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L’attentat perpétré dans deux mosquées de Christchurch a inscrit ce pays des antipodes au cœur de l’actualité internationale, tout comme son grand voisin, l’Australie, d’où vient Brenton Tarrant, le terroriste inculpé. Les sociétés néo-zélandaise et australienne s’inscrivent dans une histoire globale de l’Occident en dépit d’une géographie aux antipodes de l’Europe et d’une projection au cœur de ce siècle asiatique. L’arme et les munitions du principal accusé, couvertes de références, sont un bréviaire d’une interprétation de l’histoire centré sur une perspective millénariste d’affrontements entre monde chrétien et musulman, des croisades aux attaques de Québec, et des guerres contre les Ottomans aux attentats d’Oslo et de l’île d’Utoya.…  Seguir leyendo »

Why does it seem so hard for people to grasp the connection between hate-filled speech and hate-filled violence? The alleged attacker who carried out Friday’s massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, was acting on a toxic belief system — one that has been long nurtured by opportunists in politics and the media, in Australia and elsewhere.

Those innocent victims — the toll now stands at 50 — reaped what others had sowed.

The alleged gunman, a 28-year-old Australian, saturated himself in the verbal violence of Islamophobia and white supremacy. His manifesto name-checks figures from outside Australia: people such as the United States’ Candace Owens and Norway’s murderous Anders Breivik.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrators in Melbourne, Australia, protesting last month against the United States president-elect, Donald J. Trump. Julian Smith/European Pressphoto Agency

I grew up in Footscray, a West Melbourne neighborhood then brimming with factories and optimism. Refugees had always moved to Footscray to start anew: Eastern Europeans in the 1950s and ’60s, Southeast Asians in the ’70s and ’80s, Africans in the ’90s and the new century. A foreman gave my dad a trial at a car-trailer factory, thinking this 100-pound man would not be able to lift heavy metal parts. He didn’t know that my father’s previous job as a slave laborer was to bury dead bodies. He got the job.

But when businesses began to move production overseas in the early 1990s for cheaper labor costs, many proud working-class Anglo-Australians — including the kind of foreman who hired my father — were laid off.…  Seguir leyendo »

The corridors of the Australian parliament are so white you squint. The sound is hushed; the smell is floor polish. The wooden floors shine so virtuously they reflect the cartoon portraits of prime ministers and rows of Aboriginal paintings, suspended on white walls, their blood and tears invisible.

The parliament stands in Barton, a suburb of Canberra named after the first prime minister of Australia, Edmund Barton, who drew up the White Australia Policy in 1901. "The doctrine of the equality of man," said Barton, "was never intended to apply" to those not British and white-skinned.

Barton's concern was the Chinese, known as the yellow peril; he made no mention of the oldest, most enduring human presence on Earth: the first Australians.…  Seguir leyendo »

En un momento en el que los espantosos sucesos de Noruega nos recuerdan cuánta intolerancia asesina hay aún en el mundo, tal vez una historia de signo contrario pueda devolvernos un poco de optimismo, en el sentido de que se están produciendo algunos cambios de actitud positivos e históricamente importantes.

El mes pasado, un jugador de fútbol de la primera división de Australia fue multado y suspendido y, a consecuencia del cúmulo de informaciones negativas aparecidas en la prensa, sufrió una profunda humillación pública. Lo que tuvo de inhabitual ese caso –y la magnitud de la respuesta– fue su delito. No fue una entrada brutal; no insultó al árbitro ni facilitó información privilegiada a los jugadores.…  Seguir leyendo »