keywords: Irfan Yusuf

  • AUSTRALIA

    Dictators, democrats, and Egypt after Morsi

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 24 June 2019
    2 Comments

    Egypt's first and thus far only democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi died in court while being tried for espionage following a lengthy period in prison. He is described as an 'Islamist' but never as a democrat. It's as if the two are necessarily mutually exclusive. Must they be? Was he any less democratic than his predecessors?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Lessons from GetUp in how not to do activism

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 23 May 2019
    9 Comments

    The most successful political movements are those flexible enough to co-opt the rhetorical and ideological tropes of their opponents. The ones which fail are those which insist on ideological purity. They may be well-resourced, have plenty of volunteers and ambitious programs. But all this may count for little if they cannot sell their ideas.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    On romping racists and far-left extremists

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 25 January 2018
    4 Comments

    The antecedents of Right-White Nationalism have, over three decades, entered mainstream Australian discourse. In Romper Stomper, it is represented by far-right group Patriot Blue, and a TV shock jock resembling those that Peter Dutton speaks to. But Romper Stomper doesn't pretend violence is the monopoly of the right.

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  • RELIGION

    Pondering Palestine at a Tokyo Christmas Mass

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 14 December 2017
    4 Comments

    Last year I spent Christmas at St Andrew's. There was incense, holy communion and a whole heap of stuff that would horrify many Sydney Anglicans. Which is their bad luck because this St Andrew's was the Cathedral Church of the Tokyo Diocese of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai. I doubt Henry VIII imagined a diocese with a name like that!

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Yes-voting Muslims push minority solidarity

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 17 November 2017
    17 Comments

    During the month of Muharram, the No message was being handed out at mosques and spoken from the pulpits. Yet many Muslims voted Yes not because we wanted to reinvent the Islamic idea of marriage, but because the scriptures teach that we should stand up for justice even if it goes against our families and ourselves.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ramadan: the fast and the flatulent

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 29 May 2017
    12 Comments

    You need not believe everything you read in the Herald Sun or an ISIS press release. Islam isn't just about armed jihad and violence against infant genitalia. Islam does have a spiritual side, and Ramadan is inherently spiritual, full of prayer and fasting and hardly any horizontal bedtime action. The theory behind all this deprivation is that if you're hungry and thirsty and sex-deprived between sunrise and sunset for an entire month, you'll gain a spiritual high that should last you the rest of the year.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Marr withers 'White Queen' Pauline

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 05 April 2017
    16 Comments

    Hanson doesn't pretend to be religious. Her anti-Islam agenda isn't inspired by some rightwing evangelical passion like Danny Nalliah's nor by a conservative moralistic Catholicism like Cory Bernardi's. But she clearly can feel the pulse of many in the electorate who worry about terrorism and national security. Hanson's politics really only work when there is a 'them' for 'us' to worry about. But where does she get this idea that Islam is not a religion but an ideology?

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  • RELIGION

    My mother's burqa: an irreverent history

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 14 December 2016
    2 Comments

    Some of my South Asian 'aunties' are very much opposed to wearing any religious head covering. Mum has only recently started wearing a tiny Egyptian number she picked up during her last Haj. Like many South Asians, she has become a bit more religiously observant as she gets older. She grew up in the Indian university town of Aligarh, some 140km South East of Delhi. Aligarh was a very conservative town, and her father, a professor at the local university, was a rather conservative chap.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Left doesn't own the fight against racism

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 15 November 2016
    8 Comments

    Cultural totalitarianism, embodied in Trump in the US and Hanson in Australia, is a major injustice of our age. To fight it effectively, we have to enter into coalitions with those whose opinions we otherwise find distasteful. An anti-racism rally with only leftwing speakers is not going to make as big an impact as one with speakers across the spectrum. To insist the fight against racism is necessarily a leftwing issue is in some ways its own form of cultural bigotry.

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  • RELIGION

    Sheikh Fehmi talked me out of going to war

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 04 October 2016
    11 Comments

    Fehmi Naji El-Imam, the former Grand Mufti of Australia who died last month, taught us at a time when we had no internet and books on Islam were limited. Politicised religion was all the craze. In Afghanistan, a coalition of local militias and foreign fighters, the Mujahideen, were receiving support from Western leaders. Conservative politicians praised them for taking on those nasty Soviet Communists. It was easy to be carried away, to have one's faith shaped by overseas events. I almost did.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mixed loyalties don't negate Australianness

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 25 January 2016
    11 Comments

    I arrived in Australia at the ripe old age of five months. I learned Australian values by a process of gentle osmosis. Many Indigenous Australians learned these values in a less gentle fashion. Today, many Australian Jews show a strong loyalty to the world's only Jewish state. Others combine loyalties with other ancestral homelands. Australian Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists and Hindus have similar broadened loyalties. Exactly how such loyalties make them any less Australian beats me.

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  • RELIGION

    Who cares for lonely white Muslim converts?

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 24 June 2015
    10 Comments

    A poorly-organised ill-resourced minority community often feels it has better things to worried about than 'white' converts who, like converts to any faith or belief system are known for their zeal. If the government really imagines young Muslims and converts are ripe for 'radicalisation', an excellent investment they could make would be in support services for new Muslims. In our lucky country, there is much loneliness in this group and many reasons to feel marginalised.

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