Entries Tagged 'Debate' ↓

Let Nalliah speak

The greatest enemy of absurdity is its own voice. It is essential therefore that those with extreme and absurd views be encouraged to speak them as often as possible. Rather than seek to stifle their voice or to remove a platform for their views, one should be provided:

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Another prescient example of this is Danny Nalliah, pastor of the fringe church “Catch the Fire Ministries“. Nalliah has previously been alleged to have expressed the desire for God to burn down mosques. For this and other comments Nalliah was taken to VCAT by the Islamic Council of Victoria for inciting religious hatred. The ICV action was a failure both legally and in the wider court of public opinion. It allowed Nalliah to portray himself as the victim of a secretive religion which was furiously trying to avoid scrutiny as it infiltrated the nation. Money, sympathy and support flooded into Catch the Fire Ministries and Nalliah became a celebrity in the Evangelical community. The federal treasurer Peter Costello appeared on stage with Nalliah and embraced him, as did the then deputy Prime Minister John Anderson.

The case was finally settled earlier this year, with a points victory to Nalliah. This has allowed him the confidence to discover his voice once more and to bless us with the profound insights that can come to those whom God speaks to directly.

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Austrolabe debates: Islamic schools

As Muslim communities have rapidly grown in the West there has been a proliferation of Islamic schools. These are schools where the state curriculum is taught to Muslim students in an “Islamic” environment accompanied by parallel Islamic education.

We have examined the issues involved in previous posts; here, here and here

The question that we ask our readers is:

Are Muslim pupils better served in Islamic schools or rather should they seek education in other independent or government schools?

Austrolabe Debates: When it comes to community organisations, is more less?

This week, we ask the question: when it comes to community organisations and projects, is more less?

In many Muslim communities around the world, the plethora of different groups and organisations is often lamented as a cause or perhaps sign of our disunity. Why, it is asked, do we need several organisations each holding lectures or running classes? Why do we need several organisations each attempting to represent Muslim interests to the general public, government or the media? Why must each group pursue its own objectives, acquire its own resources, hold its own conferences and so on?

However, an alternative view might be that what we see as disunity is really just healthy competition between people and groups with competing ideas and objectives about what should be done and how it should be done; and, like in other areas of life, this competition between Islamic groups, sects and organisations has led to some improvements in the range, quality and reach of products and services. Can we ever really be ‘united’ as a community and is it even something we should work towards?

What do you think?

Austrolabe Debates: Is there value in ‘buying Muslim’?

Rather than post the weekly open thread that is commonplace on many blogs and invite readers to comment, we thought it might be more interesting to post a topic for open discussion. Each Friday, we will pick a particular issue or question and post it up for discussion and debate.

This week, the topic is:

It is often said that Muslims should buy from Muslim businesses. It is better, the argument goes, that our money stays within the Muslim community and we support our co-religionists even if it might mean paying slightly more or settling for less in other respects. However, an opposing argument says that we should buy the product or service that best suits our needs in terms of cost, quality and aesthetic value regardless of who produced it.

So, what do you think?