One needs to understand the differences in their Islamic movements to make sense of events over recent decades in Egypt and Iran.
People sometimes overlook their profound differences if social forces unite them in a common, often ill-defined desire. Hostility to Muslims is creating an imagined solidarity that Islamists can exploit.
Religions can promote division and inequality in our societies.
Fundamentalists become warriors with a simple message of salvation that is found in a naïve and literal interpretation of ancient, sacred texts.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as self-declared caliph, seeks to exploit the historical resonance of the caliphate for a brutal present-day cause.
The Caliphate has inspired disputes among Muslims for centuries, but attempts at revival in modern times are unlikely to succeed. Most of the world's Muslims would not accept its authority over them.
Muslims around the world are fasting in the month of Ramadan.
Consumption increases during the month of Ramadan in countries where Muslims are the majority.
No society is immune from the rise of ‘us and them’ intolerance expressed through anger and a desire for brutal revenge.
Islamic State is symptomatic of a disturbed and troubled social order. The vast crisis of dislocated people and communities is being expressed in anger, intolerance and perverted notions of honour.
Can Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Dylann Roof be forgiven — and should they? Forgiveness is not an isolated, one-time act but a longer commitment to acceptance back into a community.
Q&A is in trouble again, following an unscripted intervention by a certain Zaky Mallah. In response to a comment by Coalition MP Steven Ciobo, Mallah – convicted of threatening to kill ASIO officials…
Australia’s reaction to revelations that its citizens were fighting for IS follows a pattern of intellectual and state fear-mongering.
If governments are to maintain public support for their military ventures, war narratives must be kept simple and consistent. The underlying message must not change: the West is always the innocent victim of terrorism, never its perpetrator.
The dogmas of ruling and rebel groups in Africa conflate political conflict and spirituality.
The failure of African states to adequately address their racial, ethnic, cultural, religious and economic differences provided the fertile ground on which rebel groups now prosper.
What possesses a Queensland teenager like Oliver Bridgeman to go to fight in Syria? Online propaganda is not an adequate explanation on its own.
Simplistic views of terrorist recruitment focus on online messages to Western youth. Foreign fighters are coming from many other countries, lured by many means, and we need more sophisticated responses.
Ultimately, whether or not you consider Australia to be secular depends on the definition of secularism used.
Australia has a form of secularism where religion is allowed in the public sphere. As long as religion remains one voice and one option among many, the nation will still be secular.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the spiritual and political head of IS, is a clever theologian and Qur’anic artisan.
EPA/Islamic State Video
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the spiritual and political head of IS, is a clever theologian and Qur’anic artisan. We would do well to better our own interfaith theological understanding.
Under the leadership of both Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda has failed to reproduce an event that has shaken the international order since 9/11.
Islamic State's rapid successes in Syria and Iraq stand in stark contrast to al-Qaeda's efforts at global jihad over the past decade.
The main dome of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
Allah, the divinity at the heart of Islam, has 99 names and is often poorly understood outside the faith. Islam recognises no god but Allah, who revealed scriptures to bothJewish and Christian prophets before Mohammed.
Australian Muslims feel that they are being targeted as a group by counter-terrorism laws.
The majority of Muslims in Australia condemn terrorism and extremism. But they feel that counter-terrorism policing and laws unfairly target their community, causing a troubling community backlash.
The story of Jake Bilardi (centre) has distorted the characterisation of what most people think of as a radicalised individual.
There will be more Jake Bilardis to come, and Australia must realise that no two cases will be entirely the same. Radicalised individuals will come from all areas of society.
Lars Vilks was due to speak in Gothenburg.
Lars Vilks was supposed to talk about free speech in Sweden but has been silenced by terror concerns.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, represented by spokesman Uthman Badar, has courted controversy and been criticised by Tony Abbott in recent times.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a political party. It is not active in any Islamic schools, mosques or institutes. It does not have any real influence on Australia's Islamic community.
When Manal Kassem laid her bridal bouquet at the tribute to the Lindt Cafe siege victims in Sydney, onlookers applauded – no-one cast doubt on her sincerity as a Muslim in the way Tony Abbott’s words have done.
By casting doubt on the sincerity of Islamic leaders when they condemn terrorism and extremism, the prime minister risks alienating Muslims and dividing instead of uniting the Australian community.
Newcastle has warmly hosted immigrants for a long time.
A march is planned for February 28 in a city with a long history of tolerance.