The problem with over-generalisations

Georgia Allan

Georgia completed a Masters in Population Studies and Demography at Flinders University in Adelaide. At .id, Georgia is a consultant in .id's housing team. She was heavily involved in the creation and continued development of, the online tool developed to give councils an accessible evidence base for planning and advocacy. Georgia has prepared housing demand and supply analysis for a range of councils, including those in inner-city, middle ring, growth and peri-urban areas. When not in the office, she is likely to be cooking, knitting, crocheting, or buried in a good book.

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7 Responses

  1. Wendy Merchan says:

    Incredible article, really puts Dutton’s comments into context. Also shows how important showing the bigger picture is. Unfortunately no other politician or media outlet have asked the right questions. Would love to share this on facebook.

  2. Emil Bulum says:

    Very disappointing and misleading article, infused with political bias. You claimed to be ‘fact checking’ and using ‘evidence based data’ but you have done nothing of the sort. The 22 people charged are never an appropriate numerator to use. Unless you have data on the number of muslim Lebanese who are sympathetic and hold similar world views to the cause of the 22 charged terrorists then your analysis is worthless. Even more so you cannot use as a denominator the total Lebanese population since so many are Christian and are thus not the subject of Duttons remarks. This is the kind of shoddy statistical analysis that has rendered so many allegedly scientific studies meaningless at best, or worse deceptive and bias

    • Andrea Leong says:

      Being charged with a crime is a too-narrow indicator of criminality? Also, the Lebanese Muslim community is considered as a denominator immediately after the entire Lebanese community.

  3. Barry says:

    I’m with Peter Dutton on this one. I dont consider myslf racist or xenophobic. Working in the construction industry during the 60’s and 70’s I worked with and amongst many ‘new Australians’, and got along well with them, but one learnt to tread carefully with those from regions and cultures influenced by Islam.
    Events since then, plus some research — and I dont mean from extremist sites — provides plenty of evidence that Islam has a strong streak of supremism; not just intolerance but often virulent hostility toward what it labels the ‘Crusader’ societies. Islam rose in the Middle East in the 6th century and quickly spread throughout the tribal societies there. One of its first targets of conquest were the regions where Christ was born and lived. From a religious and theological perspective that will mean nothing to our grossly secular culture, but I find it interesting; if not significant. I also find it significant that throughout history Islam has never been accpted voluntarily by other nations and cultures. To the best of my knowledge it has always been the consequence of invasion and forced or coerced conversion. I have nothing against Muslims as people and wish them well, but am fearful for following generations if it gains undue influence here. If history is a guide it would dramatically change the nature of Australian society and very likely not for the better.

  4. Gareth says:

    Good analysis.

    What makes Dutton’s comments even less defensible is that he chooses to focus on a single issue – terrorism related charges. As the author above has shown, the number of Lebanese Muslims charged makes up 0.03% of the Lebanese Muslim community (Emil, the author’s analysis is not shoddy, that statistic is clearly identified above – and Emil, there is no such thing as thought crime, you actually have to perpetrate an act or be caught planning to perpetrate an act, so your reference to support for (perhaps) terrorist causes is meaningless). What might make Dutton’s comment more or less relevant is if we looked at the percentage of Lebanese Muslims who commit any crime as a proportion of their community and compare that to other demographic groups to see if there is a material difference in the stats. Dutton’s comment has no (or only a very limited) context.

    Barry, the history of christian religions is hardly rosy either. At various points in christian history the religion was imposed on others and those that did not convert were persecuted (see The Inquisition, the Crusades, witch hunts, persecution of Catholics who did not agree with the orthodoxy, to name a few). Islam is hardly alone in this criticism – but it is far easier to criticise something that looks different to what you’re used to.

  5. Kevin Pittman says:

    In response to a couple of your commentators, may I say that when we look at the number of people in prison in Australia, 3/4 of them have one or more European ancestors. That’s hardly surprising when a former government of Australia quite deliberately sent a massive number of convicted British and Irish felons to live here (presumably it was a Labor government) who were then encouraged by the same and successive governments to undertake “invasion and forced or coerced conversion (to Christianity)” of the native population.

    I’m with Peter Dutton. We clearly need to revoke the citizenship of people with a European background and send them back where they came from. Not only will that make us a much safer society but should free up more than enough jobs to clear up all our unemployment and significantly reduce the cost of housing with all that empty housing stock.

  1. November 26, 2016

    […] The problem with over-generalisations […]

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