Britain too is faced with the same dilemmas and in their situation the authorities have been forced to act to restrain the deliberate actions of young Muslim men gangs in non-muslim British teenage school girls becoming their sex slaves. (unitycoalitionforisrael.org)
This is all now documented and finally into the court systems after endless calls for help and abuse claims and now to the sham horror of the authorities, but the law is taking its course however slowly. Both these articles are scary.
But what is it, that engages the authorities to a multi-culturalism that allows, in effect, turning a blind eye to such atrocities in our own back yards (as it were) - what is it about the notion of multiculturalism that brings the law down heavily on those who say anything august against it, but in the same breath gives every appearance of treating lightly such horrors, that are now clearly out in the open. At least someone is now saying something about young Australian Muslim men fighting in Syria.
One explanation of this kind of response to Multi-culturalism by the authorities has two bedfellows, one is an electoral fear that places words such as 'bigot' right up the authorities' noses, and the second is the manner in which the media needs to gain readership / viewership without responsibility.
To the first, we now know from the Yes Minister television series, illustrated to everyone, that the way in which a question is posed pre-determines outcomes, and moreover anything that hints of discrimination (justice plays no part in this) is jumped on from a great height.
The first issue is that it takes a very brave politician to say anything whatever that might even allude to an attitude that discriminates any citizen from any minority and especially from certain religious minorities – that is, those that might literally shoot back. Democracy only works where everyone agrees to keep their armoury locked away. Australian historians consistently claim that all this energy is released on the sporting field and on the floor of the Houses of Parliament where they let rip!
Multiculturalism has as many definitions today as there are days in a year depending on whom is doing the defining. But one thing is clear, to analyse or to put a technical (critical) torch on it, is paramount it seems to national treason. It is George Orwell's Animal Farm all over again, we're all equal but some are more equal than others.
This current political debate on changing the nature of verbalising opinion to one of freedom of expression - rather than a legal test being that of offending someone - is front and centre. This is at the very centre of the Multicultural offence to the vast majority of Australians as evidenced in the last Federal election with a landslide victory with an election promise to do exactly this.
The second issue is that of commercialism. Instead of a heading, say "Ethnic proponents for Child Brides out of touch" rather the headline is something like "Authorities man handles young bride." Again, rather than a heading, say, "Young Muslim men and their sex slaves" rather we get a heading something like "Young girls become willing sex partners".
Which of these types of fast-sales techniques will catch the eye of the consumer. We know the answer. Are all four example 'headings' correct. In a manner of speaking they are all correct.
The question becomes something akin to at what point does marketing superimpose some kind of societal responsibility? In Australia the major press allows a variety of 'Comment' writers which provide a broad cross section of public views. There are those who are way left of centre in their presentations to those who might be deemed to the right.
But in Australia we do at least have this tradition whereby 'Comment' writers get a free hand as a spruiker. The religious press is much the same, Christian Today for example has 72 young emerging writers who each month express their views on a wide range of topics.
Undoubtedly the media in all its forms - from print, internet, radio, television, cable, ipod and social media (everyone today is a commentator) – inform us the consumer what's going on and in so doing inevitably place an interpretation of some kind – even if it's only the 'tone' of the voice rather than what is actually said.
Where do we go from here?
There are two proven methodologies which have stood the test of time in western (broadly Christian) democracies. First, the law generally follows public opinion, even if it takes some years to do so. The judicial system has responsibility to curb whatever illegal excesses there are in our society – from garden variety theft to insidious white collar crime to manslaughter, to murder and whatever else besides.
The second is the nature of Christian prayer (an article for another day) and the notion that Edward Burke in the 17th century put forward that evil prevails when good men do nothing. If anything the Scriptures give account after account of good men standing tall and indeed engaging in the 'doing' ….
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html