Multiculturalism

Fraser Anning staffer and alleged Nazi enthusiast employed by Home Affairs

The political staffer accused of writing Fraser Anning’s infamous “final solution” speech and holding an obsession with Nazi Germany is employed by the federal government agency managing Australia’s immigration program, it… Nicole Hasham The Age The staffer, Richard Howard, is on unpaid leave from the Department of Home Affairs and has left the door open to returning should Senator Anning fail to be re-elected in May. However Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo on Friday said if any staff member was ... Read More »

Eminent Byzantinist Dr. Speros Vryonis, Jr., Supporter of Armenian Studies, Dies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Eminent Byzantinist and historian Dr. Speros Vryonis, Jr. passed away on March 11 peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90. Aram Arkun The Armenian Mirror-Spectator Vryonis wrote extensively on Byzantine, Balkan and Greek history. Secondarily, he contributed to the advancement of Armenology through his research in Byzantine history, his unwavering stand against shoddy scholarship and… Incongruously, or at least unexpectedly, combining a Southern twang and courtesy with ancient Greek aphorisms, Vryonis was witty and gregarious. ... Read More »

Harmony in Australia Means Stop Racist Dog-Whistling

Long History of Politicians Stoking Fears Over Refugees Elaine Pearson HRW Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, known in Australia as Harmony Day. It’s especially relevant given last Friday’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian right-wing extremist gunned down at least 50 people and wounded dozens more in two mosques. The attacker livestreamed the shootings and… New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has shown leadership with compassion and… Harmony in Australia… Read More »

Big gods came after the rise of civilisations, not before, finds study using huge historical database

When you think of religion, you probably think of a god who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. Authors: The Conversation But the idea of morally concerned gods is by no means universal. Social scientists have long known that small-scale traditional societies – the kind missionaries used to dismiss as “pagan” – envisaged a spirit world that cared little about the… Their concern was less about whether humans behaved nicely towards one another and more about whether they carried ... Read More »

The Guardian view on the Brexit crisis: take back control by giving it up

The prime minister will only a get a grip on the Brexit crisis by learning to loosen hers on the terms of departure from the EU Editorial The Guardian Almost two years after Theresa May triggered article 50 it is still unclear when, in what form and how Brexit will occur – even to the prime minister. Any country invoking the Lisbon treaty’s clause of departure leaves the European Union after two years. It is a mark of failure that Mrs May ... Read More »

“Dear Prime Minister …”: An Open Letter to Jacinda Ardern

Dear Prime Minister Ardern, I am a 13-year-old Muslim girl from Australia and I would like to publicly share my appreciation with you. Summer Joyan ABC I belong to the generation that was born after 11 September 2001. I have never really contemplated how dark the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant language is that permeates Australian society, because it is all I have ever known. I guess I’ve become used to hearing political leaders use that same language. But then, after seeing ... Read More »

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: The New Zealand killer and the Islamic State are cut from the same cloth

Fifty innocent people lost their lives in last week’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand. By Recep Tayyip Erdogan The Washington Post March 19 Recep Tayyip Erdogan is president of Turkey. Dozens of other Muslims, who had gathered at local mosques to perform the Friday prayer, survived the assault with injuries. There were many historical references on the murder weapons and in a manifesto that the suspected terrorist published online. The number of times he mentioned both Turkey and myself was both curious and worth ... Read More »

Diaspora Politics: Turkey’s New Balkan Ambassadors

More and more Turks are ‘coming home’ to the Balkans. As a new diaspora community takes root, will it transplant the values of Erdogan’s ‘new Turkey’? Hamdi Firat Buyuk, Alexander Clapp and Serbeze Haxhiaj BalkanInsight A few steps from the wooden Ottoman fountain that looms over Bascarsija square in central Sarajevo, shoppers in a Turkish grocery store browse tea, spices and Turkish delight. Murat Ozkaya, the store’s owner, considers himself a trailblazer. The former stockbroker from the eastern Turkish city ... Read More »

In the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre hatemongers are having a field day

As there were Turkish victims of the attack, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu travelled to Christchurch to emphasize Turkey’s common resolve against Islamophobia and xenophobia. Samuel Huntington and the Christchurch Massacre Posted by Robert Ellis Furthermore, Fuat Oktay called on the entire world to stop promoting some kind of provocative language. Back home, Fuat Oktay’s call fell on deaf ears. The day after the attack, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is not known to mince ... Read More »

It is now beyond question that the Tory party is institutionally Islamophobic

There is a very serious problem of anti-Muslim bigotry inside the Conservative Party and the problem gets deeper all the time. Peter Oborne Middle East Eye It’s just under two weeks since I last wrote in Middle East Eye about the noxious anti-Muslim bigotry that infests Theresa May’s Conservative party. I make no apology for doing so again in light of the eruption of two more very serious problems. Toxic Islamophobia The first of these concerns last night’s very troubling revelation by ... Read More »

Third time lucky for Theresa May’s Brexit vote?

(CNN) – UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be hoping the third time’s the charm when she tries to get the House of Commons to back her Brexit deal this week after two previous defeats — but she’ll need more than just luck to get lawmakers to change their minds. By Jane Merrick, for CNN The question being posed in Downing Street this week is: What will it take for more than 70 lawmakers to back her and get her deal ... Read More »

Brexit: Europe has changed UK food culture for the better – leaving could turn back the clock

When the UK joined the Common Market in 1974, the country’s restaurants had a total of 26 Michelin stars, the industry standard restaurant rating, in Britain. Richard Tresidder The Conversation In 2019 there are 163, including five restaurants with three stars – the highest honour awarded. Is this a coincidence or has membership of the European Union enabled the development of the UK’s vibrant contemporary food scene? Despite what John Cleese might think, food culture in the UK is booming ... Read More »

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk who introduced mindfulness to the West, prepares to die

Thich Nhat Hanh, the monk who popularized mindfulness in the West, has returned home to Vietnam to enjoy the rest of his life. Brooke Schedneck The Conversation Devotees from many parts of the world are visiting the ailing 92-year-old, who has retired to a Buddhist temple outside Hue. This thoughtful and accepting approach to his own failing health seems fitting for the popular Buddhist teacher, whose followers include a thousand Buddhist communities around the world and millions more who have ... Read More »

The psychology of fear and hate, and what each of us can do to stop it

As an immigrant to New Zealand, I am saddened and outraged by the events in Christchurch. The apparent innocence of New Zealand has been stripped away by acts of cowardice and evil. Stephen Croucher The Conversation Police remain on high alert and authorities are still responding to events following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch that took the lives of 50 people and seriously injured many more. Three people have been arrested, and one, an Australian living in New ... Read More »

A letter to our leaders: as Australian Muslims we live in fear, please remember our pain

How is it right that in our parliament it is OK to call Islam a ‘disease’, it is OK to refer to a ‘final solution’, it is OK to ridicule our religious attire? Anonymous The Guardian Dear Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten, I am an Australian Muslim woman. I am highly educated and hold a professional job. In fact, I spend a great deal of my working life with the Australian legal system. I am a wife. I am a ... Read More »

Sue Smith’s Hydra: how love, pain and sacrifice produced an Australian classic

Running through Hydra, the new play by Australian playwright Sue Smith, is the myth of Icarus, the boy who flew so high that his wings melted and he crashed to his death in the sea near the Greek island of Samos. Alastair Blanshard The Conversation It is an easy myth to misunderstand. Moralists think it is a story that reinforces the importance of listening to your parents and sticking to the safe middle path – not flying “too close to ... Read More »