Islam

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One needs to understand the differences in their Islamic movements to make sense of events over recent decades in Egypt and Iran. EPA/Mohamed Messara

Ignorance and hostility fuel ‘imagined solidarity’ with Islamists

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.
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. EPA/Furqan Media

Caliphate, a disputed concept, no longer has a hold over all Muslims

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.
No society is immune from the rise of ‘us and them’ intolerance expressed through anger and a desire for brutal revenge. EPA/Ian Langsdon

Is Islamic State evidence we are living in a ‘post-honour’ world?

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.
ABC

Don’t fear difficult debates on Q&A

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. AAP/Lukas Coch

Radical Islam and the West: the moral panic behind the threat

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. Reuters/Alain Amontchi

What lies behind the rise of jihadist movements in Africa

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. Facebook

IS radicalises Western youth via the internet? It’s not that simple

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. shutterstock

Is Australia a secular country? It depends what you mean

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

Believe it or not, we could actually learn something from Islamic State

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. EPA

A global war for relevance: can al-Qaeda reclaim the jihadi crown?

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. ninara/Flickr

Who is Allah? Understanding God in Islam

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.
The story of Jake Bilardi (centre) has distorted the characterisation of what most people think of as a radicalised individual. AAP/Twitter

Jake Bilardi’s story shows why terrorist intervention must be tailored

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.
Hizb ut-Tahrir, represented by spokesman Uthman Badar, has courted controversy and been criticised by Tony Abbott in recent times. AAP/Dean Lewins

Explainer: what is Hizb ut-Tahrir?

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. AAP/Supplied

Playing the Muslim card: Abbott’s loose lips threaten to sink unity

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.

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