Author: irfan-yusuf

Righteous deception: Lessons from a movie and Seerah

Imagine this scenario. A dangerous enemy is threatening your community with violence. You have the opportunity to infiltrate that enemy, enter its ranks and manipulate it into action in a self-destructive manner. In doing so, you are risking your personal safety. Your cover might be blown. Members of the enemy may be suspicious of each other, but they are likely more suspicious of a newcomer. Or even of an oldcomer behaving differently. This is the story behind Denzel Washington’s latest movie BlacKkKlansman. Washington’s son plays a rooky detective of African American heritage who infiltrates the viciously racist Ku Klux...

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Glorifying Western Civilisation: What’s the point?

I’m in the final year of my PhD. It’s been a long tertiary education road, tempered by less educational pursuits such as practising law and writing a silly memoir. And it all started down the road from my parents’ house at Macquarie University. I wasn’t exactly an activist sort of undergraduate student. I found the earnestness of revolutionary leftwing students rather silly and in many cases hypocritical. How could they support socialism and communism after what these forces did to the Afghans during the 1980’s? Yes, I wasn’t very fond of the United States in many things, but it...

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Cheap Dates! product of Israel?

In 1990 I was elected president of my tiny Uni Muslim Students’ Association (MSA). We had no prayer room. Most of our members were Indonesian international students. I could barely understand their accents, nor they mine, making it hard organising activities with them. During Ramadan the other MSA’s with their big prayer halls had organised massive iftar feasts. I contacted one of the Indonesian MSA members. “Listen, guys. We need to put on a big feast. Are you guys ready?” “Brother, I am your sister in faith. I am not a guy,” Siti Aziza replied. “Don’t worry, we have...

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Turkish-Australian author Demet Divaroren raises her voice

Demet Divaroren arrived in Australia from Adana in Turkey in 1981 when she was a mere 6 months old. Turkey was in the midst of an upheaval. The scenes she describes in her blog are frightening: “650,000 people were taken into custody and 230,000 people were put on trial; 517 people received the death penalty and 50 people were hanged; 4,000 years of prison time was requested for 400 journalists while 31 journalists were jailed. Newspapers couldn’t print for 300 days and 39 tons of newspapers and periodicals were destroyed”. All this was a prelude to military rule that...

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Swinging Safari: A personal view

I’m a child of the 70’s. Born in 1969 in Karachi, my parents dragged me kicking and screaming to Sydney. My parents bought me a bike when I was 7 years old, and I was only allowed to ride it up and down my short street. I rode past the guys and gals standing next to their Sandman panel van with the surfboard on top. “Howya goin”, one of the girls would say. I was too shy to respond. Plus mum told me how bad “gori larkiyan” (white girls) were. In fact, within our small South Asian community (consisting...

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