Discrimination

Why Take Student Protests Seriously? Look at Linda Brown.

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As a child, she helped to transform the civil rights movement. Her death last week is a useful reminder that students have often served on the political front lines. Joshua Zeitz Politico ”It was a bright, sunny day and we walked briskly,” Linda Brown later remembered of the morning in September 1950 when she and her father approached a set of “great big steps” leading to the entrance of Sumner Elementary School in… Linda’s father, Oliver, was determined to enroll ... Read More »

In Hungary, the exploitation of a mythical enemy is poisoning politics

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Viktor Orbán’s almost certain re-election relies on an anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim manifesto Nick Cohen The Guardian You may think Hungary is a faraway country. Small and landlocked, it has a baffling Finno-Ugric language few outsiders master. What do its corruptions and conspiracy theories have to do with us? When I was last in Budapest in August, I met Marta Pardavi. I worried about her and her friends in the Hungarian human rights movement, but I did not think I needed to transfer ... Read More »

Mauritania court gives toughest sentence for slave owners

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Two slave owners in Mauritania have been jailed in a country where slavery remains widespread but convictions rare, activists say. BBC The sentences of 10 and 20 years are said to be the toughest-ever for the crime in the West African country. Slavery was outlawed in 1981 but 1% of the population are still living in bondage, human rights groups say. Black people of certain ethnic groups are often enslaved as domestic workers by lighter-skinned Mauritanians. The country has jailed ... Read More »

How will France deal with rising anti-Semitism?

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Some people in France hope the outrage over the killing of 85-year-old Mireille Knoll may turn the tide against an upsurge in anti-Semitism in the country. Elizabeth Bryant (Paris) DW Others are not so sure. Elizabeth Bryant reports from Paris. Parisians braved blustery winds and returned to the streets this week, not to denounce a spate of terror attacks in recent years, but the older scourge of anti-Semitism that some say is taking on a new, increasingly violent turn. The ... Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

#NeverAgain: do student protests work? History tells us they can

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When 17 students and teachers were murdered on what should have been a peaceful school day, students across the US took to the streets to demand change. Claire Cooke The Conversation The outpouring of protests in the wake of the tragic mass-shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year is an important reminder that students can challenge the status quo. The #NeverAgain movement, led by high-school and college students, is asking for gun reform in the US to improve safety in ... Read More »

Religious freedom must not be a green light to discriminate

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As it ponders the role of religious freedom in Australia, the Religious Freedom Review headed by Philip Ruddock would do well to reflect on the real-life scenarios where belief collides with the rights of individuals. Hugh Harris The Canberra Times Should independent schools be able to expel students with gay parents? Should it be lawful for bakers, photographers or florists to refuse same-sex weddings? Yes? No? And why? Providing answers would provide clarity as to the consequences of any proposed ... Read More »

Tunisian women march for inheritance

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Hundreds of women took to the streets in the Tunisian capital on March 10 to demand equal inheritance rights as men, a subject often seen as taboo in the Arab world. TUNIS-Reuters Hurriyet The North African Muslim country grants women more rights than other countries in the region, and since last year has allowed Muslim women to marry non-Muslim men. But the protestors marching to the parliament building in Tunis on March 10 said they wanted to be compared with ... Read More »

The stigma of being a single mother in South Korea

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‘Unwed mothers are invisible here in Korea’, but individuals are coming together to help each other. Ann Babe Al Jazeera Seoul, South Korea – On the first day of the lunar new year, the Year of the Dog, Jeong Soo-jin and her daughter ride the cable car up Namsan mountain in the city’s central Yongsan district. Seven-year-old Ah-jeong twirls, her flowered hanbok – a traditional Korean dress – encircling her in a cloud of pink tulle and bedazzled shoes shimmering in the sunlight. ... 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 »

When judges wear wigs and robes, what’s so offensive about a niqab?

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The statue representing justice is blindfolded for a reason – to symbolise that all people are treated equally in our courts no matter their wealth, position in society or religious beliefs. Duncan Fine The Age Sometimes the courts fail to live up to that ideal. This week Justice Christopher Beale in the Victorian Supreme Court banned a woman who was wearing a niqab from sitting in the public area of the court where her husband is facing a trial on ... Read More »

Why is it so hard for Jim Molan to apologise for sharing Britain First material?

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London: Jim Molan says he is anti-violence. This is precisely why he should admit that reposting Britain First material on Facebook was wrong. Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald As anyone who has spent time in the UK recently knows, it is a… Founded in 2011 by a Scottish anti-abortionist called Jim Dowson, Britain First’s short history is already tied to several politically-motivated attacks. “Britain first, keep Britain independent, Britain will always come first,” Thomas Mair was heard yelling as he stabbed ... Read More »

Portugal confronts its slave trade past

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Planned monument in Lisbon sparks debate over race and history LISBON — Over five centuries after it launched the Atlantic slave trade, Portugal is preparing to build a memorial to the millions of Africans its ships carried into bondage. Paul Ames Politico Citizens of Lisbon voted in December for the monument to be built on a quayside where slave ships once unloaded. Yet although the memorial has broad support, a divisive debate has ignited over how Portugal faces up to ... Read More »