Friday, 24 September 2010

Friday prayers...watching Islam in Australia

  • The Defence Department confirmed last week that locals turned on Australian soldiers in Afghanistan after rumours spread that they were burning the Koran regularly. One person (not an Australian soldier) was killed;
  • Take a look at this effort - courtesy of the Australian Curriculum Studies Association and Melbourne University's Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies - to have provide resources for teachers so that “every Australian school student would be taught positive aspects about Islam and Muslims — and that Australia is a racist country". The leaflet explains that the school curriculum often contains references to things - such as Christian religious and celebrations including birthday parties - that cause concern to Muslim parents. Teachers have a responsiblity, they argue to adapt the curriculum if necessary to address these concerns...It even suggests teaching children a poem called Allah, which starts "I tried to find Him on the Christian cross, but He was not there..."
  • The burqa debate in NSW is off and running. A pro-burqa rally, complete with denunciations of Western values, received front page coverage in the SMH on Monday.  Elizabeth Farrelly has a useful piece in the SMH on just why the burqa does raise real concerns;
  • Muslims have warned the Labor Party not to take them for granted - and pointed out that Muslim voters now make up 17% of electors in the seat of Blaxland, Paul Keating's old seat.

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