Extremism now has an Australian accent. Recently, on Al-Arabiya, a young militant urged more terrorist attacks on the West, his voice suggesting he had lived in Australia. Like Londoners, we were suddenly confronted with the possibility that suicide bombers could be here amongst us.
INSIGHT’s EXTREME MEASURES tackles the issue of home grown terrorism.
What measures should we take?
Should radical clerics be banned or deported?
Are we unfairly targeting the Muslim community?
INSIGHT brings together representatives of the Muslim community, the Attorney General, civil libertarians, and police, to thrash out these issues.
Monthly Archives: August 2005
I don’t have to defend my values there: they are kind of a given, a vision in common. Read the rest of this entry »
This takes me back. Between the ages of 14 and 16 I belonged, indeed wore a green badge with a lamp on it to signal my belonging, and another, not the one on the right exactly, with a large St Andrews Cross to signify my membership of the Presbyterian Fellowship. Neither was part of the school uniform.
I am just glad headgear was not part of the deal for us then…
The new fish cafe near the corner of Redfern Street and Chalmers Street is open on Sunday and is BYO (no corkage). There is a Mediterranean feel to the menu — grilled seafood mix ($18) looks tempting. They have oysters too, but I am not an oyster person (snot wrapped in plastic?): I believe Sirdan and Lord Malcolm love them, however.
I am interested in the comments of Radio 2GB’s Chris Smith.
One attendee, radio talkback host Chris Smith of 2GB, said: “I think our audience has a great deal of suspicion about the Islamic faith and, in particular, about the way that the Koran fits in with Australian society.”
Ready to acknowledge a duty to encourage greater appreciation of Islam, Smith would not shy away from condemning any attempt to place Islam above or before Australian norms or laws.
“Those who accuse us of inflaming the hatred haven’t really listened to the discussions that have been had,” he said.
Brendan, I am behind you 100% on this one. And Bronwyn Bishop, you really are a silly, silly sausage, and not for the first time either. Why on earth do you want to make “martyrs” of girls in head scarves? What’s different about Orthodox Jewish boys in kippahs, or Sikh boys in turbans? We have both at The Mine, and girls next door in scarves. No-one worries about it. The clash of civilisation does not break out. It’s not an act of defiance because it is allowed. The school uniform is not breached by these religious exceptions, even though God knows why we have these stupid archaic uniform rules in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »
Lunch today with Sirdan and Lord Malcolm at the Captain Cook Hotel. Steaks: $7 each. Delicious. Sirdan finished off with tiramisu.
They went off to The Oxford, while I went home via a coffee and apple slice at Johnnie’s Fish Cafe, perhaps postponed from lunch earlier in the week with The Rabbit and friend.
Next weekend the plan is to try the new fish cafe in Chalmers Street Redfern.
The dark nights gave me my dark eyes;
I, however, use them to look for light.
— translated by Gordon T. Osing and De-An Wu Swihart
There’s your poem for this Sunday.
I am finding Dr Nelson has inadvertently stumbled on something here. According to the above link to First World War.com, and the Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (1995), Simpson, who jumped ship at Newcastle NSW in 1910 and joined the AIF in 1914 hoping to be sent back to England, was a raging Red, a radical socialist.
The editorial in today’s Daily Telegraph.
FEDERAL Education Minister Brendan Nelson’s suggestion that the story of John Simpson Kirkpatrick – who became known as “the Man with the Donkey” for his heroic rescue work at Gallipoli – was emblematic of Australian values and worthy of being told in Islamic schools, gave rise yesterday to the usual and predictably snide commentary.
Smug commentators motivated by a desire to attack Dr Nelson were quick to point out that Simpson was in fact British, that he had deserted from the merchant navy, and that he had probably enlisted because he thought it might be a way to get back to England.
Well, touche to Dr Nelson’s learned critics. It’s just a pity they seem so comprehensively to have missed the point – which is that Simpson’s example of courage and bravery, and even his casual disregard for pompous authority [like Brendan?], are very much representative of the some of the values we Australians admire and aspire to. Simpson – who was killed four weeks after he landed at Gallipoli – was proudly independent; he knew about mateship; he knew about sacrifice and selflessness. We admired his example in 1915, we we admire it to this day.
So it’s a good story for school children – not just Islamic school children, but all of them. It’s a story which encapsulates some of our most important values – standing up for our friends, courage, independence of spirit, resourcefulness – and it’s a part of the broader story of our development as a nation. It’s a story of which we should all have some knowledge.
Add to Simpson, stories of the likes of Weary Dunlop, and Sir Roden Cutler VC, and Howard Florey; women such as Nancy Bird Walton and Jessie Street – and even our sporting greats such as the Bradmans and the Freemans. They’re our stories of the people who stand for Australia, for what it means to be Australian.
So that our national identity is understood, so that our values may thrive, those stories should be kept alive. And the best way to do that is to give them to all our children.
Doctor Nelson, take note. Now this is the way to teach values, isn’t it?
The year 2003 marks the 40th anniversary of the start of the ‘Learn from Lei Feng’-campaign. In the run-up to 5 March, the Chinese media have devoted considerable attention to the question whether the ‘Lei Feng’-spirit is still relevant in this day and age. By and large, they concluded that Lei’s attitude of self-sacrifice could be used to promote doing volunteer work….
His greatest desire in life was to be nothing more than “a revolutionary screw that never rusts”.
As the “little screw” he wanted to be, Lei Feng performed many good deeds: he sent his meagre savings to the parents of a fellow soldier who had been hit by a flood; he served tea and food to officers and recruits; he washed his buddies’ feet after a long march, and darned their socks; he went all-out to show his devotion to the revolutionary cause. In short, we are led to believe he lived the life of saintly Boy Scout. He did not commit great deeds by which he was remembered, but taught the people how to be happy with what they had, to obey the Party and to let the Central Committee, or better still, Mao himself, do their thinking for them…
It’s a nice story of altruism, and of a slightly shady character who did do heroic things. I remember first reading the story fifty-three years ago in my Grade III Social Studies text, along with stories about the boy who stuck his finger in the dyke, Grace Darling, Florence Nightingale, William Wilberforce, the boy gunner at the Battle of Jutland, and even Abraham of Ur and Mohammed.
I guess all these stories were meant to inculcate such virtues as daring to stand against the crowd, and valuing the needs of community above one’s own selfish interests. Altruism and sense of community are not actually values the current government always practises, but what is a little hypocrisy between friends after all?
There are some questions that can be raised, however, about mythologising and sanitising history. Here is the legendary version faithfully replicated by Bundeena Public School, pretty much just like what I read fifty-three years ago. You might like to compare it with this version:
Read the rest of this entry »