Author: irfan-yusuf


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Ali’s Wedding: A pre-release film review

Ali’s Wedding: A pre-release film review

A strip of Kufic scripted Qur’anic verse lines the uppermost part of the mosque wall. The congregation is seated before two shaykhs, one having his head circled with a black turban, the other in a white turban.  The black-turbaned cleric attacks the white-turbaned cleric with as much diplomacy as a South Asian mother-in-law. It isn’t working. Notwithstanding his status as a Sayyid (a direct descendant of the Prophet), the congregation is shouting him down in the most insulting fashion before he leaves in a huff and a puff. The scene was very realistic and could have been a scene...

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Lessons from the Nawaz saga

As I write these lines, Maajid Nawaz is getting ready for his Sydney performance. The former Hizb ut-Tahrir cadre from the United Kingdom, jailed in Egypt for 4 years before returning to more HT activism in the UK has now become a poster boy of sorts for Western secular liberalism. The prevailing political orthodoxy among many Muslims is that Nawaz is some kind of evil genius, a Muslim turncoat who has gone to the dark side and sold his soul to the forces of … er … bad mixed metaphors? Apart from a small outfit known as “Muslims for...

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Islam absent from the anti and pro Islam rallies

It was a ridiculously hot afternoon. I was in the passenger seat of my photographer friend’s car. We were driving back from the Melbourne suburb of Melton after attending the Reclaim Australia rally against the building of an Islamic school and a counter rally against racism.  “Any news about what we just saw?” he asked.  I grabbed the phone. The headline read: “Melton protests: Pro and anti-Muslim groups clash”. The sub-editor who wrote the headline clearly standing next to me among crowds shouting and jostling and swearing and throwing punches.   From where I stood, Islam was strangely absent in...

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We need more Muslim writers than doctors and engineers

Yes, you can learn something from otherwise frivolous Facebook discussions. The other day an article appeared in a metropolitan newspaper penned by a Masters student of Pakistani heritage. The article was about what Australian Muslims needed to do about radicalisation. Some people with whom I am Facebook “friends” were not happy with the article. One complained that he had never seen the article’s author around “the community”. Another said that the article’s author was not an “expert” on the subject. As someone who occasionally dabbles in op-eds, I’ve been on the receiving end of such complaints. I’ve also dished...

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Racism: Fun to laugh at

Alex, the 30 year old Greek-Australian boy, is handed a couple of books by his friend. Islam for Dummies is one title. A Qur’an translation is the other. They head into Alex’s parents’ house. Dinner is served and Alex’s father notices the books. In fury, he asks: “Who brought these mussalmanou book here?” Was Alex’s friend recruiting for ISIL? We know similar books were packed by some Sydney boys who headed off to join the new caliphate. We also know that their (perhaps) equal and opposite, far-Right politicians like Geert Wilders and the newly formed Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA)...

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