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The Far-Right and the Mainstream: What’s the Difference?

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Current Affairs, Featured, Knowledge, Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

The Far-Right and the Mainstream: What’s the Difference?

  Is the rise of the far-right in Australia  and other Western nations really and simply a rise of the “fringe”, or does the mainstream enable and effectively encourage the proliferation of this “new” phenomenon? Brother Shafiul Haq explains.  The Encyclopaedia of Politics: The Left and The Right associates the concept of “political correctness” with the political Left. During the 1960s, the New Left used the term to establish lines between what was seen as offensive and what was not. Since the 1980s, the term has...

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Turnbull and the Muslim community: between rhetoric and policy

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in Commentary, Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

Turnbull and the Muslim community: between rhetoric and policy

The Islamic Council of Victoria’s Vice-President Junaid Cheema wrote in the Guardian today of the Prime Minister’s visit to the ICV earlier this week.

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Mufti-gate and pejorative demands of Muslim condemnation

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

Mufti-gate and pejorative demands of Muslim condemnation

Senior Government Ministers were quick to hound the Mufti last week regarding his statement about the Paris attacks. His alleged crime? The omission of an explicit condemnation and the mention of the bleeding obvious: that attacks like those in Paris have causative factors that need to be dealt with. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton went first: “There is no excuse and there is no qualification and the opportunity is there for the grand mufti to … make it very clear that he condemns these acts of terrorism, these murderous acts,...

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Shattering the ‘counter-terrorism’ narrative

Posted by on Nov 1, 2015 in Featured, Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

Shattering the ‘counter-terrorism’ narrative

Australia graciously welcomed Muslims who came here escaping homelands afflicted with conflict or hardship. It gave them rights, freedoms, and a higher standard of living. Many chose to not fully integrate. Some, who practice a more extreme interpretation of Islam, brought with a cause of social tension and terrorism: radical Islam. Originating from western halls of power, and duly parroted by mainstream media, this ‘war on terror’ narrative has been propagated for well over a decade now. Expectedly, many people believe it. But it is patently...

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Demands on Muslims to condemn paper over real culpability

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

Demands on Muslims to condemn paper over real culpability

The politics of condemnation is alive and well in Australian politics and media. In the wake of the Parramatta shooting, the old trope has been mobilised once more, interrogating Muslims and demanding their acquiescence to the government narrative on ‘terrorism’ and ‘radicalisation’. The problem of violence, they must accept, is ‘extremism’ within their own community. This tired narrative, however, only deflects attention and responsibility from the real culprits. Anthony Klan argues that some Muslims sought to capitalise on the Parramatta...

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Hizb ut-Tahrir: separating fact from prejudiced fiction

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

Hizb ut-Tahrir: separating fact from prejudiced fiction

Hizb ut-Tahrir nurtures extremism, justifies terrorism and inspires young people to join Isis. Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in many countries and Australia should follow suit. Hizb ut-Tahrir spreads “discord and division” with impunity. These are the claims made by Tony Abbott and his ministers. Claims. Then there are the facts. No Hizb ut-Tahrir member has been prosecuted (let alone convicted) for a terrorism-related offence. Hizb ut-Tahrir has operated in Australia for over two decades, legally, without contravening a single law. And since the...

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To ban or not to ban: is that the question?

Posted by on Oct 16, 2014 in Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

To ban or not to ban: is that the question?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s dog-whistle politics  have once more brought the “question” of Hizb ut-Tahrir to the table of public debate. It is unfortunate that discussion about Islam and Muslims only finds traction when politicians decide to use them in the cheap politics of fear. The result is that discussion about these matters only seriously takes place in the context of terrorism and security. This is the modern manifestation of an age-old European Orientalism which only ever treated the Muslim as an object of fear and...

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Freedom to Insult? Free Speech as a Liberal Tool of Power

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

Freedom to Insult? Free Speech as a Liberal Tool of Power

I recently participated in a debate on the proposition that “God and His Prophets should be protected from insult.” But, I argued, this proposition is based on the premise of free speech, on the understanding that free speech is the starting point and what remains is to debate its limits. I reject this premise entirely. Free speech is a liberal position, not some neutral universal. So here’s a frank memo to the liberals: enough of the self-indulgence. You don’t represent the default position. Billions of people around...

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The elephant in the room: western violence

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

The elephant in the room: western violence

The Islamophobes are out in number, warning the world about ‘Muslim violence’ in the wake of the attack in London. They are finding the roots of Muslim violence in Islam and the Qur’an (Sheehan, Twisting Islam to justify cruelty), demanding that Muslims take responsibility and help deal with the problem (Howe, Muslims must help fight these terrorists), and impressing on Muslims the need to face the history of Islam and get rid of its bad bits (Kessler, Muslims must face history of Islam). It has already been shown how Islamic texts are...

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Anzac Day and the exceptional response to Muslim critique

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Opinion Pieces | 0 comments

Anzac Day and the exceptional response to Muslim critique

Many Australians spent Anzac Day morning last Thursday standing in solemn remembrance at dawn services around the country. The twilight sun rays penetrating the horizon, the cool breeze of dawn stroking eager faces as eloquent prose pulled at the strings of their emotions. Others spent the morning, in less impressive settings, trying to propel contemplation of another sort. President of the Australian Historical Association, Professor Marilyn Lake, in an Anzac morning interview with Tim Lester, articulated her critique of how Anzac Day...

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