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Analysis and Comment (22)

An Australian 17-year-old must be utterly alienated from the community to feel at home with Islamic State. An Australian 17-year-old must be utterly alienated from the community to feel at home with Islamic State. Youtube

No future: why we need a youth policy to counter radicalisation

The upcoming first ever Global Forum on Youth Policies has put the spotlight on the position of young people who, the United Nations says, are our “greatest resource”. Australia is among a minority of…
Locking up convicted extremists does not prevent marginalised and angry youth from being radicalised. Locking up convicted extremists does not prevent marginalised and angry youth from being radicalised. AAP/Julian Smith

Third wave of global ‘jihad’ challenges community as a whole

The dreadful events in Iraq and Syria and counter-terrorism raids in Australia have alarmed Australians, including the 500,000-strong Muslim community. These incidents represent a new episode of the “third…
Religious leaders have come together to promote community harmony, but some political and media agendas have encouraged Islamophobia. Religious leaders have come together to promote community harmony, but some political and media agendas have encouraged Islamophobia. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Politicians and media let us down in fight to curb rising Islamophobia

Many incidents of violence and harassment directed at Australian Muslims have been reported recently. These are visible confirmation of fears expressed by their community, that support for the government’s…
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Wassim Doureihi addresses a protest rally about counter-terrorism raids in Sydney last month. Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Wassim Doureihi addresses a protest rally about counter-terrorism raids in Sydney last month. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Why Australia shouldn’t ban Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott calls it “a thoroughly objectionable organisation”, “un-Australian” and “un-Islamic”. But would it be a good idea to ban the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir? Hizb…
A US Marine covers a statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with the US flag in Baghdad’s al-Fardous square in April 2003, before the statue was toppled. A US Marine covers a statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein with the US flag in Baghdad’s al-Fardous square in April 2003, before the statue was toppled. EPA PHOTO AFPI/RAMZI HAIDAR

Is it fair to blame the West for trouble in the Middle East?

For at least a decade, attempts to understand why some young Muslims living in Western countries turn to violence in the name of religion have raised questions about Western foreign policy in the Middle…
Police and Muslim leaders have joined forces to call for harmony, but just and fair treatment in counter-terrorism operations is needed to reassure the Islamic community. Police and Muslim leaders have joined forces to call for harmony, but just and fair treatment in counter-terrorism operations is needed to reassure the Islamic community. AAP/Mal Fairclough

Fairness and trust make all the difference in countering terrorism

Muslim communities in Australia feel under siege. It is evident from media reports that they feel unfairly targeted by counter-terrorism policing. They also feel vilified by much of the reporting of these…
A real national conversation about democratic values will be inclusive and challenging – not fear-mongering. A real national conversation about democratic values will be inclusive and challenging – not fear-mongering. Is Azfar Ahmad/Flickr

How do we teach what it means to be Australian?

Events in the Middle East that have both shocked and horrified us seem to have opened the doors to anyone who wants to criticise Islam, raise concerns about multiculturalism and romanticise an age when…
Australian women of different faiths gathered at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque last month in a show of community solidarity. Australian women of different faiths gathered at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque last month in a show of community solidarity. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Terrorists can be defeated by fighting fear with co-operation

From anarchists in the 1920s and radical leftists in the 1960s, to fringe, extreme-right Christian bombers or gunmen in the United States in recent decades, or radical Islamists such as Islamic State today…
There are now around half a million Muslim Australians, who are sometimes blamed for the actions of a tiny minority. There are now around half a million Muslim Australians, who are sometimes blamed for the actions of a tiny minority. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Mosques, Muslims and myths: overcoming fear in our suburbs

Since Australians woke to the news of yesterday morning’s counter-terrorism raids in Sydney, Brisbane and Logan, talkback radio and the TV news have filled with talk of “home-grown terrorism” and “enemies…
Police outside one of the Sydney homes raided earlier today, which has prompted warnings against an anti-Muslim backlash. 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 silent majority of Muslims shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of Islam’s radical followers – they are victims of radical Islam. 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…
Watching. Watching. Diego Azubel

China’s Uighur Muslims are trapped in a cycle of violence

As the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ended, lethal violence flared up in China’s Xinjiang province – the latest grim entry in the saga of terrorism and repression that surrounds the region’s Uighur Muslim…
The response to SBS documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is indicative of the series' backstory and the ongoing debate it has entered. The response to SBS documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is indicative of the series' backstory and the ongoing debate it has entered. SBS/Author

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl reveals diversity of views on Lebanese-Australians

The final week of SBS' four-part documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl brings us to the last decade’s crises for Lebanese Muslim communities in Sydney’s west, and the path to redemption they…
Germany’s Sami Khedira has the option of citing the travel exemption during Ramadan. Germany’s Sami Khedira has the option of citing the travel exemption during Ramadan. EPA/Srdjan Suki

Ramadan and the World Cup coincide … but it’s no big deal

The World Cup and Ramadan – the ninth month of the Muslim year, during which strict fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset – last clashed in 1986. This year they did so again in spectacular fashion…
The individual’s freedoms must be balanced by pragmatism in the courtroom. 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…
A university event where women and men were asked to sit separately raises more questions. 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…
There were disturbances in Sydney over the weekend in response to a movie portraying Muhammad. There were disturbances in Sydney over the weekend in response to a movie portraying Muhammad. AAP/Louis Allen

Sydney riots: Muslim responses to provocation must be more considered

News of the movie “Innocence of Muslims” and the dissemination of its clips on YouTube have inflamed emotions across the Muslim world. It triggered a spate of violent demonstrations, including an attack…
Many groups have called for sharia, or Islamic law in Australia, but is it workable? Many groups have called for sharia, or Islamic law in Australia, but is it workable? EPA/Andy Rain

Sharia: why a dual legal system will not work in Australia

A major Australian Islamic group recently argued for a formal recognition of sharia or Muslim law in the Australian legal system. According to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Australia should…
Many Aboriginal people, like boxer Anthony Mundine, look to Islam as a way of re-connecting with their roots. Many Aboriginal people, like boxer Anthony Mundine, look to Islam as a way of re-connecting with their roots. AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Long history with Islam gives Indigenous Australians pride

Muslim conversion is growing in Indigenous communities. In the 2001 national census, 641 Indigenous people identified as Muslim. By the 2006 census the number had climbed by more than 60% to 1014 people…
Norwegian soldiers stand in front the government building bombed by Anders Breivik. Norwegian soldiers stand in front the government building bombed by Anders Breivik. AAP

Anders Breivik, Australian anti-multiculturalists and the threat to social cohesion

The discovery of an Australian link to the horrifying murders of dozens of people by Anders Breivik in Norway has demonstrated the reach of connection in today’s globalised world. As a result of the ability…