Author: Fatima Measham

  • MEDIA

    Orwell in 2012 Australia

    • Fatima Measham
    • 16 July 2012
    2 Comments

    As word of the national security inquiry filtered through Twitter last week, one wit remarked, '1984 is meant to be a cautionary tale, not a manual'. The proposed reforms constitute a disturbing concession that our intelligence sector is not equipped to deal with the increasing sophistication of covert online activity, without resorting to questionable laws.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Trading fears for tears in complex asylum seeker debate

    • Fatima Measham
    • 11 July 2012
    16 Comments

    The tear-shedding in parliament over people drowning near our northwest coast was astonishing. In a decade that has seen asylum seekers demonised by policymakers, the reversal was nearly comical: asylum seekers, it turns out, are human beings. It illustrates how poorly the question of asylum has been discussed since 2001.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia follows US drone lead

    • Fatima Measham
    • 09 February 2012
    27 Comments

    Despite Obama's insistance that the use of drones in Pakistan 'is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists', civilian casualties are inevitable. Australia is also phasing in the use of drones.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Beyond Australia's adolescent identity crisis

    • Fatima Measham
    • 26 January 2012
    9 Comments

    While Australia's early history is marked by violence, the Fraser Government's decision to accept nearly 60,000 Vietnamese refugees, the Mabo decision, and Paul Keating's Redfern speech provide positive narrative touchstones that can help lead Australia to maturity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2011: The reluctant Australian citizen

    • Fatima Measham
    • 09 January 2012
    7 Comments

    2001: Two planes slammed into the World Trade Centre. A Pakistani refugee self-immolated in front of the Australian Parliament. Asylum seekers were accused of throwing children overboard. These events had nothing to do with me, but I absorbed them. I am brown-skinned. I have an Arabic name. Published 4 September 2011

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Witnessing Washi's wrath and aftermath

    • Fatima Measham
    • 19 December 2011

    As we drove downtown, we saw people huddling on street corners, covered in mud and looking for shelter. Water shortages and power cuts further disrupted this city of half a million. Mortuaries could not even wash the mud off dead children so they could be quickly identified by parents.

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  • MEDIA

    Uprooting fake online activism

    • Fatima Measham
    • 03 October 2011
    7 Comments

    Much marketing deceives. The problem with the fake grassroots activism known as astroturfing is that it artificially inflates numbers to provide a semblance of legitimacy. This is why it has become the strategy of choice for propagating fringe views such as climate denialism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The reluctant Australian citizen

    • Fatima Measham
    • 05 September 2011
    16 Comments

    2001: Two planes slammed into the World Trade Centre. A Pakistani refugee self-immolated in front of the Australian Parliament. Asylum seekers were accused of throwing children overboard. These events had nothing to do with me, but I absorbed them. I am brown-skinned. I have an Arabic name.

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  • EDUCATION

    Religious education ceasefire

    • Fatima Measham
    • 29 July 2011
    7 Comments

    The stoush over school ethics classes recalls the war in US schools over 'creation science' and its place in the curriculum. Christians should support programs that give students opportunities to think deeply about what it means to be a human among other humans.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Gillard's carbon tax sales pitch

    • Fatima Measham
    • 08 July 2011
    18 Comments

    There is nothing radical about fixing a carbon price. While our politicians and pundits quibble, the rest of the world is already implementing its commitments. Gillard's greatest challenge in selling her carbon scheme is in normalising it in the public mind.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reclaiming Labor's lost soul

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 June 2011
    18 Comments

    Voters who'd otherwise position themselves between the conservative Liberals and radical Greens are stranded. They are looking for leaders who would rather lose big on matters of principle than win by a margin on compromised policy. History has shown Labor to be the natural home for such leaders.

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  • MEDIA

    Blogs and monsters

    • Fatima Measham
    • 10 June 2011
    2 Comments

    In declaring internet access a human right, the UN's special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression insisted that the internet must be maintained at all times 'including during times of political unrest'. He could have said 'especially'.

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