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Analysis and Comment (29)

Religious leaders have come together to promote community harmony, but some political and media agendas have encouraged Islamophobia. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Politicians and media let us down in fight to curb rising Islamophobia

Many incidents of violence and harassment directed at Australian Muslims have been reported recently. These are visible confirmation of fears expressed by their community, that support for the government’s…
Has testing prospective citizens on Australian values increased social cohesion? Glenn Hunt/AAP

Is the Australian citizenship test failing ‘Team Australia’?

Today, October 1, the Australian citizenship test turns seven. This is the official test that determines if a migrant can become an Australian citizen. It is a good time to evaluate its performance. The…
Robinvale footballers have been recruited into an active campaign to heal community divisions, which includes playing an annual Harmony Match. Facebook/Robinvale Football Netball Club

A world away from the MCG, every round is multicultural round

Standing in the social rooms of Robinvale Football Netball Club on presentation night is perhaps like standing in any sports club in regional Australia when their vote count is on. There are the usual…
In Indonesia, ranting online holds the risk of offending thousands of people and even jail time. EPA/ADI WEDA

‘Social media capital’ brews with hatred between us and them

“Unity in diversity” is how Indonesia likes to describe its multicultural country. But cyber-bullying cases in Indonesia’s active social media project a different view of how Indonesia’s diverse groups…
Today’s young Australians are the smiling symbols of the embrace of multicultural identity, the nation’s defining moment. Flickr/DIBP Images, Faces of Australia

Modern Australia’s defining moment came long after First Fleet

The culture wars that dominated the narrative during John Howard’s prime ministership have returned with the ascension of his self-described “political love child”, Tony Abbott. While Abbott is sometimes…
The response to SBS documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is indicative of the series' backstory and the ongoing debate it has entered. SBS/Author

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl reveals diversity of views on Lebanese-Australians

The final week of SBS' four-part documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl brings us to the last decade’s crises for Lebanese Muslim communities in Sydney’s west, and the path to redemption they…
David Cameron visits Commonwealth soldiers' graves in Tourgeville Military Cemetery, France. Stefan Rousseau/PA

Britain’s imperial armies come to the rescue of its modern forces

Speaking as part of a commemorative celebration of the importance of the Commonwealth in WW1, David Cameron had this to say about the participation of colonial troops from all over the empire: They fought…
Muslim and Christian Lebanese join with other communities to rally against racism. The Lebanese in Australia story is the subject of a new SBS documentary series, Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl. Andrew Jakubowicz

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl rescues Lebanese honour from shame

Mediterranean societies have been described as communities of honour and shame. The fundamental currency of their social order is respect. When the Lebanese civil war drove thousands of its citizens to…
SBS has become riskier and more investigative in recent years, commissioning shows like Go Back To Where You Came From. AAP/SBS

What’s on for SBS in the fight for public broadcasting’s future?

Due to Australia’s small population and high concentration of few media voices, public broadcasters play a pivotal role in shaping the media ecosystem and cultural landscape. With the ABC and SBS under…
We’re seeing shifts in federal policy – and in the way multiculturalism is framed in civil society. betta design

Who gets to write the script for our multicultural future?

Anthropological images of alien peoples have long been a staple in the collections of Australia’s institutions of cultural memory. From the invention of photography – and indeed before, through the hands…
Maybe the Left should take a leaf out of farage’s book on immigration. Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Immigration should get the same treatment as laissez-faire economics

The theoretical underpinning of the modern global economy has broken loose. The so-called Washington consensus based on neoclassical, laissez-faire economics has encountered a sustained challenge from…
Thousands will take part in citizenship ceremonies this Australia Day, but to what set of values are they pledging loyalty? Wikimedia Commons

A day to celebrate the nation, its people and our multicultural values

This Australia Day, thousands of migrants and refugees will stand proudly and pledge their loyalty to Australia and its people at citizenship ceremonies around the nation. The citizenship pledge is considered…
We should attempt to get cultural diversity right in our own backyard. Alam Singh

On being an ‘ethnic killjoy’ in the Asian Century

We are fortunate to have bipartisan political support for enhancing trade and cultural links with our region in the so-called Asian Century. But do we have similar consensus when dealing with those from…
The changing face of Australia was on display this week after a new report listed India and China as providing more permanent migrants to Australia than the UK. AAP/David Crosling

The changing face of Australian immigration

The face of Australia is changing - and it starts at our borders. Whereas Australia’s migrant population once hailed largely from a European background - think of the “Ten Pound Pom” in the post-World…
Hugging and making up: Samoan Moe Fonoti (right) embraces Logan Aboriginal elder Wayne Saunders, after talks to defuse local tensions. AAP/Dave Hunt

Bogans from the ‘burbs: confronting our hidden biases

Every city has them - the neighbourhoods that everyone else looks down on. In Australia, Sydney has “Westies”. Brisbane has “Logan bogans”. And in Melbourne, the western suburb of Sunshine is colloquially…
Many groups have called for sharia, or Islamic law in Australia, but is it workable? EPA/Andy Rain

Sharia: why a dual legal system will not work in Australia

A major Australian Islamic group recently argued for a formal recognition of sharia or Muslim law in the Australian legal system. According to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Australia should…
Most people associate Cabramatta with crime and drug dealing, but the reality is much has changed since the 1990s. AAP

‘I Love Pho’: tough love, democracy and the Vietnamese journey

In a world of 24/7 news cycles and prejudice masquerading as insight, it is often very difficult to communicate the deeper analyses based on social science research. Surprising then that a program based…
Andrew Bolt has a presence across a variety of media platforms. AAP

Andrew Bolt, racism and the internet

Already the Libertarian Right have begun to marshal their traditional arguments to cover Andrew Bolt’s disgrace by the Federal Court. Bolt himself has screeched freedom of speech in the wake of his ascerbic…
Prime Minister GIllard launches the Australian Multicultural Council in Canberra. AAP

The politics of the Australian Multicultural Council

Multiculturalism may not be flavour of the month, but the launch by Prime Minister Gillard on Monday of the Australian Multicultural Council (AMC) marks a step forward in a policy project restarted by…
Right-wing extremism is threatening multiculturalism in Europe EPA/JON ARE BERG JACOBSEN/AFTENPOSTE

What do the Norway attacks mean for multiculturalism?

The recent massacres by Anders Breivik in Norway drew the attention of the world to a growing reactionary element in Europe who resent the three Ms – Muslims, multiculturalism and Marxism. So how do these…
Tony Abbott learnt the hard way that retro chic doesn’t extend to a 1970s sense of humour. AAP

The problem with jokes about Irishmen

Q: How do you confuse an Irishman? A: Put him in front of two shovels and ask him to take his pick Q: How do you get an Irishman on the roof? A: Tell him drinks are on the house. Q: Why did the Irishman…

Research and News (1)