Islam

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Saudi Arabia has been careful not to appear overly oppressive of groups like Islamic State for fear of antagonising its own constituents. Reuters

What’s behind Saudi Arabia’s connection to Islamic State?

Saudi citizens supporting Islamic State are not the result of a coherent plan directed by its rulers, but the overflow of a long-standing system used to maintain its domestic legitimacy.
The West is preoccupied with a particular minority strand of Islam, which does not represent the Muslim majority - most of whom, including these Indonesians, are in Asia. AAP/Newzulu/Gholib Sa

Islam: the ‘Open Civilisation’ confounds closed minds

The Islam that causes alarm and protests in the West is not representative of the beliefs and practices of the world's Muslims. Most are Asian and they are the ones more likely to migrate to the West.
Reclaim Australia supporters at the April rallies displayed a mix of liberal and anti-Muslim slogans. Irfan Ahmad

Reclaiming Australia? Liberalism’s role in Islamophobia

If Reclaim Australia were rallying Muslims, the liberal media would examine its religious inspirations. Yet the media treat its supporters as disgruntled individuals rather than Christian representatives.
The moderate majority of Muslims need to claim Islam as a religion of peace to counter the loud voices of extremists. AAP/Nikki Short

Muslims need to counter violent jihadists' claim to represent Islam

A struggle is underway for the heart and soul of Islam. Moderate Muslims need to engage in the contest to ensure their view of Islam is the one that prevails.
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.

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