Published 10 September 201010 September 2010 · Main Posts The burqa and cruise missile liberals Editorial team Late last month, the Age published a piece by Sushi Das re-opening the so-called ‘burqa debate’. Das argued: The burqa is not just confronting, it is frightening because of what it looks like and what it stands for. You simply cannot discuss it without at least a passing glance at what is happening to women in conservative Muslim countries such as Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. When people pussyfoot around injustices because they fear being labelled racists or worry they will fan bigotry, or think they have no right to pass judgment, it creates a void, not intelligent debate. This void is inevitably filled with rants from those who hold polarised positions. The Das article provides a remarkable confirmation of the argument put forward by Michelle Carmody in the current edition of Overland. Carmody writes: [C]ontemporary forms of liberalism engage in a kind of humanitarian colonialism whereby the imposition of a new social or cultural structure is legitimised though a discourse of freedom – one of the ‘highest aspiration[s] of the common people’, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The practice is evident in phenomena as diverse as the continued military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the banning of the burqa in France and elsewhere, and the intervention in the Northern Territory here in Australia. In all of these cases, freedom from the oppression of culture and tradition gone wild is given as the raison d’être of the action. The civilising mission, mark II. Carmody’s essay can be read in full in Overland 200. Editorial team More by Editorial team Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 25 May 202326 May 2023 · Main Posts The ‘Chinese question’ and colonial capitalism in New Gold Mountain Christy Tan SBS’s New Gold Mountain sets out to recover the history of the Gold Rush from the marginalised perspective of Chinese settlers but instead reinforces the erasure of Indigenous sovereignty. Although celebrated for its multilingual script and diverse representation, the mini-TV series ignores how the settlement of Chinese migrants and their recruitment into colonial capitalism consolidates the ongoing displacement of First Nations peoples. First published in Overland Issue 228 15 February 202322 February 2023 · Main Posts Self-translation and bilingual writing as a transnational writer in the age of machine translation Ouyang Yu To cut a long story short, it all boils down to the need to go as far away from oneself as possible before one realizes another need to come back to reclaim what has been lost in the process while tying the knot of the opposite ends and merging them into a new transformation.