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The Dalai Lama has been coy about his successor. Sergio Carvalho/Flickr

Could this Dalai Lama be the last?

An elaborate and lengthy selection process is in danger of being co-opted by the Chinese government.
The proposition that Easter is a 100% Christian affair is manifestly unsustainable. Hartwig HKD

Easter scuppers the certainties of modern fundamentalists

The proposition that Easter is a 100% Christian affair is manifestly unsustainable. It shows an ignorance of history. Worse, it shows a failure to understand the way religious traditions work.
Gay couple Andrew Wale (on right) and Neil Allard hold hold each other as they are interviewed by the media after marrying in the first same-sex wedding at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, southern England March 29, 2014. Reuters/Luke MacGregor

Presbyterian Church (USA) decision expands the meaning and malleability of marriage

The Presbyterian Church (USA) vote to allow gay marriage will have multiple consequences now and in decades to come.
A Rabbi contemplates the desecration of hundreds of Jewish graves in France, where one of the youths arrested denied anti-Semitism was their motive. EPA/Patrick Seeger

Anti-Zionism in the courts is not kosher law

Legal artifice is being constructed to make false distinctions between unpalatable anti-Semitism and kosher anti-Zionism.
The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has been charged with concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s. AAP/David Maruiz

Philip Wilson charges mark a dark day for the Catholic Church

Philip Wilson, the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, is the most senior clergyman in the world to face a charge of concealing sexual abuse in the church.
Massachusetts couple Marcia Hams and her partner Susan Shepard had a cake to celebrate their historic first same-sex wedding in 2004, but some bakers feel unable to oblige on religious grounds. EPA C.J. Gunther

Cakegate: a story of the clash of religious freedom and gay rights

When a baker refuses, on religious grounds, to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, the right to freedom of religion comes into conflict with the right to freedom from discrimination.
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.
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…
With so much uncertainty in halal labelling it can be hard for Muslim consumers to know they’re getting what they’ve asked for. Todd Lappin

Explainer: what is halal, and how does certification work?

Halal food certification in Australia has become a contentious issue. Recently, a Western Australian cafe received hateful and anti-Islamic messages after its owners tried to explain halal on Facebook…
Stéphane Charbonnier’s Charlie Hebdo offended people of all religions, but when does causing offence become unethical? EPA/Yoan Valat

How do we decide if offending someone is unethical or not?

Causing offence to others often causes hurt. Such actions have been condemned as unethical, even immoral behaviour in a civilised society. There have been many examples. The Bill Henson photographs of…
You can’t touch this? PA

A tale of two bishops

As the first woman bishop prepares for her consecration on January 26, a row has erupted over another high-profile consecration scheduled for the following week. Libby Lane will become bishop of Stockport…
From where does opposition to depictions of Muhammad arise? Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters

Why there’s opposition to images of Muhammad

After the violent attacks on Charlie Hebdo – the French satirical weekly that routinely published caricatures of Muhammad – many are wondering: are depictions of Muhammad actually forbidden in Islamic…
The majority of Muslims have developed a humanitarian image of their prophet over a long period in their local cultures. Darulfatwa Australia/Author

Understanding Muhammad: we need a more informed approach

In any terrorist attack by Muslim extremists perpetrated in the name of Islam – such as the recent Charlie Hebdo atrocity – discussions about the Prophet Muhammad, his life and his teachings come to the…

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