West must halt Islam rift – Carr
Peter Hartcher, Phillip Coorey March 17, 2012
Bob Carr has promised ”no bold departures” from Australia’s foreign policy direction but wants to elevate the worsening rift between Islam and the West and the destruction of the world’s oceans onto the global agenda.
Senator Carr – who was sworn in this week as the Minister for Foreign Affairs – said recent events in Afghanistan were worrying signs of the growing divide between Islam and the West and the world must avoid the nightmare of a ”clash of civilisations”.
In an exclusive interview with the Herald yesterday, Senator Carr said he recognised the dangers of inserting ”pet enthusiasms” in the foreign policy focus but believed oceans could become the next crisis on the scale of climate change.
He said problems such as over-fishing, acidification and ”the emergence of huge dead areas” were not receiving sufficient focus and soon it could be too late.
”I’m just nagged by the worry that we might be with the oceans where we were in 1975 or 1980 with awareness of what we were doing to the Earth’s atmosphere,” he said yesterday. ”We don’t know how quickly a tipping point might be reached.”
He had already liaised with the Environment Minister, Tony Burke, on the subject and envisaged Australia playing a lead role at a United Nations conference in June that would focus on sustainable ocean management.
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The former NSW premier said recent events in Afghanistan, especially the massacre of 16 civilians by a US soldier and the burning of Korans by others, pointed to a growing rift between Islam and the West.
”The tragedy would be if this tugged the world towards the dystopic nightmare of a clash of civilisations,” he said.
Senator Carr said Indonesia, as a peaceful Islamic democracy and responsible regional citizen, was the ”countervailing evidence” to the divide and needed to be promoted as such.
Jakarta, which chairs the Association of South-East Asian Nations, had played a key role in achieving early reforms in Burma, and Indonesia was the first developing nation to commit to greenhouse gas reductions.
Indonesia was about much more than people smuggling, drug arrests and live cattle exports. ”We must be conscious that Indonesia now is a strategic partner,” he said. ”Australians need to appreciate that we’ve got a united, stable, democratic and increasingly prosperous Indonesia which is a long way from the pessimistic projections that Australians had settled on in 1997-1998.”
Senator Carr said Indonesia showed the ”overlap of cultures” could prevail over the ”clash of civilisations”. to read the entire article go to source