by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
October 26 – November 2, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Catholic schools in rich
areas to charge higher fees (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 28 - Parents whose children attend Catholic schools in the more affluent areas of Sydney will pay higher fees than those attending schools in poorer areas, and the long-held policy of a flat tuition fee will be abandoned next year.
Ron Williams versus the
school chaplains (Brisbane Times)
Nov 1 - Ron Williams has had two High Court wins against the school chaplaincy program, yet the Abbott government is pressing on, writes Madonna King.
Evolution is real and
God is no wizard, says Pope Francis (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 29 - Pope Francis has continued his habit of making provocative, seemingly progressive statements, while delivering an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Pope Francis says evolution
and Big Bang theories are real; God isn’t ‘a magician with a magic wand’ (news.com.au)
Oct 29 - POPE Francis has declared that “Big Bang” and evolution theories are real and essential to understanding God.
Evolution and creation
both right, says pope (The
Oct 29 - It is possible to believe in both evolution and the Catholic church’s teaching on creation, Pope Francis has said, as he cautioned against portraying God as a kind of magician who made the universe with a magic wand.
Big bang theory does not
exclude role of God in creation, Pope Francis says (ABC
Oct 29 - Scientific theories including the big bang, which says the universe came into being 13.7 billion years ago, and the idea that life developed through a process of evolution do not conflict with Catholic teaching, Pope Francis says.
Philippines honour their dead (The
Nov 2 - Manila (AFP) - Millions across the Philippines packed into cemeteries on Saturday to pay respects to their dead, in an annual tradition that combines Catholic religious rites with the country's penchant for festivity.
Democracy is for
'infidels' Islamic State recruiter tells media (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 29 - A recruiter for the Islamic State militant group has described democracy as for "infidels" and asserted that a "real Muslim" is interested only in "what Islam says", in a rare interview with a German publication.
Bangladesh court orders
Islamist tycoon to hang for war crimes (The West Australian)
Nov 2 - Dhaka (AFP) - A media tycoon who is a key figure in Bangladesh's largest Islamist party was sentenced to death Sunday for war crimes, just days after its leader was ordered hanged for similar offences.
protesting against 'Islamist extremism' clash with German police in Cologne (ABC News)
Oct 28 - Forty-four German riot police were injured in clashes with far-right hooligans rallying against "Islamist extremism" in Cologne.
Iranian woman hanged for
killing man who 'tried to rape her' leaves heartbreaking final message (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 28 - A 26-year-old Iranian woman, who was hanged after being convicted of the murder of the man she said tried to rape her, has left a heartbreaking voice message for her mother in the lead-up to her death.
Islamic State video
places British hostage John Cantlie in Kobane (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 28 - Washington: The Islamic State jihadist group has released a video showing a British hostage, apparently in Kobane, in a bid to disprove that it is losing the battle for the disputed Syrian town.
Islamic State: Kurdish
Peshmerga troops leave Iraq to join battle in Kobane (ABC
Oct 29 - A group of 150 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have left a base in northern Iraq to join the battle in the Syrian border town of Kobane.
ISIS acquires air defence
missile system capable of shooting down passenger airlines, Qatar blamed (news.com.au)
Oct 29 - GERMAN intelligence has now backed coalition forces fears Islamic State has acquired an advanced air defence missile system capable of shooting down passenger airlines.
Clashes erupt as Israeli
police kill Palestinian (The West
Oct 30 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police on Thursday shot dead a 32-year-old Palestinian man suspected of having tried hours earlier to kill a far-right Jewish activist, leading to fierce clashes in East Jerusalem and fears of a new Palestinian uprising.
Kurdish convoy heads to
Syria to take on Islamic State (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 30 - Suruc, Turkey: A convoy of Iraqi peshmerga fighters and weaponry has made its way across south-eastern Turkey en route for the Syrian town of Kobane to try to help fellow Kurds break an Islamic State siege which has defied US-led air strikes.
Palestinian president Abbas decries closure of holy site as
'declaration of war' (ABC
Oct 31 - Israeli police have shot dead a Palestinian man suspected of shooting a prominent Jewish activist.
The Islamic State prisoner and the intelligence chief (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 1 - It came late. But in a brutal, chaotic country, the interrogation of Abu Hajjar was an intelligence success – of sorts.
Boko Haram leader says
kidnapped Nigerian school girls have been 'married off' to fighters (ABC
Nov 1 - A man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau says more than 200 girls kidnapped by the group six months ago have been "married off" to its fighters.
Boko Haram denies it has
agreed ceasefire (The Guardian,
Nov 2 - The Islamist group Boko Haram has denied claims by Nigeria’s government that it has agreed to a ceasefire and will release more than 200 abducted schoolgirls.
Insurgents kill 85 more
members of Iraqi tribe; Kurdish Peshmerga arrive in Kobane with weapons (ABC News)
Nov 2 - Islamic State (IS) has executed another 85 members of the Albu Nimr tribe in Iraq in a mass killing campaign launched last week to further the militant group's territorial advances, a tribal leader and security official say.
IS gives tips on how to
be a good jihadi wife (news.com.au)
Nov 2 - ISIS’s new media wing, The Zora Foundation, is doling out advice to jihadist spouses — instructing them how to be “good wives of jihad,” a British newspaper reports.
Islamic State, Nusra
combine to rout US-backed forces in Syria (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 2 - Istanbul: Islamist militants backed by al-Qaeda have stormed the base of the most prominent civilian commander in the US-backed Syrian rebel force, forcing him and his fighters to flee into the Mount Zawiya region of northern Syria.
Islamic State influence
is growing in Pakistan and Afghanistan (The Australian)
Nov 2 - THE Islamic State is starting to attract the attention of radicals in Pakistan and Afghanistan, raising fears of a potential violent contagion.
School weighs Satanic
colouring book (The West
Oct 31 - The Satanic Temple has submitted a Satanic colouring book and two fact sheets to schools in the US state of Florida, requesting permission to give them out to students in January.
Muslim men over 50 pray
at Jerusalem's Aqsa mosque amid tight security (The West Australian)
Oct 31 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Muslim men over 50 prayed at the Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday amid intense security, a day after Israel closed all access to the sacred compound for the first time in more than a decade following violence on the streets.
lawmakers' restraint over Jerusalem's Aqsa mosque (The West Australian)
Nov 2 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday urged lawmakers to show restraint over Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque, which has been at the heart of rising tension with the Palestinians in recent weeks.
Greek Orthodox Church
bans religious rites at cremations (The
Nov 1 - Athens (AFP) - The Greek Orthodox Church says it will not provide religious rites for those who choose cremation, saying it disrespects the human body.
Sydney teen jihadist
Abdullah Elmir in second IS video as school parents share concerns (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 28 - A teenage jihadist who ran away from his family in Australia to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria, has reportedly appeared in a new video.
could cost export dollars warns food industry expert (ABC
Oct 28 - Social media users have reacted strongly to a pie maker's decision to make some products Halal certified and there are concerns the outburst could cost export dollars.
A burqa ban would have
negative security implications, says ASIO report (Brisbane Times)
Oct 29 - ASIO has found there is no valid security reason to ban the burqa.
Kiwi couple allegedly
assaulted father and son, and told them to go back to Muslim country (news.com.au)
Oct 29 - A LOGAN father and teenage son have been violently assaulted and told to “go back to your f---ing Muslim country” in an attack allegedly committed by a young Kiwi couple.
One in four Australians
has negative attitude towards Muslims: report (ABC
Oct 29 - One in four Australians holds a negative attitude towards Muslims, a national survey has found.
Muslims, murder and
misconceptions: Australia's gaps show in global 'Index of Ignorance' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 29 - Australians are mostly wrong on what our society looks like.
Government trying to
confirm reports Australia's most senior Islamic State terrorist killed (ABC News)
Oct 30 - The Federal Government says it is trying to confirm reports that Australian Islamic State terrorist Mohammad Ali Baryalei has been killed while fighting in the Middle East.
The new cultural
narratives: Russell Brand and Islamic State (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 30 – (Opinion: Sam de Brito) You can say a lot of things about presumed dead Islamic State recruiter Mohammad Ali Baryalei and although not many are complimentary, at the very least, the dude had a story.
US Congressman reveals
chilling details about depraved IS plot in Australia (news.com.au)
Oct 31 - A SENIOR United States congressman has provided chilling new details into the alleged Islamic State terror plot that prompted sudden pre-dawn raids across Australia in September, and increased security levels in the US this week.
Khaled Sharrouf: is he bad, mad or both? (news.com.au)
Oct 31 - LESS than three months after his Twitter photo of his seven-year-old son holding a decapitated head shot him to worldwide infamy, Khaled Sharrouf, a 33-year-old married father of five from the south west suburbs of Sydney remains in Syria.
Muslim youth in WA
determined to hold to faith despite actions of radicalised minority (ABC
Nov 2 - Young Muslim leaders in Western Australia say they will not allow the actions of a radicalised minority to cast a shadow over their community and faith.
Letter from Sydney
sheikh sparked international drama (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 2 - A letter written by a Lakemba sheikh stating that Sydney mother Mahassen Issa was still married under religious law was the catalyst for her being charged with adultery and bigamy while holidaying in Lebanon with her new partner.
Protester wears Ku Klux
Klan outfit to oppose burqas at Parliament House (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 28 - A trio of men have attempted to enter Parliament with one wearing a Ku Klux Klan mask, and the others wearing a niqab and a motorcycle helmet as part of a protest against the burqa.
Parents face jail and
$34,000 fines under Jacqui Lambie's burqa ban proposal (Brisbane Times)
Oct 28 - Muslim parents would be fined tens of thousands of dollars and face jail if they make their teenage girls wear the burqa as part of Palmer United senator Jacqui Lambie's bid to outlaw the headwear in Australia, despite a Parliamentary research paper warning her proposed laws would likely be struck down by the High Court.
New law on intelligence
sharing assists targeting of Aussie jihadists (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 30 - Australia's foreign spies could more easily share intelligence with Defence under proposed new laws, potentially giving the military a greater ability to target Australian citizens fighting with extremists.
Australians fighting for
Isis tracked in Iraq under fresh security proposals (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 30 - Australia’s overseas spy agency will track citizens suspected of fighting alongside Islamic State (Isis) militants and provide this information to the Australian Defence Force (ADF), under the next round of counter-terrorism laws.
description of Christians ‘wide of the mark’ (The Australian)
Nov 2 - THE Australian Christian Lobby’s Lyle Shelton has said Bill Shorten’s speech backing same sex marriage at their conference was “wide of the mark” because of his characterisation of Christians as people who invoke God and Bible to attack blended families and demonise people for who they love.
against SAS corporal who removed hands of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan (ABC News)
Oct 29 - Charges are being considered against a Special Air Service (SAS) corporal over an incident in Afghanistan in 2013 that saw him remove the right hands of three dead Taliban fighters.
Vandals attack Sikh
temple by spraying anti-Islamic slurs on walls (ABC
Oct 30 - A Sikh temple in Perth's east has been vandalised with anti-Islamic slurs.
Al Qaeda threatens
Australian fuel supplies (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 1 - Al Qaeda has urged jihadists to attack oil tankers in two maritime hotspots that supply Australia with up to 70 per cent of its petrol, raising a concern over the nation's near-complete reliance on imported fuel.
working abroad a potential terror target: DFAT (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 1 - Jihadists are encouraging attacks on Australian teachers working abroad, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised expatriates.
From the Archive…