‘Inherent requirements’ test will undermine, not strengthen, pluralistic society

By Mark Sneddon and Pete Mulherin

The Melbourne Anglican

OCTOBER 20

The distinction between faith-based independent schools and government schools in matters of religious conviction and conscience is being undermined by the proposed Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Bill introduced by the Andrews government in Victoria. The Bill will override the deeply held wishes of many parents for their children to be educated in the tenets of a particular faith, as well as in an environment that encourages and models a distinct way to live. Similarly, religious organisations other than schools, from charities to churches, will be prohibited from applying a test of conformity with the group’s faith in many employment decisions. Continue reading

About Face: Who Speaks on Behalf of Australia’s Muslims?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at Kirribilli House in Sydney on Thursday 16 June 2016. Guests included broadcaster Waleed Aly and his wife Susan Carland. Picture: Andrew Meares / Fairfax Media

The inclusion of prominent Australian Muslim clerics with reprehensible views in Malcolm Turnbull’s recent end of fasting celebration (Iftar) during Ramadan has the potential to precipitate a long-overdue conversation: what do mainstream Muslims in Australia really think?

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Fighting ISIS, Grappling With Islam

ramadi

Whether or not violent Islamists represent the ‘true’ Islam is beside the point: they kill and die believing that they do. Logic decrees that the key weapons will never be cruise missiles and drones. Rather, the most potent strategy hangs on a keen and clear-minded willingness to understand what motivates such actions and goals.

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The Conversation that Isn’t

gagged speech

Islam-is-violence or Islam-is-peace? Take your pick because there is no third option available to those who would like to see debate and policy based on a rational, informed and unbiased approach to Islam’s history and interpretations

As attacks inspired by Islamist ideology continue to erupt around the globe — Paris, San Bernardino, Africa, stick a pin the map and stayed tuned– the tourniquet on the Islam-and-terrorism conversation is tight and getting tighter. The popularity of #YouAintNoMuslimBruv, in response to the London Underground stabbings, bolstered by President Obama’s latest glib insistence that ‘ISIL does not speak for Islam’, highlight just how, since 9/11 and earlier, the West has imposed tacit and active restrictions on what can and cannot be said about Islam and its multiple interpretations.
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Please, Waleed, Clichés Won’t Suffice

love-hate

ISIS says Islam is one thing and Waleed Aly insists it is nothing of the kind. Unless he is prepared to address and explain the if-and-why of Koranic literalism,  I’ll remain confused. Absent that, Aly’s latest sermon is an empty polemic, clarifying nothing.