Sunday Readings

Graves Of Migrants Found In Human Trafficking Camps
More mass graves have been discovered in northern Malaysia near the border with Thailand, authorities said Sunday.

Many of the migrants caught up in the crisis are Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority fleeing persecution in western Myanmar. There are also Bangladeshi economic migrants seeking work in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.

The last massive surge of boat people arriving on the shores of Indonesia occurred in the 1970s when thousands fled from Vietnam. The latest influx of Bangladeshis and ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar has forced Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi to announce that Indonesia would take in thousands of migrants, but few believe that will be enough, nor that the people will stop coming.

But Australian social services minister Scott Morrison said that those who assert the Muslim migrants can be resettled in the countries in the region severely underestimate the scope of the problem.

“There’s a million Rohingya in Myanmar [Burma]. The suggestion that somehow resettlement is the answer to that issue, I think completely misunderstands what is happening in that part of the world,” he said, according to The Guardian.

More than 3,600 people — about half of them from Bangladesh and the others minority Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar — have landed ashore in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand since May 10.

Does ISIS Face An Inevitable Defeat?
When discussing the battle against ISIS, many often assert that the terrorist group will inevitably be defeated, but is this really true.

Russ Douthat of the New York Times suggests it may not necessarily be the case and points to the Bolsheviks in Russia for historical context, saying that while there are some differences, “the Soviet example is still a useful reminder that the “inevitable” fall of fanatical upstarts is not always actually inevitable. And it offers a few lessons in how, against all odds, the Islamic State might actually survive.”

He says that sometimes fanatical movements often burn themselves because they become hamstrung by their own fanaticism, but “sometimes they find a way — as the Bolsheviks did — to tweak their ideologies when survival requires it, and to rely on ethnic and national loyalties as well.”

Ethiopia’s Ruling Party Appears On Course To Victory
Ethiopians started voting Sunday in national and regional elections, the country’s first polls since the 2012 death of its longtime leader, and the ruling party is expected to maintain its iron-clad grip on power.

There have been reports of intimidation, but the government has denied the accuracy of those allegations, according to Reuters.

The reelection of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Party, however, has human rights activists concerned and voicing criticism about the failure of the West, notably the United States, to hold the government to account.

Sarah Margon, Washington director at Human Rights Watch, recently penned an article in Slate in which she said the Obama administration needs to revise its approach to Ethiopia and press them to release or pardon wrongly imprisoned journalists “as a signal that at least some criticism and dissent will be tolerated. In the aftermath of the elections, the Obama administration should press the new government to revise the draconian legislation that has gutted the media and civil society so severely.”

Palestinians Should Follow Catholic Lead By Denouncing Anti-Semitism
Michael Curtis suggests Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas take heed of the model demonstrated by Pope Francis and denounce  expressions and acts by Palestinians and their associates that lead or are intended to lead to violence or acts of terror against Jews, whether inside or outside the State of Israel.

“He should denounce the assertion, in essence a new form of deicide charge, made by some Palestinian spokespersons that Palestinians are suffering in similar fashion to Jesus. He should flourish the bronze medallion he got from Pope Francis and join the commitment to peace,” Curtis writes.



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