Religious verses were originally answers to problems that occurred within the social and political contexts of the time.
To avoid misguided use of sacred texts, religious believers should understand the context in which the texts appeared the first time.
The Indonesian police have named Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama a suspect in a blasphemy case.
About one-quarter of the world's countries, both in developing and developed economies, have anti-blasphemy laws. Their implementation is always controversial and highly politicised.
There is consistent high-level agreement with the proposition that ‘multiculturalism has been good for Australia’ across Scanlon Foundation surveys.
The 2016 Scanlon Foundation survey provides grounds for caution in applying overseas comparisons to shifts in Australian public opinion.
President Barack Obama pardons National Thanksgiving Turkey Abe.
AP Photos/Evan Vucci
The presidential turkey pardoning draws on a language of forgiveness, common to many religious traditions.
Muslims do have important reasons to worry about a Trump presidency. But it may not be all doom and gloom.
A Trump presidency may not be all doom and gloom for Muslims. Yes, there is cause for concern but there is reason for optimism too.
Sharia councils deal mainly with issues over Islamic divorce.
A campaign to provide information for Muslim couples about English civil marriages could mean Sharia councils fade away.
The rally triggered by alleged blasphemy by Jakarta governor Ahok was really a vehicle for conservative groups to protest Joko Widodo.
An enormous rally in Jakarta, organised by hardline Islamic militia group the Islamic Defenders Front, appears to have mobilised a diverse group of conservative Muslims in Indonesia.
Fear of Islam pervades every corner of modern Muslim life.
Islamophobia affects all those who encounter it – whether they are Muslim or not.
Muslim women are often criticised for their lack of political involvement, but Algerian women have embraced both anti-colonial and feminist movements.
Pauline Hanson claimed poll results showing high levels of opposition to Muslim immigration were understated.
Survey findings are typically considered in isolation in the media, with no understanding of context, of what is within and what is beyond the expected.
The beach lies at the edges of the country, and can feel like another place entirely. French hand-wringing over Muslim dress for paddling should make us look again at our own attitudes.
A ‘humble outback structure’: a former Afghan cameleer’s mosque in Bourke NSW.
Copyright Iain Davidson/flickr
Those opposed to the building of new mosques don't recognise their long history here, or potential to support Australian ideals. Mosques are part of our suburban landscape and can help overcome fears about Islam.
Pauline Hanson is back, and has three senators with her.
Pauline Hanson used her second maiden speech to parliament to hit out at Muslims, foreign ownership and immigration.
A spate of French towns have banned burkinis. It’s the latest move in a long history of unease over women’s (and sometimes men’s) clothing.
The burkini bans, now overturned by a French court, are selective and ridiculous. But controversy over women’s clothing, and competing cultural notions of appropriate garb, are nothing new.
Islam is not a monolith, and understanding its source code has value for everyone.
Undertaking a Muslim education – coming to understand the faith's teachings and its ideas about humanity – can have enormous value for anyone who wishes to tackle social conflicts.
A parliamentary report found this group suffers severe exclusion from life and work. But things are getting better.
Coining a phrase. Muslim philosopher al-Fabri depicted on Kazakh currency.
Abu Nasr al-Farabi can teach us about the thinking behind radicalisation, and offers a warning to terrorists guilty of 'over-belief'.
A guard of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outside Fatih mosque.
Unexpected calls to prayer from mosques in Turkey caught many off guard on the night of the attempted coup. An ethnomusicologist explains the political and social power of sound.
Fethullah Gülen in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, Sept. 24, 2013.
It may sound farfetched that a scholar living in Pennsylvania planned the overthrow of the Turkish government. But Turkey is demanding the U.S. extradite the Hizmet leader.
Police guard the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray after a priest was killed.
France needs to find a place for Islam in its fiercely secular state.