Articles on Islam

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Police outside one of the Sydney homes raided earlier today, which has prompted warnings against an anti-Muslim backlash. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Islamic State wants Australians to attack Muslims: terror expert

It’s in the interests of Islamic State for Muslims in Australia to be attacked or for their mosques to be attacked, because doing so would help divide the Australian community. But we should be very clear…
The hijab isn’t a symbol of oppression for many women. diegofornero

Muslim feminists reclaim the hijab to fight the patriarchy

Terrorism, oppression, fundamentalism and victimhood are only a few of the buzzwords that inevitably accompany discussions about Islamic headgear. From burqa-bans to atrocities against women in some Islamic…
The veil serves to entice and intrigue and not necessarily to hide. Faizal Riza MOHD RAF

The big players in the growth of Islamic fashion online

Islamic veiling is a global political issue and the debate tends to move in two different directions: it’s framed as either a matter of the freedom of female self-expression or as emblematic of gender…
The silent majority of Muslims shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of Islam’s radical followers – they are victims of radical Islam. EPA/Ali Abbas

Islam’s silent majority: moderate voices drowned out by extremists

Stretching from north Africa to east Asia, many Muslims are engaged in a life-and-death tussle with extremists who are bent on extinguishing the diversity of opinions within the Muslim community. Atrocities…
The jihadi fighters in Iraq and Syria include hundreds of Australians. EPA/Mohammed Jalil

Why hundreds of westerners are taking up arms in global jihad

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are attracting many westerners, including young Australians, as jihadi fighters. Last December, Australian intelligence agencies reported that they were aware of at least…
The rise of Islamophobia in Australia has left Muslims vulnerable as anti-discrimination laws cover racial but not religious vilification. AAP/Dean Lewins

A Muslim perspective on Racial Discrimination Act amendments

The markers of identification of communities have clearly moved from just race, colour and national or ethnic origin to include religion. In the case of Muslims, their faith and culture and all that it…
A ban is unlikely to remove halal or kosher food from the high street. EPA/Peter Kneffel

We already have the answers to humane religious slaughter

With kosher and halal food an increasingly common feature of the British high street, a top vet has called for reform of their slaughter practices, calling them inhumane. These alternative methods of animal…
A political party inspired by controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders is set to launch next year. AAP/Julian Smith

The Australian Liberty Alliance and the politics of Islamophobia

News that an anti-Islam lobby group, the Q Society of Australia, plans to launch a political party to contest the next federal election should be cause for alarm. Based on the principles of Dutch MP Geert…
Is religion a relic of the past? Saffron Blaze

British faith today: open to the spirit, closed to religion

All sorts of claims about religious decline are flying around at the moment, from George Carey’s comment that the Church of England is “one generation away from extinction” to Richard Dawkins’ comments…
Two women wearing niqabs in France. The traditional Islamic garment has caused controversy in the UK after a judge forced a woman to remove hers to give evidence in court. EPA/Ian Langsdon

Women and veiling: the elephant in the courtroom

The rights and wrongs of women wearing niqabs to give evidence have been the subject of an English court decision and much social and media debate recently. Over the past few years, the issue has also…
The individual’s freedoms must be balanced by pragmatism in the courtroom. Amexta

Britain does not need a French-style burqa ban

The debate on full veils - burqas and niqabs - in British courts and British schools was always bound to happen. The issue flared up a few years ago following some remarks by Jack Straw but it had not…
As Islamic jihadists become increasingly central to the Syrian conflict, the once secular revolution led by the Free Syrian Army (fighter pictured) loses support in the eyes of the world. EPA

Radicalising Syria: how the rebels are becoming more Islamist

In the two years since its inception, the image of the Syrian civil war has veered dramatically away from its revolutionary, secular origins. What began as a response to the brutal repression of peaceful…
Terror manual: the Encyclopaedia of the Afghani Jihad which formed part of the prosecution case against Abu Hamza. Stefan Rousseau/PA.

Flimsy fundamentalism infuses the third wave of terror

David Cameron’s new taskforce to combat extremism met on Monday to address what Tony Blair calls a “problem within Islam” that he blames for the terror plots which have caused such distress and given rise…
Brute force: English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson (left) rallied his supporters outside a Woolwich pub. PA/Neil Lancefield

EDL uses an old playbook to spread message of hate

It was unsurprising that little more than a few hours after yesterday’s horrific murder, the far-right arrived in Woolwich. Emboldened by the afternoon’s events, the English Defence League’s (EDL) leader…
While the focus has been on gender discrimination in Islam recently, there is much to be said about widespread discrimination across most organised religions. AAP/Joe Castro

It’s not just Islam – most religions are discriminatory

Yes, Tony Abbott is right. There is something unattractive about a university allowing public meetings at which attendees are segregated by sex. But hang on a moment: is this not the normal arrangement…
A university event where women and men were asked to sit separately raises more questions. Islamic women image from www.shutterstock.com

The real story behind Melbourne University’s gender segregation case

The fallout from an event at the University of Melbourne where women and men were asked to sit separately has been intense. The media coverage so far has focused on the issue of segregated seating in a…

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