Roundup: Malaysian solution, Somalia, prisoner justice, Syria, aged care, mental health, Islam and the West
Journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai Brown says that the ‘clash of civilisations’ idea, positing a fundamental confrontation between monolithic Islam and Western democracy, is “not only foolish but historically inaccurate”, feeding extremism on both sides.
In the run-up to the NSW state election, aspiring Premier Barry O’Farrell promised he would appoint a Mental Health “champion” Commissioner to start work in July 2012. But public housing tenants with mental illness in the Western suburbs of Sydney could well use a champion right now. Sathya Sivalohan reports.
The Productivity Commission’s report proposing a complete overhaul of Australia’s aged care system has been largely welcomed by aged care advocates and providers.
Voicing an appeal for the renunciation of violence by all sides in ongoing political conflict in Syria, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches has stated, “it is particularly urgent that the army and government security agencies cease the indiscriminate use of force” against demonstrators, moving instead to protect all Syrian citizens’ lives, dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Uniting Church in WA is using International Day of Prisoner Justice, August 10, to start a new conversation about prisons. Build Communities Not Prisons is a campaign supported by people who believe that building more prisons and sending more people to prison is not the best way to improve community safety.
The number of people fleeing famine-hit areas of Somalia is likely to rise dramatically and could overwhelm international aid efforts in the Horn of Africa, according to a UN aid official.
An outspoken critic of the former Howard government’s Pacific Solution, Catholic law professor Father Frank Brennan, once said that the former Pacific Solution was “the last step in a morally bankrupt policy”.