Helping Christians to make a difference
Dealing with current Issues
Helping Christian families to make a difference
An article in The Australian last week, ‘It is the young flesh they want’, highlights the marriage of young girls within Islam – and what is occurring in Australia. The article covers marriage of children, forced and ‘arranged’ marriages, as well as shame, duty and ‘honour killings’. It makes compelling reading.
Just one paragraph: “On best estimates, the number of girls in Australia being forced into marriage here or overseas is in the hundreds every year. Girls as young as 12 or 13 are disappearing from schoolyards, packed off to the countries of their parents’ birth to wed men they have never met, while others are taken from their homes in southern Asia and the Middle East and brought into Australia to marry. The National Children’s and Youth Law Centre has identified 250 cases of under-age marriage over the past 24 months, while Sharobeem, who was herself married to a cousin at the age of 14, says there are at least 60 child wives living in south-western Sydney alone.”
Mark Durie responded, noting that it contains very good information – however, he picks up one statement from Jennifer Burn of Anti-Slavery Australia who stated, “The Koran does not support child marriage...”
Mark has written an excellent article showing how the Koran DOES support child marriage.
Article: ‘It is the young flesh they want’, The Australian, 14/6/2014.
Mark Durie’s response: The Koran and Child Marriage, ME Forum, 14/6/2014.
2. Australian Muslims fighting in Iraq
We're previously reported that Australian Muslims have joined Islamic groups, including ISIS, that are fighting in Syria. The Australian reports that at least one of these men, "convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf" from Australia, who "who served three years and 11 months over his role in the 2005 Pendennis terror plot", left Australia illegally last year and is believed to be fighting with ISIS in Iraq.
The latest report reveals that some of the Australians, including Sharrouf, are believed to be participating in gruesome massacres of captured Iraqis - photos have been posted on social media.
Some other Australian Muslim men have been shown on video urging Australian Muslims to join them to fight in Iraq...
There are proposals for increased power for the government and police to deal with Australians travelling to fight in these conflicts: "The federal government’s Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Bret Walker SC, yesterday urged the government to consider revoking the citizenships of dual-nationals fighting in Syria and Iraq. Mr Walker also used his latest report, tabled in federal parliament yesterday, to push for ASIO to have the power to temporarily suspend passports at short notice, and for evidence laws to be loosened. . ."
Simon Benson writes in the Daily Telegraph that Australia is the "largest per capita source country for for jihadists going to fight in Syria and now Iraq."
Article: Aussie jihadi in Iraq conflict, The Australian, 19/6/2014.
Article: Aussie jihadi in Iraqi executions, The Australian, 21/6/2014.
Article: ‘Australian jihadist’ calls for Muslims to join fight in chilling video, The Australian, 21/6/2014.
Article: The vipers are poised to strike, Daily Telegraph, 20/6/2014
3. Andrew Bolt on Islam...
Andrew has a column today on the 'holy war' in Iraq... and a blog piece listing the events around the world connected to Islamic ideology...
Column: This holy war cry is a wake-up call
ANDREW BOLT HERALD SUN JUNE 23, 2014
Australian Khaled Sharrouf is believed to have joined the jihadists in Iraq.
WHO let these jihadists into our country? Must we run this danger, just to boast our immigration system isn’t racist?
“We will always have, a non-discriminatory immigration policy,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared three years ago.
Admirable in principle. But how wise in this Age of Terror?
Consider. More than 150 Australians, many of Lebanese descent, have joined jihadists fighting in Iraq and Syria, and will pose a danger to us on their return.
One, Khaled Sharrouf, lived on a disability pension in Sydney but was last week pictured apparently in Iraq, waving the flag of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, whose Sunni jihadists are shooting and beheading countless unarmed Shia Iraqis.
In another Facebook photo, believed posted by fellow Australian jihadist Mohamed Elomar, Sharrouf poses with a gun next to slaughtered Iraqi civilians. ..."
4. Bendigo Council APPROVES MOSQUE proposal
Last week Bendigo Council in Victoria approved plans for the building of a mosque by a 7-2 vote. The meeting was attended by around 200 people, with some people vocally objecting. The Council received 432 objections to the mosque. Some residents objected to the building of any mosque because of concerns about Islam;some neighbours objected to traffic flow.
Zaky Mallah, "a Sydney activist once jailed under Australia’s anti-terrorism laws", made a You Tube video, saying ‘‘The system is on our side. ‘And the funny thing is, you can’t do anything about it.’’ He said he hoped the Muslim 'Call to Prayer' would be broadcast "full blast" at 4 am!
The group opposing the building of the mosque posted at 'Notice of Demand' on their Facebook page and is expected to appeal against the decision to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
The Age has now run an article claiming the Q Society was involved in 'rganising' the protest against the mosque in Bendigo... Q Society responded saying they provided information to local residents at their request...
Article: Legal challenge looms over Bendigo mosque plan, The Age, 19/6/2014.
Article: Bendigo mosque: Council approves construction despite fiery public meeting, ABC, 19/6/2014.
Article: Q Society spreading anti-mosque message in Bendigo, The Age, 21/6/2014.
5. Donating to Islamic charity – Australia Post
A controversy erupted last week over a $2 million donation by Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour to the Islamic Museum in Australia, which has been set up by members of his family and where he is a patron.
The issue wasn’t over whether he gave a donation… anyone can make a donation!
It is alleged that he asked Australia Post to make the donation DIRECTLY to the Museum from his bonus – so instead of paying it to him (and him making the donation) the money was paid to the Museum by Australia Post. This action implicates Australia Post as being a financial supporter of the Museum.
The question was raised about tax liabilities and whether Mr Fahour paid the tax on the $2 million – Australia Post and Mr Fahour need to be transparent about how the donation was paid and how the tax situation was affected…
Article: Australia Post donates boss Ahmed Fahour’s $2m bonus to Islamic Museum of Australia, Herald Sun, 18/6/2014.
News from this week... a wide range of issues .... chaplaincy, Safe Schools Coalition, abortion in WA, ACCESS, Paid Parental Leave and more...
The High Court of Australia has handed down a unanimous decision today, ruling that the funding of the Chaplaincy programs in schools by the federal government is INVALID.
The main emphasis of the case has been about the funding of the program - rather than the program itself! The case was brought by Toowoomba man, Ron Williams.
The High Court has ruled that the funding of the $244 million chaplaincy program is INVALID – because the legislation is “not supported by a head of constitutional power”. In other words, the Commonwealth doesn't have the power under the Constitution to provide the funding in the way it has...
When the High Court considered Mr Williams' previous challenge to the funding of chaplaincy programs in 2010, the High Court ruled that the funding was invalid because it was not supported by specific legislation passed by the parliament. The Gillard government then introduced legislation to support the funding of the program.
Today's High Court decision has ruled that legislation is invalid as it is “not supported by a head of constitutional power” referring to Section 61 of the Constitution.
The decision also considers the notion of "benefits to students" and ruled that the chaplaincy program does not meet these conditions as set out in Section 51 of the Constitution:
"Providing at a school the services of a chaplain or welfare worker for the objective described in the FMA Regulations is not a provision of "benefits to students" within the meaning of s51(xxiiiA) of the Constitution."
The full decision highlights the Questions asked by the High Court and the answers, accompanied by their reasons.
The Summary provides a ONE PAGE overview of the decision.
The decision means that the funding of a wide range of federal government programs is in question – the federal government will have to re-consider HOW it funds private schools, universities, hospitals and local roads!
School chaplaincy program declared invalid by High Court, The Australian, 19/6/2014.
HIGH COURT Judgment Summary:FULL High Court DECISION:
Paul Raeburn has an article in Scientific American that is adapted from the book:
How Dads Influence Teens' Happiness
Commentary on the research...
Janice Shaw Crouse, Executive Director and Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, has written an excellent article highlighting Mr Raeburn's analysis of the research, stating Mr Raeburn found, "we acknowledge a father’s “authority and economic stability” in children’s home lives, but we don’t always take into account all the many other ways that dads contribute to the well-being of their children."
These include the benefits from the involvement of a father in the child's life with less behavioural problems in primary schools and less criminal behaviour later on; increased language development; higher graduation rates from college; less sexual risk taking and lower death rate of infants.
Janice goes on to comment on an initiative endorsed by President Obama to address fatherlessness - however, instead of encouraging marriage, it attempts to provide mentors for fatherless children. The report defines 'family' very broadly, "saying that “families today are headed by opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples, single parents, grandparents, and other family members” and proposes 'substitute fathers'! (read article on this 'initiative')
Janice concludes, "The research is very clear that children definitely do need a father, and preferably their biological one, and not just any man. They need involved, hands-on fathering that cements the connection to the man responsible for their birth. There’s nothing new about this need, of course, but recent research has shown us some fascinating wrinkles on the old themes. Fathers, the new research reveals, bring certain factors to parenting that are irreplaceable. Mentors and father-figures are needed, but they are not sufficient to meet a child’s need to experience the touch of their dad’s hand, his unconditional love and his voice reassuring him or her, “You are my son, you are my daughter … and I love you and am proud of you.”
CROUSE: New research reminds us why fathers matter
What’s different about dads in kids’ upbringing?
By Janice Shaw Crouse, Washington Times, 12/6/2014.
"This paper examines the evidence that HIV and HCV transmission is impacted by harm reduction (HR) policies and to evaluate the benefit to drug users and the community from these policies.
"Surveys show that HIV is primarily transmitted through unsafe sexual activity, while HCV was almost exclusively transmitted by unsafe drug injecting. The reviews of the studies in NSPs and HCV and HIV showed there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate any benefit of NSPs in the transmission of HCV or HIV. Prevention should target those at risk of acquiring the viruses and should involve providing education, risk reduction counselling, HIV and HCV screening and substance abuse treatment. For HCV counselling should be focused on drug treatment, while for HIV the focus of prevention should be on screening and education of safe sex practices. In both cases those found to have viral infections need to be counselled to reduce the risk of HIV and HCV transmission to others. They should also be offered counselling on treatment, safe sex and drug use practises reducing alcohol usage and other STDs."