Author: Irfan Yusuf

Unpacking Holy and not-so-Holy War

If you’re like me, you avoid inter-faith dialogue gatherings like the plague. Why? How boring is it to sit on comfortable lounges listening to well-meaning men (and the occasional token woman – we are, after all, taking about patriarchal religion!) talking about what their faith means to them. The only way to stay awake is imagining a voice screaming out: “You’re all a bunch of heathens!” and “Are those Iced Vo-Vos on the table over there? YUM!” Still, boredom is far better than participants grabbing AK-47’x and blowing each other heads off just because we couldn’t be bothered figuring...

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Book Review: Hilarious book by an Iraqi-Iranian-Australian artist

What’s it like to live on the fringes of society, to be an outsider. First, second and third generation Muslim of migrant heritage often complain of being marginalised. But what would it be like to be a marginal person in more than one home country? Osamah Sami’s family knows exactly what this is like. His late father, a religious scholar and leader to a Shia congregation in northern Melbourne, grew up in Iraq as a young man keen on reading foreign newspapers. Tortured by the regime of Saddam Hussein, he fled to Iran. Osamah was born a foreigner. Despite...

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Why should Muslims speak about terrorism?

It’s a common refrain. Muslims in Australia rarely have anything useful to say about terrorism. Each time the Federal Government decides it wants to add yet another layer to the already bulging layers of terrorism law, Muslims (with a few notable exceptions) seem almost disinterested or incapable of making a sensible contribution beyond boycotting meetings with the PM or complaining about racism. It’s as if they cannot address the changing law itself. Then again, few other Australians, including our political leaders, have much sensible to say. Perhaps the only sensible thing our Prime Minister has said on the subject...

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Gallipoli with context: The Turkish story

About a century ago, Australia declared war on the Caliphate. In response, the Caliph called on all Muslims across the world to take part in a jihad on Australia. Actually, it wasn’t that simple. Nothing about the First World War was. High school modern history teachers tell us it started with an assassin’s bullet. Britain, France (and their current and former colonial possessions) and Russia then joined forces and fought Germany, an entity called the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Russia then dragged the Ottoman Caliphate/Empire, previously neutral in all this mess. Finally the Ottomans joined the Germans. And so Australia, a...

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july, 2018

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