keywords: Syria

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our Lady of the Trap Door Spider

    • Paul Scully
    • 19 August 2014
    2 Comments

    Outside rituals, the salvation of small actions behind closed doors like the spider, my childhood friend, the silence returns, the woods of earlier times thin around me, my own tree shrinks back to its roots.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Government's high fibre diet of legislation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 August 2014
    4 Comments

    Last week's legislative flurry was very messy, with few signs of reflection on what kind of a society we want to create, and how far particular legislation will help do so. The arguments for legislation are based on abstractions such as free speech and terrorism. They are not supported by sustained reflection on the way in which human beings interact.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the Jesuits

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 August 2014
    31 Comments

    Everyone knows the Jesuits have had a rocky history. They were fabulously successful in educating the European elite for quite some time. But things went off the rails badly in the eighteenth century, and in 1773 Pope Clement XIV issued a decree to 'abolish and suppress the oft-mentioned Society'. Eventually his successor Pope Pius VII issued a papal bull restoring the Society, two hundred years ago this week.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Christians and Muslims exchange Middle East kindness

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 01 August 2014
    5 Comments

    As an Arab-Australian it's difficult to watch the events in Syria, Iraq and Gaza without a sense of guilt and shame. To outside eyes, it must appear that the Middle East is driven by hatred and bloodlust. In fact there is a long history of persecuted members of one Middle Eastern faith finding safety in the places of worship of those that are often cast as their enemies. This is the Middle East, at once unconscionably cruel and unbearably kind.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia supplying alleged refugee persecutors

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 11 July 2014
    6 Comments

    While Immigration Minister Scott Morrison sits with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and hands over customs vessels to the Sri Lankan Government for use in preventing people escaping Sri Lanka, Australia's High Court is deciding whether a group of 158 Sri Lankan asylum seekers can be returned to the Sri Lankan Government. How did we get to the stage where we are supplying the alleged persecutors with the means of stopping people from escaping and seeking our protection?

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    The Caliphate before the ISIS blitzkrieg

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 09 July 2014
    1 Comment

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's eating Syria and Iraq

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 17 June 2014
    11 Comments

    In October 2013, Jesuit Fr Frans van der Lugt wrote about the suffering of the besieged people of Homs in Syria: 'Despite these difficulties, we keep grasping onto hope.' On 7 April 2014 he was executed outside his home. The rout of Iraqi forces in Mosul by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant must be a worry to the Iraqi authorities and the US and Western countries that have invested so much in the new post Saddam Iraq.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget makes asylum seeker vilification official

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 22 May 2014
    26 Comments

    The Government's vilification of people arriving by boat has reached the level where the term 'illegal' features in the Budget documents. Immigration Minister Morrison has insisted on referring to people arriving by boat as 'illegals' for some years, despite the Migration Act using the less pejorative term 'unlawful non-citizen'. This is not just a lawyer's linguistic debate; if it were not important, the Government would not insist on the term.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Count the cost of refugee legal aid 'savings'

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 02 April 2014
    8 Comments

    Despite presenting the end of taxpayer-funded immigration advice to 'illegal boat arrivals' as a cost-saving measure, Scott Morrison's announcement demonstrates once again the Government's policy of punishment for those who come on boats without a visa. As an immigration lawyer who does not do any cases that are government funded, in theory I should applaud this decision, as it means possibly more clients. Instead I am appalled.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Empowered shock jocks must also be accountable

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 March 2014
    9 Comments

    The Federal Government plans to change the Racial Discrimination Act to give preference to free speech over protecting individuals and groups from vilification. It is not surprising that there is strong media support for the changes, as they will give investigative reporters and shock jocks alike the legislative freedom they need to do their job. But the Government must include robust legislation to penalise those who get their facts wrong.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Another round of Ramadan lunar-cy

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 09 January 2014
    1 Comment

    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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's asylum seeker vergogna

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 15 October 2013
    14 Comments

    Italians are not necessarily more ethical than Australians, but the attitude of their government and local officials to asylum seekers who arrive by boat is in stark contrast with our own. The Pope called it vergogna — shameful, or a disgrace — that so many asylum seekers trying to get to Italy by boat have drowned. Australia's vergogna lies in its official attitudes of punishment and demonisation.

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