What it means to be a “progressive Islamist”

Muslims at Prayer

The Muslim intellectual tradition is full of instances of contestation over the meaning and implications of many of its major concepts — such as sunna (custom or habit), salafism, īmān (belief or faith), tawhīd (oneness or unity), and jihad (struggle), to name but the most prominent few.

It is little wonder, then, that these and other major concepts in the Muslim intellectual tradition have been appropriated throughout Muslim history by various religious and/or political actors, with various degrees of success. Hence certain groups or actors were able to monopolise some of these concepts and came to be regarded — or, indeed, simply to regard themselves — as their most faithful, if not the only legitimate, interpreters.

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UN International Day of Peace

Shaping peace together21st of September every year is the World Day of Peace, as established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. This year, the theme for International Day of Peace is Shaping Peace Together. The Covid-19 crisis has placed many challenges before nations, and calls for joint efforts to provide well-being and peace for citizens of every nation, every continent, our world. Religions for Peace Australia is an active participant in the 2020 United Nations World Day of Peace – Shaping Peace Together.

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Rosh Hashannah (Jewish New Year) and Covid 19

Rosh Hashannah and Covid 19This year, Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – will look a little different. We know it’s difficult to be apart from our communities on these important days, but staying home is the best way to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from coronavirus (COVID-19). This year has served as a reminder of our shared fate. As nations large and soul struggle to maintain life, dignity, and continuity, the truth that what we have in common outweighs that which divides us should serve as a guiding light.

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Citizenship Test to Change

Australan Citizenship Test17 September (today) is Australian Citizenship Day. The Minister for Immigration has announced that new Australians will need to correctly answer questions about domestic violence, equal opportunity and freedom of speech under changes to the citizenship test. The changes to the citizenship test will include a religious values question.

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South Australia: International Day of Peace

Multifaith Association of South Australia LogoThe Multifaith Association of South Australia, in collaboration with Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Living the Change, Pinnacle College and Multicultural Youth Education Support Services will celebrate International Day of Peace at Pinnacle College, Elizabeth East, on Saturday 19 September from 2:00pm

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Tasmania – September 2020

Tasmania Logo

Greetings of peace! A group of interested people have begun to investigate the possibility of Hobart signing on to the Charter for Compassion and thereby taking up the challenge of becoming a Compassionate City.  Australia signed on to the Charter in 2010.  The aim of Charter for Compassion Australia is for Australia to become a Continent for Compassion by 21 September 21, but before that, there is the hope that interested capital cities will commit to the initiative. 

Religions for Peace Tasmania Branch is taking part in the investigation of whether Hobart should become a compassionate city: https://charterforcompassion.org/charter-for-compassion-australia 

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Virtual UN Peace Day with Calm in the City

UN Peace Day MelbourneInternational Day of Peace will be celebrated in Melbourne on Monday 21 September 2020 with an online event. Opening and Closing Reflections to the event will be given by The Honourable Linda Dessau, AC – the Governor of Victoria, and Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp.

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Perth: Muslim Film Festival 2020

Muslim Film Festival 2020Muslim Film Festival 2020 aims to promote inclusion, tolerance, and friendship and introduce Muslim society’s culture and stories to a wider audience. Our program will reflect the diversity and opportunities within Muslim communities in the West and all over the world, through fiction and documentary films, short and long, and our goal is to show films that the audience would otherwise have not seen, and leave a lasting impact. The launch will take place at the State Library of WA, Saturday 5 September 2020 1:00 PM and Saturday 5 September 2020 3:15 PM – coronavirus restrictions permitting.

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Review: Embracing Auschwitz

Book Cover: Embracing AuschwitzI have a cynical friend who claims that there have been more books written about the Holocaust than there were people who perished in it. That is, no doubt, an exaggeration, but it is true that most of the books on this subject sound very much alike. Joshua Hammerman’s Embracing Auschwitz (Ben Yehuda Press) deserves our attention because it is by far the most original book on this subject that has come along in a great many years.

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