Why Is Muslim Unemployment So High?

Maralyn Parker published an article this week in the SMH resulting from an interview with Professor Riaz Hassan of Flinders University. Late last year he wrote a report based on the 2006 Census data indicating that unemployment in the younger (19-24 year old) Muslim community is twice the rate of the national average (18% versus 9%).  This, despite the fact that Muslims are more likely to have tertiary qualifications than non-Muslims.

Professor Hassan also makes the points in his report that the rate of poverty amongst Muslim children is 40% versus 20% for the general population (albeit a very subjective measure) and the rate of prison incarceration is significantly higher for Muslim populations in European countries, citing the U.K. and France (where Muslims number 8% of the country but 50% of the prison population).

Ms. Parker is sure that there are two explanations for this discrepency;

i) the proliferation of Islamic schools in Australia leading to marginalised Muslim youth unable to get ahead in an otherwise Anglo/Chinese country.

ii) ‘discrimination’ by non-Muslim Australia against Muslims

She has two solutions;

i) Stop the spread of religious schools and regulate existing ones much more tightly

ii) Encourage businesses to employ Muslims

‘Perhaps we can start a campaign to help by telling employers _ do your bit for Australia, employ a Muslim Australian.’

The U.K.’s education watchdog, OFSTED, now publishes GCSE exam results (Year 10) by ethnic group. This information reveals much more interesting information.  In fact, it is a wonderful report to show your racist (sorry, ‘race realist’) friends as it reveals that far from indigenous white kids stealing the show, the best performers are those with yellow and brown skins. But within the ‘brown skin’ category, there is a marked difference between the performance of non-Muslims (largely Indians) and Muslims (Pakistanis and Bangladeshis).  Far from pointing to genetic effects in intellect and effort, this data suggests cultural differences are far more important.

A rather more intelligent line of questioning than the SMH is taken by a post on Muslim Village.  They pose the following; Continue reading

The Importance of Being Offensive

‘What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist’,   Salman Rushdie.

Controversial Dutch MP, Geert Wilders, was recently invited to give a screening of his film, Fitna, to a private gathering at the House of Lords in London. Following threats made by Lord Nazir Ahmed to mobilise an army of 10,000 Muslim followers, the British authorities caved in and banned Wilders from screening his film.  Lord Ahmed declared the ban as a ‘victory for the Muslim community.’

The European Parliament has already banned the screening of Fitna on its premises.  One Dutch MEP, Maria Martens, welcomed the decision with these immortal words,

‘The film has nothing to do with freedom of expression. This freedom does not give the right to offend.’

Freedom of speech is generally regarded as a ‘good thing’ in most political circles. But the freedom to offend is increasingly being viewed as a ‘bad thing’ and needing of regulation.  This is wrong, stupid and dangerous.  Freedom of speech is nothing without the freedom to offend. 

But why is the right to offend so important?  After all, wouldn’t it be better if we could all just get along and cause no offence to each other?   Well of course it would, but once you strangle the right to criticise ideas, you lose the ability to progress. Idiotic ideas that go unchallenged fester and start to attract an underground following. 

Copernicus caused great offence to the Catholic Church in 1514 by challenging the long-held belief that the Sun revolves around the Earth. Yet, would anyone today rather if his offensive ideas had been banned?  Restricting the freedom to offend is an anti-progressive, arch-conservative reaction to a changing world.  

Let’s take an example closer to home.

Danny Nalliah (pictured) is a senior pastor of  the ‘Catch the Fire Ministries’. He believes that the tragic bushfires in Victoria which have claimed as many as 300 lives are a result of Victoria’s ‘incendiary‘ (a truly appalling choice of word) abortion laws.

‘God’s protection has been taken off the state, and Satan is having a go at the nation.’

Tons more of this crap can be found on their website here. Continue reading

Capping Bankers’ Pay


‘Once in the dear dead days beyond recall, an out-of-town visitor was being shown the wonders of the New York financial district. When the party arrived at the Battery, one of his guides indicated some handsome ships riding at anchor. “Look, those are the bankers’ and brokers’ yachts. ‘Where are all the customers’ yachts?’ asked the naïve visitor.”‘

When governments are in a hole, they firstly look for a shovel and then for someone to use it on. The trendy cause du jour is the subject of capping bankers’ bonuses.

President Obama has proposed placing a $500,000 ceiling on the salaries of senior bankers of institutions that accept taxpayer funds.  UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, never shy of ignoring a convenient whipping boy when he sees one, has stated on the record that he will be ‘reviewing‘ the proposed $2.4bn bonus pool for employees of all-but-nationalised bank, RBS. Chancellor Alistair Darling has gone one step further and will be probing whether ‘the promise of big bonuses lured bankers into taking excessive risks’, though quickly adding that ‘no government should try to remove risk-taking from the system’.   Our own banks have also received massive state aid in the form of taxpayer-guaranteed funding and taxpayer-guaranteed deposits, but to date, there has been no word from the mighty Rudd-Swan axis of any plans to cap salaries at the Big 4 banks.

Are Obama and Brown right and Rudd wrong?    Is Rudd a shining beacon of free markets?  Or are they all wrong?

Firstly, the subject of bankers pay. 

Investment bankers are were paid a lot of money.   A good (30 year old) trader could easily take home $2mm simply for ‘hitting budget’.   Are they worth it?  Who knows or who cares. Provided compensation is funded by shareholders, there is nothing wrong or immoral about high pay. Christiano Ronaldo is paid about $300,000 a week by the shareholders of Manchester United.  Is he worth this?  Presumably so, otherwise the Glazier family wouldn’t pay. Is it wrong that he receives this amount?  Who are we to judge.

However, when a banker’s bonus is funded by the taxpayer, the issue becomes a lot more complicated.

The obvious side-effect of capping salaries, is that the best graduates will seek alternate careers. So what, say most.  Wouldn’t it be better if the smartest minds diverted their attention to finding cures for cancer rather than how to securitise the royalties from the David Bowie back catalogue. 

The other pernicious side-effect is that the government would effectively become involved in setting company strategy – a very regressive step.

But taxpayers have the right to know how their money is being spent and have the right to feel outraged over the appalling scenes at Merrill Lynch, where the now sacked CEO, John Thain, fast-tracked their bonus payouts prior to the Bank of America takeover and prior to the full extent of the 4th quarter $15bn losses became public knowledge.  The Merrill bonus pool amounted to $4bn, roughly equivalent to the 2006 bonus pool- the second best year ever for Wall Street.    A bonus is the minimum payment required to keep a banker at his desk. No more,  no less. If a banker is unhappy with his 2008 bonus, where exactly can he go?

The only surprise is the lack of strings placed on the massive taxpayer support for Australia’s Big 4 banks. I suspect the banks managed to pull the wool over the eyes of a very incompetent and inexperienced Rudd government. Never underestimate the extent to which bankers will outsmart government, especially dumb governments.

Just a Thought

If politicians can cap Wall Street salaries because taxpayer money is now involved, why can’t we set salary caps on the politicians? Say, no more than the median household income until they can balance the budget.

Soccer Must Be Banned

The Manly Daily has been at the forefront of a campaign to ban teenage kids from jumping into the water off Manly Wharf and at Jump Rock (see above for rare footage of a an admirably performed backflip at Jump Rock).  It is, they say, for their ‘own safety.’  Sydney Ferries warned jumpers risked

‘being sucked up into the ferry’s large propellers, swept under the wharf and ripping their skin to shreds on the razor-sharp barnacles covering pylons or hitting their head and losing consciousness.’

It is not actually known how many people have been ‘sucked into the ferry’s propellors’, or have had their skin ‘ripped to shreds’ or have ‘lost consciousness’ but so serious is this crime that the police are now permitted to hand out $1,500 fines to these criminals (versus $200 for shoplifting).

We at the ALS wholeheartedly agree with the Manly Daily and support their campaign.  In fact, we cannot understand how soccer, a far more dangerous activity than rock jumping is still permitted in any civilised society.

The following is an extract from a press release from the ALS’s very own John Humphrys,

“The problem with soccer is that heading objects can cause brain damage. A number of peer-reviewed studies have shown that soccer players are more likely to have mild traumatic brain injury. In 1998, Dutch researchers showed that professional soccer players suffered from deterioration in memory, planning and visual-perceptual tasks.

“Obviously, this calls for government intervention. Initially we should introduce heavy taxes on soccer, introduce regulation to limit the number of times a person can head the ball, restrict soccer games to government approved venues and require soccer players to register with a mental health watch organisation. The long term plan should be to phase out and eventually ban soccer.

“We understand that some people still hold on to out-dated notions about individual freedoms, and would defend the right of people to make their own decision about their life choices and the risks they take. But safety is more important than freedom.

“Anybody who defends the freedom of soccer players is really just promoting brain damage. This issue is no different from the issue of smoking, drinking, eating fatty foods or riding a bicycle without a helmet. Freedom should not extend to any of these dangerous activities. People should only be free to do the things that the government approves. And if the government really does want to protect its citizens from themselves, then it should not allow soccer.”

Please sign up now and join our campaign to promote safety awareness amongst the young. Thankyou.