Author: Professor Shahjahan Khan

Autonomy with citizenship for Rohingyas

When the rest of the world, including United Nations (UN) called “textbook ethnic cleansing” of Rohingyas in strife-torn Rakhine State of Myanmar, Head of Myanmar Armed Forces, General Min Aung Hlaing has reiterated his baseless claim that Rohingyas are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, and have no roots in Rakhine, despite living there for centuries.  In November 2016, Mr Yanghee Lee, the UN special investigator on Myanmar, noted that the Myanmar Government  wanted to expel its entire Rohingya population from Rakhine. If the UN or the world community took this matter seriously and acted timely to ensure citizenship of Rohingyas...

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`Marriage equity’ for not married and not equals

According to the Australian Marriage Equity website the demand of the LGBTQIA group is the following:  “We believe a person’s gender or sexuality should not affect their legal rights and responsibilities under Australian marriage law. Our approach to achieving marriage equality is through lobbying, advocacy and education.” The issue from their point of view is achieving legal rights and responsibilities. As citizens, if the state wants to recognize them the legal right, they should enjoy the rights within the legal system. Why would it require ‘marriage equity?’ I believe the phrase ‘marriage equity’ is misleading and deceiving as it...

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Toowoomba Mosque celebrates community harmony

Muslims in Toowoomba came together in large numbers at the Garden City Mosque on Sunday 14 May 2017 with families to meet and greet the members of the wider community marking the 4th Toowoomba Annual International Food Festival together with the Mosque Open Day.  In spite of the forecast for rain, the weather was exceptionally good and there were lots of non-Muslims who came to enjoy the day with members of the mosque and know about Islam and its followers in an open and friendly environment. There were lots of multicultural food items – diverse in look, colour, and...

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Reform is the answer for malaise in AFIC

Many members of the Australian Muslim community are genuinely worried about the future of their umbrella organisation, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).  The ongoing grouping, infighting and lack of respect and trust on the leaders of AFIC may have even made some Muslims seriously thinking to start a new organisation to avoid the repeat of all wrongdoings of AFIC and the potential liabilities resulting from the ongoing legal proceedings. Some others are in the opinion that, as a last attempt to reform AFIC, a completely new leadership should be elected in the upcoming Federal Congress. The team must be fresh without any link to the recent and past infightings. Given the recent history of AFIC elections, the incumbent group is unlikely to create an environment conducive to any fair and noncontroversial elections. Fortunately, recently a wise judge has instructed AFIC to call a Federal Congress and appoint an independent body to conduct the election of a new Executive Committee (EXCO) of AFIC in the Federal Congress to be held from 6-7 May 2017. Refreshed AFIC must avoid all leaders who have brought it to the verge of collapse, especially those who have been frequently changing sides for mysterious reasons, compromising principle, dignity and trustworthiness, and are in the business of one day calling someone enemy and the next day becoming the best friend, and the vice versa....

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How to save AFIC from self-destruction

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), the peak body of all Muslims in Australia, is in its deepest crisis since it came into existence as AFIS in 1963 and later restructured as AFIC in 1976.  Actually, it is at the verge of collapse, if not demise, due to the total failure of its recent leaders, to manage AFIC as the national umbrella organisation of Australian Muslims and its once glorious Islamic schools. The ongoing infighting among its leaders is leading to numerous costly legal battles. Unprecedented lack of trust among the members and leaders of AFIC and universal...

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