Yazidi Massacre in Afrin: Children Killed, Villages Bombed, Temples Destroyed

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Yazidis, a historically persecuted non-Muslim people in the Middle East, are yet again fleeing for their lives — this time from Turkey-backed jihadists invading Afrin in northern Syria. Uzay Tulut The Christian Post Murad Ismael, executive director of Yazda, a relief organization for Yazidi victims of genocide, has alerted the world to the deadly threat posed by Turkish airstrikes many times on his social media accounts and… “We are evaluating what to do when the [whole] city falls, including an option to ask ... Read More »

Embracing multicultural voices can lead to a more democratic future

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One of the great moral challenges of our time is the rising tide of inequality in liberal democracies around the world. Duncan Ivison The Conversation This includes Australia, where both income and wealth inequality are increasing, especially the latter. There are arguments about the rise of China and other authoritarian regimes threatening the viability of liberal democracy. But a deeper problem is the persistent inability of liberal democracies to live up to their own moral promise. That promise is one ... Read More »

If you’re a white English speaker and non-Muslim, welcome to Australia

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I have had a pen pal for the last two years, one actually write to by hand; yes, that’s right, that old-fashioned habit where we write to each other using a pen and paper. Nicola Philp The Canberra Times But it’s a little different to how I used to write to pen pals when I was a child because when I address the envelope to my friend instead of writing his name I have to write his code and instead ... Read More »

South African farmers are trapped in a brutal reality – and my family is a victim of it

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My father-in-law was beaten to death last September on his sugar-cane farm, 60 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg, a regional city in South Africa. Glenn Freeman Brisbane Times Civil rights group AfriForum suggests there is, on average, 680 farm attacks and 94 farm murders in South Africa each  year – almost two attacks a day and two murders a week over 18 years. Critics of Peter Dutton’s latest contentious proposal – a special humanitarian intake of South African farmers – should consider ... Read More »

Australian Refugee Groups Slam Plan To ‘Cherry Pick’ White South Africans

Asylum-seekers look through a fence at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea March 21, 2014. Eoin Blackwell/AAP/via Reuters/File Photo ATTENTION EDITORS - FACES PIXELLATED AT SOURCE. THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. AUSTRALIA OUT. NEW ZEALAND OUT.?

‘If we were going to take in any for a fast-tracked program, we’d take in Rohingyans or Syrians.’ Josh Butler HuffPost Refugee agencies have slammed the Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton’s eagerness to offer fast-tracked humanitarian assistance to white South African farmers, saying Australian has ignored asylum seekers and human rights abuses in its own backyard for years. Dutton, whose Home Affairs ministry includes oversight of immigration and refugees, floated the idea of “special attention” for white South African farmers, ... Read More »

Why Britain must not set a deadline for everyone to speak English

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The British government should fix a date by which all residents in the UK should be able to speak English, says Louise Casey, who wrote a report for the government on integration in 2016. Petros Karatsareas The Conversation A common language, she argued, would help to “heal rifts across Britain”. Casey first recommended that the government promote the English language in order to tackle isolation and segregation in her 2016 report. That recommendation received support even from people who otherwise ... Read More »

After the Rohingya crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi will come to the ASEAN summit with her reputation tarnished

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Two years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy (NLD) into government in Myanmar amid a global outpouring of support and goodwill. Authors.. The Conversation When she arrives in Australia for this weekend’s ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the welcome will be cooler, tempered by her government’s limited progress on a range of political and economic issues. In particular, concerns will be raised over the Myanmar military’s appalling treatment of the Muslim Rohingya, and Suu Kyi’s refusal to ... Read More »

An American Imam Talks Islam and Money

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Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf came to America as a child, and learned that prosperity presented its own religious riddles. WealthSimple Feisal Abdul Rauf is a longtime Imam, public intellectual and the author of numerous books about Islam’s place in the West, including What’s Right With Islam is What’s Right with America. There’s a passage in the Bible that says it is more difficult for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a ... Read More »

The Dangers of English as Lingua Franca of Journals

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Scholarship is being damaged all over the world, write Mary Jane Curry and Theresa Lillis. Inside Higher Ed Is your first language English? If so, imagine that you are now required to write about your research using only Spanish or Japanese. Many scholars around the world are facing a parallel situation, with pressures to publish their work in English increasing markedly in the past two decades. Indeed, many people now assume that English is the global language of scholarly publishing. ... Read More »

2018 Adelaide Biennial: Difference as the natural order of things

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It is a time-honoured tradition that large museum surveys of contemporary art should have titles so vague and all-encompassing as to be effectively meaningless. John McDonald The Canberra Times Yet it may be that with Divided Worlds, Erica Green, the curator of the 2018 Adelaide Biennial, has found a title that actually feels relevant. Two decades into the 21st century the world is a long way from the Age of Aquarius, becoming ever more riven and tribalised. In the west there was ... Read More »

Syrians yes, Iraqis no: the startling disparity in Britain’s asylum decisions

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Collateral, a new TV mini-series on the BBC written by David Hare, revolves around the murder of a young man working as a pizza delivery driver in London. Jason Hart The Conversation One of the main themes running through the drama series is the situation of asylum seekers in the UK. We soon learn that the murder is linked to events that occurred while the victim and his two sisters were crossing by boat from Turkey to Greece. Initially pretending ... Read More »

Monolingualism diminishes America’s stature on the world stage

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Most school districts across the United States tout 21st century skills along with developing students’ global competence. Martha G. Abbott The Hill Yet, in the majority of those efforts, administrators and policymakers fail to emphasize an increasingly important skill for all Americans: speaking more than one language. At a time when there is an increasing demand among employers for multilingual skills and a national report commissioned by Congress, “America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education in the… Monolingualism diminishes… Read More »

Theresa May’s Brexit speech: our writers give their verdict

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Four writers react to the prime minister’s latest Brexit plans, unveiled in London today Polly Toynbee, Katy Balls, Maya Goodfellow and John Redwood The Guardian Polly Toynbee: The same conundrums, but no new answers No one waited with bated breath for Theresa May’s speech once we knew the cabinet had vetted it. Anything that the “team” that has stuck us in the verbal bog of “managed regulatory divergence” all agree on can never take us forward. Unify the country? Show us a united cabinet first. Her ... Read More »

Beware fanning flames of racism over ‘silent invasion’ fears

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Today there are an estimated 1.2 million people living in Australia who have Chinese ancestry (of which I am one). Tim Soutphommasane Brisbane Times Many would agree that old prejudices against Chinese have largely given way to general acceptance of Chinese-Australians. Yet, ongoing debates make clear there is growing discomfort about the Chinese presence in Australia. In his recently published book Silent Invasion, Clive Hamilton argues the People’s Republic of China is conducting a campaign designed to erode Australian sovereignty ... Read More »

What today’s anti-immigrant populists could learn from Homer about kindness to strangers

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Troy, a new BBC adaptation of Homer’s Iliad, shows the enduring interest we have in Ancient Greek myths. Aleardo Zanghellini The Conversation Today, Homer’s epic works remain both politically and ethically relevant. The Greek poet’s insight into why law and legality matter is particularly enlightening in the context of contemporary debates about immigration, which loom large amid the rise of right-wing populism on both sides of the Atlantic. Those who object to immigration and demonise immigrants argue that the West’s ... Read More »

Anger mounts as Israel begins detention and deportation of African asylum seekers

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Around 20,000 Israelis and African migrants took to the streets in Tel Aviv on February 24, protesting against a government policy of detaining and deporting African asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country. Tanja R. Müller The Conversation A few days earlier, a group of Eritrean asylum seekers held at a detention centre in Israel went on hunger strike in protest against their imminent expulsion from the country. In early Feburary, Israel began issuing expulsion orders to African migrants ... Read More »