‘We sacrificed for Australia’: Afghan Invictus Games athletes’ asylum bid – SBS World News

afghansSpeaking for the first time since missing their flight home in October, six Afghan men who live with disabilities after being wounded in the war say they are owed protection in Australia.

Read the full story – https://www.sbs.com.au/news/we-sacrificed-for-australia-afghan-invictus-games-athletes-asylum-bid

Shadow of surveillance looms over Japan’s Muslims – The Japan Times

japanWhile millions around the world marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan last week, a cloud hung over celebrations in Japan. Muslims here say they feel they are constantly under the ever-watchful eyes of the police.

Otsuka Mosque in Tokyo usually hosts around a few dozen Muslims for morning prayers, but hundreds packed the small prayer rooms last Wednesday on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that signals the end of Ramadan.

“We had to hold the prayers four separate times so all the people lining up could fit in,” explains Haroon Qureshi, secretary-general of the mosque’s Japan Islamic Trust organization. “There must have been 1,000 people waiting to pray.”

Full article – http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2016/07/13/issues/shadow-surveillance-looms-japans-muslims/#.V4z9hRV97IX

Aboriginal Activists Marked One Year Since the Death of Ms Dhu in Custody – VICE

Photo by Jarni Blakkarly

Photo by Jarni Blakkarly

On Melbourne’s busy Burke Street mall during the rush of the lunch hour, the low voice of the singer Kutcha Edwards rang out in prayer; “Is this what we deserve?”

On Tuesday in major cities across Australia Indigenous rights activists gathered for the one year anniversary of the death of Yamatji woman Ms Dhu, who died in police lock-up in South Hedland, Western Australia, after medical complications.

Despite being almost the exact opposite side of the country from where that death occurred, Kutcha was singing to the dozens who gathered to mark the date and protest for justice as well as reform. The song was for the white-collar workers rushing by.

Full article – http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/aboriginal-activists-marked-one-year-since-the-death-of-ms-dhu-in-custody

Australia’s green-energy recession – Al Jazeera

A welder at Eureka's Future factory in Melbourne works on a solar-powered water heater [Jarni Blakkarly/Al Jazeera]

A welder at Eureka’s Future factory in Melbourne works on a solar-powered water heater [Jarni Blakkarly/Al Jazeera]

Melbourne, Australia – On the industrial fringe, one factory making solar energy hot-water tanks has become a meeting point for the environmental movement and the moribund manufacturing industry.  

While the Eureka’s Future factory looks identical to others lining the street, inside young environmentalists from the inner city and lifelong hardened factory workers from the suburbs are transforming this former private company into a not-for-profit, workers-owned cooperative.

Full article – http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/06/australia-green-energy-recession-150608074408692.html

Challenging Australia’s refugee narrative – Al Jazeera


Sri Lankan migrants bound for Australia are detained in Indonesian waters [AP]

Melbourne, Australia –  A portrait of a thoughtful Malcolm X overlooks the chaotic office space in the heart of the city. It is home to a refugee-run organisation fighting to reframe Australia’s asylum seeker debate.

At a desk amid the stacked boxes and clutter sits Ramesh Fernandez, the founder ofRISE: Refugees Survivors and Ex-Detainees, an organisation that provides services to refugees and advocates for policy change.

Full article – http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/06/challenging-australia-refugee-narrative-150621100410664.html

Unease With Australia’s Islamaphobia – Al Jazeera

[Snehargho Ghosh/Al Jazeera]

[Snehargho Ghosh/Al Jazeera]

Melbourne, Australia – In Christian majority countries like Australia, Easter is usually a time of family gatherings and celebration.

However, a day before Easter Sunday, hundreds of people took to the streets in major Australian cities to protest against what they see as the rising influence of Islam.

Under the banner “Reclaim Australia”, protesters, many waving Australian flags, chanted against Islamic law and held signs reading “No More Mosques” and “Islam is an Enemy of the West.”

Full article – http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/04/unease-australia-islamophobia-150409075748404.html