Tim Soutphommasane announced a new stage in the National Anti-Racism Strategy.
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane talks about Dawn Fraser's comments, "Team Australia", the government's approach to terrorism and asylum seekers, racism in Australia and more.
One needs to understand the differences in their Islamic movements to make sense of events over recent decades in Egypt and Iran.
People sometimes overlook their profound differences if social forces unite them in a common, often ill-defined desire. Hostility to Muslims is creating an imagined solidarity that Islamists can exploit.
As control over water returns to the state, the Indonesian government should carefully develop policies to manage and monitor water services.
The de-privatisation of water services in Jakarta creates new challenges for the government to ensure universal access to water.
The Constitution has been very successful in setting out how Australian federalism will work.
Museum of Australian Democracy
The problem with constitutional recognition lies in the way in which it changes the nature of the constitution away from a procedural document by introducing issues of identity into it.
The O'Farrell government had a law limiting political donations struck down by the High Court.
It is unfortunate that it is only scandals and the perception of corruption or criminal involvement that prompt moves to reform Australia’s political finance regime.
However hard we pursue happiness, when the party’s over we must still confront the grimmer aspects of life.
We can pursue our own happiness to the exclusion of the real world, but how meaningful can that be? Far better to engage with life and both the happiness and sadness it brings along the way.
Cory Bernardi is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, saying children do best when they are raised by both a mother and a father.
Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, has said that "the very best thing" for the development of a child is to have a mum and a dad. What does the research say?
In elevating the status of animals, the Pope looks back to Francis of Assisi’s example and looks ahead to the prospect of environmental catastrophe.
Flickr/Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca
In suggesting the ultimate restoration of all creatures in his recent encyclical, Pope Francis is breaking with the weight of Western philosophical and theological tradition.
Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles said the world is experiencing its greatest period of human need since WWII.
Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles has said that the world is now going through its greatest period of humanitarian need since WWII. Is that right?
Joe Hockey’s successful defamation case against Fairfax Media raises questions about the extent to which politicians should be able to sue in relation to publications about their public conduct.
Hockey v Fairfax illustrates that recent legal and technological developments still pose challenges for defamation law, which has not been reformed to keep pace with these changes.
Stephen Parker and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics.
Religions can promote division and inequality in our societies.
Fundamentalists become warriors with a simple message of salvation that is found in a naïve and literal interpretation of ancient, sacred texts.
Critics are already seeing Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s reaction to a cross-party same-sex marriage bill as Abbott going back on his word.
The prime minister is suddenly looking like a throwback to Tony Abbott, health minister, when he was fighting trenchantly against losing ministerial power over the abortion drug RU486.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as self-declared caliph, seeks to exploit the historical resonance of the caliphate for a brutal present-day cause.
The Caliphate has inspired disputes among Muslims for centuries, but attempts at revival in modern times are unlikely to succeed. Most of the world's Muslims would not accept its authority over them.
Lawyers and asylum seeker advocates are concerned that the Border Force Act will have a ‘chilling effect’ on whistleblowers working in detention centres.
The Australia Border Force Act further entrenches the culture of secrecy around our asylum seeker policy at the cost of open and transparent government. That is something we should be worried about.
The UK requires that new citizens know English. It formally tests for competency.
Australia should learn from the UK's mistakes if taking a leaf out of its book on citizenship reform.
Picking a fight with a media company should not be a politician’s priority.
The elephant in the room in the just-concluded defamation case between Joe Hockey and Fairfax Media was the actual story being attacked. Media organisations ought to be able to instigate the debate without fear of reprisals by litigious politicians.
Muslims around the world are fasting in the month of Ramadan.
Consumption increases during the month of Ramadan in countries where Muslims are the majority.
Bill Shorten’s support – and that of his party – is almost entirely a function of public perceptions of Tony Abbott’s performance.
Bill Shorten has neither built the profile nor provided the performance that renders him prime minister-in-waiting rather than fragile whinger-in-chief.
Karen Nettleton, whose daughter and grandchildren are currently in Syria, has a made a public plea for her family to be allowed to return to Australia.
Whatever we think of the family of foreign fighter Khaled Sharrouf or their circumstances, they enjoy the right to return on the same footing as every other Australian citizen.
No society is immune from the rise of ‘us and them’ intolerance expressed through anger and a desire for brutal revenge.
Islamic State is symptomatic of a disturbed and troubled social order. The vast crisis of dislocated people and communities is being expressed in anger, intolerance and perverted notions of honour.
Libertarians, such as David Leyonhjelm, refuse to see anything but individual liberty as having decisive moral weight.
David Leyonhjelm is a conviction politician whose positions are governed by principle, not populism. But he is exposing the disturbing moral thinness of the libertarian principles he espouses.
Persecution based on a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex variation is recognised as a legitimate ground for seeking refugee status.
It is estimated that there are 175 million LGBTI persons living in persecutory environments worldwide. Only around 2500 asylum claims founded on sexual orientation or gender identity are successful annually.
Our individual happiness, the quality of our relationships and community well-being are closely interconnected.
We now know that we cannot spend our way to happiness nor pursue it as an individual goal. It turns out that happiness is built on the foundations of good relationships and broad well-being.
Zaky Mallah argued that the government’s policies play into the hands of ‘recruitment propaganda’ designed to appeal to alienated young Muslims.
It is important that we do not entirely dismiss Zaky Mallah's comments on Q&A. He sheds light on a seductive mechanism for young Muslims that is real.