ACT Liberal senator Gary Humphries has upset Canberra's Islamic community by tabling a strongly worded anti-Muslim petition in the Senate, even though he says he does not agree with its content or know the signatories to it. The petition, signed by three people from suburban Sydney, calls for a 10-year moratorium on Muslim immigration and a review of Australia's immigration policy to ensure priority is given to Christians. Citing the Constitution, the founding fathers and the current parliamentary prayers, the petitioners insist Australia is a Christian Commonwealth. They want any attempt to establish a Muslim nation in Australia to be rejected.
Thousands of students and lawyers protest in Sanaa, calling for Yemen's President Ali Abdallah Saleh, in power for 32 years, to step down. Thousands of students and lawyers demanding Yemen’s president step down clashed yesterday with baton-wielding riot police and security forces who threw up razor wire to force them out of the centre of the capital Sanaa. An AFP journalist said more than 3000 protesters marched from Sanaa University towards Al-Tahrir square calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdallah Saleh.
The Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir yesterday denied being the leader of a terrorist network found training in Aceh, and said a string of fresh charges against him had been fabricated and that he was simply defending Islam. The trial of the 73-year-old resumed amid heavy security in the South Jakarta District Court when prosecutors read out a 93-page indictment detailing seven charges against him.
Maissa al-Gaderi will be briefly reunited with her cousin Hussein Husseini today, as he buries his three-month-old son and mourns the wife he lost to the sea. Mr Husseini is one of 22 asylum-seekers flown secretly to Sydney yesterday by the Department of Immigration to attend funerals for many of the victims of SIEV-221, the Indonesian fishing boat that crashed into rocks of Christmas Island late last year. Ms Gaderi, who will support her cousin at the funeral in Sydney, knows first-hand the dangers of human trafficking, coming to Australia in 2001 on the boat that became known for "children overboard" - when asylum-seekers were falsely accused of throwing their children from a sinking vessel.
Angry Labor backbenchers are demanding greater discipline within Julia Gillard's cabinet in a backlash against "malicious" leaks designed to discredit former prime minister Kevin Rudd. Urging the Prime Minister to stomp on needless disunity, several MPs accused Mr Rudd's detractors of attempting to force him out of politics. Their anger follows leaks last week suggesting Mr Rudd stormed out of a cabinet meeting last Thursday in a "hissy fit" after it amended a health reform package he devised last year. Mr Rudd, backed by several sources contacted by The Australian, has denied the story, saying he simply left the meeting early to catch a flight to Sydney to attend an early-morning function on Friday.
When Jesus spoke to the woman accused of adultery he said: ''Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.'' This is a key to understanding why we ''Calvinists'' insist that when one claims to be Christian, certain behaviours are inconsistent with that claim (Letters, February 14). It's curious that so many people claim to know what Jesus would or would not do in certain situations, but when one quotes certain passages we are told that we are being legalistic. The Sydney Anglican diocese does not operate by any legalism, Calvin's or any other, but Jesus and the apostles taught that sinful behaviour - prostitution, tax cheating or whatever - had no place with belonging to Christ. It is not about standing in judgment. It is not about being morally narrow. It is about obeying commands from Christ himself. I would like to see the scriptural basis for the criticisms. If you claim to know what Jesus would have done, please show where it is written and why it means what you say it does.
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