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Islamic scholarship gave rise to some of the world’s earliest educational institutions such as the House of Wisdom in Baghdad. Wikimedia Commons/CPT photo

The trouble with Islam: learning is the traditional and best remedy

There is nothing in Islam that makes it dangerous or threatening to a modern Western way of life. However, those looking to incite violence and hatred are always capable of finding textual references in…
When violence erupts, we can be tempted to make judgements about collective responsibility based on our own allegiances, rather than consistent moral principles. EPA/Ian Langsdon

Charlie Hebdo attack: when should we hold a group responsible for a member’s evil?

When should we hold a group morally responsible for a member’s evil? In the wake of the Charlie Hedbo attacks, many will demand answers about Islam’s role in promoting violence. As we brace for the inevitable…
Islamic dietary law requires that certain methods be used when preparing meat, such as that a Muslim be the one butchering the animal. Reuters

Regulating the sacred: why the US halal food industry needs better oversight

For many Muslims, adherence to Islamic dietary laws, known as halal, is an intrinsic part of their everyday lives. Even those who are relatively lax with other rituals of the faith tend to adhere to halal…
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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…

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