Am I Charlie?

Andrew Hamilton, consulting editor of Eureka Street has written the following op-ed piece: The Martin Place killings and the Paris murders had one thing in common. They both generated hashtags.  #Illridewithyou and #JesuisCharlie (or #IamCharlie) focused popular response to the atrocities. Their simplicity allowed people to express instantly their solidarity with victims and their rejection of violence. But they also raised complex questions.

#Illridewithyou responded to the fear that in the aftermath of the Martin Place siege Muslim Australians would suffer vilification. The hashtag rejected divisiveness in the community and asserted solidarity with its potential targets. But some critics believed that it made a premature and ungrounded judgment of widespread xenophobia in the Australian community, and was even likely to create the response that it feared. Others claimed it obscured the connection they made between Islamic beliefs and the violence.

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Pier Festival 2015

Multicultural Arts Victoria will present the 4th Piers Festival on Sunday 25th January 2015 (over the Australia Day weekend) at the Port Melbourne piers precinct, featuring a diverse range of music, dance, food, forums and historical exhibitions that celebrate and reflect on the collective migration stories at this significant entry point where almost half of the 180,000 post World War II refugees to Australia arrived. The Piers Festival brings to life the Port Melbourne piers precinct, celebrating the pivotal role it played from 1915 to 1969 in Victoria’s growth and as a gateway to the diversity of cultures that enrich our community. ... Read more...

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Attacks on Charlie Hebdo Offices in Paris

Je Suis Charlie

The Shepparton Interfaith Network is saddened by the terror attacks at Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

These acts do not reflect the harmony and integration we experience in the Goulburn Valley among our many faith communities.

These acts are a betrayal of Islamic values and principles.

The Shepparton Interfaith Network sends condolences and prayers to the loved ones of those killed, those wounded, and the French people.




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The Sunni – Shia Divide

An ancient religious divide is helping fuel a resurgence of conflicts in the Middle East and Muslim countries. Struggles between Sunni and Shia forces have fed a Syrian civil war that threatens to transform the map of the Middle East, spurred violence that is fracturing Iraq, and widened fissures in a number of tense Gulf countries. Growing sectarian clashes have also sparked a revival of transnational jihadi networks that poses a threat beyond the region. We present a video from the Council for Foreign Relations. … Read more…

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The Buddhist Leap of Faith

Buddhist prayer beads

One of the recurring debates surrounding the practice of Buddhism in the West concerns faith and the role it has in the religion. In many Buddhist commentaries available in the West, Buddhism is often contrasted with other religions in that the practice of faith is treated as secondary - or, according to some, doesn't exist at all.

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Festive Carols and Fireworks, Shepparton.

2014 Carols by Candlelight, Shepparton The 40th Celebration of Carols by Candlelight took place at Queens Gardens on the night of 21 December, before a festive crowd. There was much anticipation for the arrival of Santa, and the fireworks display. The fireworks lit up the night sky and was a stunning spectacle. The carols booklet had many stories of Carols by Candlelight from past years, and remembrances from participants. The fireworks display was sponsored by Goulburn Murray Credit Union. Photos from the festival of carols can be viewed. ... Read more...

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Shepparton has runs on the board when it comes to Tolerance

Frank Purcell

In the wake of the Sydney siege and its potential backlash against Muslims, Shepparton academic and retired priest Frank Purcell remained positive and pointed to the lessons of history.

‘‘Australia has a long tradition of tolerance — and Shepparton is 50 years ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to accepting people from different religions and cultures,’’ Mr Purcell said.

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FAITH LEADERS CALL FOR PEACE AND UNITY

fccv

Shepparton Interfaith Network extends compassion and prayers to all involved in the recent Sydney siege. Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley have been touched to the core by the recent events in Sydney. Members of Shepparton Interfaith Network are involved with the Victorian Council of Churches and the Faith Communities Council of Victoria. A press release from Faith Victoria is given below.

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Six lessons learned from Tunisia’s recent elections

elections in tunisia

ISIS is not the only option being taken in Islamic countries. An article in the German website, Qantara de, reports that, in spite of numerous setbacks over the last three years, the Arab Spring is bearing fruit. According to Egyptian journalist and professor Khalil al-Anani, the Tunisian experiment once again proves that Tunisia is a long way ahead of the other Arab countries undergoing transformation

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Scarboro Missions Resources

Scarboro Missions

In recent years, the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department in Toronto, Canada has committed itself to building a website featuring curriculum and useful educational resources for interfaith work. These resources include online courses, toolkits, best practices, do-it-yourself workshops, activities, multifaith prayer services, guidelines, games, meditations, Powerpoint, etc.

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Growing up Sikh

Meji Singh did not grow up in the Sikh diaspora but in the religion’s homeland, India’s Punjab, in a family spiritually grounded in daily Sikh practice. But he has spent more than two-thirds of his life in the United States preoccupied with children and young adults, learning, and how to create mentally healthy communities. In this article, Meji Singh talks about Growing Up Sikh. ... Read more...

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