July 4th 2015

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Are we facing history's largest mass migration?

CANBERRA OBSERVED Northern dream creeps slightly nearer to reality

THE FAMILY 'Consensus' on same-sex parenting ignores evidence

SOCIETY Why marriage cannot be separated from family

EDITORIAL Housing affordability: what has gone wrong?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Human Rights Commission backs same-sex marriage

HISTORY What is Indonesia? From Java man to Islam

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Why G7 endorsed UN climate-change agenda

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Straitjacket treaty has led to European insanities

HISTORY Zenobia: warrior queen, thorn in Rome's side

PUBLIC HEALTH Methadone cure worse than the heroin addiction

CINEMA Inside Out is a thoughtful emotional roller-coaster


BOOK REVIEW There is no such thing as a soft drug

BOOK REVIEW Probing the deepest roots of the push for same-sex marriage

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News Weekly, July 4, 2015

Coalition must stick to its marriage policy


An ex Liberal minister of a former government suggested a plebiscite could resolve the same-sex marriage question. However, if the current Coalition Government proceeded with this suggestion, many Australians would see it as a cop-out.

Since 2004 the Liberals/Nationals have put their commitment to man/woman marriage at elections in 2007, 2010 and were elected to government in 2013 endorsing that as policy.

Bill Shorten recently used the slogan, “It’s Time”. Well, it is time for the present Government to stand firm and honour the commitment they have put in black and white: “We do not support any change to Commonwealth law that could diminish the institution of marriage and will continue to oppose any action that would alter this status.”

Peter Young,
Greta, NSW


Will the media read Laudato Si deeply?


It is touching to see how the world’s atheistic secular press and other news media have received the encyclical Laudato Si from Pope Francis.

While the faithful do not have to accept everything Pope Francis says about climate change, the fundamental biblical truths in the encyclical strike at the heart of morality, religious health and humanity.

My interpretation is, that the encyclical deals with the destructive subjects of abortion, euthanasia and gender ideologies. The Pope exhorts the world to mend its ways to prevent further destruction.

I see the Pope going out of his way to warn our sex-starved world that the population control pushers and the methods they impose on humanity are disastrous. We need to interpret his words as a reminder to ask our creator what he intended for the world.

The world now knows and accepts the encyclical. Let us understand what the Pope is telling us about our relationship with God.

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld.


Jihad book an eye-opener


I have found Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam” by French author Gilles Kepel very scholarly. His comprehensive analysis of radical Islam beginning with Sayid Qutb, in Egypt, Malana Mawdudi in Pakistan and Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran from the early 1900s is superb.

Instead of speaking of a monolithic entity he examines Islam country by country – Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Palestine, Algeria, Sudan, Turkey, Bosnia and even Europe. Until the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein Islam was on the march. Since then it has been in decline due to the military force of the West and serious divisions among Muslims. Iran versus Iraq, Sunni versus Shite, Saudi Arabia versus IS and so on.

Kepel concludes: “Such was the context in which the cataclysm of September 11 took place. In spite of what many hasty commentators contended in its immediate aftermath, the attack on the United States was a desperate symbol of the isolation, fragmentation, and decline of the Islamist movement, not a sign of its strength and irrepressible might.

“The jihadist-salafists who belonged to bin Laden’s mysterious al Qaeda network imagined themselves as the spark that would ignite the volatile frustration of the disenchanted ones in the Muslim world and stoke a firestorm. They had no patience for the slow building of a movement that would reach out to the masses, mobilise them, and guide them on the path to power.

“They put their faith in example and emotion, in immediacy and violence. They believed that once the great American Satan had been made to shake on its foundations, for all to see, then a sweeping tide of jihad could overtake the modern world.

“This delusion bore some similarity to that of the Jihad group of Egypt who assassinated Anwar Sadat in October 1981. Those militants, too, had thought that the sheer audacity and violence, both real and symbolic, of their action would spur the masses into a general upheaval, bringing down the regime and building on its ruins an Islamist state. But in both cases, those tactics suffered from a gross miscalculation, because the militants put too much faith in the emotional reaction of the Muslim masses, and no effort into organising and mobilising them.

“The ultra-radicals successfully implemented the first part of their plot: assassinating Sadat and inflicting unprecedented damage, death, and destruction on the United States in 2001. But in neither case could the activists deliver on the second stage of their strategy. No Islamist state took shape in Egypt; Sadat’s vice-president, Hosni Mubarak, who succeeded him, held power 20 years later. And America did not falter after September 11, despite weeks of mourning and disarray. Within a hundred days the U.S. army had wiped the Taliban regime from the face of the earth, and bin Laden was on the run, his secret cells dismantled or disbanded.

“This does not mean that we shall not see other outbursts of terrorism that claim the mantle of jihad.

“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular will be ripe for more violence, as long as the issues in the Middle East are dealt with as they were in the wake of September 11. But violence in itself has proven to be a death trap for Islamists as a whole, precluding any capacity to hold and mobilise the range of constituencies they need to seize political power. ... the Islamist movement will have much difficulty reversing its trail of decline as it confronts 21st-century civilisation.”

John Barich,
Claremont, WA

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November 14, 2015, 11:18 am