The Parable of the Good Muslim: Feeling Safe in Australia

goodmuslimThe parable of the Good Samaritan is a sobering challenge to people who should know better … Some right leaning Christian politicians and commentators were not satisfied when a wise man told them you should love your neighbour as yourself. “And who is my neighbour,” they asked. The wise man replied: A conservative Member of Parliament was walking back home from church …
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Beyond Belief: Hugh Mackay to speak in Shepparton

beyondbeliefSocial researcher, author and commentator, Hugh Mackay, will present a challenging, sometimes confronting, but most of all enlightening account of the messages in his two latest books Beyond Belief (2016) and The Art of Belonging (2014) at Harder Auditorium on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 7 pm.
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Radio National: Is religious violence a scrap in backyard compared to secular violence?

uswhiteAs Islamic extremists explode bombs and spray bullets across Baghdad and Bangladesh, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, it’s surely impossible to deny the reality of religious violence.

But renowned religious scholar William Cavanaugh of De Paul University in the United States disputes the idea. His book, The Myth of Religious Violence: Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict, argues that violence in the name of faith is no greater, maybe even less, than religion in the name of secular ideologies.

Bill Cavanaugh is in Australia this month to speak at a conference at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, and at the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney. How does he explain the latest bout of Islamist carnage if it isn’t religious?

You and listen to this podast on ABC Radio National.


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Open Letter on Occasion of Eid

eidmuburakThe Shepparton Interfaith Network writes an open letter to the Islamic Community of Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley. The month of Ramadan – observed by the Islamic Community of the Goulburn Valley – has passed and today is the day of Eid-al-Fitr, the conclusion of the Holy Month. The Shepparton Interfaith Network offers the acclamation Eid Mubarak! to all muslims of the Goulburn Valley. Blessings on your Feast Day and throughout the Year!
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The 2016 National NAIDOC Poster Competition

balzanArtists entering the competition were asked to submit an artwork which represented their interpretation of this year’s NAIDOC theme – Songlines –The living narrative of our nation. There was a great response to this year’s competition. While more than 100 outstanding entries were received, the Committee was unanimous in its selection of Ms Balzan’s artwork. Lani Balzan is a proud Aboriginal woman from the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales (NSW) and this year’s 2016 National NAIDOC Poster Competition Winner. Her winning artwork titled, Songlines tie all Aboriginal people together, represents all of the Songlines coming together to create our nation.Read more…

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Shepparton: NAIDOC WEEK ACTIVITIES

Shepparton: NAIDOC WEEK ACTIVITIES
songlinesNAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week is an Australian observance lasting from the first Sunday in July until the following Sunday. NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.[2] The week is celebrated not just in the Indigenous communities but also in increasing numbers of government agencies, schools, local councils and workplaces. In 2016, Naidoc Week will run from Sunday, 3 July until Sunday, 10 July 2016. Shepparton will celebrate NAIDOC Week 2016 with many local events.
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Update: Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into End of Life Choices

inquiryFollowing last month’s release of the final report of the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into End of Life Choices, the Victorian Government has released a position paper Simplifying medical treatment decision making and advance care planning. The position paper explains new legislation the Government is developing on substitute decision making and advance care planning. The legislation’s development honours a pre-election commitment and is consistent with the Parliamentary Committee’s finding that the current legal framework for substitute decision-making and advance care planning needs to be updated and simplified.

Government is interested in feedback on the best ways to plan for and implement the legislative changes and invites feedback via email at acp.responses@dhhs.vic.gov.au. Feedback closes at 4pm on Friday 29 July 2016.


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The Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga

tenzin-gagaEvery now and then, we hear about a “new voice in the neighbourhood” and it turns out that the so-called new voice is the voice of youth. And the Dalai Lama – along with his friend Desmond Tutu – often spend time listening to youth. And this time, the Dalai Lama was with one of the well-known icons of youth, Lady Gaga, who frequently represents gender fluidity. Here, the Dalai Lama, Lady Gaga, and the billionaire business tycoon Philip Anschutz shared a stage on Sunday during a panel presentation for The United States Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis.
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World Council of Churches

todayRefugees assume serious risks in trying to reach safety. At the same time, fears arise in European countries concerning the stability of societies and their ‘way of life’. These fears are increasingly used and manipulated by populist, nationalist political movements stoking the fire of insecurity and xenophobia. The so-called refugee crisis is treated as a security issue rather than a humanitarian one, and this has to be challenged; this is preventing progress gives reason to the fear people have, as real needs are not met, writes the Luntern Conference of the World Council of Churches.
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PM holds national Iftar in Sydney

turnbullPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted a Ramadan Iftar on Thursday evening 16 June at Kirribilli House, Sydney, a first by an Australian Prime Minister. The invited guests included Muslim leaders and young activists from all states as well as interfaith representatives from Sydney. Mr Turnbull greeted Muslims saying, “I am honoured to be the first Australian Prime Minister to host an Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan. To the approximately five hundred thousand Muslim Australians across our country and to more than one and half billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan Kareem.”

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Islamic Scholar: There is a cancer in our midst

cancerIslamic Scholar Dr. Al-Ninowy of Medina Institute and head of six seminaries, has told: Yet again we find ourselves condemning the irrational and ungodly actions of a madman who was misguided by a wicked and corrupt social and/or political ideology that twists and misinterprets Islam to justify what can only be termed as satanic actions. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones during this moment of intense sadness.

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Sacred Earth, 2016

sacred earthLast December, representatives of 196 nations did something they’d never before been able to accomplish before. Gathered in Paris, they reached an international agreement on climate change. Together our faith communities were at the heart of making this happen. But there is still more to do. Sacred Earth is a worldwide spiritual event taking place on June 12, 2016. There are events in Australia. This event spans many faith traditions.
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Refugee Week: Australia’s Migration and Australia’s welcome

refugeeweekRefugee Week will be celebrated from Sunday, 19 June to Saturday, 25 June, 2016. In observance of Refugee Week, the Shepparton Interfaith Network in collaboration with GOTAFE Multicultural Education Centre will present a seminar and discussion on Australia’s Migration and Australia’s Welcome at the Harder Auditorium on Tuesday 21 June, 2016.

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The Month of Ramadan

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Ramadan did not become a religious obligation for Muslims until the year 624. The obligation to fast is explained in the second chapter of the Quran: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint … Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran … and so, in the year 2016 the Muslim communities of the Goulburn Valley commence the month of Ramadan.
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Refugee Week Movie: Desert Flower

filmposter-dfa

Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey of a Desert Nomad is an autobiographical book written by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller, published in 1998 about the life of Somali model, Waris Dirie. In 2009, a german movie adapation was made. This movie will be screened free during Refugee Week 2015, and is sponsored by the Greater Shepparton Women’s Charter Alliance Advisory Committee.

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