Islam

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Saudi Arabia’s execution of 47 people has prompted global protests. Reuters

Saudi executions: business as usual in a post-Arab Spring world

The executions on the weekend are notable for the sheer number of people killed. However, they maintain a policy of political crackdown that was reinvigorated in Saudi Arabia during the Arab Spring.
It’s been a decade since the Cronulla riots, but have the attitudes that fuelled these violent tensions changed in Australian society? Paul Miller/AAP

Ten years on from the Cronulla riots, how much has really changed?

A decade on from the Cronulla Riots, Australia needs to reflect upon the lessons that should be learnt following the riot which divided a nation.
German migration to South Australia provides a useful comparison point on how to comprehend and work with the Muslim community today. State Library of South Australia

The German migrant story holds lessons for Australia’s Muslim community today

The story of German migration to South Australia can highlight the experience of diverse communities, and what can happen to them in a time of serious conflict.
An open and honest discussion about radicalisation cannot ignore the alienating impacts of racism and Islamophobia, starkly on display at this vandalised Muslim prayer centre in Brisbane. AAP/Tertius Pickard

Yes, let’s have a frank and open discussion about the causes of extremism and terrorism

A frank debate about the causes of extremism and terrorism would acknowledge uncomfortable issues like the alienating impacts of racism, Islamophobia and Western military actions and foreign policy.
Sydney Opera House is illuminated in the colours of the French flag in a display of solidarity after the attacks on Paris. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Socially mediated terrorism poses devilish dilemma for social responses

Islamic State terrorism and propaganda are designed to provoke often predictable responses. We naturally respond with displays of outrage and solidarity, but we should beware the trap of division.
Calls for Islamic reform overlook the political motivations of extremism, and attack fundamental religious practices. Elias Pirasteh

An Islamic reformation is not the solution to stop extremism

Calls for a reformed, modern Islam will not combat the political and social motivations that underly radical and extremist ideologies.
Palestinian men pray in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-amid. Ammar Awad/Reuters

Is Islam incompatible with modernity?

Religion and modernity need not be at odds with one another, and many leading Muslim thinkers are plumbing early texts to promote progressive ideas.
A patrol in front of Notre Dame November 15. Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Why Paris?

The answer is complex. But part of it lies in the fact that French society is still uncomfortable with its diversity.
Narratives of grievance are foundational to Islamic radicalisation. It may have helped motivate 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar’s actions. AAP

How are Western youth conditioned to commit terrorist acts?

Each individual case of radicalisation has its own characteristics. But the research has highlighted some patterns that may help to explain the dark world that is drawing in some Australian youth.

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