keywords: Syria

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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Problems with jihadi tourism

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 26 September 2013
    1 Comment

    Jihadi tourism is big business, oiled by a global recruit base from which various diasporas can be tapped. The attackers on the shopping mall in Nairobi were linked to a Somali based outfit calling itself al-Shabaab, a standing affiliate of al-Qaeda operating in the Horn of Africa. But the Somali case is far from unique. The Afghanistan and Iraqi conflicts netted their fair share of foreign recruits in the fight against US-led forces.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Julie Bishop's opportunity to press PNG on death penalty

    • Michael Mullins
    • 16 September 2013
    6 Comments

    PNG prime minister Peter O'Neill has resolved to see the death penalty handed to the murderers of two porters killed during last Tuesday's attack on a group of Australian and New Zealand trekkers. Australia's incoming foreign minister Julie Bishop needs to remind PNG that Australia opposes the death penalty, and that it will curry no favour with Australia by executing criminals who harmed Australians. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we still need the Senate

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 11 September 2013
    6 Comments

    One of the neglected legacies of the Gillard Government was its ability to marshal views across the chamber and work with Independents on fundamental policies. It was to be a feature of so much during the tumultuous Gillard years: a political chamber of officials forced to negotiate their stances rather than bulldoze them through. That principle is under threat as the final votes in the Senate are counted.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's misplaced friendship with Turkey

    • Peter Stanley
    • 26 August 2013
    66 Comments

    The NSW Parliament recently passed a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide, conducted by Turkey in 1915. The Turkish Consul-General in Sydney, the foreign ministry in Ankara and even the city council in Gallipoli immediately responded. The resolution disrupts the astoundingly successful charm offensive Turkey has conducted in Australia for years, fostering a positive relationship with Australia through the shared ordeal of Gallipoli. 

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  • RELIGION

    Irrational fear of the Muslim Brotherhood

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 21 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
    • 09 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
    • 05 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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