What makes a bully?
And, more importantly, what can be done about them?
We know bullying is a huge problem. Even the Prime Minister has admitted to having been a target as a boy, and Price Waterhouse Coopers research suggests the problem costs society $2.4 billion per annual school cohort.
The first step in addressing bullying is to realize that we as a society have been unwittingly promoting the view that people are fragile, are in need of constant reassurance, and must be protected against criticisms and so-called microaggressions.
Consider a report on the BBC website which states “A head teacher of a leading primary school has said young children should not have best friends because it could leave others feeling ostracized and hurt.”
Seriously? Children are being taught that their feelings are easily hurt and that they are easily offended and powerless to not be offended. Such thinking becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This needs to stop.
Malcolm Turnbull might be all smiles on school visits now, but he admits he was bullied during his own school days.
The second step in stamping out verbal bullying is to understand that bullies engage in bullying because of their own feelings of inadequacy and insecurities, despite the outward mask of confidence they wear.
People relate with others in accordance with how they relate to themselves.
Those who genuinely like themselves, not in a narcissistic way, but who can appreciate their own self-worth, genuinely like others and have no need to torment, attack, or harass them. They neither see themselves as inferior nor superior to others.
But this is not true for bullies, whose bullying behaviours are better seen as calls for help.
This is not to excuse any bully’s behaviour, but an understanding of the bully’s primary motivations provides clues on how to reduce their bullying behaviour.
Bullies typically continue their bullying behaviour when they are psychologically rewarded by seeing the fear and anguish in their victims. When these rewards stop, often so does the bullying.
Bullies feed off the targets’ defensive responses. If the bully throws verbal ‘mud’ and it does not stick, they generally move on to an easier target.
The third step is that, in addition to dealing with the bullies’ behaviour, there is also great benefit in helping targets of bullies understand what they can do to prevent themselves from being victims.
Immediately after reading that last sentence, some will protest: “You are blaming the victim” or “But targets shouldn’t have to do anything; it’s the responsibility of the bully to change his or her behaviour.”
The reality is, however, that bullies are generally not responsible people, and due to their own insecurities, are on the lookout for targets to tease and torment, even when there are laws that say they should not.
I am not blaming the targets of bullies.
I merely wish to empower them so that they no longer need to be fearful in the face of verbal attacks and taunts.
It would help kids if they better understood what motivates bullying behaviour and the best way to respond.
What I am suggesting is teaching children some psychological defence skills that will make them psychologically ‘Teflon coated’ and immune to the kind of verbal abuse that often leads on to physical abuse by the bully or even suicide for the bullied.
There are many non-defensive responses that the bully will certainly not find reinforcing. For example, when being teased, a simple and calm response such as, “Oh, why are you telling me that?” or, my personal favorite counter to an insult intended to upset me, “Thanks for that feedback, I’ll give it some thought” can turn the attention back to the bully.
These responses are much like the classic response of, “Is that all you’ve got?” to a flasher: He is quickly deflated.
I must emphasize that my assertion that children can benefit from learning effective skills to prevent themselves from being targets of bullying is in no way meant to replace the much-needed adult interventions aimed at stopping bullies through social and legal avenues or to lessen the culpability of the bully.
The reality is, however, that there are times when adults are not there, or their interventions are not effective.
As such it is an educational imperative to strengthen the inner resources of potential victims.
Of course, the strategies I’ve described don’t come easy to children who have grown up with the mistaken belief that other people’s opinions of them are more important to them than their own opinion of themselves.
A crucial part of any psychosocial self-defence education program will need to focus on helping children find ways to value their opinions of themselves more than the bully’s opinion of them and others’ opinions in general.
Children are more likely to do this when they see the significant adults in their lives model this. Adults, please remember this.
As Albert Einstein once said, “Arrows of hate have been shot at me too, but they never hit me, because somehow they belonged to another world with which I have no connection whatsoever.”
This article was originally published in The Daily Telegraph, 19th March 2018.
So, when we are talking about halal foods it means any foods that can be eaten according to Islamic Sharia law. This means that for any food to be considered halal it must comply with the religious ritual and observance of Sharia law.
What is ‘halal certification’?
This means that food has been subjected to certification systems which guarantee to consumers that nothing in the food has any forbidden components. Halal certificates are issued, for a fee, by a certifying body. The opposite of halal is haram (forbidden).
Food can be forbidden in Islam if it includes:
- Meat or any products from a forbidden animal, including pigs and any carnivorous animals or birds of prey
- Meat or any products of an animal which has not been slaughtered in the correct manner in the name of Allah
Under Islamic law (Sharia) it is permissible (halal) to consume items that would otherwise be termed haram so long as it is a matter of survival and not just an act of disobedience.
Many big food manufacturers pay halal certification fees on their products and pass this cost on to us! Many non-Muslim Australians do not want to pay ‘halal taxes’ however most ‘halal certified’ products are not marked- meaning the consumer cannot easily identify products with the tax applied.
In Australia, the first halal certificate was issued in 1983.
The Australian Government did not regulate this business believing it should be ‘self-regulated’ rather than in government control. As a result, the ‘halal industry’ has spiralled out of control and has become a major revenue earner at our expense. Prior to 1983, and for over 1,300 years, Muslims have eaten foods not ‘halal certified’. Today, however, they demand halal certification, and we pay for something we don’t want and don’t need.
Halal Certification was initially applied to food but now applies to personal care products, utensils, fashion, medicines, clothing, shoes, pet foods, and packaging materials such as cans, drums and plastic bottles. The ‘halal industry’ now makes $ billions each year in revenue. These funds are used by the Muslim community to build mosques, Islamic schools and support Islamic ‘charities’.
The enquiry in 2016 failed to search for links between halal funds and Islamic terrorism, so the question remains whether halal revenue funds illegal or criminal activities.
There are many major companies whose products are ‘halal certified’. Some of these are well-established names such as Cadburys, Kraft, Sanitarium, Kellogg’s, Nestle and King Island Dairy.
The Australian and New Zealand Governments have been remiss in not regulating this ‘third-party’, religious honey-pot of gold! Many halal certifiers are ‘Not-For-Profit’ organizations, meaning no tax is paid on revenue. Being ‘un-regulated’ has allowed the industry to set its own certification fees, in many instances relevant to the businesses ability to pay, and not relevant to the cost of certification.
In contrast, in most predominantly Islamic countries, the government regulates both the fees and revenue from halal certification. This provides certainty in business, fairness in trade, removes price gouging, reduces turf wars and provides the government with an income stream. That fact our government has not seem fit to do likewise is a failure to act in the interests of the majority.
A Senate Enquiry into ‘Third Party certification of food’ was held in 2015. The panel consisted of politicians from both major political parties. At the end of the enquiry seven (7) recommendations were made to the government.
- The Committee recommends that food manufacturers clearly label products which have received third-party certification.
- The Committee recommends that the government, through the Department of Agriculture, consider the monitoring and compliance of halal certification of meat for export; and becoming the sole signatory on the government halal certificate.
- The Committee recommends that the government, through bilateral and multilateral forums, promote greater acceptance of a ‘whole–of-country’, government-led halal certification system.
- The Committee recommends that the government consider requiring certification bodies to register their operations under certification trademarks.
- The Committee recommends that the government consider requiring that halal certification of goods in the domestic market comply with the standard agreed for export.
- The Committee recommends that the halal certification industry consider establishing a single halal certification authority and a single national registered certified trademark.
- The Committee recommends that meat processors clearly label products sourced from animals subject to religious slaughter.
Now several years later, the halal certification industry in Australia has grown. It is estimated that Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of halal food products. In 2015, this was reported to be $13billion. Such is the lure of ‘easy halal certification money’ and no-regulation, Australia has become the ‘halal-honey-pot’ , hosting the worldwide Halal Expo each year.
- Halal Certification is an excellent ‘religious-based- business- model’ especially lucrative in unregulated countries, where politicians and governments are afraid of being labelled ‘racist’
- In Australia, Halal Certification revenue has not yet been found to fund terrorism, however, the concern remains
- If Australian’s wish to ensure their money is not used for criminal related activities, they should start by avoiding halal certified goods, services and products.
- Voters should contact their local federal MP and ask when the seven recommendations handed down by the Senate committee on 1st December 2015 will be adopted to deliver certainty, transparency and fairness for all
Welcome to Safe Communities Australia!
Hello and welcome,
Here at Safe Communities Australia (SCA), we hope you enjoy your stay. Safe Communities Australia started in 2014 and has been a great success thus far! We have over 800 members with many active contributors running anything from website content, public debates to study groups and open discussions.
This website will give us the opportunity to put our best foot forward and clearly state the reasons for our positions on particular topics of interest. These topics we find to be most challenging for our group and our communities. Our goal is to make the community safer by offering objective, precise, transparent and open information on the subjects and topics of interest. We know we are widely criticized in the media, we cannot help that. This website should help those who criticize us to take an objective approach to our community and political outlooks.
We will clearly list our reasoning and the facts behind certain issues in our “Education” section. Our “Community” section will give you an overview of what it means to live in a safe community. As a community group, we have special interests in social cohesion, prosperity, security and safety. In our “FAQ” section, we have listed all the Frequently Asked Questions with our most common replies for anyone interested in quick answers.
We have much to add to this website over the coming months and we hope to expand your knowledge, our understanding and the communities engagement. If you find anything out-of-hand or clearly wrong, please comment or send us an appropriate and friendly private message. We are completely open to adjusting our content towards properly supported evidence and any reasonable assessment of the subject areas we will be discussing.
We welcome you and we hope that you enjoy your stay here at Safe Communities Australia!