Indias Moderate Muslims
Last month, al-Qaeda’s chief released a video message promising to “raise the flag of jihad” across South Asia. No one really batted an eyelid. All it did was make the group look increasingly desperate. Al Qaeda’s reach has been dwindling since Osama’s death is 2011. Today, it is overshadowed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, a group which has attracted volunteer fighters from across the region and the world. Analysts fear that Pakistan and Afghanistan will soon fall to the brutal regime. Yet no one fears spread of these groups into neighbouring India, namely IS or Al Qaeda. India is the third largest Muslim country in the world. Its Muslim population is large, but moderate. While only 15% of the population, its 180 million match the population of Pakistan. Many are disgruntled – In Kashmir, the only Muslim majority state, its people have been affected my decades of heavy-handed Indian…Continue Reading
Asian Century
The might of the United States in Asia has reached its peak, and China’s soaring wealth, power and productivity is seriously challenging America’s status as the biggest economy in the world. This is an era of transition for Asia, an era that impacts significantly on Australia’s security. Australia’s security in the Asian Century means living in a region without Western supremacy. This is a scary thought, but it is one we can no longer ignore. It is scary because it will mean a kind of identity crisis – we are in Asia, and our biggest trading partners are Asian, but we are an incarnation of the West. Our ideal future is one with Chinese money, but with Western, mainly U.S leadership and security blankets to go along with it at the same time. What do we mean by the West? This is a very complex, rich concept, but when we…Continue Reading
There Are Many Ways To Die From Ebola
Muhammed Sherif’s pregnant sister died because of ebola. Only she didn’t have ebola. 34 year old Fatuma Fofana had already given birth to five children, so when an unexpected pain filled her swollen belly, she knew something wasn’t right. Concerned Sheriff took Fofana to the closest clinic. They refused her entry. Pregnancy is a bloody ordeal, and they were afraid she had ebola, the rare and deadly plague that has made its way to the capitals of three West African countries. Fofana did not have ebola, but that wasn’t the point. She was refused entry by three more clinics, and by the time she was admitted into a fourth, it was too late. Fofana’s baby was dead inside her womb, and the clinic was unimaginably ill-equipped to handle it. The best the clinic could do was give Sheriff the telephone numbers of a few doctors. He called and called, he…Continue Reading
If you can't beat it, regulate it
The recent case of “Baby Gammy” has highlighted the dubious nature of cross-border surrogacy, where rich couples use mothers in poorer countries to bear their children.  Gammy was one of two non-identical twin children born to a Thai surrogate mother on behalf of an Australian couple. But the couple took only his sister, and left Gammy, born with Down’s Syndrome, behind. The story sounds bad enough. But it got worse when it was revealed that Gammy’s biological father had previously been convicted of child sex abuse. It seems disturbingly possible that he was attempting to breed his own victims, as many abusers do, and to do so overseas to circumvent the eyes of Australian social care authorities. The case has caused outrage in both Australia and Thailand. The Thai press has exposed other cases of abuse of surrogacy, such as the Japanese 24-year-old who had had no less than 13…Continue Reading