostly around the time of the crusades with islamic scholars being some of the brightest and most advanced of their time, these people were very moderate in their faith.
Today more literal and more radical interpretations of the faith prevail and the have proven an excellent deterrent for scientific progress (there are statistics to prove that) and act as a catalyst for hatred and violence.
Granted most Muslims just want to live their life in peace and I can respect that but we have to face the fact that this religion easily breeds radicals and fundamentalists.

To be fair this is a trait almost all religions posses, there are only a few where radicalization doesn't lead to violence (Buddhism and Jainism being the more well known ones) but only because the are fundamentally more violent.

So to cut to the chase here. Do I think Muslims should be monitored more closely. No.
Why? Because this only breeds distrust and prejudice. Instead our tools should be diplomacy and education, trying to make the religion more moderate to the point were it becomes obsolete. And this goes for all religions by the way as they are all conservative forces slowing progress and dividing the united mass that should be humanity.
 

ShadowsLitany

Lurker in the Shadows
Welcoming Committee
Joined
Oct 17, 2014
Location
USA
In America we went through a similar "conversation" after 9-11. There were news stories about people who "looked Arabic" where were assaulted, or targeted simply because of how they looked or acted. Not that it hasn't happened in the past here, the great melting pot has bubbled time and again depending on the "new group" that needs to be assimilated. What it comes down to is, are these people a genuine threat or is it just a few "bad apples" who are causing trouble the for rest? So we need to monitor them all simply for the sake of preventing the next 9-11 or the next Boston Marathon bombing.

To detach myself from the emotions of the situation does the threat possessed by that one group, in this case Muslims, warrant the overall costs (social and fiscal) to make sure that this does not happen again? So far in Australia it is one incident (or a few if the news reports I have looked at are correct) out of a fairly large population. In the US the Oklahoma City bomber cost a lot of lives but we don't closely monitor the militia groups in the US, other than a broad screening. After the clinic bombings in the Southern US did we closely monitor Christian religious groups? No. In Spain after the train bombings were there measures put in place to monitor Muslims there? Not that I have heard, although I may be wrong. So overall, if the costs associated with the group justify it then yes, extra monitoring can be put in place. Has it been done? Hardly, in the US I have seen some instances where we have monitored Muslim groups or mosques but it does not seem to be any greater than what was done for drug interdiction, and I am generalizing here but I could probably find the numbers to justify this if I was so inclined.

Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is how is this group different than ours? Differences breed suspicion and fear, which can compound in situations like this were one individual can cause hardship for many by co-opting a religious or political stand to make a statement. Was this person really so wrapped up in his religion that he felt a need to do this? There are many types of sociopaths out there who would do similar acts, but for secular or non-religious reasons. So unless this group is that different and cannot be integrated into the cultural whole this suspicion will lead towards monitoring or harsher punishment for offenses committed by anyone of that group. Of course then it matters how you define group. Is it religious? Familial? Street block? County? That will change relationships with the whole.

Do either of these things apply? Is the group as a whole a danger or is it just one person? I could find any major criminal action and with one aspect turn it around and say "this person was part of X, they are a danger to the rest of us, we need to monitor them!". I am sure I could find others to agree with me as well. The problem comes when many people corrupt a religion, political stance, social agenda and make it violent. Others will gravitate towards that, but they could just as well join another group headed towards violence. The idea that one act alone can constitute extra measure is actually the basis of terrorism (that is a long diatribe in itself) where by extreme violent acts you force the government to react harshly bringing to fruition the claim that the government is bad. They are being hard on us and you. resist them. A measured response is more accurate and in the long term provides more stability. Will it bring on more attacks? Probably, but again that is part of the risk assessment, do you come down hard on a group of people for the actions of one, or do you deal with this as it is, a criminal act of one person regardless of what they claim.

My view is, in the long run, if Australia goes the monitoring route they will fall into the trap set by the religious extremists and cause more pain, than if they deal with this as it is, one person. Again, there might be more, there are always people willing to die for a cause, sadly you cannot legislate against that.
 
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