A General Social Impact Assessment of Mosques in Australian Neighbourhoods

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I thank contributors to my writing fund, who made this research possible. Special thanks go to Julie Hoskin for her generous support.

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Frank Salter

Social Technologies Pty Ltd

26 June 2016

 

Executive summary

A social impact study provides planning authorities with information about how a proposed development will most likely affect a population’s way of life, culture, sense of community (identity and social cohesion), social and architectural environment, health and wellbeing. Existing social impact assessments of mosques were reviewed and found to be empirically incomplete, theoretically weak and ethnocentric.

The study applies a biosocial theory, Ethnic Nepotism, that has proven useful in explaining and predicting the effects of ethno-religious diversity. Religions are conceptualised as entities that evolved culturally to solve adaptation problems. To generate a hypothesis concerning distinctive Muslim behaviour, overseas social impacts were reviewed. The results were two hypotheses of the social impact of Muslims in Australian neighbourhoods.

The first hypothesis is that ethno-religious diversity causes a loss of trust and cohesion in Australian communities as it does overseas. The second hypothesis is that distinctive Muslim characteristics cause additional negative social impacts.

The first hypothesis is confirmed quantitatively by seven studies conducted between 2006 and 2013. Muslims formed part of the diversity being studied but were not a focus of the research. One study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that in 2014 diverse communities volunteer less, as do immigrants of non-English speaking background. Four of the studies were surveys conducted by the Scanlon Foundation in conjunction with the Multicultural Foundation of Australia. The surveys, published in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2012, all found that diversity significantly undercuts feelings of trust and safety, confidence in harmony, the quality of life, support for immigration, and acceptance of refugees.

The second hypothesis was confirmed quantitatively by seven lines of converging evidence. Muslim communities are associated with strongly negative social impacts for long-time Australians (third generation), much worse than those produced by ethno-religious diversity or by Buddhism, the other large minority religion.

The Scanlon area surveys indicate that in areas with large Muslim populations, disapproval of Muslims is about five times the disapproval of Buddhists in areas with large Buddhist populations. This result has been repeated by every survey since 2010 when the question was first included. Even among strong supporters of multiculturalism, who generally accept minorities, in 2014 as many as 18 per cent were negative towards Muslims, but only 2 per cent towards Buddhists. In the same year, when the survey was conducted more anonymously online, overall negative attitudes towards Muslims rose to 44 per cent. The findings are replicated in patterns of reported discrimination. While ethnic groups within Islam were disapproved, the negativity towards the Islamic religion was stronger.

The Scanlon results were confirmed by a Roy Morgan poll in 2013, which found that 70 per cent of respondents distrusted Islamic influence, and a Progress Institute survey in 2015, which found that only 24 per cent of respondents felt “very safe”, a sharp fall from the 42 per cent who gave that reply in 2010.

These extensive survey results were confirmed by imprisonment rates in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Overall, Muslims are imprisoned at almost three times their proportion of the population. In addition, Muslim unemployment and public dependency rates are two to three times greater than the Australian averages. Finally, lack of affiliation with Australia is indicated by patterns of Muslim military volunteering. About five times the number of Australian Muslims have volunteered or attempted to volunteer for jihadist forces in the Middle East than are presently serving in the Australian Armed Forces. This, despite a very high casualty rate suffered by jihadists.

These converging lines of evidence help explain the survey findings of a steep decline in social cohesion and a rise in fear and uncertainty in areas with large numbers of Muslims and a similarly steep decline in acceptance of Muslims nationwide.

Qualitative evidence offers further confirmation of these results, while adding behavioural detail. Muslim and Middle Eastern communities contribute disproportionately to terrorism and organised crime, according to state and federal security experts. Islamic terrorism is responsible for the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System warning that another act of domestic terrorism is “probable”, a high setting to which it was raised in September 2014. Muslims show ethnic variation in rates of terrorism, high for Lebanese, low for Indonesians. However, the latter constitute only 5.9 per cent of Australian Muslims, and jihadism is increasing in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Criminal Muslim families are so prominent in distribution of illicit drugs and related violence, that Victoria and NSW both have had crime squads dedicated to “Middle Eastern Crime”. These threats are predicted by experts to last for generations. Contributing to this are low Muslim intermarriage rates, also evident in Europe.

Organised crime and terrorism belong to a wider spectrum of anti-social behaviour. The qualitative evidence includes descriptions of anti-social behaviour, including the broad-spectrum crime described in earlier, anti-white assaults and harassment, and hyper-masculine and misogynist culture among young men. Similar accounts are provided by experienced journalists and police. The view from within Islam tacitly confirms these accounts either by calling for a more pacifist Islam in tune with Australian values, or by denouncing Australian society.

To summarise, quantitative and qualitative data indicate that Muslims exert negative social impacts on local neighbourhoods significantly beyond that caused by ethno-religious diversity. More than immigrants and minorities in general, Muslims weaken community identity and cohesion, reduce trust and sense of public safety, and increase anti-social behaviour, crime, and unemployment in local areas. In addition, Islamic populations and mosques increase the risk of organised crime and terrorism, a trend expected to last for generations.

Mosques contribute to negative social impacts in their areas by attracting Muslims and by reproducing Islamic doctrines and identity. They also slow assimilation by promoting within-group marriage. Robust group identity, an adaptive feature of Islam, slows adoption of Australian values as well as degrading local identity and cohesion.

The policy implications of this general SIA are that: (1) mosque proposals should be accompanied by SIAs describing social impacts in the categories reviewed in the present study; (2) “territorial multiculturalism” be facilitated in which councils are permitted to preserve the cultural and religious identities of their communities.

 

  1. Introduction

 

1.1  Social impact assessment: Australian and international standards

In the last several years the residents of Australia’s towns and cities have often opposed the building and commissioning of mosques and Islamic schools in their neighbourhoods. At the same time the practice of including social impact studies as part of councils’ assessment of development proposals has gained greater acceptance. These follow on from the use of impact studies concerning the environment and economy. The Planning Institute of Australia explains:

Social impact assessment (SIA) refers to the assessment of the social consequences of a proposed decision or action, namely the impacts on affected groups of people and on their way of life, life chances, health, culture and capacity to sustain these.[i]

At council level, social impact assessments can give the public the opportunity to provide feedback about how they think a proposed development will affect them. For nation-wide assessment such as the present document, public consultation necessarily consists of surveys.

Social impact statements are not compulsory for all developments and the Planning Institute expresses concern “that actions have sometimes been taken, and decisions made, on an ill-informed basis and which did not foresee some serious social consequences before they eventuated”. The Institute states that a social impact assessment should be required to accompany any assessment of environmental or economic impact.

The Planning Institute’s guidelines are based on international principles laid down by the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA), prepared by Frank Vanclay, an authority in the field. The international guidelines are more explicit in identifying the ethno-cultural environment’s potential effect on social wellbeing. They conceptualise social impacts as social changes. Several of the changes described by the IAIA are likely to result from building a religious facility. These are changes to:

  • people’s way of life – that is, how they live, work, play and interact with one another on a day-to-day basis;
  • their culture – that is, their shared beliefs, customs, values and language or dialect;
  • their community – its cohesion, stability, character, services and facilities;
  • their environment – . . . the level of hazard or risk . . . they are exposed to; . . . their physical safety . . .;
  • their health and wellbeing – health is a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity;
  • their fears and aspirations – their perceptions about their safety, their fears about the future of their community, and their aspirations for their future and the future of their children.[ii]

Notice that the impacts include objective changes as well as changes to psychological wellbeing–“fears and aspirations”. Mental wellbeing is an emerging focus of governments and public health professionals not only because anxiety and depression reduce quality of life but because they are a burden on public finances and business productivity.[iii] Construction of ethno-cultural facilities such as mosques, churches and temples have the capacity to affect a neighbourhood’s way of life, culture, sense of community, social and architectural environment, and health and wellbeing.

This paper assesses the general social impacts, especially at the local level, of Muslim communities compared to non-Muslim society, including Christian and Buddhist communities. Attention will be given to questions of local identity, sense of belonging and cohesion, quantitatively and qualitatively.

  1. Review of social impact assessments of Australian mosques

Despite the sometimes fierce controversies over mosques and the simultaneous emergence of standards of social impact assessment, it is difficult to locate balanced and informed analyses of mosques’ social impacts. This confirms the Planning Institute’s concern that SIA standards are not well developed. This review indicates that the deficiencies can result from inadequate science as well as bias due to various motives.

There are two types of SIA: those presented to local councils in support of development applications; and a broader historical and social science perspective, often looking back in time. In both types, balanced assessment of likely social impacts is sacrificed in favour of analytically weak case-making.

An example of the first type is a social impact statement concerning a mosque proposed for Cessnock, submitted by the Newcastle Muslim Association Inc (NMA), which was published on 3 March 2016.[iv] A detailed examination reveals inadequacies.

The assessment begins with a social overview of the area. In the 2011 census, Muslims were 0.4 per cent of the wider Hunter Valley population, mainly situated in Newcastle University’s international student body. Ethnicity was described as 88-89 per cent born in Australia, with 90 per cent speaking only English at home (pp. 15-16). Religion in the area was 70-71 per cent Christian, 18-20 per cent with no religious affiliation, and 0.22 per cent Islamic (in Buchanan where the new mosque was proposed to be built). (p. 16). The educational, income and unemployment profiles were provided.

The quality of analysis in the NMA’s assessment can be judged by considering response to objections concerning negative social impact. Of interest here are concerns related to the development’s ethno-religious identity, i.e. objections that would not have been raised if the proposed building were a church. These concerns were that a mosque would: (1) lower property values; (2) attract Muslims and opponents of the mosque; (3) be too large for local needs because the area has no Muslim residents; (4) lead to further Islamic development because of the site’s large area; (5) be an eyesore and clash with the rural setting; (6) negatively impact residents who have chosen the Cessnock district for its distinctive rural setting; (7) be unwelcomed by local residents or those in nearby towns; (8) cause concern among residents who object to Islam, sharia law, and related extremist ideology; and (9) would create divisions within the community (pp. 20-21).

This list does not include expression of concern about future crime rates. But the assessment treats crime in a major section (pp. 26-31) without explaining why the subject is included. It is implied, but not stated, that Muslims do not present a crime threat because the postcode with an existing mosque has a lower-than-average crime rate. Statistics are not cited for Muslim crime rates for the state or nationally. Much of the section is devoted to assurances that the mosque will be safe from vandalism and other crime, with no treatment of risks posed by the mosque to the rest of the neighbourhood (pp. 28-31). If the subject was raised to answer objections from local residents, it does nothing to provide an assessment of their risk from incoming Muslims. This is an extraordinary oversight for a document calling itself a social impact assessment. In fact Muslim crime rates are much greater than that of non-Muslims, as documented below regarding general crime (section 4.4), terrorism (section 5.1), and criminal gangs (section 5.3).

The list also fails to address objection (6) about the loss of the area’s rural identity, (7) about residents’ preference not to have a mosque in the area, and (9) about the mosque’s likely divisiveness. These objections relate to community identity, culture and cohesion, close to the values set out by the Planning Institute of Australia and the International Association of Impact Assessment, discussed earlier.

Seven concerns were discussed in the assessment.

Concerning objection (1) about property values, the NMA assessment rejected the concern by asserting, without citing evidence, that only a small number of residents would view the mosque negatively (p. 23). It further stated that there was no evidence indicating that the mosque would affect land prices (p. 37), but offered no comparative or longitudinal data.

Concerning objections (2) and (3) about Muslims being drawn to the area, the assessment drew an analogy between worshippers and workers. Both may come from different locations to a place of worship or employment. The reply did not examine whether the objection was based on the second concern, that a mosque would attract Muslims, thus changing the character of the neighbourhood. But it did deny that more Muslims would be drawn to the local area, because like workers they could travel efficiently by car or bus. This statement conflicts with another impact statement concerning a Brisbane mosque, [v] discussed presently, indicating that mosques tend to transform their local neighbourhoods by drawing worshippers. Mosques are central to Muslim life because of the practice of praying five times every day.

Concerning objection (4), the assessment effectively confirmed concerns by stating that the NMA had the right to apply to council for permission for further buildings.

Concerning objection (5), the NMA assessment noted that the development was permitted under existing zoning provisions. Nevertheless, local concerns were heeded and the proposed mosque was moved 15 metres further back from the main road, and would now be screened by trees. Changes to the mosque’s planned colour were also made to allay concerns about aesthetics and mismatch with the area.

Concerning objection (8), the assessment stated that the NMA had the right to build a mosque, under the provisions of the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966, which the Australian Government had ratified. However, the quote from Article 18 does not assert a right to construct religious buildings in any location. “Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.” (p. 24) These criteria overlap those raised by the International Social Planning Institute for protecting local communities’ health and wellbeing. The NMA did not deny that a mosque would increase the likelihood of sharia law or extremist ideology entering the local area. It is reasonable for local residents to have these potential impacts assessed.

Concerning objection (9), the NMA replied that it had a right to make application to develop a site. Also: “Division within the community is not an intentional consequence of this development and typically does not appear to be present in suburbs where mosques exist in Wallsend and Mayfield.” (p. 23) It was also stated that the objections concerning division were ideological (p. 23). All three statements are inadequate responses if the aim is to assess social impacts. The right to construct a building does not diminish its potential effects. Assessing social impacts of other mosques would have necessitated gathering data from stakeholders and comparison of demographic and opinion trends before and after the mosques were constructed. Concern about social divisions is not necessarily an ideologically-based position, and the NMA assessment presents no evidence that ideology was involved.

Following these replies to objections, from page 32 the NMA’s assessment devoted a chapter to a “Social Impact Assessment”, though the whole document carries the same title. The section begins by stating that having a nearby mosque would constitute a significant positive social impact for local Muslims by reducing the need to travel to worship. The non-Muslim population would also benefit by gaining a greater understanding of Islam, the assessment states (p. 33), but does not note the possibility of doctrinal disagreement growing with familiarity. After discussing noise, traffic and visual impacts, population effects are briefly covered. The local population is expected to remain unchanged, because worshippers will be able to reach the new mosque within 20 minutes drive from Newcastle. As noted earlier, no reference was made to the Muslims being drawn to the immediate vicinity of a mosque. However, the issue is implied by an argument to the effect that Muslims would not be attracted to the area because “existing mosques are located all over Australia” and the Hunter Valley has fewer than 0.5 per cent Muslims (p. 36). But four pages earlier it is stated that the Hunter Valley has “no purpose built mosques”. As a result, a new mosque will draw worshippers away from more crowded places of worship.

A section on public safety refers readers back to the chapter on crime, which dealt with possible transgressions on mosque premises.

The NMA’s assessment was ethnocentric in its emphasis on the benefits to Muslims combined with disregard for social costs to the established community. It did not take objections seriously. No effort was made to assess the general impact of mosques. No objection based on fear of Muslim crime was acknowledged. No credence was given to concerns about changes to the character or cohesion of the area, or to the likelihood of extremism.

Broad academic-style treatments of social impacts, often historical in perspective, also demonstrate ethnocentrism and disregard for the majority culture.

The most impressive study found of a mosque’s social effects brings out themes that recur in academic treatments. In 2014 historians Yasmeen Vahed and Goolam Vahed published a study of a mosque development in Brisbane: “The Development Impact of Mosque Location on Land Use in Australia: A Case Study of Masjid al Farooq in Brisbane”.[vi] The authors are at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.[vii] The main social impacts considered were those experienced by Muslims, for example an arson attack on the mosque in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attack on the United States (pp. 7-8). Twenty local non-Muslims were surveyed, revealing some critical views concerning gender segregation and cultural differences affecting dress. The main criticism of the mosque concerned traffic and parking congestion. Individuals personally acquainted with Muslims had more positive views.

Most respondents were happy with the mosque and believed it did not reduce property prices, increase crime, attract unwelcome individuals, or promote Islamic fundamentalism (p. 12). However, these perceptions were not tested against the evidence, except for the reporting of one “dramatic” beneficial impact on Muslims – the mosque attracted more Muslims to the area. Only 1.1 per cent of the Brisbane population was Muslim, while in the immediate vicinity of the mosque the proportion was 12 per cent. The authors explain that this is due to the great importance of mosques to many Muslims; they are “the pivot of their lives” (p. 1).

Clustering around the mosque underscores its importance to Muslims—they function as “community centres”, places where Muslims pray, socialise, educate their children, prepare the dead for burial, get married, and collect money for the needy. The mosque has had an indirect impact on the types of businesses operating in the area–butchers, restaurants, Islamic schools, specialty clothing stores. [p. 13]

Instead of empirical tests of residents’ concerns, Vahed and Vahed criticised those who object to other mosques. They did so by citing various expert opinions (p. 3). Justice J. Lloyd of the NSW Land and Environment Court in 2003 was quoted overturning the Baulkham Hills Shire Council’s refusal of an application to build a mosque. The Justice warned that councils should “not blindly accept the subjective fears and concerns expressed in the public submissions [which] appear to have little basis in fact”. However, Vahed and Vahed did not report or provide links to the Justice’s reasoning.

Another expert quoted was Laura Bugg, a sociologist at Sydney University, who wrote that “opposition to Islamic schools in Camden and Bankstown in metropolitan Sydney was based on arguments that the schools would be incompatible with the surrounding environment; the absence of Muslims in the area; and a ‘moral panic’ about increased crime.” Again, these arguments were not delineated or empirically tested, except for the observation that the concerns are not raised when Catholic or Anglican schools are proposed. This would have been an effective demonstration of bias had the authors presented evidence that Christian schools have the same social impacts on local neighbourhood as Muslim schools. But Bugg could not be drawn on for such information because her field of expertise is critical discourse analysis, which studies texts, not behaviour. Nevertheless, Bugg claims that studying anti-mosque arguments  reveals how white privilege is expressed by local residents to disadvantage non-Christian religions.[viii] Such views are used by Vahed and Vahed to conclude that residents’ real fear was that the Islamic schools would attract Muslim families to the area and change its racial and religious composition. The accusation is plausible but not substantiated empirically. Nor were the consequences of rising Muslim numbers examined.

Further experts were introduced to criticise opponents of Muslim religious centres. A statement was quoted from social scientists Kevin Dunn, Natascha Klocker, and Tanya Salabay, in their 2007 paper “Contemporary racism and Islamophobia in Australia: Racializing religion”. Vahed and Vahed quote Dunn and colleagues: “[O]pposition to mosque development in Sydney had depended heavily on stereotypes of Islam as fanatical, intolerant, militant, fundamentalist, misogynist and alien”.[ix] No empirical evidence could be quoted from the paper to counter these stereotypes, because the paper does not describe Muslim behaviour or culture. Instead, Dunn and colleagues rely on public opinion surveys revealing “Islamophobia” in non-Muslims, content analysis of “racialized pathologies of Muslims and their spaces”, and examination of alleged Islamophobia that occurs in the political discourse on asylum seekers. The concepts ‘racism’ and ‘Islamophobia’ are broadly and copiously applied in this paper, though these are prejudicial terms that are not behaviourally defined. No publication titles by the lead researcher, Kevin Dunn, Professor of Geography at the University of Western Sydney, appear to examine negative effects of Muslims or other immigrant groups on non-Muslims.[x] But whatever its merits, the analysis contains no treatment of Muslims’ impact on non-Muslim Australians and cannot be considered a balanced social impact statement applicable to most Australians.

Vahed and Vahed’s policy recommendations reaffirm the ethnocentric bias of existing social impact literature concerning mosques. They recommend that town planners be trained in practical multiculturalism, by which they mean learning about the “cultural and religious needs of minority groups”. Applications to develop mosques should be seen as expressions of minority cultural rights, not as normal urban planning. If clustering of Muslims is a problem, the solutions could be to approve a larger number of smaller mosques to reduce concentrations. Social cohesion would be improved if the Federal Government subsidised the building of mosques (p. 14). The self-serving wish list was softened only by the proposal that stakeholders be able to express their opinions in town hall style meetings.

The paper does not take seriously concerns about the social impacts of mosques or the Muslims they attract to local areas. It provides no statistics concerning property prices, crime, anti-social behaviour or terrorism, which might have explained why there has been less opposition to mosques in Queensland. Instead, public criticisms of mosques are characterised as “moral panics”, thought by many Muslims to be expressions of “Islamophobia and racism”. Opponents of mosques are interpreted to be racially motivated, due to the White Australia Policy (p. 2).

Vahed and Vahed’s paper indicates that advocates for the Muslim community are taking advantage of Western multiculturalism, in which the state licenses minority interests while ignoring those of the majority. The latter are not attributed with legitimate interests but are portrayed as aggressors against minorities.[xi] State licensing includes indoctrination of the majority in the legitimacy of minority preferences, without balancing instruction in majority interests.[xii]

Other publications fit this ethnocentric pattern, though are less concerned with social impact. One source that is cited is a university thesis produced by Hassan Mourad in 2006, which examined the development and land use impacts of local mosques.[xiii] The thesis discusses ways in which council planners can better accommodate mosques, without considering possible social impacts on the larger community.

Mourad’s thesis is cited by Noel Villaroman in his 2015 book, Treading on sacred grounds: Places of worship, local planning and religious freedom in Australia.[xiv] Again, the analysis takes the perspective of Muslims confronted by intolerant residents and councils able to thwart their religious freedom by denying permission to build mosques. The book examines the degree to which councils conform with international human rights law in their treatment of Muslims.

Another ethnocentric study was produced by Amanda Wise and Jan Ali for Macquarie University’s Centre for Research on Social Inclusion. It deals exclusively with discrimination and racism directed against Muslims. Social impacts on non-Muslims are not examined or even hypothesised.[xv] It can be appropriate to focus on one culture, the better to understand its characteristics and needs. [xvi] But policy, including approvals of development applications, should consider the interests of all stakeholders.

The above brief review indicates that SIAs of mosques are often compromised by an ethnocentric focus on Muslims as victims. Generally ignored is the equally important question of how a mosque or Muslims affect the majority population in an area. It is not uncommon for academic studies to criticise those who are concerned about mosques without evaluating the complaints. The studies just reviewed fall short of the standard of analysis advocated by the Planning Institute of Australia or its international affiliate. This is true with regard to goals, because these studies do not pretend to assess how mosques (or churches or temples) might affect a neighbourhood’s way of life, culture, sense of community, social and architectural environment, and health and wellbeing. It is also true with regard to theory and method, because the reviewed studies do not offer a basis for predicting social impacts. This fails to meet the Planning Institute’s standard: “Social impact assessment of policies or plans should be sufficiently robust to anticipate the impact of proposals made under the plan.”[xvii]

This review also indicates that the deficiencies can result from inadequate analysis. The sociological disciplines (sociology, political studies, cultural anthropology; women’s studies) are underdeveloped, with little or no consensus on theory or methodology.[xviii] A contributing factor is the politicisation of the social sciences and their resulting separation from the biological sciences. Australia suffers from this more than most Western societies.[xix] The excessive influence of anti-biology ideology in Australian universities might also facilitate the minority ethnocentrism that mars the social impact literature. Because the problem is chronic, planning authorities would be advised to expect SIAs from different schools of thought and interest groups to provide contrasting analyses.

The analytical weakness of the social impact literature increases the burden of a rigorous impact statement by necessitating the enunciation of a theoretical and methodological basis for comparing ethno-religious social impacts.

 

  1. Theoretical basis and hypotheses

 

2.1  Biosocial theories of ethno-religious diversity

For a social impact assessment to anticipate the effects of policies, it must be based on firm theoretical and methodological foundations. Unfortunately, existing social impact studies of mosques are theoretically weak. Their ethnocentrism and failure to engage behavioural science disqualify them as theoretical models. The present study applies biosocial science, an interdisciplinary field that studies human nature and society by drawing on biology in addition to conventional approaches. Biosocial approaches have been applied to all social phenomena, from gender to organisations, from politics to art.[xx] They have proven useful in explaining and predicting group behaviour, especially in relation to the effects of ethno-religious diversity. This field of research has been developing since the 1970s, mainly in Europe and the United States.

Of particular use in this regard is Ethnic Nepotism Theory, which has proven itself useful in studying and predicting a range of ethnic phenomena, including the family character of mafia-style criminal groups, ethnic middleman minorities, and nationalist freedom fighters.[xxi] The theory also correctly predicted a negative relationship between ethnic diversity and welfare rights.[xxii] Ethno-religious populations are seen as loosely bound by kinship ideology – belief in descent from common ancestors – as well as actual kinship both genetic and cultural.

Ethnic nepotism theory predicts that ethno-religious diversity incurs substantial social costs of diminished trust and cohesion as well as rising conflict. This has been confirmed by cross-cultural research. One recent study compared 176 contemporary societies, finding that 66 per cent of global variation in conflict was explained by ethno-religious heterogeneity.[xxiii] Conflict was widely defined to include not only violence but discrimination, affirmative action and interest groups of the kind found in Australia and other multicultural societies. Ethnic Nepotism Theory also predicted that ethnic diversity would reduce social cohesion, which was independently confirmed by the famous study by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam in 2006.[xxiv] Putnam found that rising diversity in U.S. cities caused a decline in trust and cooperation. This finding was replicated at the neighbourhood level in a longitudinal English study, which found that social cohesion was restored when people moved to a more homogeneous area.[xxv]

That diversity brings costs is to be expected from knowledge of human evolution. Humans evolved in culturally and religiously homogeneous groups. Ethno-cultural diversity is novel on the evolutionary and historical time frames. As a result negative social impacts are not surprising.

Another biosocial theory seeks to explain the altruism and passionate loyalty elicited by religion. David Sloane Wilson, an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University, U.S.A., conceptualises religions as adaptive systems that coordinate the behaviour of groups beyond kin and sometimes beyond tribe.[xxvi] Co-religionists are drawn together by shared rituals and beliefs. For millennia religion was humans’ most powerful group strategy outside the family, and still exerts considerable influence. When religious and ethnic ties coincide, as they often do with Muslim populations, group solidarity is enhanced.

These theories help explain why endogamy, or marrying within the ethno-religious population, is a universal human tendency. All ethno-religious groups are endogamous to various degrees, though the religions and segmentary societies of the Middle East and Africa are at the high end of the spectrum. Endogamy is generally adaptive, for example by maintaining a higher level of parental kinship and retaining religious and cultural identity and cohesion.[xxvii] This is relevant to the present study because Muslims show relatively high rates of endogamy, as discussed in section 5.4 below. Islam discourages out-marriage, as have many traditional faiths. Denominations of Christianity and Judaism have urged congregations to marry within the faith. Endogamy is a normal part of ethnic and religious group behaviour.[xxviii]

2.2  The social impact of Muslims in Western societies

The biosocial theory of ethnic diversity is well tested but the theory of religion is not sufficiently developed to generate hypotheses about particular religions. To gain insights into likely social impacts of Islam in Australia, overseas examples need to be studied.

Terrorism is the most high-profile impact of Muslims. Islamic communities are a major source of terror directed at the West and at other Muslims despite relatively small numbers. There have been Islamist terror attacks in the U.S., France, Spain and Britain in recent years, committed in part by Muslim men of immigrant descent born and raised in those countries.

Economic inequality, unemployment and self-segregation are contributing to social polarisation in Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, mostly among the Muslim immigrant population. The situation is less pronounced in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France where policies promote more assimilation, and in Britain, where welfare is less generous.[xxix]

In Sweden immigrants from Africa and the Middle East make up about 16 per cent of the population but take as much as 58 per cent of welfare payments, representing a large wealth transfer from the native population.[xxx] That transfer cannot be seen as a good investment because about 48 per cent of working-age immigrants are unemployed. Even after 15 years in the country, 40 per cent are not working.

The trend is for separate and dependent Islamic societies to be established as the Muslim population segregates itself and new generations come of age. The separation is territorial and psychological.

The failure to integrate economically and culturally contributes to high levels of Muslim crime, a phenomenon experienced across Europe. In Sweden the majority of those charged with murder, rape and robbery are immigrants, despite immigrants – largely Muslims – numbering only 16 per cent of the population.[xxxi] In Denmark, immigrants from the Middle East and Africa commit crimes at a much higher rate than do ethnic Danes. The greatest frequency of law-breaking was shown by the children of non-Western immigrants.[xxxii]

Sweden is suffering an epidemic of rape of native Swedes by Muslim men. A 2005 government report states that immigrants, mostly Muslims, were five times more likely to be investigated for sex crimes, and four times more likely for homicide, than native Swedes.[xxxiii] In addition there are over 50 “no-go” immigrant neighbourhoods in which police are reluctant to go except in force, because they are at risk of mob attack. Whites are fleeing Muslim areas and trust is declining.[xxxiv]

Immigrant crime often emerges in the second generation. This is also the experience of the United States, that immigrants are generally more law-abiding than their children.[xxxv]

To these patterns should be added the extraordinary levels of criminality shown by some Islamic immigrant communities in Britain and France, the two ex-colonial powers with the longest experience of these minorities. There are no-go areas in northern Paris, Marseille and other French urban areas, where even police dare not venture except in force. (The same applies to Brussels.) In France and Britain there are occasional riots so violent and extensive that police lose control of affected areas. These amount to uprisings, periods of mass conflict, which would edge closer to civil war if the indigenous population fought back to protect their shops, cars and other property.

In France Muslim-African youth rioted in 2005 burning an estimated 9,000 cars in 274 cities and towns. The situation was out of control for three weeks. A state of emergency was declared. There were two deaths, almost 3,000 arrests and 1,256 injured police and fire-fighters.

Large scale organised sexual exploitation of white girls, predominantly by Muslim Pakistani men, took place in the English town of Rotherham in South Yorkshire. Up to 1,400 girls as young as 12 were raped and sex-trafficked by multiple men between 1997 and 2013. About 100 have given birth to children fathered by the rapists. The rapes point to the wider phenomenon of uncompetitive ethnic minorities becoming alienated and exhibiting contempt for the Europeans among whom they live. These men did not prey on Pakistani girls, so it was an ethnically-directed crime. Well after the case was revealed, Rotherham’s Member of Parliament, Sarah Champion, continued to receive complaints from girls all over England. She suggested that sexual exploitation of indigenous girls by Pakistani men is a national problem, affecting many thousands of victims.[xxxvi]

Muslim populations in Europe, where the data are most complete, are economically uncompetitive, over-represented among the unemployed and welfare-dependent, and over-represented as perpetrators of a range of crime.

This dire situation is not necessarily predictive of Muslims in Australia. As noted above, social impacts in Europe vary between countries due to the prevailing welfare system, investment in integrating immigrants, and particular histories of immigration. It is conceivable that Australia has hit upon a formula that closes the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims. That is made more likely by Australia’s policy of selecting immigrants by economic criteria, compared to Europe’s more haphazard emphasis on refugee and family reunion intakes. On the other hand, Australia’s large refugee intake, with a significant Muslim component, bypasses economic criteria.

Despite some differences, the experience of other Western societies warrants the hypothesis that a similar pattern of Muslim behaviour and social impacts will be shown in Australia.

2.3  Hypotheses: the social impact of Muslims in Australian neighbourhoods.

This study adopts a hypothesis-testing format that is common in science. This facilitates transparency of analysis, allowing theories and methods to be tested against results.

Two hypotheses are suggested by the biosocial theory and international trends discussed above. (1) Australia is no exception to international experience. Interactions between Muslim and non-Muslim citizens cause negative social effects in line with the general social effects of ethno-religious diversity. (2) Further negative social impacts result from characteristics specific to Islamic cultures, similar in kind if not magnitude to those experienced in other Western societies.

The hypotheses, if confirmed, have obvious implications for the social impact of Muslim houses of worship, mosques. If verified, the two set of effects combined would make Muslims a special case in Australia, as they are internationally. Mosques would be associated with the same negative social impacts as Muslims because: (1) they are built and used by Muslim communities; (2) they can attract more worshippers to their vicinity; and (3) mosques slow the loss of religious and ethnic identities over time by facilitating in-marriage (endogamy) and the transmission of religious and cultural traditions.

 

  1. The social impact of diversity in Australia

 

3.1  General analyses

This section examines the social impact of the country’s diverse mix of ethno-religious populations, of which Muslims are a part. The section relies on studies that do not distinguish the impacts of different ethno-religious groups, but detect the effect of mixing peoples of different cultures and religions.

Studies of the social effects of ethno-religious diversity in Australia are in line with the international research reviewed in Section 2 above. They can be briefly summarised.

Repeated studies by Australian academics find that ethno-religious diversity undermines social capital, consisting of trust, participation in group events, and volunteering for charitable activities. A negative correlation between diversity and trust was found by Andrew Leigh when he was professor of economics at the Australian National University, in 2006.[xxxvii] A similar finding for volunteering was found by Ernest Healy, a demographer at Monash University. Both confirmed Putnam’s study reviewed in the previous section.[xxxviii]

The Australian Bureau of statistics has also found that diversity undermines social cohesion. The ABS’s General Social Survey measures the wellbeing of individuals and communities, partly by collecting information on social capital. The Survey introduction explains that:

Social capital is conceived as a resource available to individuals and communities, and founded on networks of mutual support, reciprocity and trust. Research links strong social capital to increased individual and community wellbeing. It includes elements such as community support, social participation, civic participation, network size, trust and trustworthiness, and an ability to have a level of control of issues important to them.[xxxix]

Volunteering is one measure of social capital. The rate in capital cities in 2014 was 30 per cent, outside capital cities it was 34 per cent.[xl] Migrants volunteer less than the native born. Recent migrants who speak English well or very well showed 21.5 per cent volunteering, 36 per cent below the average of native-born, of 33.6 per cent. Recent migrants who only spoke English, i.e. from English-speaking countries, were only slightly below the native rate, at 29.6 per cent. This difference is compatible with ethno-religious diversity accounting for the lower rate.

The difference persisted for longer-term immigrants. Of those who developed strong English skills, 26.7 per cent volunteered, still 21 per cent below the native born. Of those from English-speaking societies 30.3 per cent volunteered, just 10 per cent below the native born.

Ethnic diversity of local communities was also indirectly implicated in the decline of volunteering. In the major cities, which are more diverse than the regions, 29.7 per cent of people volunteered. In the inner regional communities, which are less diverse, 33.4 per cent volunteered. And in the outer regional areas which, except for areas with significant indigenous populations, are generally the least diverse, 38.6 per cent volunteered. This is 14.9 per cent higher than the mean level of the native born, and 80 per cent above immigrants with good English.

The weakness of these ABS data is that the regions they compare are too broad. The Scanlon Institute data presented in the next section overcome that deficiency.

3.2  The Scanlon local area surveys

Large scale surveys measuring social cohesion have been carried out since 2007 by Professor Andrew Markus, at Monash University, on behalf of the Scanlon Foundation, in association with the Australian Multicultural Foundation. This section reviews the Scanlon survey results.

The Scanlon data are doubly useful because they come from an individual and organisation committed to multiculturalism and the high levels of ethnically non-selected immigration that feed it.[xli] Markus has been critiquing immigration restriction, at least in Australia and the United States, since his doctoral dissertation, published in 1979.[xlii] He has a long history of criticising Western ethnocentrism and intolerance, always championing minority perspectives. He supports the UN-sponsored Racial Discrimination Act 1975 and its racial vilification amendment, including the controversial section 18C. He writes sympathetically about Al Grassby,[xliii] the first commissioner under the RDA. Markus defines intolerance as a characteristic unique to the Australian majority. In the 2014 Scanlon Report, he wrote:

The intolerant are characterised by unease when in the presence of members of minority groups, their belief that multiculturalism does not enrich Australia, their demand that immigrants should assimilate to what they see as the Australian way of life (or go back to their countries of origin) . . .

This prejudicial assumption that intolerance is expressed only towards minorities and not also by them has been typical of the multicultural establishment from its beginnings. However, this gives the Scanlon data an added plausibility when reporting data that reflect badly on minorities. As shall now be reviewed, those data show that residential areas of high immigration settlement suffer significant losses of social trust, sense of belonging, feelings of safety and other measures of social cohesion. As Markus concludes, “[t]his finding supports Putnam’s interpretation that ethnic diversity has a significant negative impact on social cohesion.” [xliv]

The Scanlon Foundation data reveal disturbing declines in social cohesion in neighbourhoods of heavy migrant settlement, compared to the national averages. (In the Scanlon reports ‘social cohesion’ to mean ‘social capital’.) This section summarises what they reveal about social impacts flowing from diversity alone. Following is a review of pertinent findings about ethno-religious diversity and social cohesion at the national and local levels.

The Scanlon Foundation surveys are unique in combining national and area data-gathering. A smaller number of local area studies have been undertaken, each one accounting for about 20 per cent of the most diverse suburbs.[xlv] Areas are chosen with similar socio-economic profiles, to allow identification of cultural effects. Four local area studies have been published, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1.  The Scanlon Foundation local area surveys, years and areas.

Year Areas
2007[xlvi] Hume (VIC)

Dandenong (VIC)

Fairfield (NSW)

Auburn (NSW)

Stretton-Karawatha (QLD)

Calamvale (QLD)

2009[xlvii] Engadine (NSW) ESB

Fairfield (NSW) NESB

Bankstown (NSW) NESB

Sunbury (VIC) ESB

Hume (VIC) NESB

Greater Dandenong (VIC) NESB

2012 Noble Park (VIC)

Springvale (VIC)

Coolaroo/Meadow Heights (VIC)

Broadmeadows/Dallas/Jacana (VIC)

Bankstown (NSW)

Greenacre/Chullora/Mt Lewis (NSW)

Cabramatta/Canley Vale (NSW)

2013 Logan (QLD)

Mirrabooka (WA-Perth)

Murray Bridge (regional SA)

Shepparton (regional VIC)

Atherton (regional QLD)

 

3.3  2007 Scanlon area study

The first Scanlon survey found that areas of heavy immigrant settlement showed some worse scores on social cohesion variables compared to national averages. One category to watch closely is long-time Australians, respondents born in Australia with both parents also born in Australia. Impacts on long-time Australians are important, because they are the majority of the population. Many of the differences between local and national scores involved social cohesion variables, as shown by selected replies in Table 2.

Table 2.  Social cohesion of long-time Australians nationally and in areas of heavy immigrant settlement, 2007 (from 2007 Scanlon Area Study, Table 9.5).[xlviii]

Question National Local % diff.
Happiness over the last year – happy 89.5 89.9 0.4
Pride in the Australian way of life – great 61.4 60.9 – 0.8
Sense of belonging in Australia – great 84.6 85.3 0.8
Australia is a land of economic opportunity – agree 80.3 78.5 – 2.3
Present financial situation – satisfied 76.2 74.2 – 2.7
Immigrants from diverse sources make Australia stronger – agree 64.4 59.4 – 8.4
Undertake voluntary work 33.9 29.1 – 16.5
Most people can be trusted 55.6 45.8 – 21.4
Government assistance for maintenance of customs and traditions – agree 26.2 20.5 – 27.8
Experienced discrimination last year 7.8 10.1 29.5
Number of immigrants – too high 38.8 51.3 32.2
Number of respondents 1063 307

 

The highlighted variables show the greatest difference between long-time Australians in suburbs of high ethno-religious diversity and nationally. The results reveal a decline in support for cultural diversity, in volunteering, in trust, in support for government sponsorship of multiculturalism, and in support for the existing level of immigration. They show a large rise in the experience of discrimination (evidence of ethnic conflict). The elevated rate of negative views about immigration is doubly significant, because the data were collected towards the end of the Howard Coalition government, whose strong border-control policies had bolstered support for legal immigration.

This set of results indicate that in immigrant concentration areas, social cohesion declined for long-time Australians and conflict increased.

3.4  2009 Scanlon area study

The 2009 Scanlon survey showed greater declines in social cohesion scores on the part of long-time Australians in ethno-religiously diverse suburbs. The largest declines, highlighted in Table 3, compared to the national average among long-time Australians, were in the belief that immigrants from diverse backgrounds make Australia stronger (16% lower), trust in the local council (22% lower), influence over the local council (26% lower), support for the current level of immigration (42% lower), belief that locals are willing to help neighbours (23% lower), the belief that most people can be trusted (36% lower), fear of crime (27% lower), and feeling safe walking alone at night (55% lower). There was a collapse in support for immigration and feelings of trust and safety in the neighbourhood, a trend confirmed in the 2012 survey, reviewed below.

Table 3.  Social cohesion of long-time Australians nationally and in areas of heavy immigrant settlement, 2009 (2009 Scanlon Area Study summary, Table 12).[xlix].

Question National Local % diff.
Happiness over the last year – very happy + happy 90% 84% – 6.7
Present financial situation – very satisfied + satisfied 74% 67% – 9.5
Impact of immigration in local area – very positive + positive 44% 40% – 9.1
People of different national + ethnic backgrounds get on well in the local area – strongly agree + agree  

68%

 

60%

 

– 12

Immigrants from diverse sources make Australia stronger – strongly agree + agree  

63%

 

53%

 

– 16

Trust local council to do what is right for the people in the area – almost always + most of the time  

46%

 

36%

 

– 22

Agree or disagree that you can influence local council decisions? – strongly agree and agree  

54%

 

40%

 

– 26

Current immigration intake is about right or too low 50% 29% – 42
Local area: people willing to help their neighbours – strongly agree + agree  

82%

 

63%

 

– 23

Most people can be trusted 55% 35% – 36
How worried are you about becoming a victim of crime in your local area? – not worried, not at all worried  

77%

 

56%

 

– 27

Safe walking alone at night – very safe + fairly safe 62% 28% – 55
Number of respondents 1107 292

 

Note that the un-highlighted results also show a downward trend of social cohesion. Long-time Australians living in suburbs with many immigrants were less happy, less positive about the local impact of immigration, and thought that local people of different background were less harmonious, compared to long-time Australians nationally.


 

3.5  2012 Scanlon area study

Data from third generation Australians are recorded. These indicate a collapse in social cohesion among third generation (“long time” in the previous survey) Australians in heavily migrant suburbs, as shown in Table 4.[l]

Table 4.  Social cohesion of third-generation Australians and NESB respondents nationally and in areas of heavy immigrant settlement, 2012 (2012 Scanlon Local Area Study, Table 32).[li]

Question National % Local % % Increase
“How worried are you about becoming a victim of crime in your local area?” Response: “very” and “fairly worried” 22.6 44.7 97
“. . . living in local area is becoming . . .” Response: “worse” and “much worse” 17.0 34.8 105
“People in my local area are willing to help their neighbours”  Response: “disagree” and “strongly disagree” 8.6 35.5 313
“My local area is a place where people from different national or ethnic backgrounds get on well together?” Response: “disagree” and “strongly disagree” 9.5 26.5 179
“What has been the impact of immigration on daily life in your local area?” Response: “somewhat negative” and “very negative” 10.3 33.4 224
Asylum seekers – turn back boats or detain and deport 35.7 53.5 50

(The number of respondents was not provided for this table.)

 

While the 2012 Scanlon Local Area report documented the decline in social cohesion, its interpretive passages sought to minimise the seriousness of these data in three ways. First, it stated that discontent was shown by a “minority” without noting that it was a large minority. The negative views came from 27-45 per cent of third generation respondents. Secondly, it noted that disaffection had only increased by 2 per cent between 2009 and 2012. In fact this is a substantial increase in only three years, from an already high base level.

What sort of diversity produced the collapse in long time Australian social cohesion? Following are some of the characteristics of the local areas surveyed by the Scanlon Foundation for the 2012 report.

Four suburbs in Victoria and three in NSW were surveyed in the 2012 Scanlon Local Area Report. A minimum of 500 interviews were conducted in each local government area, for a total of 2,006 interviews (p. 1) (Table 5).

 

 

Table 5.  Selected demographic characteristics of local areas surveyed, 2012 (2012 Scanlon Local Area Study, Table 3).[lii]

Suburb(s) Noble Park

VIC

Springvale

VIC

Coolaroo

Meadow Heights, VIC

Broad-meadows

Dallas

Jacana, VIC

Bankstown

NSW

Greenacre

Chullora

Mt Lewis, NSW

Cabramatta

Canley Vale, NSW

Population 35,768 19,771 18,107 19,001 40,612 24,709 49,724
Both parents born overseas 76% 88% 74% 69% 81% 74% 89%
English only spoken at home 38% 21% 28% 32% 20% 25% 17%
Buddhist 15% 27% 3% 2% 11% 3% 44%
Muslim 8% 5% 39% 33% 25% 38% 2%

 

Unfortunately, social cohesion responses were not reported for these seven suburbs with known demography but for the four local government areas to which they belonged. These are shown in Table 6, with corresponding suburbs and LGAs, together with the percentage of Buddhists and Muslims in each LGA and the social cohesion index results, from Table 5.

Table 6.  Local government areas, ethnic proportions, and social cohesion indexes, 2012 (2012 Scanlon Local Area Study, based on Tables 3, 6[ii]).[liii]

LGA Hume (Melbourne) Bankstown

(Sydney)

Dandenong

(Melbourne)

Fairfield

(Sydney)

Suburbs Broadmeadows

Dallas

Bankstown

Greenacre

Mt Lewis

Springvale

Noble Park

Cabramatta

Canley Vale

% Buddhist 2.0 7.0 21.0 44.0
% Muslim 33.0 31.5 6.5 2.0
SMI 79.6 83.9 85.5 82.9

 

The national social cohesion index (SMI) for 2012 was 94.4, significantly higher than the results for the migrant suburb, shown in Table 6. The Report attributed the lower score in migrant-heavy neighbourhoods to ethno-religious diversity, which consisted largely of Muslims and Buddhists. What is not directly revealed is any differential impact of Muslims compared to Buddhists.

The Report distinguished third generation Australians (“3GenAu”) from non-English speaking background Australians (NESB). The Report emphasised the socio-economic status of local areas, adopting the 10-rank typology used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Socio-Economic Index for Areas designates its poorest category as SEIFA 1, and its wealthiest as SEIFA 10. The 2012 Survey found that, controlling for SEIFA rank, local areas with high ethnic diversity had low trust. For SEIFA 1 areas nationally, 53% responded positively to the question “most people can be trusted”. But in the five local areas surveyed, only 30 per cent responded positively, a 43 per cent decline. For the broader SEIFA 1-3 category, the national and local positive response rates were 48 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.[liv] That is a 33 per cent reduction due to ethno-religious diversity. Markus notes that this is in line with Harvard Political Scientist Robert Putnam’s finding that in the US ethnic diversity undermines social cohesion:

This finding supports Putnam’s interpretation that ethnic diversity has a significant negative impact on social cohesion.[lv]

3.6  2013 Scanlon area study

The 2013 Report’s section on demography and population for five local areas provided data on source countries of recent immigrants but data were not provided on religious affiliation. However, the five areas fell into two types, Logan and Mirraboola of high immigrant population, the other three relatively low. This is set out in Table 7, based on the 2013 Report’s Figure 8, p. 14.

Table 7.  Demographics of five local areas of heavy immigrant settlement, 2013 (from 2013 Scanlon Local Area Report, pp. 14-16).[lvi]

Area % born in Australia Source countries of recent immigrants Refugee & huma-nitarian intake since 2000 % non-Christian religion % Indigenous Implied Muslim population
Logan 56 NZ, Samoa, fewer in Asia, Africa, Middle East 2,295 8 5 Highest
Mirraboola 48 Asia, Africa and the Middle East 3,160 16 3.3 Highest
Murray Bridge 81 South Asia, South-East Asia, China < 200 2 5.3 Low
Shepparton 76 India, Afghanistan, Iraq, NZ 1,090 11 3.7 Moderate
Atherton Tablelands 80 Very few recent arrivals (< 3%) < 10 3 12.2 Low

 

The 2013 Report asked six questions concerning social cohesion in local neighbourhoods. Replies are provided in Table 8.

Table 8.  Social cohesion indicators (%), 2013 (from 2013 Scanlon Local Areas Report, Table 23, p. 31). Scores indicating low social cohesion are in bold.

Neighbourhood Scale Item National Shepparton Murray Bridge Atherton Tablelands Mirrabooka Logan
Living in my local area is getting worse 36 16 17 22 35
People willing to help neighbours – disagree 12 16 21 10 32 28
People of different national/ethnic backgrounds get on well – disagree 11 22 21 12 25 39
Not able to have a say on issues that are important to me in my local area 29 28 28 32 37
Unsafe walking alone at night/do not walk at night 34 63 55 41 67 68
Worried about becoming a victim of crime 26 47 46 30 54 54

 

These results showed the previous pattern of declines, compared to the national sample or less diverse local areas, in confidence that diverse groups can get along, in feeling safe, and worry about becoming a victim of crime. Other measures of social cohesion were also lower: confidence in neighbourly help, having a say on local issues, and living condition becoming worse.

There was much less difference between national and local results on ideological issues, such as whether multiculturalism or diverse sources of immigration were good for the country. It was questions about local personal experiences that elicited a fall in social cohesion scores, immune from the pro-immigration and pro-multicultural messages received from the mainstream media and educational establishments. The Report noted something of the ephemeral nature of ideological multiculturalism compared to personal experience: “The highest level of support [for multiculturalism] is obtained for general propositions, lower levels of support when the question is specific.”[lvii] Looking back at previous surveys of local areas confirmed the ephemeral nature of broad questions about social cohesion:

[L]ocal area surveys were conducted in 2007, 2009 and 2012 in areas of immigrant concentration, where historical evidence indicates that the potential of social tension is higher. Social cohesion operates not in the abstract, the realm of the ‘nation’, but at the community level, where people of different backgrounds and cultures make their lives.[lviii]

Long-time Australians were analysed at some length in the 2007 report, but treated sparingly in the report of 2013. This study also watered down the category, from both parents born in Australia, to one. Respondents born in Australia showed a slightly more negative attitude towards asylum seekers, especially in Logan and Mirrabooka, the two areas with large numbers of immigrants (Table 29, p. 37). The failure to distinguish responses from long-time Australians reduced the value of some data. For example, the 2013 Scanlon Report provided raw data on negative attitudes towards immigration and cultural diversity.[lix] Atherton Tablelands showed a higher frequency of negative replies than any other area, including the two areas of heavy immigrant settlement. But the data did not explain how the large indigenous population in Atherton (12.2%) contributed to this result. Neither did the data reveal whether the immigrants agreed with these negative responses, which would have greatly reduced the negative score considering that 44 per cent and 52 per cent of the populations of Mirrabooka and Logan were born overseas. It is possible that long-time Australians in these areas were much more negative than those in Atherton.

There has been a general decline in the overall Scanlon index of social cohesion since it began in 2007, corresponding to the rise in ethno-cultural diversity. The index fell 10 points between 2007 and 2014. Consistent with this decline, fewer Australians indicated a sense of belonging (77% in 2007 to 66% in 2014).[lx] Trust in the federal government has also declined.

The research reviewed in this section strongly confirms the hypothesised correlation between ethno-religious diversity and negative social impacts in the form of social capital, also referred to as social cohesion. The studies were conducted from 2006 to 2013. They all indicate that diversity undercuts feelings of trust and safety, confidence in harmony, the quality of life, support for immigration, and acceptance of refugees. Interestingly, support for mainstream ideology such as multiculturalism is not greatly affected.

The evidence reviewed so far does not distinguish the impact of ethno-religious groups. The next section tests the hypothesis that Muslims have exerted negative social impacts beyond their contribution to ethno-cultural diversity.

 

  1. The social impact of Muslims I: Statistical evidence

 

4.1  Scanlon Social Cohesion Surveys

Muslims receive less intense and regular treatment in the Scanlon surveys than the general impact of diversity. The word ‘Muslim’ does not appear in the 2009 Report. Nevertheless, a search of the surveys reveals useful results. This includes comparative data strongly indicating that Muslims have negative social impacts well beyond that produced by ethno-cultural diversity. This section begins by reviewing those data before reporting other relevant findings from the Scanlon reports.

The 2014 Scanlon area study asked respondents to express personal attitudes towards two non-Christian religious groups, Muslims and Buddhists. Eleven per cent were strongly negative towards Muslims, but only 2 per cent towards Buddhists (p. 59). The asymmetry in attitudes towards Buddhists and Muslims has continued since 2010 when the Scanlon surveys first included these questions. The 2014 Survey also found that 5 per cent or fewer respondents expressed ‘very negative’ or ‘negative’ views towards Buddhists or Christians. But almost five times that number, 25 per cent, expressed those views towards Muslims.[lxi] The contrast was striking even among the 37 per cent of respondents who strongly endorsed multiculturalism. Supporters of multiculturalism are generally positive towards minorities, and only a small minority (2 per cent) were negative towards Buddhists. But nine times that number, 18 per cent, were negative towards Muslims. And while 58 per cent were positive towards Buddhists, only 41 per cent expressed view of Muslims. Among the 48 per cent who moderately endorsed multiculturalism, only 23 per cent were positive towards Muslims, but 43 per cent towards Buddhists.[lxii]

The 2014 Scanlon area study suggests that the preceding negative percentages might understate the opposition to Muslims, due to people avoiding expressing opinions they consider “socially undesirable”, i.e. which threaten their reputations. This effect appears to be reduced when the survey is self-administered online and not by an interviewer. In 2014 a Scanlon study found that a self-administered survey yielded 23 per cent strongly negative towards Muslims, double that yielded by the same survey administered by an interviewer (11%).[lxiii] Overall negative attitude towards Muslims was expressed by 44 per cent of online respondents.[lxiv] Even the interviewer-conducted survey found that 23 per cent of respondents with trade or apprentice qualifications admitted to very negative attitude towards Muslims, but only 2 per cent against Christians.[lxv]

The 2015 Scanlon survey confirmed the 2014 results. Regarding attitudes to Muslims, in mid 2015, 11 per cent of respondents expressed strong disapproval of Muslims, and 10 per cent strong approval.[lxvi] Young-adult and middle-aged respondents felt most favourably towards Muslims, but even their approval was low, at 29-31 per cent. Only 23 per cent of older respondents had a favourable view.[lxvii]

Attitude towards Muslims was less favourable in regional Australia than in the capital cities. But even in the latter, only 11.2 per cent expressed a very positive attitude, falling to 7.9 per cent in the regions. Those responding “somewhat positive” in their attitude to Muslims were 22 per cent in the capital cities, 18 per cent in the regions.[lxviii] This is consistent with the low level of strong support (“very positive”) for Muslims in “rest of state” (i.e. outside the capital cities) in Western Australia (6%), South Australia (4%) and Queensland (7%).[lxix]

The Scanlon surveys offer further comparative data that, while not as decisive in distinguishing Muslim impacts, confirms the earlier results and adds detail.

The 2007 Scanlon area survey found that the strongest opposition to immigration was directed at intakes from the Middle East and Muslim countries (17% of the sample; 13% opposed immigration from Asia). (p. 62) The 2012 area survey found that fewer Muslims than Christians felt a great sense of belonging to Australia (51% versus 69%). Only 41 per cent of Buddhists expressed great belonging. (p. 15).

Discrimination also fitted the pattern of greater Muslim social impact. The 2007 Scanlon Report found that 27.5 per cent of respondents of Middle Eastern background reported suffering discrimination on the basis of religion, compared to under 10 per cent for other religions. (p. xiii) The 2012 Scanlon National Survey[lxx] found that 31.3 per cent of Muslims reported discrimination, the highest rate reported. The next highest was Christians (17.7%) and Buddhists (13.8%). Interestingly, discrimination by region or country of birth gave generally lower results. The combined discrimination responses in Scanlon surveys from 2007 to 2012 were: Africa and Middle East (20.9%); Asia (20.1%); New Zealand (15.1%); Australia (10.4%); UK (7.6%) and Europe (7.0%).

These comparisons indicate that both religious and ethnic differences play a role in eliciting inter-group conflict, but that the religion of Islam stands out in this regard.

Volunteering also fitted the pattern of Muslims exerting greater social impact. Not only did volunteering decline in areas of heavy immigrant settlement, but in the 2007 Scanlon survey, individuals of Middle Eastern background had the lowest level of volunteering, at 12.4 per cent. The national average was 30-34 per cent.[lxxi]

Weaker, but still suggestive, data come from association of low social cohesion in local areas with concentrations of Muslims. In the 2012 Scanlon Local Area Study, the average social cohesion index for high-Muslim areas was 81.75, the average for the high Buddhist areas was 84.2. This is not a large difference but is consistent with the hypothesised greater negative social impact of Muslims.

The 2013 Scanlon area survey did not ask the national sample a question about attitude to Muslims. (Table 26, p. 34). The results, however, are compatible with the hypothesis that social cohesion declines when the proportion of Muslims in an area is high. Table 7, presented in the previous section, indicated that the most diverse areas of Mirrabooka and Logan – with the greatest proportion of Muslims – expressed the greatest negative responses to social cohesion questions, including questions related to personal safety, fear of being a victim of crime, helpfulness of neighbours, cooperation between ethnic groups, and the quality of life in the area (Figure 20, p. 32). Fitting this trend was volunteering, a measure of social capital, which was significantly lower in the two areas of immigrant concentration. Whereas nationally 35.6 per cent volunteered monthly, in Mirrabooka it was only 21.6 per cent and in Logan 22.1 per cent. In the three relatively homogeneous areas, the rates of volunteering were at or above the national average.[lxxii]

Recall the Scanlon survey finding that support for multiculturalism and immigration depended on the way questions were phrased. “The analysis demonstrates that there is no simple or definitive determination of the balance of Australian opinion: answers are dependent on specific questions and approach to analysis.”[lxxiii] The remainder of this section discusses two surveys that asked different questions about Islam and Muslims but received a similar pattern of answers.

4.2  Australian attitudes to Islam poll, 2013

A Roy Morgan poll asked 18,048 Australians about their attitudes to Islam.[lxxiv] The poll, published in October 2013, was commissioned by the Q Society, which is critical of Islamist influence in Australia. The sample was spread across city and regions in all states. The poll was conducted before the first terrorist attacks on Australian soil and before the major attacks in Europe. Table 9 shows the replies to seven propositions.

Table 9.  Roy Morgan poll, 2013: Australian attitudes to Islam poll.[lxxv]

Question Agree Disagree Can’t say
1. Christmas, Easter and ANZAC Day should no longer be celebrated 1.7% 96.5% 1.8%
2. Feeling about increase in number of Australians who follow Islam / came from Islamic countries 40.8% 38.4% 20.8%
3. Whether Australia should introduce laws that ban wearing clothing in public that fully covers the face, like the Islamic burqa 53.4% 42.6% 4.0%
4. Views on the relationship between Islam and terrorist acts Strong, direct: 44.0% Weak, indirect: 34.2%  

6.8%

5. The Australian Government should ban Sharia – the religious law of Islam 50.2% 36.2% 13.6%
6. I am concerned about Islam in the world today 57.3% 40.1% 2.6%
7. Australia is becoming a better place as a result of Islam 16.4% 70.6% 13.0%

The poll confirms Scanlon surveys’ finding of substantial disapproval of Muslims. Perhaps the cause is that the Scanlon survey asked for general evaluations while the Q Society poll asked specific policy questions. Andrew Markus, who manages the Scanlon Survey, noted that the two types of responses were elicited by ideological and concrete questions based on personal experience of local affairs.

4.3  Progress Institute survey, 2015

In 2015 a think tank, the Australian Institute for Progress (AIP), published a qualitative survey of 1,349 respondents that found rising public opposition to legal immigration of Muslims. The survey was conducted by Graham Young, who pioneered polling via the internet in Australia.

The results of the survey indicate a negative response to Muslims well above the level generated by ethno-religious diversity alone. Only 8 per cent of citizens thought that Muslim immigration has been good for Australia. Forty eight percent thought it has been bad for Australia.[lxxvi] These views appeared not to be based on rejection of immigration because 69 per cent of respondents favoured immigration at or above the present level, with only 27 per cent opposed.

Respondents who opposed Muslim immigration expressed a range of concerns. Some were critical of Islam as a religion, others were critical of the non-religious culture of Muslims, accusing it of being incompatible with Western culture. Muslims’ religion or non-religious culture was thought to impede assimilation into Australian society.[lxxvii] Respondents believed that earlier waves of immigrants had cultures more similar to the Australian mainstream. The strongest critics of Muslim immigration felt that Australia is being colonised by Islam and felt that sharia law poses a threat. Concern about human rights was also raised as an objection to Islam and Muslims’ secular culture. These respondents perceived Muslim immigrants as misogynistic and homophobic. The hijab was seen as a violation of women’s human rights. Other frequently voiced concerns about human rights concerned female genital mutilation and Islamic discrimination against other religions.

The AIP study did not directly test Muslims’ impact on community identity, social cohesion or sense of wellbeing, though negative impacts can be inferred from the results. A different survey by social research company I-view, measured the public’s sense of risk and safety due to overseas events. Based on a sample of 1200 adults in February and March 2015, the survey found that 53 per cent saw domestic terrorism as a high risk over the next 10 years, and only 24 per cent said they felt “very safe”, a sharp fall from the 42 per cent who gave that response in 2010.[lxxviii]

These further surveys confirm and extend the Scanlon survey findings of negative social impact of Muslims on local neighbourhoods in which they reside. A methodological weakness remains with the survey data presented above. It is possible that anti-Muslim sentiment is induced by media and government bias, as alleged by Dunn, Klocker and Salabay.[lxxix] The next sections eliminate that possibility by showing that Muslims are greatly over-represented in crime and unemployment and under-represented in volunteering for the Australian Armed Forces. These patterns of behaviour are congruent with the negative social impacts described in the reviewed survey data. These findings indicate that Muslim behaviour, not media and government messages alone, have caused anti-Muslim sentiment.

4.4  Muslims and crime

The Australian Bureau of Statistics does not provide data on the religion of prisoners, only giving country of birth. This is not useful for discerning ethno-religious patterns because large numbers of many faiths are born in Australia. Data are hard to obtain in Australia compared to other countries, according to academic Clarke Jones. In 2015 Jones was a visiting fellow at the Australian National University. He worked previously in counterterrorism for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “[I]t is much easier to get these statistics overseas. In Australia, it is getting into politically sensitive areas.”[lxxx] The same can be true of state police departments when they hide or neglect to gather information about the ethnicity of suspects and those arrested and charged. One investigative journalist also encountered dead ends when investigating ethnic crime. “There is a lack of statistical data, and expert opinions differ on whether ethnic crime is a genuine problem or a reflection of public hysteria and media hype. . . . Pinpointing the precise nature and extent of ethnically based crime is difficult because of a dearth of data on the problem. The NSW Police and the state’s Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research do not collect figures on ethnicity, and nor does the Australian Institute of Criminology.”[lxxxi]

In 2015 however investigative journalists Chip le Grand and Dan Box tracked down some data on Muslim imprisonment rates in three states, shown in Table 10. Muslim prisoners are over-represented compared to their proportion of the larger society. The more moderate over-representation in Queensland – about double instead of almost triple in NSW and Victoria – could be due to educational and cultural factors. Queensland Muslims are largely educated professionals of Indian and South African heritage, while Muslims in NSW and Victoria are less educated and originate in the Middle East and Africa.

Table 10. Muslim prisoners and population by state, 2015[lxxxii]

State Population (mill.) % Muslim pop. % Muslim prisoners
Queensland 4.3 0.8 1.5
NSW 6.9 3.2 9.0*
Victoria 5.4 2.9 8.0*

* Based on data accurate to one significant figure.

Most Muslim prisoners in Australian jails are ordinary criminals, not imprisoned for terrorism-related offences. The crimes committed include violent and sexual offences.[lxxxiii] Very few are converts to Islam, meaning that they are of Islamic immigrant background. Muslims are also over-represented in British jails. In mid 2015 Muslims were 4.7 per cent of the England and Wales but 14 per cent of the prison population, three times their proportion of the general population.[lxxxiv]

As 78 per cent of Australian Muslims live in NSW and Victoria, the higher imprisonment and thus criminality rates in those states are close to the national average, of almost three times their proportion of all offenders, similar to that in Britain.

Some Muslim over-representation in crime is not due to ethno-religious factors. Age distribution plays a part. Muslim-Australians are a relatively young population, and young adults of all ethnicities commit more crime. However, the age difference is not great enough to account for the dramatic difference in crime rates. In 2011, 38.1 per cent of Muslims were aged 15-35, compared to 27.1 per cent of all Australians.[lxxxv] That 40 per cent higher proportion of young Muslims does not account for their almost 200 per cent higher criminality, as revealed by the imprisonment statistics.

The Muslim community’s younger age profile is not only due to recent immigration, but also to a higher birth rate. In 2006 Muslim women aged 40-44 had had an average of 2.9 children, compared to 2.0 for Australia as a whole. That is a 45 per cent difference. The Australian Bureau of Statistics projects a lower adjusted Muslim fertility which is 25 per cent above average. [lxxxvi] The fertility rates of immigrants usually converge on that of natives. Although fertility by religion is not available on the ABS website, Australian women born in the Middle East and North Africa showed a total fertility of 2.83 in 2014, a slight decrease since 2006.[lxxxvii] In Europe Muslim fertility was lower in 2010, at 2.1 children per woman. But the non-Muslim rate was 1.6, putting Muslims 31 per cent ahead of indigenous Europeans.[lxxxviii] The Muslim rate is projected to remain higher in Europe. The long lasting nature of the high Muslim birth rate is another reason not to discount the youth component of Muslim crime. Negative impact on local areas due to crime will remain greater than that of Christians and Buddhists partly due to higher Muslim birth rates.

Recency of arrival in Australia does not explain the high Muslim imprisonment rate, because prisoners born overseas are underrepresented compared to their proportion of the population (18% versus 33% in 2015).[lxxxix] Chinese-born immigrants show low levels of imprisonment.[xc] High rates of criminality among Muslim-Australians exacerbates their social impact on residents of suburbs with Muslim populations. These data are compatible with, indeed help explain, the survey results showing negative sentiments towards Muslims, and indicate that these sentiments are not only due to news about terrorism and media sensationalism.

4.5  Muslim unemployment and public dependency

Based on the 2006 census, Riaz Hassan of Flinders University found that fewer Muslims were fully employed than non-Muslims at all age groups until age 65. This was despite them having more education than the national average. At the peak working ages of 19 to 64, Muslims were engaged in full time employment at 16 per cent below the non-Muslim rate. They were at least twice as likely to be unemployed as non-Muslims. Moreover, the ratio of Muslim to non-Muslim unemployment increased with age, as shown in Table 11.

Table 11.  Muslim and non-Muslim unemployment, 2006.[xci]

Age range Muslims

in age group (%)

Non-Muslims

in age group (%)

Ratio of

Muslims:non-Muslims

15-18 26 14 1.9
19-24 18 9 2.0
25-44 12 5 2.4
45-64 11 4 2.75
65 and over 8 2 4.0

 

This trend was confirmed by Hassan in a subsequent paper based on 2011 labour force data. The Muslim and non-Muslim employment rates were 31.5 and 46.8, a deficit of 33 per cent. The Muslim and non-Muslim unemployment rates were 4.6 and 2.8 per cent, a ratio of 1.6:1.[xcii]

Partly as a result of these employment rates, in 2011, 26.9 per cent of Muslim children in Australia were living in poverty, almost twice the rate of other Australians.[xciii]

In 2011 Muslims also show much greater rates of disability and need for assistance with core activities, as shown in Table 12. This translates into higher public and private health costs.

Table 12.  Elderly Muslims and total Australians needing assistance with core activities by age group.[xciv]

 

Age range

 

% Muslims

 

% Total Australians

Ratio of

Muslims:Total

60-69 24.2 6.8 3.6
70-79 40.2 12.9 3.1
80-89 63.9 32.1 2.0

The extraordinary rates of disability shown by Muslim Australians, almost four times the national average for people in their sixties, remain to be explained. Questions needing to be answered include the following. Are these disabilities genuine health cases or malingering? If genuine, are they due to socio-economic insult not experienced by other groups in the same neighbourhoods and occupations? How is that possible? If endogenous, are the causes genetic, e.g. due to cousin marriages, or to some shared ancestral trauma?

The consequences for this set of economic and health characteristics is to depress Muslim children’s life prospects. Ethno-religious stratification by class is one of the most invidious divisions, contributing to inter-group hostility down the generations, especially for slow-to-intermarry groups such as Muslims. For Muslims as a whole, it lowers group status objectively and subjectively. The latter intensifies group solidarity and mobilisation, affecting criminality and risk of radicalisation for terrorism.

4.6  Military volunteering

Volunteering for military duty is a well-known indicator of national loyalty, while volunteering to fight for an enemy nation is considered an act of disloyalty. It follows that a comparison of different populations’ volunteering for the Australian Armed Forces (ADF) and opposed forces should be a good indicator of their overall attachment to Australia. In recent years some Muslim Australians have volunteered to fight for their home countries in the Middle East, including terrorist formations, most notably the Islamic State active in Syria and Iraq (or ISIS). The latter formation has committed numerous acts of terror and mass murder, leading to the displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis. Australia is at war with ISIS as part of the Western coalition, and ISIS has attempted to radicalise Australians and induce them to commit acts of terror within Australia.

At the end of 2015 the head of Australia’s spy agency ASIO stated that the number of Australians fighting for ISIS was about 110. By May 2016, a total of at least 50 had been killed[xcv] and as early as January 2015, 30 had returned to Australia,[xcvi] giving a total of 190 Australian citizens who have served in Islamist forces in the Middle East.[xcvii] In addition, over the twelve months to June 2015, 336 people were removed from aeroplanes about to depart Australia, on suspicion that they were on their way to fight in Syria and Iraq. In the following seven months, to January 2016, another 312 people were removed from aeroplanes about to depart for the Middle East.[xcviii]

Assuming that half of those detained at airports were jihadists, the total is about 500 volunteers or would-be volunteers for ISIS or other Islamist military formations in the last few years.

There is a long-term pattern of low Muslim recruitment to the ADF, evident by 2001, as reported by the Department of Defence.[xcix] Numbers had not risen much by 2009.[c] In 2012 the head of the Australian Army acknowledged that the imbalance continued.[ci] In March 2015 the Assistant Defence Minister, Stuart Robert, stated that there were 96 Muslims in the 57,000-strong Australian Defence Forces.[cii] By November that number had risen slightly to 102.[ciii] Accepting the last estimate, it appears that about five times the number of Australian Muslims have shown loyalty to Islamist military organisations, including known terrorist formations at war with Australia, than to the Australian nation. That asymmetry could be more extreme because the ADF recruited its 102 Muslims over many years, while most of those intending to fight for ISIS did so in the space of perhaps two years. In addition, the high casualty rate of recruits to Iraq and Syria – about one in three killed – indicates a strong level of commitment. Recruitment continued even though combat deaths were reported in the media. About 1 in 10,000 Australian Muslims have been killed fighting for Islamist forces. A comparison with ADF war casualties puts this in perspective. Australia lost 41 soldiers killed in Afghanistan over a ten year deployment. If ADF soldiers had suffered casualties in the same proportion to the Australian population as jihadists to the Muslim population, about 2,200 ADF soldiers would have been killed in action. By accepting a relatively high casualty rate, the Australian Muslim population is showing considerable war-fighting motivation in defence of their ethno-religious homelands.

Recruits to the ADF with English-speaking backgrounds offer a useful comparison. The Assistant Defence Minister, Mr. Robert, noted that 94.6 per cent of the ADF personnel have an English-speaking background. He stated that the government’s policy was to increase the ethno-religious diversity of the ADF, implying that the percentage of English-background personnel is too high. The Army, Navy and Air Force would benefit from having the language and cultural skills brought by different ethnicities. In addition, he stated the ideological view that the ADF should be a more “culturally and linguistically diverse workforce, that represents the changing face of modern Australia”.

The assistant minister missed an important point. All ADF personnel are volunteers. Signing up to defend Australia is not only as a form of employment but an expression of patriotism and social integration. It follows that the preponderance of people of English-speaking background in the ADF reflects the fact that they feel more patriotism towards Australia and have deeper roots in the nation. Very few people of English-speaking background have volunteered for ISIS. The preponderance of this culture in the ADF could be seen as a benefit, a source of cohesion, trust and fighting morale, preferable to signing up people unsure of their national identity or whose first allegiance lies elsewhere.

The reluctance of Australian Muslims to volunteer for the Australian Defence Forces is consistent with the data reviewed earlier on community hostility to Muslims in Australia, especially on the part of long-time Australians. It is consistent with the relatively low levels of charitable volunteering on the part of Middle Easterners compared to the average for native born. The 2007 Scanlon Survey found that individuals of Middle Eastern background had the lowest level of volunteering, at 12.4 per cent, about 40 per cent of the national average.[civ]

The defence analyst, Neil James, has referred to survey findings of low affinity to Australia among some immigrant groups, which indicate that they would not help defend Australia even in time of war. James notes that the armed forces’ difficulty in recruiting immigrants groups is complicated by the existence of radicalised elements of Australia’s Muslim community which would be problematic if deployed overseas in operations against Islamist terrorism.[cv] James implies that radicalised Muslims feel more loyalty to Islamist causes than to Australia.

The research reviewed in this section confirms the second hypothesis, that Muslim communities are associated with negative social impacts beyond that produced by ethno-religious diversity.

The Scanlon area surveys indicate that in areas with large Muslim populations, disapproval of Muslims is about five times the disapproval of Buddhists in areas with large Buddhist populations. This result has been repeated by every survey since 2010 when the question was first included. Even among strong supporters of multiculturalism, who generally accept minorities, in 2014 as many as 18 per cent were negative towards Muslims, but only 2 per cent towards Buddhists. The findings are replicated in patterns of reported discrimination. While Muslim ethnic groups were disapproved, the negativity towards the Islamic religion was stronger.

The Scanlon results were repeated by a Roy Morgan poll in 2013 and a Progress Institute survey in 2015, though they did not offer comparison with other religious groups.

These extensive survey results were confirmed by comparative imprisonment rates in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Overall, Muslims are imprisoned at almost three times their proportion of the population. In addition, Muslim unemployment and public dependency rates are two to three times greater than the Australian averages. Finally, lack of affiliation with Australia is indicated by patterns of Muslim military volunteering. About five times the number of Australian Muslims have volunteered or attempted to volunteer for jihadist forces in the Middle East than are presently serving in the Australian Armed Forces. This despite a per capita casualty rate fifty times that suffered by Australian forces in Afghanistan.

These converging lines of evidence help explain the survey findings of a steep decline in social cohesion in areas with large numbers of Muslims.

 

  1. The social impact of Muslims II: Qualitative evidence

Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas, the senior officer responsible for diversity issues in the NSW Police Force, warned in August 2015 that terrorism was a real possibility wherever immigrant communities were drawn from conflict zones such as the Middle East, Somalia, and Afghanistan, all predominantly Islamic societies. He pointed out that the terror threat was not limited to big cities, but to emerging “Middle Eastern” communities in regional centres, such as Newcastle, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour, Wagga and Dubbo. He was especially concerned about refugees, for many years making up about 5 per cent of Australia’s migrant intake. Kaldas saw young men who had fled conflict zones such as Somalia, Afghanistan and the Middle East as especially vulnerable to being recruited by criminals and extremists. The risk posed by these Middle Eastern communities would remain for generations, Kaldas stated.[cvi]

Kaldas’s warning linked Muslims – especially young men from refugee families – to terrorism and organised crime such as criminal gangs (implied by his reference to recruitment by criminals). In fact Muslims are over-represented in domestic terrorism and criminal gangs, phenomena examined in the next two sections. The sections after that examine the related phenomenon of anti-social behaviour, which impacts local neighbourhoods, typically close to mosques. Anti-social behaviour is described from outside Muslim communities and from within. The chapter concludes by arguing that organised criminal gangs and terrorism networks resemble militias and that their fusion would constitute a threat to civil order. All of these characteristics of Australia’s Muslim population exert negative social impacts, both on local communities and the nation as a whole.

5.1  Terrorism – official assessments

Terrorism makes headlines but occurs infrequently. It is not part of the everyday firsthand experience of most Australians. However, news of terrorist attacks can cause widespread anxiety, a diffuse social impact that affects psychological wellbeing. This was shown by the survey reported in Section 4.1, in which only 24 per cent of respondents said they felt very safe, down from 42 per cent in 2010.[cvii]

Official warnings affect the public’s awareness of terrorism and provide information about the identity of terrorists, which has the potential to affect community relations and social cohesion. These warnings make it clear that most or all domestic terrorists are Muslims. Australia’s anti-terrorism agency, the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System, describes the risk of domestic terrorism as “probable”, and warns that Islamist radicalisation and recruitment of Australians is increasing.[cviii] In July 2014 the outgoing head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), David Irvine, cautioned that war-hardened jihadists returning from Syria and Iraq were likely to exacerbate the risk of domestic terrorism.[cix] By November 2015, the new ASIO head, Duncan Lewis, warned that the Islamist threat had worsened.[cx] Security services had disrupted six attempted terrorist attacks in the last twelve months. That number represented two thirds of the attempted attacks in the last fifteen years, indicating that the threat was increasing. Although he did not use the term ‘emergency’, Lewis implied that the threat was severe. Radical Islamists “want to attack us. They want to destroy us. We must be enormously resolute in the way we approach this”. Authorities were monitoring about 400 “high priority” cases. The severity of the situation was further indicated by Lewis’s statement that intelligence and security services could not guarantee Australia’s safety from another attack.

The ASIO chief made one obvious error in his public statement, which was to deny that Islam helped motivate attacks such as the mass killings in Paris in November 2015. Lewis claimed that Islam was used as a cover for criminal acts with non-religious motivations. Religious trappings were used “to provide an excuse or cover for their actions”. The absurdity of this claim is indicated by the lack of comparisons. Lewis offered no precedents for criminals sacrificing their lives to attack civilians. This denial of religious motivation echoes similar misdirections issued by political leaders in Australia and other Western societies. These misleading statements undermine public confidence in governments’ ability or willingness to protect them from Islamic terrorism.

Official warnings by intelligence and security agencies are narrow in scope, relating only to violent jihad, not to the gamut of negative social impacts reviewed in this paper. ASIO has fulfilled its mission without noticing that Australia is in the process of being transformed into a Balkanised society with declining trust and rising social conflict. Preventing those outcomes is the responsibility of political leaders, not their instruments such as the security services.

5.2  Terrorism – ethnic variation among Muslims

Some analysts of domestic Islamist terrorism attribute much of it to ethnicity. Shandon Harris-Hogan, a researcher at Monash University, found that the majority of Australian jihadist groups were kith and kin.[cxi] This is consistent with findings elsewhere in the world, where bonds of kinship and friendship are vital in risky endeavours.[cxii] And it suggests the importance of ethnicity, which is a network of families. In a 2010 study Andrew Zammit, also at Monash University, identified ethnic origin as an important variable in explaining radicalisation. Until 2010, sixty per cent of Australian jihadists were of Lebanese origin, with 55 per cent being born in Australia.[cxiii]

Despite variation in the incidence of terrorism among Muslims, all branches of the religion present a risk at some level. This becomes evident from studies of intra-Muslim ethnic interactions concerning Islamist radicalism, and the existence and recent increase in jihadism among South East Asian Muslims, once thought to be peaceful.

The ethnic fractionalisation of Muslims is the subject of research conducted jointly by Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy[cxiv] and Indonesia’s Institute for Political Analysis of Conflict. [cxv] The study tracked ideological change in Muslim students from Indonesia as they studied in Egypt and Turkey. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 47 students. Anthony Bubalo,[cxvi] Deputy Director of the Lowy Institute, summarised the findings.

The study found that Indonesian students differed from their Arabic and Turkish colleagues in retaining more moderate and less militant views. Although the Indonesian students in Egypt and Turkey were religious Muslims, they did not sympathise with the Muslim Brotherhood government, which had been overthrown by the Egyptian military recently in 2013. The interviewers discovered that the reason for this lack of sympathy was ethnic stereotyping. Many of the students stated that “unruly Arabs” need a strong leader. Among the students there was a strong sense of cultural differences between them and Turks and Egyptians. An example was the opinion expressed that a democratic transition failed in Egypt but succeeded in Indonesia because the latter, easterners, are different. The view was expressed that Indonesians could tolerate diversity of cultures, but Turks sought to crush difference. None of the students supported the Islamic State, though one fifth saw the United States as an enemy. The researchers concluded that Islam carries much diversity, and that not all cultures and nationalities within Islam are equally prone to commit terrorism. Some Indonesian Muslims have been radicalised in Saudi Arabia but these small numbers indicate that Islam is not an inherently flawed faith that requires reformation, they conclude. It should be noted that the Lowy study did not compare the beliefs and liturgical traditions of Indonesians and Middle Easterners. It is possible that such differences account for some of the different attitudes to violent jihad.

The Lowy findings are of slight relevance to the Australian domestic scene because only 5.9 per cent of Australian Muslims are of Indonesian or Malaysian origin.[cxvii] As the Lowy study indicates, the level of Islamist activity is lower in South East Asia than in the Middle East, but it is not insignificant.

A recent report from the US Agency for International Development states that in mid 2015 there were between 250 and 300 Indonesians fighting in Syria and Iraq. Most have volunteered for ISIS but several dozen are thought to be fighting for a group allied with al-Qaeda. Between 30 and 40 Indonesians had died in the fighting by mid 2015. Figures for Malaysians are less certain, but indicate that by the end of 2015 there were between 80 and 100, split between ISIS and an anti-Assad Sunni Muslim rebel alliance.[cxviii]

Since early 2014 there has been a dramatic rise in the number of Indonesians and Malaysians volunteering to fight for Islamist groups in Syria. A recent report by Singapore-based counter terrorist experts indicates that jihadist activism is gaining strength among Muslims in the Philippines, Malaysia and Eastern Indonesia.[cxix] In early 2016 the Australian Government upgraded terrorist warnings for Australian tourists travelling to Indonesia.[cxx] Even before this acceleration, some Australian jihadists received training in Malaysia and the Philippines.[cxxi] The report confirms that there is considerable volunteering for Islamist causes across ethnic and national boundaries.

Despite ethnic fractionalisation, all Islamic denominations and ethnicities present a jihadist threat, though at varying intensities.

5.3  Criminal gangs

Islamist terror does not impact citizens’ everyday lives as much as does crime. Recall senior New South Wales Police officer Nick Kaldas’s assessment that Middle Eastern communities, especially their young men, are vulnerable to recruitment by organised crime. This is consequential for neighbourhoods where mosques begin to appear associated with such communities.

Kaldas warned about communities derived from war zones such as Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan. Indeed, crime committed by elements of Muslim communities, especially originating from Lebanon, is a daily reality in significant areas of Sydney and Melbourne. Victoria and New South Wales have had crime squads specialising in Middle Eastern and Asian gangs, the latter mainly Vietnamese. These specialist units began in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The NSW squads continue, though the Victorian squads were disbanded in 2006 due to political pressure. NSW expanded its Asian crime squad in 2013 to counter the growing scale and sophistication of Asian organised crime known as syndicates.[cxxii] These imported illicit drugs and laundered the resulting profits. In addition they forged partnerships with gangs of bikies, Balkans, Russians and Middle Easterners.

Recently there has been an intensification of violent competition between Middle Eastern crime families for shares of the illicit drug trade.[cxxiii] About thirty families are involved. The NSW Police warn that the problem is spreading beyond Sydney, echoing Kaldas’s concerns. The main social impact of these crime families is the harm done by addictive drugs. However, the criminal activity associated with this can also affect innocent citizens. In New South Wales, the suburbs that attract the ethnic crime squads are hotspots for violent crime. In 2010 twice the state average of shooting offences occurred in Fairfield-Liverpool, central western Sydney and Canterbury-Bankstown, the area of greatest Muslim settlement and location of large mosques such as at Lakemba.[cxxiv]

The head of the Middle Eastern Crime Squad, Detective Superintendent Peter McErlain, explained in May 2016: “[F]rom the drugs comes violence, extortion, stand-overs, drug runs, geographic franchise drug runs and all that internal-external violence that comes from that, whether that be shootings, drive-by shootings, right up to murder.” The crime families based in southwest Sydney have extended their operations interstate and overseas, via distributed family members. Bikie gangs are included in the networks. Execution-style murders are now occurring in broad daylight, due to competition between the gangs. Less commonly, organised criminal gangs have targeted public figures and police officials.

The behavioural basis of these organisations is primarily the extended family. Mafia-type crime gangs usually have a kinship basis, due in part to the trust engendered by close interpersonal bonds.[cxxv] Kinship can extend beyond the family to the clan and ethno-religious group, especially when the latter is not well integrated in mainstream society. As assimilation proceeds, group solidarity declines and criminal element become marginalised. Thus the longevity of organised crime depends on how long an ethno-religious group remains separate from the mainstream. Risk factors for prolonged separateness include depressed socio-economic status, documented in section 4.5. Low intermarriage rates also slow integration and prolong ethnic organised crime.

5.4  Low rates of intermarriage

The intermarriage rates for immigrants from Muslim countries in Australia are low but not reliable guides because immigration from most Muslim countries is too recent to produce a multi-generational pattern.[cxxvi]

Another complication is that the intermarriage rate is a poor measure of endogamy effort. Two populations with the same rate of intermarriage can have very different traditions promoting marriage within the group, if they are in different circumstances or are of different sizes. For example, imagine two groups both of which in-marry 80 per cent of the time, but the first is 80 per cent of the population while the second is 1 per cent. The first group’s rate of endogamy is consistent with chance alone, while the second group’s rate is only possible if it is segregated in some way or has a highly endogamous culture. Conversely, newly-arrived minorities can be expected to have low rates of intermarriage due to the segregated circumstances of travel, arrival and initial settlement. However, if a minority retains a high rate of in-marriage after a few generations, that is good evidence of a robust endogamous tradition.

Looking overseas to other Western societies, Islamic immigrant minorities stand out as resistant to intermarriage. In Germany, France, England, Belgium and the Netherlands, religion is a stronger brake on intermarriage than race, and immigrant Muslim and Hindu communities are the slowest to marry with the native population. Christian immigrants are among the fastest to intermarry into Christian societies.[cxxvii] A more recent study reports similar findings. In Germany, Belgium, Holland, Britain and France, Muslim intermarriage rates average 8 per cent, the lowest among immigrant groups. This increased only slightly in the second generation, to 10.5 per cent. By comparison, the (non-Muslim) West Indian rate was 26 per cent in the first generation, 53 per cent in the second.[cxxviii]

These findings support the theory advanced by Richard Alba and Victor Nee in the United States, that intermarriage is strongly influenced by institutions which facilitate or discourage integration.[cxxix] Institutions can include religions and other traditions brought by the immigrants. The Islamic religion, and thus mosques, appear to constitute an effective endogamous culture. As a result, Islam and associated cultural and economic characteristics tend to persist.

5.5  Anti-social behaviour: views from outside Islam

This section reviews evidence indicating that terrorism and organised crime fit a broader pattern of anti-social behaviour. Section 4.4 discussed the strong over-representation of Muslims in Australia’s prisons, up to three times the non-Muslim per capita rate. The following descriptions indicate that crime and terrorism belong to a spectrum of identity issues related to the strain of integrating immigrants that differ from mainstream Australia in religion and culture. The integration process is further complicated by multicultural ideology, which provides a ready-made victim narrative about minorities being treated unfairly by the majority.

Complaints from citizens confirm Police Deputy Commissioner Nick Kaldas’s warning discussed earlier concerning the criminal behaviour of young men in Middle Eastern communities. Many non-Muslim citizens have expressed concern about Muslims moving into their neighbourhoods. Evidence for this includes the rise of anti-mosque community groups, whose complaints include accusations of anti-social behaviour on the part of Muslims. An articulate complaint was provided in 2011 by senior journalist Greg Sheridan, who reported first- and second-hand observations of a decline in social environment in his suburb of inner-Western Sydney near the large Lakemba Mosque.[cxxx] Sheridan’s account fleshes out Kaldas’s broad-stroke analysis with descriptions of aggressive public behaviour. It is relevant that Greg Sheridan is a long-term advocate of large scale non-European immigration and supporter of ethnic pluralism.

Sheridan recounted various aggressive acts by Muslims that were related to age, male gender and ethnicity. He witnessed an unprovoked attack on a middle-aged white woman by two Arabic-looking young men. His family was threatened. One of his sons was attacked by local boys of Middle Eastern appearance who “objected to white boys playing cricket”. Another son was “challenged by a boy with a gun”. Sheridan himself suffered abuse for his pro-Israel writings and for being white. “At some point it became unwise to walk on Canterbury Road. A white guy in a suit was a natural target for abuse or a can of beer or something else hurled from a passing car.”

He spoke with a senior police officer in the area, who reported elevated levels of violent crime. The nearby Lakemba police station was peppered with bullets.

He summarised the decline in social conditions as having three causes: “the growth of a macho, misogynist culture among young men that often found expression in extremely violent crime; a pervasive atmosphere of anti-social behaviour in the streets; and the simultaneous growth of Islamist extremism and jihadist culture.”

Three other factors are implied in Sheridan’s examples. The first is the ethnic component of Islamic aggression. He noted that the problem behaviour came from men and boys of “Middle Eastern appearance” and reported their targeting white people. The cases he raises do not make it clear whether ethnicity or religion was the primary cause of aggression. He could have noted the anti-Semitic views that sometime accompany criticism of Israel, views that have been spoken by Islamic leaders.[cxxxi] These incidents, though not common, have been sufficiently serious to attract the attention of ASIO.[cxxxii] Secondly, Sheridan’s remarks about “macho” and misogyny could have been extended to a discussion of extreme views about homosexuality and other non-heterosexual orientations, which are mainstream in the main Islamic faiths. Again, such views are preached by religious leaders.[cxxxiii] Thirdly, only indirectly implied in Sheridan’s article is the territorial element in Muslim group behaviour. The incidents he described occurred in the vicinity of the local mosque. The anti-social behaviour described by Sheridan has a territorial component, usually directed against locals on the basis of religious and ethnic identity. Sheridan could have noted that a factor contributing to the 2005 riots at Cronulla Beach was young Lebanese-Muslim men laying claim to the beach.[cxxxiv]

These descriptions agree with reports by ex-detective in the N.S.W. Police Force, Tim Priest, who described Muslim Lebanese families’ hostile behaviour towards neighbours and police in the mid 1990s. One family in Redfern was notorious for “terrorising the locals with random assaults, drug dealing, robberies and violent anti-social behaviour”.[cxxxv]

Sheridan speculates that one cause of the decline in social conditions was rising numbers of Muslims. “The US, Canada and Australia have far smaller Muslim migrant communities as a percentage of their total populations than do most of the troubled nations of Europe.” Perhaps what makes Islam in Europe more unruly than in Australia is not different government policies or different cultures, but the much larger numbers. Mosques are another cause implied by Sheridan. He referred to the argument that Islam does not separate political and religious functions. Church and state are not separate in Islamic civilisation, as they have increasingly been in Christendom since the mid seventeenth century. The mosque is simultaneously a place of worship and a hub of political organisation.

5.6  Anti-social behaviour: views from within Islam

In late October 2015, a conference was held in Bankstown, in Sydney’s west, at which a leader of Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir criticised the singing of the Australian national anthem. He expressed opposition to immigrants being asked to pledge support for democratic values. Mr Uthman Badar claimed that these rituals amounted to “forced assimilation”.[cxxxvi] This was in response to uproar the week before caused by the principal of a Victorian primary school who excused Muslim students from singing the national anthem. The students were permitted to walk out of the assembly hall while the anthem was being sung.[cxxxvii] The criticism of assimilation specifically involved religious identity. The aim, Mr. Badar claimed, was to “make Muslims less Islamic” by promoting democracy and secular values. He claimed that the government’s attempt to promote moderate forms of Islam was “doomed to failure”.

That Muslims in Australia have serious problems in their relations with other Australians was implied by Ahmed Kilani, founder of Australia’s largest Muslim media organisation, the website Muslim Village. Kilani called on Australian Muslims to renounce religiously-motivated violence and embrace Australian culture.[cxxxviii] He believed it necessary to enact a wholesale reform of the social architecture of Australian Islam. Reflecting the profound cultural differences regarding Muslim’s treatment of women and attitude to violent jihad, Kilani said that this reform should involve quotas for women and young people in key organisations, and a charter of social and religious values that condemns terrorism.[cxxxix] In a comment in The Australian newspaper, Kilani described the imams who preach at Australian mosques as undergoing a “crisis of leadership” because they are less enculturated to Australian values than their constituents. At the same time, Mr. Kilani is engaged in establishing specifically Muslim media, including a television channel. His goal is to unite all Muslims within a moderate, Westernised form of Islam without the present ethnic identities of Lebanese, Egyptian, and so on. This implies that Australian Muslims are divided by ethnicity, and that it influences their behaviour. Indeed, Kilani criticised the control of key Islamic institutions, such as mosques and peak community groups, by “ethnic tribes”.

Kilani was also critical of imams being recruited or trained overseas, as this contributed to keeping the community leadership out of touch with the Australian mainstream. Indeed, it will be difficult to change doctrine in Australia while the Muslim leadership is tied to global Islam. The Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), the country’s only central Islamic authority, has 18 directors, 17 of whom are born overseas. The organisation appears to seek out foreign imams. The only Australian-born director of ANIC is sheik Shady Alsuleiman.[cxl]

Ahmed Kilani’s concern about cultural incompatibility of the Islamic religious hierarchy in Australia is replicated across the West. A common response has been deradicalisation programs, which are yet to prove effective. One critic of these programs, the ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali, argues that the problem is too deeply rooted for superficial deradicalisation to work.[cxli] The problem is not limited to the small number of Muslims who practise violence but to the much larger number who tolerate those who plot terror among them. This tolerance of violence was evident in Brussel’s Muslim community, where the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris were planned. Like Ahmed Kilani, Hirsi Ali calls for fundamental doctrinal reform that would allow Muslims to retain their sense of identity and community, but within a pacified religion. Like Kilani, this view implies that until fundamental doctrinal and structural reforms are completed, Islam will remain incompatible with Western religion and culture.

NSW Police diversity chief Nick Kaldas disagrees that the Muslim hierarchy is a primary cause of anti-social and terrorist behaviour. Muslim community leaders often have no control over young people with behavioural problems, he states.[cxlii] This implies that the problem is sociological and psychological, not a matter of top-down causality from Muslim leaders.

Tension between Muslim and non-Muslims also involves lay Muslims. An example is the Navy’s chief adviser on Islamic affairs, Captain Mona Shindy, whose official social media activities were shut down after a series of inappropriate messages. In one message, Shindy praised controversial Zimbabwe-based Islamic cleric, Mufti Musa Ismail Menk. Other messages criticised Australia’s foreign policy and attitudes to Muslims and terrorism.[cxliii]

The murder of a Parramatta Police worker by a radicalised Muslim teenager in October 2005 brought criticisms of the government’s deradicalisation program. The killer had been in one such program at the time he undertook the terrorist act. One criticism based on close knowledge of Muslim youth was made by Father Chris Riley, founder of the well-regarded charity Youth off the Streets. Riley’s views provide valuable insights into the perspective of young Muslims, with whom he has worked and has close knowledge and sympathy.[cxliv] Riley saw the problem as one of identity and belonging. The “vital thing” missing from deradicalisation programs was to “help these young people feel like they belong in Australia”, Riley stated. He added that such help was not an intellectual process but an experiential one. Youths need to be integrated into the community by interacting with it, for example in voluntary charitable work. Six of Father Riley’s young people had gone to Syria, two being killed. The root cause of their attraction to this cause was their loss of a sense of belonging in Australia, with a resulting sense of hopelessness. They lacked a sense of inclusion and purpose. The solution was to engage them in service to the community, by which he meant the non-Muslim community. Father Riley identified with these Muslim youths, agreeing with their view that Australia is a “racist nation” that persecutes Muslims. He alleged that Muslim youth are confronted with discrimination and exclusion every day; mosques are defaced. He stated that multiculturalism was exacerbating identity problems. The deradicalisation program concentrated on celebrating the youths’ cultural difference. Riley’s criticism could have gone further by noting how multiculturalism engenders a hostile view of Anglo Australia and portrays it in oppositional form as the “other” in opposition to the “we” of immigrant minorities and indigenous peoples.[cxlv] Taken together, these views from the Muslim perspective indicate complex causes of anti-social behaviour, including the experience of immigrants with conflicting religious, cultural and national interests.

 

  1. Summary and conclusions

6.1  Summary

A social impact study provides planning authorities with information about how a proposed development will most likely affect a population’s way of life, culture, sense of community (identity and social cohesion), social and architectural environment, health and wellbeing. Existing social impact assessments of mosques were reviewed and found to be empirically incomplete, theoretically weak and ethnocentric.

The study adopts a biosocial theory, Ethnic Nepotism, that has proven useful in explaining and predicting the effects of ethno-religious diversity. Religions are conceptualised as entities that evolved culturally to solve adaptation problems. To generate a hypothesis concerning distinctive Muslim behaviour, overseas social impacts were reviewed. The results were two hypotheses of the social impact of Muslims in Australian neighbourhoods.

The first hypothesis is that ethno-religious diversity causes a loss of trust and cohesion in Australian communities as it does overseas. The second hypothesis is that distinctive Muslim characteristics cause additional negative social impacts.

The first hypothesis is confirmed quantitatively by seven studies conducted between 2006 and 2013. Muslims formed part of the diversity being studied but were not a focus of the research. One study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that in 2014 diverse communities volunteer less, as do immigrants of non-English speaking background. Four of the studies were surveys conducted by the Scanlon Foundation in conjunction with the Multicultural Foundation of Australia. The surveys, published in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2012, all found that diversity significantly undercuts feelings of trust and safety, confidence in harmony, the quality of life, support for immigration, and acceptance of refugees.

The second hypothesis was confirmed quantitatively by seven lines of converging evidence. Muslim communities are associated with strongly negative social impacts for long-time Australians (third generation), much worse than those produced by ethno-religious diversity or by Buddhism, the other large minority religion.

The Scanlon area surveys indicate that in areas with large Muslim populations, disapproval of Muslims is about five times the disapproval of Buddhists in areas with large Buddhist populations. This result has been repeated by every survey since 2010 when the question was first included. Even among strong supporters of multiculturalism, who generally accept minorities, in 2014 as many as 18 per cent were negative towards Muslims, but only 2 per cent towards Buddhists. In the same year, when the survey was conducted more anonymously online, overall negative attitudes towards Muslims rose to 44 per cent. The findings are replicated in patterns of reported discrimination. While ethnic groups within Islam were disapproved, the negativity towards the Islamic religion was stronger.

The Scanlon results were confirmed by a Roy Morgan poll in 2013, which found that 70 per cent of respondents distrusted Islamic influence, and a Progress Institute survey in 2015, which found that only 24 per cent of respondents felt “very safe”, a sharp fall from the 42 per cent who gave that reply in 2010.

These extensive survey results were confirmed by imprisonment rates in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Overall, Muslims are imprisoned at almost three times their proportion of the population. In addition, Muslim unemployment and public dependency rates are two to three times greater than the Australian averages. Finally, lack of affiliation with Australia is indicated by patterns of Muslim military volunteering. About five times the number of Australian Muslims have volunteered or attempted to volunteer for jihadist forces in the Middle East than are presently serving in the Australian Armed Forces. This despite a very high casualty rate suffered by jihadists.

These converging lines of evidence help explain the survey findings of a steep decline in social cohesion and a rise in fear and uncertainty in areas with large numbers of Muslims and a similarly steep decline in acceptance of Muslims nationwide.

Qualitative evidence offers further confirmation of these results, while adding behavioural detail. Muslim and Middle Eastern communities contribute disproportionately to terrorism and organised crime, according to state and federal security experts. Islamic terrorism is responsible for the National Terrorism Threat Advisory System warning that another act of domestic terrorism is “probable”, a high setting to which it was raised in September 2014. Muslims show ethnic variation in rates of terrorism, high for Lebanese, low for Indonesians. However, the latter constitute only 5.9 per cent of Australian Muslims, and jihadism is increasing in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Criminal Muslim families are so prominent in distribution of illicit drugs and related violence, that Victoria and NSW both have had crime squads dedicated to “Middle Eastern Crime”. These threats are predicted by experts to last for generations. Contributing to this are low Muslim intermarriage rates, also evident in Europe.

Organised crime and terrorism belong to a wider spectrum of anti-social behaviour. The qualitative evidence includes descriptions of anti-social behaviour, including the broad-spectrum crime described in earlier, anti-white assaults and harassment, and hyper-masculine and misogynist culture among young men. Similar accounts are provided by experienced journalists and police. The view from within Islam tacitly confirms these accounts either by calling for a more pacifist Islam in tune with Australian values, or by denouncing Australian society.

To summarise, quantitative and qualitative data indicate that Muslims exert negative social impacts on local neighbourhoods significantly beyond that caused by ethno-religious diversity. More than immigrants and minorities in general, Muslims weaken community identity and cohesion, reduce trust and sense of public safety, and increase anti-social behaviour, crime, and unemployment in local areas. In addition, Islamic populations and mosques increase the risk of organised crime and terrorism, a trend expected to last for generations.

Mosques contribute to negative social impacts in their areas by attracting Muslims and by reproducing Islamic doctrines and identity. They also slow assimilation by promoting within-group marriage. These have been adaptive features of mosques and Islam because they preserve identity and community cohesion. They have the same effects among Muslim immigrants but in so doing slow integration with the larger society, with resulting negative social impacts on local populations.

These invidious impacts are not conceptualised in biosocial theory in terms of superiority or inferiority. Religions are seen as cultural systems adapted to regulate group sociality and protect them in competition with other ethno-religious groups. Islam developed in the Middle East, where societies are segmentary with low rates of intermarriage and long-term competition between populations. In that social environment they needed strong group boundaries and higher levels of ethnocentric collectivism than found in Europe. This creates difficulties between Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia, a society developed by Europeans steeped in traditions of out-marriage (exogamy) and individualism. The social impact problems described in this study are due to incompatibility between ethno-religious traditions, a clash of civilisations.

6.2  Policy implications for planning authorities

The finding of this review is that Muslim communities generally have social impacts on local communities more negative than ethno-religious diversity alone.

How might councils and state planning authorities use that information to evaluate proposals to develop new mosques and other Islamic facilities?

The short answer is that planning authorities should consider general social impacts along together with impacts specific to the mosque being proposed. If those proposing a mosque or other Islamic building deny or ignore general negative social impacts, they should be asked to explain why those impacts will not result from their particular proposal. Failure to provide convincing answers should count against the proposal because the social impacts documented in the present study are severe – sharply lower community cohesion, trust and sense of public safety, together with higher crime and unemployment. In other words, there should be a presumption that Islamic facilities have negative social impacts on local areas.

The long answer includes legal, political and ethical factors that weight social impacts in the overall planning process. In some circumstances general negative social impacts might not apply. This is a complex matter beyond the scope of a social impact statement, warranting separate treatment. But some relevant factors can be briefly identified.

The first factor is the legal and moral reality that the overwhelming majority of Australian Muslims are citizens with full civil and human rights. They are innocent of any crime. They have the same freedom of religion as other Australians, a freedom which entails ready access to places of worship. This is their legal right and accords with the morality of fairness.

A second factor is an important qualification of the finding of the present study, that mosques generally have negative social impacts on their neighbourhoods. In local areas with sizeable Muslim populations, mosques might be socially beneficial not only for Muslims but for their non-Muslim neighbours. When an imam is moderate and identifies with Australia, religious instruction and pastoral care can mitigate anti-social behaviour and facilitate integration; the whole community benefits.

A third factor is multicultural ideology. This ideology exerts political and legal force via federal and state governments and the media, which are generally committed to it. This is true rhetorically and practically. Political leaders recite multicultural dogmas asserting cohesion and strength in diversity, ignoring long-standing social science findings to the contrary.[cxlvi] The rhetoric is given legal teeth by the human rights apparatus built around legislation aimed at suppressing the ethnic conflict that inevitably results from rising diversity. Whatever the cultural and political origins of this dogma, it is well established on both sides of politics. Local councillors and state planning authority personnel are inhibited by and often imbued with multicultural ideology and sensitive to its formal and informal capacity to punish dissent.

A fourth factor is the flight from ethno-religious diversity and towards sympathetic identity groups. This is often given the ethnocentric name “white flight”, a term of approbrium, but it is manifested by all ethnic and religious populations. It is normal adaptive behaviour, and should not be condemned or restricted. Multiculturalism has a de facto territorial component, as people sort themselves out the better to live in a familiar environment and community with shared culture and values. Some people prefer diverse surroundings but many invest substantially in choosing suburbs and schools conducive to ethno-religious identity. Self-sorting by class and religion and ethnicity is a long-term trend evident in Britain and the United States over several decades.[cxlvii] The pattern is also clear in Australia regarding choice of neighbourhood and schools.[cxlviii] It is demonstrated by the patch-quilt ethnic maps of Australia’s large cities.[cxlix] Self-sorting resulting in clustering of similar people is one of the best documented human social behaviours.[cl] The territorial component of multiculturalism is unofficial but pronounced. It probably helps explain the widespread opposition to mosques, though this is a poorly researched phenomenon. The flight from diversity is an unintended consequence of and a potential constraint on planning decisions.

Taken together, these factors can put planners in the invidious position of umpiring intense conflicts of interest and value. In evaluating a religious building they could be torn between the values of freedom of religion and duty to preserve their communities’ way of life and social cohesion. Or they could be forced to choose between multiculturalism’s diversity ideal and constituents’ need for a safe environment.

These conflicts of interest and value will be difficult to reconcile given Australia’s rapidly changing demographics. For decades federal governments on both sides of politics have been allowing high immigration intakes unselected for ethno-religious identity. This is leading to rising diversity and associated strains. Planning authorities should be looking for ways to reduce the harm being done to local communities. Given the federal government’s persistence with transformatory immigration, local government is limited to finding least-worst options, rear-guard amelioration of the worst cases of social breakdown evident in some neighbourhoods of heavy immigration settlement.

State governments set the boundaries, powers and responsibilities of local councils, including evaluation of development proposals. At present councils are not authorised to evaluate an application to build or establish a religious centre partly on identity grounds, though this factor has obvious implications for social impact. In effect the right to freedom of religion is given priority over prevention of severe negative social impact, even though access to a place of worship is not usually conditional on it being available in every municipality.

An alternate approach , which might be called territorial multiculturalism, would be to acknowledge the importance of local communities to the stability of multicultural society. The concentration of ethno-religious groups represents decades of accumulated residential choices and investment in those choices both financial and aspirational. To allow that distribution to be changed against the wishes of residents is to frustrate their free choice of social environment. To protect people’s choice of social environment, state governments could enforce the requirement that councils assemble social impact studies before approving the commissioning of a religious building. They could amend planning laws to ensure that negative social impacts count strongly against approval. They could ensure that proposals tending to change a community’s ethno-religious identity be classified as such to allow informed public discussion. Councils would be authorised to protect a particular cultural identity or mix of identities, in line with the wishes of local citizens. In case of deadlock or controversy, the will of the municipality could be determined by plebiscite. In particular councils could be authorised to deny applications on the basis of cultural or religious affiliation of the proposed centre, after assessing social impacts. As in other approval matters, state planning authorities could provide an appeals option to give residents recourse should their local council exceed its authority. The resulting approval process would allow citizens to protect the identity and cohesion of their neighbourhoods, thereby offering them some protection against the social transformation and loss of community documented in the present study.

6.3       Further research

This study raises matters in need of further research.

More needs to be known about how mosques contribute to, or hinder, Muslims’ social integration in local areas. Attention should be paid to the behaviour of non-observant Muslims and those who are secular. How does their social behaviour and rate of jihadism compare with observant members of the community?

A more detailed analysis is needed of the psychological and financial costs imposed on non-Muslims by increasing Muslim numbers in local areas. In particular, what is the prevalence and causes of non-Muslims fleeing Muslim neighbourhoods, and vice versa?

What is the impact on housing prices of increasing Muslim population compared to other populations?

What is the extent of intra-denominational and inter-ethnic mixing at mosques? Will criminal and terrorist activity become more evenly spread across the Australian Muslim population?

What would be the social benefits and costs of territorial multiculturalism? Is it constitutionally and politically feasible?

 

ENDNOTES

[i] Planning Institute of Australia, 2010. Social Impact Assessment. http://www.planning.org.au/policy/social-impact-assessment-1010, accessed 8 May 2015.

[ii] Vanclay, F. (2003). “International principles for social impact assessment.” Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 21(3): 231-50. http://www.iaia.org/publicdocuments/special-publications/SP2.pdf?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1, accessed 8 May 2015.

[iii] Pricewaterhouse Coopers (2014). Report: Creating a mentally healthy workplace. Canberra, National Mental Health Commission, 20 March: 46 pp. Available at: http://www.headsup.org.au/,

ABS (2007). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, Table 1, 23 October 2008, http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/6AE6DA447F985FC2CA2574EA00122BD6/$File/43260_2007.pdf, accessed 28 May 2014.

Salter, F. K. (2014). “”Mental health, emotions and business productivity”: http://socialtechnologies.com.au/mental-health-and-business-productivity/.

[iv] http://www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/resources/file/OnExhibition/2016/8-2016-128/8%202016%20128%20_%20Social%20Impact%20Statement%20_%20Exhibited%2030-03-16%20_%20Newcastle%20Muslim%20Association%20Inc.PDF, accessed 10 June 2016.

[v] Vahed, Y. and G. Vahed (2014). The development impact of mosque location on land use in Australia: A case study of Masjid al Farooq in Brisbane, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 34(1), January. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263718907_The_Development_Impact_of_Mosque_Location_on_Land_Use_in_Australia_A_Case_Study_of_Masjid_al_Farooq_in_Brisbane, accessed 9 June 2016.

[vi] Vahed, Y. and G. Vahed (2014). The development impact of mosque location on land use in Australia: A case study of Masjid al Farooq in Brisbane, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 34(1), January. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263718907_The_Development_Impact_of_Mosque_Location_on_Land_Use_in_Australia_A_Case_Study_of_Masjid_al_Farooq_in_Brisbane, accessed 9 June 2016.

[vii] http://research.ukzn.ac.za/List-of-Top-30-Researchers/Professor-Goolam-Hoosen-Mohamed-Vahed.aspx, accessed 14 June 2016.

[viii] Bugg, L. B. (2013). Citizenship and belonging in the rural fringe: A case study of a Hindu Temple in Sydney, Australia. Antipode, 45(5), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259546884_Citizenship_and_Belonging_in_the_Rural_Fringe_A_Case_Study_of_a_Hindu_Temple_in_Sydney_Australiahttps://www.researchgate.net/publication/259546884_Citizenship_and_Belonging_in_the_Rural_Fringe_A_Case_Study_of_a_Hindu_Temple_in_Sydney_Australia, accessed 16 June 2016.

[ix] Dunn, K., Klocker, N., & Salabay, T. (2007). Contemporary racism and Islamophobia in Australia: Racializing religion. Ethnicities, 7(4), 564-589, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249724634_Contemporary_Racism_and_Islamaphobia_in_Australia_Racializing_Religion

[x] Salter, F. K. (2012). The war against human nature III-2: Australia and the national question, part II: Race and the nation in the universities. Quadrant, 56(11), 36-44. http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2012/11/the-war-against-human-nature-iii

[xi] Brown, D. (2000). Contemporary nationalism. Civic, ethnocultural and multicultural politics. London: Routledge, pp. 132, 139.

Salter, F. K. (2012). “The humanitarian costs of Western multiculturalism”, speech presented to the Baku Humanitarian Forum, 5 October. Baku, Azerbaijan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zX_5J76h7N8

[xii] Brown, D. (2000). op cit.

[xiii] Mourad, H. (2006). The development and land use impacts of local mosques. Unpublished Undergraduate thesis, https://www.be.unsw.edu.au/sites/default/files/upload/pdf/schools_and_engagement/resources/_notes/5A4_5.pdf, University of NSW, Sydney.

[xiv] Villaroman, N. (2015). Treading on sacred grounds: Places of worship, local planning and religious freedom in Australia. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill-Nijhoff.

[xv] Amanda Wise and Jan Ali (2008). Muslim-Australians and local government: Grassroots strategies to improve relations between Muslim and non-Muslim-Australians. Report prepared by the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, Macquarie University, Sydney. https://www.dss.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/01_2014/muslim_australians_and_local_government_-_print_version.pdf, accessed 9 June 2016.

[xvi] E.g. Bouma, Gary D. (1994). Mosques and Muslim settlement in Australia, Canberra, Bureau of Immigration and Population Research, Australian Government Publishing Service, pp. 90-97. http://www.multiculturalaustralia.edu.au/doc/bimprmuslim_1.pdf, accessed 9 June 2016.

[xvii] Planning Institute of Australia (2010). Op cit.

[xviii] Lopreato, J., & Crippen, T. (1999). Crisis in sociology. The need for Darwin. New Brunswick, London: Transaction Publishers.

[xix] Salter, F. K. (2014). The war against human nature in Australia’s political culture: Collected essays. Social Technologies (Kindle edition), Sydney. http://www.amazon.com/Human-Nature-Australias-Political-Culture-ebook/dp/B00N2XMP2I/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409190085&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=%22the+war+against+human+nature+in+Australia%27s%22

[xx] For advanced students: Dunbar, R. I. M., & Barrett, L. (Eds.). (2007). Oxford handbook of evolutionary psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

For an accessible text book on bio-sociology: Sanderson, S. K. (2014). Human nature and the evolution of society. Boulder, CO: Westview.

[xxi] Salter, F. K. (2007). Ethnic nepotism as heuristic: Risky transactions and public altruism. In R. I. M. Dunbar & L. Barrett (Eds.), Oxford handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 541-551). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Salter, F. K. (2008). Evolutionary analyses of ethnic solidarity: An overview. People and Place, 16(2), 15-25.

Salter, F. K. (in press 2016). The biosocial study of ethnicity. In R. L. Hopcroft (Ed.), Oxford handbook of biology, evolution & society. New York: Oxford University Press.

[xxii] Salter, F. K. (Ed.). (2004). Welfare, ethnicity, & altruism: New data & evolutionary theory. London: Frank Cass.

[xxiii] Vanhanen, T. (2012). Ethnic conflicts: Their biological roots in ethnic nepotism. London: Ulster Institute for Social Research.

[xxiv] Salter, F. K. (Ed.). (2004). Welfare, ethnicity, & altruism: New data & evolutionary theory. London: Frank Cass.

Putnam, R. D. (2007). E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and community in the twenty-first century. The 2006 Johan Skytte Prize lecture. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30, 137-174.

[xxv] Laurence, J., & Bentley, L. (2015). Does ethnic diversity have a negative effect on attitudes towards the community? A longitudinal analysis of the causal claims within the ethnic diversity and social cohesion debate. European Sociological Review. DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcv081. http://esr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/08/20/esr.jcv081

[xxvi] Wilson, D. S. (2002). Darwin’s cathedral: The organismic nature of religion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[xxvii] Salter, F. K. (2007). On genetic interests : Family, ethnicity, and humanity in an age of mass migration. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers.

Whitmeyer, J. M. (1997). Endogamy as a basis for ethnic behavior. Sociological Theory, 15(2), 162-178.

[xxviii] Wilson, D. S. (2002). Darwin’s cathedral: The organismic nature of religion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

[xxix] Koopmans, R. (2010). “Trade-offs between equality and difference: Immigrant integration, multiculturalism and the welfare state in cross-national perspective.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36(1): 1-26.

[xxx] Interview of Sanandaji.

[xxxi] Interview of Sanandaji.

[xxxii] Danish Statistical Yearbook, 2015: http://www.dst.dk/pukora/epub/upload/20195/headword/dk/128.pdf

[xxxiii] Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (2005). Crime among people born in Sweden and abroad (Swedish). https://www.bra.se/bra/publikationer/arkiv/publikationer/2005-12-14-brottslighet-bland-personer-fodda-i-sverige-och-i-utlandet.html#

[xxxiv] Interview of Tino Sanandaji by Margaret Wente, “Sweden’s ugly immigration problem”, The Globe and Mail [Canada], 11 Sept. 2015. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/swedens-ugly-immigration-problem/article26338254/

[xxxv] Morenoff, J. D. and A. Astor (2006). Immigrant assimilation and crime: Generational differences in youth violence in Chicago. Immigration and crime: Ethnicity, race, and violence. R. Martinez and A. Valenzuela (eds.). New York, New York University: 36-63.

[xxxvi] “Child sex abuse gangs could have assaulted ONE MILLION youngsters in the UK”, Mirror, 5 Feb. 2015. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/child-sex-abuse-gangs-could-5114029

[xxxvii] Leigh, A. (2006). “Diversity, trust and redistribution.” Dialogue: Academy of Social Sciences in Australia 25(3): 43-49. Leigh subsequently became the Labor Party’s Shadow Assistant Treasurer.

[xxxviii] Healy, E. (2007). “Ethnic diversity and social cohesion in Melbourne.” People and Place 15(4): 49-64.

[xxxix] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015). “Introduction – General Social Survey: Summary Results, Australia, 2014”. http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4159.0Main+Features12014?OpenDocument, accessed 29 Feb. 2016.

[xl]http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4159.0Main%20Features152014?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4159.0&issue=2014&num=&view=, accessed 29 Feb. 2016.

Ibid., Table 19.1.

[xli] http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/research/overview/, accessed 2 March 2016.

[xlii] Markus, A. (1979). Fear and hatred: Purifying Australia and California 1850-1901. Sydney: Hale & Iremonger.

[xliii] Markus, A. (2015). Australian opinion on issues of race: a broad reading of opinion polls, 1943-2014. In T. Southphommasane (Ed.), Perspectives on the Racial Discrimination Act: Papers from the 40 years of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) conference (pp. 16-31, https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/Conference%20Papers_Publication%20layout%20Final_10.pdf). Sydney: Australian Human Rights Commission, p. 37. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/Conference%20Papers_Publication%20layout%20Final_0.pdf, accessed 8 June 2016.

[xliv] Markus, Andrew (2012). 2012 Scanlon Survey, Local Areas Report, p. 21. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-neighbourhoods-report-2012.pdf

[xlv] 2014 Scanlon Local Area Survey, p. 1, http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-neighbourhoods-report-2012.pdf

[xlvi] Local Surveys, Mapping Social Cohesion: The Scanlon Foundation Surveys (2007), pp. 91-115. Local areas identified, p. vi. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-full-report-2007.pdf

[xlvii] 2009 Scanlon Surveys, pp. 54, 57. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-full-report-2009.pdf

[xlviii] http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-full-report-2007.pdf, p. 99. Accessed 3 March 2016.

[xlix]http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-summary-report-2009.pdf, Table 12, p. 28. Accessed 3 March 2016.

[l] 2012 Scanlon Survey, Local Areas Report, Table 32, p. 30.

[li] Based on Table 32, p. 30, of the 2012 Scanlon Local Areas Report. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-neighbourhoods-report-2012.pdf

[lii] Based on Table 3, p. 7 of the 2012 Scanlon Survey, Local Areas Report. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-neighbourhoods-report-2012.pdf

[liii] 2012 Scanlon Survey, Local Areas Report. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-neighbourhoods-report-2012.pdf

[liv] 2012 Scanlon Survey, Local Areas Report, p. 21. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-neighbourhoods-report-2012.pdf

[lv] 2012 Scanlon Survey, Local Areas Report, p. 21.

[lvi] 2013 Scanlon Survey. Local areas report. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-local-areas-report-2013.pdf, pp. 14-15.

[lvii] 2013 Scanlon Survey, Local areas report, op cit., Table 26, p. 30.

[lviii] http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-local-areas-report-2013.pdf, p. 1. Accessed 3 March 2016.

[lix] 2013 Scanlon Survey, Local areas report, op cit., Table 26, p. 34.

[lx] Ibid, p. 4.

[lxi] 2014 Scanlon Local Area Survey, p. 4. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2014-national-ScoCoh-report.pdf

[lxii] Ibid, p. 45, Table 26 and paragraphs [2] and [3].

[lxiii] Ibid., p. 59.

[lxiv] Ibid., p. 50.

[lxv] Ibid., p. 63.

[lxvi] 2015 Scanlon Social Cohesion Survey, p. 4. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2015-Mapping-Social-Cohesion-Report.pdf, accessed 17 March 2016.

[lxvii] Ibid., p. 49.

[lxviii] Ibid., Table 30, p. 53.

[lxix] Ibid., p. 54, and Table 31, p. 55.

[lxx] 2012 Scanlon Survey, Table 21, p. 43. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-national-report-2012.pdf, accessed 15 March 2016.

[lxxi] 2007 Scanlon Surveys, p. 103. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-full-report-2007.pdf

[lxxii] 2013 Scanlon Survey, Local areas report, op cit., Table 21, p. 30.

[lxxiii] Ibid., p. 4.

[lxxiv] Morgan, R. (2013). Australian attitudes to Islam: National omnibus poll. Melbourne: Q Society, http://www.qsociety.org.au/downloads/QSoc_Morgan_Poll_Islam.pdf, accessed 8 June 2016.

[lxxv] Ibid.

[lxxvi] Young, G. (2015). Australian attitudes to immigration. Brisbane, Australian Institute for Progress: 33 pp., http://aip.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/151013-AIP-Australian-Attitudes-to-Immigration-Report-FINAL.pdf, p. 22. Accessed 20 March 2016.

[lxxvii] Young, G. (2015). Australian attitudes to immigration, p. 17.

[lxxviii] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/australians-fear-10-more-yearsof-terror-finds-iview-poll/news-story/c22fd329032acea7de652c0ea6b8786a, accessed 16 June 2015.

[lxxix] Dunn, K., Klocker, N., & Salabay, T. (2007). Contemporary racism and Islamophobia in Australia: Racializing religion. Ethnicities, 7(4), 564-589, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249724634_Contemporary_Racism_and_Islamaphobia_in_Australia_Racializing_Religion

[lxxx] Chip le Grand and Dan Box, op cit.

[lxxxi] Sally Neighbour (2011). Cracking the cultures of crime. The Australian, 8 March, p. 11. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/cracking-the-cultures-of-crime/story-e6frg6z6-1226017303104, accessed 9 June 2016. And see Neighbour’s follow-up report:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/migrant-groups-going-gang-busters/story-e6frg6z6-1226017998892, accessed 9 June 2016.

[lxxxii] State Muslim populations from: Riaz Hassan (2015). Australian Muslims: A demographic, social and economic profile of Muslims in Australia 2015. International Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia, Table 5, p. 21. https://www.unisa.edu.au/Global/EASS/MnM/Publications/Australian_Muslims_Report_2015.pdf, accessed 31 May 2016.

State Muslim prisoners from: Chip le Grand and Dan Box (2015). “What lies behind their convictions”, The Weekend Australian, 20-21 June, p. 7. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/community-under-siege/what-lies-behind-jihadist-convictions/news-story/2d3cfe45c1e489ba8ca418da7d7b8185, accessed 20 June 2015.

[lxxxiii] See download “Prisoner characteristics, Australia (Tables 1 to 12)”: Table 6, Prisoners, selected country of birth by most serious offence/charge (45170DO001_2015 Prisoners in Australia, 2015). http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4517.02015?OpenDocument, accessed 2 May 2016.

[lxxxiv] Chip le Grand and Dan Box, op cit.

[lxxxv] Riaz Hassan (2015). Australian Muslims, op cit., Table 8, p. 22.

[lxxxvi] Australian Bureau of Statistics, 4201.0 – Australian social trends, 2008. Religion. http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Chapter3202008, accessed 23 June 2016. The ABS adjusted Muslim women’s total fertility from 2.9 to 2.5 to allow for their lower education and income compared to women as a whole. Nevertheless, the actual fertility was 2.9 children per woman, which is 45% above average. The 2.5 figure is 25% higher than average.

[lxxxvii] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015). 3301.0 Births, Australia, 2014, Table 9.1, Births, country of birth mother–2014. Downloaded from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3301.02014?OpenDocument, accessed 23 June 2016. Fathers were born in the same country 67.4% of the time.

[lxxxviii] Pew Research Center (2015). The future of world religions: Population growth projections, 2010-2050. Fertility. http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/europe/, downloaded 23 June 2016.

[lxxxix] Prisoners in Australia, 2015: Country of birth. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4517.0~2015~Main%20Features~Country%20of%20birth~11, accessed 2 June 2016.

[xc] Ibid. See download “Prisoner characteristics, Australia (Tables 1 to 12)”: Table 6, Prisoners, selected country of birth by most serious offence/charge (45170DO001_2015 Prisoners in Australia, 2015). http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4517.02015?OpenDocument, accessed 2 May 2016.

[xci] Hassan, R. (2009). Social and economic conditions of Australian Muslims: Implications for social inclusion. NCEIS Research Papers, 2(4), 1-13. p. 9. http://nceis.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/487471/NCEIS_Research_Paper_Vol2No4_Hassan.pdf

[xcii] Hassan (2015). Australian Muslims. Op cit., p. 45.

[xciii] Ibid.

[xciv] Ibid, Table 24, p. 46.

[xcv] http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/05/05/fifty-australians-killed-supporting-or-fighting-asio, accessed 2 June 2016.

[xcvi] Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2015). Review of Australia’s counter-terrorism machinery, January. https://www.dpmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/190215_CT_Review_0.pdf, accessed 2 June 2016.  P. 35.

[xcvii] http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/flow-of-australian-islamic-state-fighters-has-hit-plateau-says-asio-boss-20151216-glp6ur.html, accessed 31 May 2016.

[xcviii] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-07/rise-in-suspected-jihadists-blocked-from-leaving-australia/7146934, accessed 31 May 2016.

[xcix] Department of Defence Submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee, Inquiry into recruitment and retention of Australian Defence Force Personnel, “Recruitment of Ethnic Minorities”, para. 56, May 2001. http://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/wopapub/senate/committee/fadt_ctte/completed_inquiries/1999_02/adf_personnel/submissions/sub101_doc.ashx, accessed 28 May 2016.

[c] http://www.news.com.au/news/defence-to-target-ethnic-groups-for-new-recruits/story-fna7dq6e-1225734756045, accessed 28 May 2016.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/ethnic-push-could-be-a-distraction-20090715-dlkb.html, accessed 28 May 2016.

[ci] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-29/army-chief-wants-more-diverse-military/3859502, accessed 28 May 2016.

[cii] http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australian-defence-force-to-get-its-first-muslim-imam-20150302-13t18l.html, accessed 2 June 2016.

[ciii] http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/army-chaplains-to-remove-conquer-from-102yearold-motto-because-it-is-offensive-to-muslims/news-story/637626171244b43c7661a9f430fc2c16, accessed 2 June 2016.

[civ] 2007 Scanlon Surveys, p. 103. http://scanlonfoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/mapping-social-cohesion-full-report-2007.pdf

[cv] Neil James (2016). Society’s support is needed by military. The Weekend Australian, 28-29 May, Defence Section, p. 3.

[cvi] Dan Box, “Police set sights on extremist risk in regional migrant communities”, The Australian, 13 Aug. 2015, p. 7. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/police-sights-on-extremist-risk-in-regional-migrant-communities/news-story/3dcf6c389cef4f2506403d14c5c84897, accessed 24 Feb. 2016.

[cvii] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/australians-fear-10-more-yearsof-terror-finds-iview-poll/news-story/c22fd329032acea7de652c0ea6b8786a, accessed 16 June 2015.

[cviii] https://www.nationalsecurity.gov.au/Securityandyourcommunity/Pages/National-Terrorism-Threat-Advisory-System.aspx, accessed 3 June 2016.

[cix] http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/asio-concerns-grow-over-returned-jihadists-20140716-zttqe.html, 3 June 2016.

[cx] http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/islamic-state-wants-to-attack-and-destroy-us-asio-chief-duncan-lewis-warns-20151116-gl0e38.html, accessed 4 June 2016.

[cxi] Harris-Hogan, S. (2012). Australian neo-jihadist terrorism: Mapping the network and cell analysis using wiretap evidence. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 35(4), 298-314. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1057610X.2012.656344, accessed 6 June 2016.

[cxii] Salter, F. K. (2002). Risky transactions: Trust, kinship, and ethnicity. New York: Berghahn Books.

[cxiii] Zammit, A. (2010). Who becomes a jihadist in Australia? Arts Online, Monash University, 21, p. 8. http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/radicalisation/files/2013/03/conference-2010-who-jihadist-australia-az.pdf, accessed 6 June 2016.

[cxiv] http://www.lowyinstitute.org/, accessed 27 May 2016.

[cxv] Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (Indonesia). http://www.understandingconflict.org/en/read/index/1/what-we-do, accessed 27 May 2016.

[cxvi] http://www.lowyinstitute.org/publications/one-type-doesnt-match-all-muslims, originally published in The Weekend Australian, 16-17 April 2016, p. 21.

[cxvii] Riaz Hassan (2015). Australian Muslims: A demographic, social and economic profile of Muslims in Australia 2015. International Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia, Table 3, p. 20. https://www.unisa.edu.au/Global/EASS/MnM/Publications/Australian_Muslims_Report_2015.pdf, accessed 31 May 2016.

[cxviii] US Agency for International Development (2016). Indonesian and Malaysian support for the Islamic State. MSI, Arlington, VA. January, pp. 6-7. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2016/PBAAD863.pdf, accessed 31 May 2016.

[cxix] Paul Toohey (2016). ISIS gaining grip in Philippines after being driven out of the Middle East, Courier Mail, 28 May. http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/isis-gaining-grip-in-philippines-after-being-driven-out-of-the-middle-east/news-story/e987b72b2d87cf84bc60b3f5ae437a26, accessed 31 May 2016.

[cxx] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/rifts-in-indonesias-jihadist-groups–thwart-attacks/news-story/17a3cb02eb4b02759a41f55bbde9d014, accessed 14 June 2016.

[cxxi] Harris-Hogan, S. (2012). Australian neo-jihadist terrorism: Mapping the network and cell analysis using wiretap evidence. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 35(4), 298-314, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/210.1080/1057610X.1052012.1656344, accessed 6 June 2016.

[cxxii] Yoni Bashan (2013). Asian crime super squad to have first money-laundering taskforce, The Daily Telegraph, 30 Nov. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/asian-crime-super-squad-to-have-first-moneylaundering-taskforce/story-fni0cx12-1226771969009, accessed 30 May 2016.

[cxxiii] John Lyons (2016). Crime families in bloody battle over Sydney drugs trade. The Australian, 28 May 2016. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/crime-families-in-bloody-battle-over-drugs-trade/news-story/c89c3a6535bfe0bb1b95c59eb1fc7ecb, accessed 30 May 2016.

[cxxiv] Sally Neighbour (2011). Cracking the cultures of crime. The Australian, 8 March, p. 11. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/cracking-the-cultures-of-crime/story-e6frg6z6-1226017303104, accessed 9 June 2016.

[cxxv] Salter, F. K. (2002). Ethnic nepotism as a two-edged sword: The risk-mitigating role of ethnicity among mafiosi, nationalist fighters, middlemen, and dissidents. In F. K. Salter (Ed.), Risky transactions. Kinship, ethnicity, and trust (pp. 243-289). Oxford and New York: Berghahn.

[cxxvi] Khoo, S.-E., Birrell, B., & Heard, G. (2009). Intermarriage by birthplace and ancestry in Australia. People and Place, 17(1), 15-28. http://tapri.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/v17n1_2khoobirrellheard.pdf, accessed 10 June 2016.

And see: Heard, G., Khoo, S.-E., & Birrell, B. (2009). Intermarriage by religion in Australia. People and Place, 17(2), 43-55.

[cxxvii] Lucassen, L., & Laarman, C. (2009). Immigration, intermarriage and the changing face of Europe in the post war period. History of the Family, 14, 52-68, https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstream/handle/1887/15000/HISFAM15307.pdf?sequence=15001, accessed 9 June 2016.

[cxxviii] Kaufmann, E. Shall the religious inherit the earth? Demography and politics in the twenty-first century. London: Profile Books, p. 176.

[cxxix] Alba, R. D., & Nee, V. (2003). Remaking the American mainstream: Assimilation and contemporary immigration. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

[cxxx] Sheridan, G. (2011). How I lost faith in multiculturalism. The Australian. Sydney, News Limited. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/how-i-lost-faith-in-multiculturalism/story-fn59niix-1226031793805

[cxxxi] Jones, J. (2004). Confronting reality: Anti-Semitism in Australia today. Jewish Political Studies Review, 16(3-4), http://www.jcpa.org/phas/phas-jones-f04.htm

Anthony Klan (2015). Jews to ‘pay with blood’: extremist, The Australian, 13 March. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/jews-to-pay-with-blood-extremist/news-story/4c8607a44e401db2b5abc9661716ecaa, accessed 21 June 2016.

[cxxxii] Rachel Olding (2016). Hardline Islamic preachers forced out of Sydney mosques. The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 February. http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/hardline-islamic-preachers-forced-out-of-sydney-mosques-20160217-gmwk57.html, accessed 21 June 2016.

[cxxxiii] Jane Wardell (2016). Anti-gay Islamic preacher Farrokh Sekaleshfar leaves Australia amid visa review. The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June. http://www.smh.com.au/national/antigay-islamic-preacher-farrokh-sekaleshfar-leaves-australia-amid-visa-review-20160614-gpj3m4.html, accessed 21 June 2016.

[cxxxiv] NSW Police, Strike Force Neil. Cronulla Riots: Review of the Police Response, Vol. 2, p. 10. http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/ep38cronulla2.pdf, accessed 14 June 2016.

[cxxxv] Priest, T. (2004). The rise of Middle Eastern crime in Australia. Quadrant, 45(1-2), 9-16.

[cxxxvi] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/islamist-group-hizb-uttahrir-decries-forced-muslim-assimilation/news-story/cbec1f154a39e08754aedc1c903498e4, accessed 28 May 2016.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/community-under-siege/hizb-uttahrir-national-anthem-is-forced-assimilation/news-story/5aac76c3ec65454d63f7f323f326e597, accessed 28 May 2016.

[cxxxvii] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/education/muslim-students-national-anthem-boycott-the-work-of-dogooders/news-story/289607c0b2acfa599da814a694f577f3?sv=906fd97c6190e99ee22805615328d40d, accessed 28 May 2016.

[cxxxviii] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/muslim-media-founder-calls-for-quotas-and-charter/news-story/cb4fb8f7d3fe52f7836ee67888a9ec92, accessed 28 May 2016.

[cxxxix] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/there-should-be-a-charter-for-local-muslims/news-story/1b105e6e7ff52eb7d4122d6719d6fe58, accessed 28 May 2016.

[cxl] Geoff Chambers (2016). Foreign-born leaders run national Muslim council, The Australian, 22 June. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreignborn-leaders-run-national-muslim-council/news-story/1c23f6c7491d7b95d4a046140648d99c, accessed 22 June 2016.

[cxli] Ayaan Hirsi Ali (2016). Deradicalisation programs must resist Medina militancy. The Weekend Australian, 7-8 May. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/deradicalisation-programs-must-resist-medina-militantcy/news-story/938ff09bed30a22bb553e3242c6a9362

[cxlii] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/chris-rileys-advice-to-muslim-leaders-actions-speak-loudest/news-story/01f186079d5a586d952f240268eeb40a, accessed 7 Oct. 2015.

[cxliii] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/navys-muslim-captain-shindy-praised-gaybashing-mufti/news-story/d8fc1799f3ae6297f58e78672b1d1975, accessed 27 May 2016.

[cxliv] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/muslims-slow-to-confront-issues/news-story/4cdc362d9366f6a7a1973af9e542c0e5, accessed 7 Oct. 2015.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/chris-rileys-advice-to-muslim-leaders-actions-speak-loudest/news-story/01f186079d5a586d952f240268eeb40a, accessed 7 Oct. 2015.

[cxlv] Salter, F. K. (2014). The war against human nature in Australia’s political culture: Collected essays. Social Technologies (Kindle edition),  Sydney. http://www.amazon.com/Human-Nature-Australias-Political-Culture-ebook/dp/B00N2XMP2I/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409190085&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=%22the+war+against+human+nature+in+Australia%27s%22

[cxlvi] Consider some publications in just one year, which should have raised serious doubts about ethno-cultural diversity as a basis for social cohesion:

Alesina, A., & Spolaore, E. (1997). On the number and size of nations. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(November), 1027–1056.

Easterly, W., & Levine, R. (1997). Africa’s growth tragedy: Policies and ethnic divisions. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112(November), 1203–1250.

Rummel, R. J. (1997). Is collective violence correlated with social pluralism? Journal of Peace Research, 34(3), 163–176.

And see section 2.1 above for biosocial analyses of ethnic diversity that incorporate and extend these findings.

[cxlvii] Marshall, H. (1979). White movement to the suburbs: A comparison of explanations. American Sociological Review, 44(December), 975-994.

Bishop, B. (2009). The big sort: Why the clustering of like-minded America is tearing us apart. Boston: Mariner Books.

[cxlviii] Healy, E., & Birrell, B. (2003). Metropolis divided: The political dynamic of spatial inequality and migrant settlement in Sydney. People and Place, 11(2), 65-87.

Patty, A. (2008, 10 March, http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/03/09/1204998283744.html, accessed 25 June 2016). White flight leaves system segregated by race. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/03/09/1204998283744.html, accessed 25 June 2016.

Jacks, T. (2016, 2 May, http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/white-flight-race-segregation-in-melbourne-state-schools-20160430-goj516.html). White flight: Race segregation in Melbourne state schools. The Age. Retrieved from http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/white-flight-race-segregation-in-melbourne-state-schools-20160430-goj516.html, accessed 25 June 2016.

[cxlix] SBS (2014). Where Australia’s immigrants were born. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/fragment/where-australias-immigrants-were-born, accessed 25 June 2016.

[cl] McPherson, M., Smith-Lovin, L., & Cook, J. M. (2001). Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks. In K. S. Cook & J. Hagan (Eds.), Annual Review of Sociology (Vol. 27, pp. 415-444). Palo Alto, California: Annual Review.

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