Search Results: Syria

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  • RELIGION

    Irrational fear of the Muslim Brotherhood

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 20 August 2013
    9 Comments

    It’s a crude and misleading line of reasoning to declare that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood can’t be committed to democracy because it is an Islamist organisation much like al-Qaida and Hezbollah. On what basis do we label individuals or groups 'Islamist'? Or 'fundamentalist'? Or 'extremist'? How can we have a monolith amongst a set of congregations making up almost one quarter of the world's human population? The history and politics of Islam is just as complex as that of Christianity.

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  • RELIGION

    Another round of Ramadan lunar-cy

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 08 July 2013
    17 Comments

    Ramadan is supposed to fine tune your soul, weaken the ties binding you to your physical appetites and test your religiosity. This month unites Muslims around the globe in an envelope of piety and mercy. At least that's the theory. In reality, for most of us Muslims Ramadan is the month of massive weight gain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Bob Carr is kidding himself about refugees

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 04 July 2013
    5 Comments

    Senator Carr's comments about 'economic migrants' and asylum seekers from 'majority groups' show a lack of understanding of the separation of powers, the rule of law and the refugee assessment process in Australia. It is remarkable that, when confronted with the fact that the numbers of people meeting the refugee criteria are high, Carr's solution is to change the rules.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Obama no 'wuss' but at what cost to Syria?

    • Evan Ellis
    • 17 June 2013
    4 Comments

    Alluding to his own military style intervention in Kosovo, Bill Clinton warned Obama not to look like a 'wuss' on Syria. Still, Obama's decision to start providing arms to Syrian rebels is an enormous risk. Australia's history of state interventions to tackle Indigenous disadvantage provide surprisingly apt criteria for evaluating the decision.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Visiting detention is a political act

    • Nik Tan
    • 11 June 2013
    12 Comments

    The toddlers are from Syria. The boys are Sri Lankan Tamils, nervous as they will soon be flown to a Tasmanian facility for unaccompanied minors — one asks me if it will be cold. Visiting a detention centre is a small act to say that the Australian Government's policy of detaining asylum seeker men, women and children is not in our name.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Human rights viewed from a Swiss mountaintop

    • Pat Walsh
    • 04 June 2013
    5 Comments

    The weather seemed to express the mood of this city of international public servants paid to resolve the world's problem. Over dinner we discussed health and human rights for remote rural communities in the poorest corners of the world. That's Geneva: clean, ordered, pretty, earnest, and struggling to make the world in its image.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pilgrims in the landscape of lament

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 18 April 2013
    7 Comments

    He was the same age as me and had the same name. But he looked old. He'd left Nigeria and walked to Macedonia; four years of walking. His feet were covered in callouses, dried and thickened. In the course of these wanderings he had been kidnapped, beaten and starved. The irregular migrants in Macedonia have come to the end of the road.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post-Saddam Iraq defined by division

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 March 2013
    1 Comment

    One Christian engineer remembers celebrating religious festivals with his Muslim neighbours. They in turn would celebrate Christmas with him. Such interfaith experiences are almost unknown now. Iraqis tell me that at least under Saddam you knew where the boundaries were. Now there is uncertainty and indiscriminate violence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Israel's emotional pull on Australian Jews

    • Philip Mendes
    • 25 February 2013
    12 Comments

    Some Jewish Australians bring from their childhoods in tranquil Australia a special degree of idealism and innocence to their involvement in homeland conflicts. It may be this, rather than spy-catcher conspiracy theories, which best explains what happened to Ben Zygier and other young Australians who have died in conflicts in the Middle East.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers stiffed by election year spin

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 February 2013
    16 Comments

    The ad hoc nature of arrangements for asylum seekers in Nauru and PNG reveal that priorities are being determined by election dates rather than respect for human dignity and international human rights laws. The latest Coalition idea to interdict boats from Sri Lanka outside our territorial waters and send them back is particularly ill-considered.

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  • RELIGION

    Moving on from a soiled 2012

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 December 2012
    12 Comments

    We might associate the world events of 2012 with the worsening threat of global warming and continuing misery of Syria; Australian politics with the misery inflicted on asylum seekers; the Church through the lens of sex abuse. That is why in New Year celebrations the old year is ritually banished and the new welcomed. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's cluster munitions shame

    • Michael Mullins
    • 21 October 2012
    8 Comments

    As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Australia has the opportunity to make a substantial contribution to creating a better world. Foreign Minister Bob Carr declared Australia a 'fine global citizen'. Yet last Wednesday, we cynically ratified the international treaty to ban cluster munitions after legislating to create a loophole that will undermine the treaty's effectiveness. 

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