Multiculturalism

His face was that familiar, his presence in so many lives that real

“Let’s go get coffee at Pellegrini’s” is about as Melbourne a thing to say as “Meet you under the clocks at Flinders Street” – maybe more so if you had fallen under the cultural sway of the Italian immigrants who helped make Melbourne’s urban fabric more urban-seeming in the… Matt Holden The Age There was a time not so long ago when there weren’t that many places to go for a coffee in the CBD, especially outside the nine-to-five. But ... Read More »

Labour condemned for rise of antisemitism in UK – ‘Friends and neighbours are afraid’

THE ORGANISATION which represents Jews in Europe has discussed issuing a “collective expression of concern” over the rise of antisemitism in Britain linked to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour. David Maddox Express The annual conference of the European Jewish Association (EJA), with representatives from most countries on the continent, devoted a significant part of its first day to hear about the problems in Britain. Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, told delegates that since Mr Corbyn had become ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »

Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside flips support for Wynne to Greens

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has lost a high profile supporter as he battles to defend his inner city seat of Richmond from the Greens at the state election. Noel Towell The Age Barrister and asylum seeker advocate Julian Burnside QC, a long-time supporter of Mr Wynne, has defected to the Greens and written to Richmond residents calling on them to vote for the party’s challenger in the seat Kathleen Maltzahn. Mr Burnside will not be voting for either candidate in Richmond, ... Read More »

German politicians remember Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom

Germany is marking the 80th anniversary of attacks on Jews that foreshadowed the Holocaust. November 9 has been a fateful date for Germany in other regards as well. Ben Knight DW German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for “democratic patriotism” as the country commemorated three fateful moments of German history that occurred on November 9. In a speech to the Bundestag on Friday morning, Steinmeier said the date was “marked by ambivalence” for Germany. “On November 9, we Germans remember both things — the light and the shadows ... Read More »

Blasphemy law is repealed in Ireland, enforced in Pakistan – and a problem in many Christian and Muslim countries

The citizens of Ireland voted recently, in a nationwide referendum, to remove a clause from their constitution that had made blasphemy a criminal offense. Steve Pinkerton The Conversation Ireland’s now-defunct Defamation Act of 2009 prohibited the “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter.” Just last year, in fact, Irish police opened a brief investigation into whether comedian Stephen Fry had broken the law when he described God as “capricious, mean-minded, stupid” and “an utter maniac” during a televised interview. The case was closed, however, as the… ... Read More »

Women candidates break records in the 2018 US midterm elections

The 2018 midterms broke the records on female candidates in US elections More than 20 women were on the Senate ballot, while more than ten times that number stood for the House of Representatives. Jennifer Mathers The Conversation If we also consider state elections for executive roles such as governor as well as state legislatures, the number of female candidates in 2018 rises by another 3,500. The results mean that several states (including Arizonaand Tennessee) will now send their first ever women to the Senate, and more than ... Read More »

Australia calls on China to end its ‘alarming’ mass detention of Muslims

The Australian government has expressed “alarm” at China’s crackdown against Muslim minorities and called for an end to the detention of up to 1 million people in indoctrination… Fergus Hunter WAtoday, with Reuters In the strongest Australian intervention yet on the Chinese government campaign, officials delivered a statement at the United Nations highlighting reports that minority groups and… “Australia shares the UN [Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s] alarm at numerous reports of detention of large numbers of ethnic Uighurs ... Read More »

Foreign nationals to be allowed to join armed forces without having lived in UK amid recruitment crisis

Ministry of Defence scraps residency requirements in bid to tackle shortfall Peter Stubley Independent Commonwealth citizens who do not live in the UK will be allowed to join the British armed forces in greater numbers as part of a bid to tackle a growing recruitment crisis. The Ministry of Defence has revised residence requirements in the hope of attracting an extra 1,350 personnel a year to the army, navy and air force. At least 8,200 are needed to fill the biggest shortfall in the full time military in ... Read More »

Indigenous groups slam ‘pathetic, divisive’ Hanson for land rights comments

Pauline Hanson thinks Indigenous people “milk” the issue of land rights and the One Nation Senator says it really annoys her. Nick Baker SBS Indigenous organisations have slammed One Nation leader Pauline Hanson for making “ridiculous” and “divisive” comments around land rights. On Sunday, Ms Hanson blasted Indigenous groups for “milking” land rights claims. Senator Hanson told Sky News she gets upset when Australia is referred to as Aboriginal land, arguing “I didn’t steal it”. “This is what’s happened in the… Indigenous ... Read More »

Muslims Surround Toronto Synagogues With Protective ‘Rings Of Peace’

“We want them to know that we will always be there for them.” Liz Haq HuffPost People from various faiths came together in a moving act of solidarity for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, as well as a show of strength and protection for Jewish people across Canada. Numerous “Rings of Peace” were formed around Toronto synagogues on Friday night and Saturday morning, made up of multi-faith worshippers standing shoulder-to-shoulder and ... Read More »

Asia Bibi blasphemy case: Husband pleads for asylum

The husband of a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after eight years on death row has pleaded for asylum from the UK, US or Canada. BBC Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, said they were in great danger in Pakistan. The Supreme Court overturned Asia Bibi’s conviction on Wednesday, saying the case against her was based on flimsy evidence. Her acquittal sparked violent protests, and the government has now agreed to try to stop her leaving the country. On Saturday, ... Read More »

Greek islanders to receive inaugural John McCain Prize for refugee crisis response

The people of the Greek island of Lesvos are poised to receive the inaugural John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service for their response to the refugee crisis, Politico has reported. ekathimerini According to its daily briefing, the American news site said that the announcement was made by Cindy McCain, the widow of the respected US statesman who died on August 25. The award will reportedly be bestowed on the residents of the Aegean island that has been on ... Read More »

Pakistan Islamists block roads to protest acquittal of Christian

Karachi:  Pakistan’s ultra-Islamist party blocked roads in major cities for a third day on Friday in protest against the acquittal of a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy allegations. The Age Reuters Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) said talks with the government have failed, and called upon its followers to get ready for a show down. “Talks have completely failed, Federal and provincial representatives and an Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) General Faiz took part in talks,” Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of TLP ... Read More »

Outrage As Saudi Arabia Executes Indonesian Maid For Killing Boss While He Was Raping Her

An Indonesian maid identified as Tuti Tursilawati has been executed in Saudi Arabia for killing her boss while he was raping her. Ngere Ify Davies Within Nigeria Mum-of-one, Tuti Tursilawati was executed after she killed her boss who was raping her, and this sparked outrage in Jakarta. Tuti Tursilawati was killed on Monday in the city of Ta’if, a city in Saudi Arabia’s Mecca Province. The Saudi government failed to warn the maid’s family or consular staff before she was killed, said officials. Her execution ... Read More »

A Flawed European Ruling on Free Speech

The European Court of Human Rights invoked “religious peace” as a reason to limit criticisms of the Prophet Muhammad. Simon Cottee The Atlantic According to dominant Islamic traditions, the Prophet Muhammad’s third wife Aisha was six years old at their marriage and nine at its consummation. Muslims, as Graeme Wood has pointed out, have debated the issue of Aisha’s age for a very long time, and critics of Islam seemingly can’t keep off the subject. In the fall of 2009, a woman referred to as ... Read More »