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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Who needs education when you’ve ridiculous generalisations?

Most pupils see Muslims as terrorists
By Chee Chee Leung

February 6, 2006

MOST Victorian schoolchildren view Muslims as terrorists, and two out of five students agree that "Muslims are unclean".

Just over 50 per cent believe "Muslims behave strangely", and 45 per cent say Australians do not have "positive feelings about Muslims".

So that means about five per cent think behaving strangely is cool? Cool! But what isn’t cool is the Muslim = Terrorist line of thinking. But surely these school kids are what, two years old?

These are some of the preliminary findings from a statewide survey of student attitudes towards the Muslim community. The research — conducted in the second half of last year — is based on responses from 551 year 10 and 11 students across public and private schools.

Oh. My. God.

Wait, let me get this straight. The majority of 551 Year 10 and 11 students surveyed view Muslims as terrorists?! Um, okay. Have they actually ever met a person of Islamic faith? Do they know anything about Islam?

Almost half said they had learned "a little" about Muslims and Islam at school, but more than a third said they had learned nothing on these subjects.

Oh, you don’t say! I wonder how they could come to the conclusion that all Muslims are members of Killers International™ when they only know a little or nothing about them. I know! I have this really crazy idea, but why don’t they actually learn something about Muslims and Islam, then maybe they wouldn’t generalise over a billion people.

When asked if schools should teach more about Muslims, 29 per cent said no and 34 per cent said they did not care.

You know, I think I might see the problem here.

62 per cent agreed Christians were smart, while 36 per cent agreed Muslims were smart.

It’s the Koran that has the talking snake, right? ;)

38 per cent agreed or strongly agreed Muslims were the most negatively stereotyped of all minorities, including Aborigines.

Negative stereotyping?! No! It’s a scientific fact that all Muslims are terrorists. And they stink. Just like it’s a scientific fact that all gay people have sex 24 hours a day, blondes have more fun and all computers will come alive and kill everybody in the year 2036.

Islamic Council of Victoria board member Waleed Aly said the results were troubling.

"What it demonstrates is that Muslims are being viewed in a way that is really subhuman," he said. "The only way you can combat this kind of prejudice is on a personal level … it's much harder to hate people when you actually know someone in that social group."

I couldn’t have said it better. Cheers Waleed! If only we could clone people like Waleed and have them teaching in Victorian classrooms. Let’s just hope that these 551 students were a rogue bunch and don’t reflect the view of the majority of Australian teenagers.

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