Culture

How to Wear a Kippah in Germany

A government official’s warning that Jews in traditional dress might not be safe has sparked a new debate about how to protect the community. Noah Gordon Berlin Observer Berlin Policy Journal Is it unsafe for Jewish men to wear the traditional kippah (or yarmulke) cap in public in modern Germany? Or should Germans of all religions wear it proudly, as a sign of solidarity? The fact that the German government official tasked with combating anti-Semitism represented both positions within a ... Read More »

UK has updated the way it measures integration – now it’s everybody’s job to make refugees welcome

With the number of displaced people in the world at record levels and a growing global focus on the integration of refugees into new communities, the UK government has decided to update a… Jenny Phillimore The Conversation The Home Office’s new Indicators of Integration, which I helped to design as part of a small team of academics and researchers after a wide-ranging consultation, are intended to be a tool to help national and… It’s currently unclear how well refugees are ... Read More »

Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism

Captive wild animal encounters are hugely popular, thanks partly to social media. But our investigation shows many creatures lead dismal lives. By Natasha Daly National Geographic Photographs by Kirsten Luce I’VE COME BACK to check on a baby. Just after dusk I’m in a car lumbering down a muddy road in the rain, past rows of shackled elephants, their trunks swaying. I was here five hours before, when the sun was high and hot and tourists were on elephants’ backs. Walking ... Read More »

WA police stations to fly Aboriginal flag permanently

Aboriginal flags will be raised at all WA police stations and remain there permanently to symbolise the force’s commitment to reconciliation, Chris Dawson says. AAP – SBS Aboriginal flags will be flown permanently at all West Australian police stations as part the force’s Reconciliation Action Plan to improve relations with indigenous people. Commissioner Chris Dawson said it was an important symbolic move to show “we mean what we say”. “I want them to see respect, I want them to know ... Read More »

Why an Indigenous Voice would not be ‘third chamber’ of Parliament

At Uluru in 2017, Indigenous Australians made clear that the kind of constitutional recognition they wanted was a living and continuing recognition, rather than mere words on a page of a… Anne Twomey The Sydney Morning Herald They called for recognition through an ongoing voice to Parliament about the laws and policies that affect them. In rejecting this proposal, one claim by the government was that this would be discriminatory and contrary to principles of equality because it would give ... Read More »

Voice will end cycle of instability

The process that led to the Uluru Statement From the Heart and the proposal to amend the Australian constitution to enshrine a First Nations Voice to Parliament was a watershed moment in Australian history. Megan Davis The Sydney Morning Herald For the first time in our living memory, a representative group of Australia’s First Nations people met in the heart of Australia at Uluru on May 26, 2017, and agreed to endorse a sequence of reforms aimed at doing what ... Read More »

Ramadan: how a new generation of British Muslims are becoming more green

Muslims worldwide are about to enter the second half of Ramadan, a month widely known to the public as one for fasting. William Barylo The Conversation However, growing concerns around the environmental crisis and social struggles across the globe have lead Muslims to consider its deeper meaning. For an increasing number of Muslims, Ramadan is interpreted as a time when they distance themselves from material needs, reconnect with nature and spirituality, acknowledge the suffering on the planet and challenge destructive ... Read More »

What the Greek tragedy Antigone can teach us about the dangers of extremism

In a Greek tragedy written in the middle of the fifth century B.C., three teenagers struggle with a question that could be asked now: What happens when a ruler declares that those who resist his dictates are enemies of the state, and that ruler has as many supporters as he has detractors? Elizabeth A. Bobrick The Conversation The story of Sophocles’ Antigone and the accursed royal family of Thebes belongs to the mythical pre-history of Greece. Greek tragedy portrays in ... Read More »

Mythbusting with the Grand Mufti: Australia’s Muslim leader answers your questions

You asked, he answered. The Grand Mufti of Australia and New Zealand Ibrahim Abu Mohamed answers some of the most commonly asked questions about Islam, including views on homosexuality and Jihad. Fares Hassan SBS Reporter Fares Hassan sat down with the Grand Mufti to address what he calls “misconceptions” associated with the religion of Islam. The questions were some of the most commonly asked by commenters on the… Q: You are the Mufti of Australia, why don’t you speak English? ... Read More »

The nations of the Amazon want the name back

Online retail giant Amazon and the governments of eight South American countries have been given a final deadline to reach an agreement over how to use the “.amazon” web address extension after a seven-year dispute. What will happen next? Pablo Uchoa BBC It’s a name that evokes epic proportions: the world’s largest rainforest; a global tech company; and now a diplomatic saga nearing its end. This is the battle of the Amazon and it starts back in 2012. The Internet ... Read More »

Jessie Simmons: How a schoolteacher became an unsung hero of the civil rights movement

Jessie Dean Gipson Simmons was full of optimism when she and her family moved from an apartment in a troubled area of Detroit to a new development in Inkster, Michigan in 1955. Valerie Hill-Jackson The Conversation With three children in tow, Jessie and her husband settled into a home on Colgate Street in a neighborhood known as “Brick City” – an idyllic enclave of single, working-class families with a shared community garden. The plan was simple. Like many African Americans ... Read More »

Hagia Sophia might be reverted to a mosque, Erdoğan says

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday voiced the possibility of reverting the Hagia Sophia, which has been used as a museum since 1935 and is considered one of the world’s wonders, to a mosque. Daily Sabah “This is not unlikely. We might even change its name to Ayasofya Mosque,” Erdoğan said during a live interview with Turkish broadcaster TGRT. “This is not a strange proposal,” he said regarding the calls to convert the historical building to serve the purpose it ... Read More »

Outrage over antisemitic attacks in France presents opportunity for Emmanuel Macron to heal wartime wounds

France has recently been rocked by a series of antisemitic attacks. Portraits on post boxes of the late Simone Veil – a Holocaust survivor and the country’s first minister for women’s affairs – were vandalised. David Lees The Conversation The philosopher Alain Finkelkrault was verbally abused by protesters from the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement. A number of tombstones in Jewish cemeteries have been defaced with Swastikas and a man was shot with an air rifle outside a synagogue in ... Read More »

English is not enough – British children face major disadvantage when it comes to language skills

For a number of years now, the provision of languages in British schools and universities has been in decline. Authors: The Conversation Yet, as Brexit looms largely on the horizon, there has been much talk in the media and from politicians about the need for a… Arguably, a country can only really be global and outward looking if language skills are considered essential for its citizens. The government seems to share this view – at least to some extent. This ... Read More »

Why a centuries-old religious dispute over Ukraine’s Orthodox Church matters today

A new Orthodox Church was recently established in Ukraine. Shortly after, Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the spiritual head of global Orthodox Christianity, granted independence to the new Orthodox Church of Ukraine and transferred its jurisdiction from the church of Moscow to the church of Constantinople, located in Istanbul. Victoria Smolkin The Conversation This competition between the churches of Constantinople and Moscow for dominance in the Orthodox Christian world is not new – it goes back more than ... Read More »

Why so many young women don’t call themselves feminist

In recent years, feminist movements have attracted significant attention in Europe and North America. So why do so many young women still say they do not identify with the term? By Dr Christina Scharff, King’s College London BBC Fewer than one in five young women would call themselves a feminist, polling in the UK and US suggests. That might come as a surprise as feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes – has been in the ... Read More »