Author: Dr Daud Batchelor

Truth-seekers to Islam through the ages

Anselm Turmeda, a prominent 14th Century Franciscan scholar in Europe trained for the priesthood. Once when his ill teacher was absent fellow seminarians discussed meaning of the mysterious ‘Paraclete” whom Jesus in John’s Gospel (14:25-28) explained: “your [Paraclete] whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will call to mind all I gave you.” The similar Greek word ‘Periklutos’ means ‘Ahmed’ in Arabic. Turmeda went to the house of his teacher who asked, “What did you study today?” Turmeda informed on the disagreement about the Paraclete’s identity. He advised the name is known only...

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All Aussies should determine Australia’s future

Whether Australia Day truly represents all Australians has been depicted as a debate between ‘Anglo’ and ‘indigenous’ Australians. Other Australians become marginalised. However, by acknowledging that on 26 January 1788 a thriving 500-year old Aboriginal-Asian engagement existed in northern Australia, characterised by respectful relations, strengthens a role also for Asian, including Muslim citizens.   “One of the greatest achievements of modern Australia is that all citizens, whether they achieved citizenship yesterday or were born here … are absolutely equal in their civic status and before the law.” Muslim Australians have every right to critique prevailing western culture. Our future should...

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Australia’s gambling industry needs major reform

Australians imagine themselves as larrikins who would bet money on which of two flies climbing a wall would be first? It is unsurprising then to discover that Australians have the world’s largest gambling losses per head, far ahead of Hong Kong and Singapore. Australians gambled away $23 billion in 2015 – three times per head more than New Zealanders, 7.5 times more than the British and 10 times more than Americans. Gambling while expensive is poor entertainment. It is virtually a zero-odds game since a NSW or Victorian gambler will mostly not win but lose $3,500 per year –...

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Our Australian-Indonesian destiny

Indonesia, the Muslim world’s largest democracy, contradicts One Nation’s website that “Islam is incompatible with democracy.” Indonesia protects minorities and religious freedoms in its pluralistic Pancasila system adopted by 260 million people of whom 88 percent are Muslims. During my first 1971 visit I was welcomed with open arms and provided great hospitality even by poor households – which promoted my personal acceptance of Islam. Indonesians admired Australia then as we provided key support for their independence.  Our relations since have been volatile although former PM Keating and even Tony Abbott exclaimed that Indonesia is “our most important neighbour.”...

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Well-being is accepting one’s Fitrah state

Muslims acknowledge that God Almighty created everything in the Universe and ordered it following His divine laws.  ‘Fitrah’ means ‘sound human nature’ as God created it. ‘Fatara’ in Arabic means ‘to create.’ Prophet Muhammad (s) clarified this: “There is none born but is created to his true nature (Islam). It is his parents who make him a Jew, Christian or Magian, quite as beasts produce their young with their limbs perfect. Do you see anything deficient in them? Then he quoted the Qur’an, ‘The nature (fitrah) made by Allah in which He has created men; there is no altering...

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march, 2018

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