keywords: Taliban

  • AUSTRALIA

    Overplaying the Immigration Minister's trump card

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 29 October 2014
    7 Comments

    Former Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans once expressed concern about how much personal power was vested in his position when making decisions about particular cases. The current Minister, on the other hand, is trying to increase the number of such powers, and is much more likely to use the ministerial trump card to avoid judicial scrutiny. In a parliamentary system that relies on the checks and balances between the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary, one arm of government should not be able to overrule another.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What are we walking into in Iraq?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 September 2014
    7 Comments

    President Obama's decision to take military action against ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria has been applauded. But it should give us pause that this is the outcome desired and provoked by ISIL itself.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Telling good Kurds from bad

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 05 September 2014
    4 Comments

    A debate about arming, and reinforcing the Kurds, is not an open and shut case. European powers and the United States draw the false distinction that there are good Islamic militants and bad ones, with the bad ones supposedly against the Western military program. The game of backing and supporting misunderstood – and dangerous – groups persists.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Sowing dragon's teeth in Iraq

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 August 2014
    19 Comments

    The vagueness of what is envisaged in the call for military action against the Islamic State makes it difficult to establish whether the harm caused would be proportionate to the good achieved.The record is not good suggesting strongly that Western military intervention will make things worse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The public, the Church, and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'Like many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term, as a stop-gap measure. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There’s only one thing worse than shock and awe; that’s shock and awe that doesn’t work because you haven’t done your homework.' 43rd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Theological School, 14 August 2013.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Indonesia gives a Gonski

    • Pat Walsh
    • 24 July 2013
    3 Comments

    Like Australia's Gonski reforms, Indonesia's initiatives are designed to give its economy a competitive edge by upgrading its human resources. But the changes also have the potential to radically transform Indonesia in other ways. Future generations who have been encouraged to think for themselves, to question and to criticise will be very different citizens to their forbears.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pragmatic answers to the asylum seeker question

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 June 2013
    10 Comments

    'I want to outline the contours for a better approach — better than forcibly turning around boats, better than transporting people to Nauru and Manus Island or to Malaysia to join an asylum queue of 100,000 or permitting people to reside in the Australian community but without work rights and with inadequate welfare provision.' Frank Brennan speaks at the Australian Catholic University National Asylum Summit 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Maintaining empathy as Boston mourns

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 18 April 2013
    12 Comments

    The image of the face of eight-year-old Boston victim Marty Richards will touch the hearts of all. Yet in his name, and depending on the outcome of the investigation, we might see calls for invasions of other lands. Such actions are hardly representative of the express wishes of terror victims and their families.

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  • RELIGION

    A feminist reading of the Koran

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 23 October 2012
    33 Comments

    For centuries, Muslim women have accepted the fallacy that they are inferior to men. Sadly, the jahaliyyah (ignorance and irascibility) Mohammed railed against is alive in the Muslim world, notably in the mentality that sees the Taliban try to justify shooting a 14-year-old child for supporting women's education. 

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    The just world fallacy and the need for empathy

    • Sarah Burnside
    • 26 September 2012
    5 Comments

    Human beings have a bias towards a belief that the world is a fair place in which one's actions have appropriate consequences. This 'just world hypothesis' implies that those who suffer calamity must be at fault. It is the opposite of empathy and poses a serious challenge for those who seek to implement progressive social policies.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Militancy trumps education on Pakistan frontier

    • Farooq Yousaf
    • 25 September 2012
    9 Comments

    With militants firmly holding the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, the already low literacy rate of 29 per cent has nosedived to 17 per cent in the region. Religious madaris are perceived as places of affordable education by common rural dwellers, while to the outer world, they remain breeding grounds for militancy. 

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  • MEDIA

    Justifying garden-variety torture

    • Max Atkinson
    • 12 July 2012
    6 Comments

    Any discussion of the morality of torture must distinguish two kinds of justification. The first is concerned with cases so exotic they have nothing to do with the ordinary affairs of mankind, such as the nuclear bomb ticking away in a New York basement. A real-life justification must provide a rationale for a wide range of common garden cases. 

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