Crisis and Ambiguity

reading koran

Islamist extremists are seeking to radicalize disaffected people on the fringes of society. Yet, in a land of social cohesion, peaceful coexistence and cultural diversity, such things seem far away. It is meet and fitting that Islam be understood as a religion tolerant of ambiguity and the ability to adapt to local conditions without force. We bring you one thoughtful, simple article from a german scholar who makes this point succintly.

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Racism Initiative extends to Shepparton

Report Racism

Report Racism aims to create an environment where you can feel confident and safe to report any cases of racism you experience or witness (including racial discrimination and vilification).

Report Racism is a third party reporting initiative which means that people can report racism online or at a local community organisation as well as directly to Victoria Police or the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

Report Racism is trialling this initiative with the Aboriginal community. The Commission has partnered with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and Victoria Police. Report Racism is being trialled in two locations – Northern Melbourne (City of Yarra, Darebin and Whittlesea) and Shepparton.

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Bendigo Eid Dinner well attended

Bendigo Eid Dinner Approx. 260 persons attended the Bendgio EID Dinner which was a most wonderful opportunity with members of both the Muslim and non-Muslim communities along with locals from Bendigo and guests from Melbourne coming together. There were a total of 15 guest speakers representing different groups and communities demonstrating that Bendigo is a “prosperous multicultural community of people living together in peace and freedom”. ... Read more...

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Shepparton’s new Houses of Worship – Community Centres

Afghani Community Centre SheppartonTwo new worship and community centres are presently under construction and nearing completion in Shepparton. The Afghani Community are constructing a new mosque in Shepparton which will also serve as a Community Centre.

St Paul's Lutheran Church is building a new place of worship. This community has a large number of worshippers from various nations in Africa and the new Church will also have an African House. ... Read more...

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Restoration of the Caliphate is not religious activity

The Shepparton Interfaith Network, along with Imam Yassim Alkarawi of Cobram, have responded to the actions of the self-proclaimed "restoration of the caliphate" and given reflections on what this issue raises for the communities of the Goulburn Valley and the need for dialogue and understanding. The Shepparton Interfaith Network joins in with the Roman Catholic Church's interfaith body - called the Pontificial Council for Interreligious Dialogue - in their condemnation of barbarity and atrocities committed. We seek harmony, cooperation and understanding to the effect that this does not represent the attitudes of the Islamic Communities of the Goulburn Valley.

The Vatican interfaith bureau (called the Pontificial Council for Interreligious Dialogue) has condemned the atrocities accompanying the restoration of the self-declared "caliphate". The Council calls on all people engaged in interreligous dialogue to denounce and condemn the practices of the so-called "caliphate".

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Submission to Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Coat of Arms, Australia

The Shepparton Interfaith Network was invited by the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to appear and make submissions to the Committee during its visit to Shepparton, which took place on Wednesday, 13 August 2014. Appearing for the Shepparton Interfaith Network were the President, Dr Frank Purcell, PhD, and the Secretary, Rev. Chris Parnell. A submission was made to the effect that the constitution, by way of preamble or insertion of a new section into the constitution, should recognise the spiritual dimensions of the cultures, languages and heritages which give purposeful meaning to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Religion and Politics in Australia

The separation of Church and State is the basis on which Australia builds its relationship between religion and politics. This doesn’t mean that our religious beliefs and practices are not allowed to have influence and impact in the public life of our country. This article sets out how religion and politics relate in a country which accepts that there should be a separation of Church and State. ... Read more...

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ISIS – the Challenge for Australia

The declaration by the ISIS jihardist group of an Islamic State, their restoration of the Caliphate and enforcement of a harsh version of Sharia law poses a serious challenge for Muslim and non-Muslim Australians. Part of the challenge will be for Muslim and non-Mulsim Australians to engage in serious dialogue on the key issues raised by this development. ... Read more...

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Religion and State Schools

Dana St School

Religious education in State schools is a highly contested issue in Australia today. Part of the problem arises from the use of school time to allow religious doctrine to be taught by members of religious groups. This article argues that, distinct from religious doctrine, religious studies show the values shared by religious and secular groups. Realising that we share those values is crucial for building social cohesiveness in a multi-cultural, multi-faith society. .

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Five Uniting Religious Principles

Values

It’s disheartening to persons of faith that something as beautiful as religion, which brings so much peace to its adherents, can equally be used to fuel hatred and conflict. But such is the case. One need only think of Sunnis and Shias in Iraq, of Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar, and of the rise of anti-Muslim parties in Europe, even in such supposed bastions of liberalism as Denmark. In this time of Ramadan, when 1.6 billion Muslims enter a special sacred season of discipline and reflection, all people of faith should confront this contradiction.

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Respecting Difference Forum

Racism, it stops with me

On Wednesday 25 June 2014, Greater Shepparton City Council in partnership with the Shepparton Region Reconciliation Group and Ethnic Council Shepparton & District, conducted the Respecting Difference Forum as part of the Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity Project. This took place at the Rumbalara Football and Netball rooms at Mercury Drive.

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