Articulate ex-Islamist and ex-socialist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who recently visited Australia, has become a pin-up for neo-conservatives. But her bitterness against Islam clouds her argument. Continue reading
So Tony Abbott finds burkas confronting (The Australian, August 4). He could have added hoodies, baseball caps and fashion headscarves (which can also obscure the face), facial piercings, tattoos, death-metal t-shirts, low-slung pants, and so on; but presumably he doesn’t mention them because they do not provide him with a dog-whistle to religious intolerance.
Personally, I can’t stand Tony in Speedos, but we all have to look at things we don’t like or agree with in a democracy.
The Liberals’ proposal, weakly echoed by Labor, to impose a form of mandatory sentencing for dole recipients (by forcing Centrelink to impose recommended penalties) will no doubt be a hit with the talkback-radio crowd, but will prove unworkable for its sheer brutality. Continue reading