by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
February 15 - 22, 2015
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Australia's top rabbi
resigns after revelations at royal commission (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 - Australia's most senior rabbi has resigned days after revelations at a royal commission that he called the father of three child abuse victims a "lunatic".
Australia's top rabbi resigns after giving
evidence at sex abuse royal commission (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 16 - The most senior rabbi in Australia has resigned, days after appearing before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
Jewish community failed
over abuse (The Age,
Feb 21 - As Melbourne's Jewish congregations gather in synagogues for Saturday's Sabbath, many feel shattered and shamed by the grim truths exposed during hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
Brisbane’s St Laurence’s
College apologises for sex abuse of boys (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Feb 21 - A BRISBANE Catholic boys’ school has apologised “unreservedly” to students who suffered sexual assaults during the school’s history.
bishop recovers in Orange hospital after mild heart scare (ABC
Feb 20 - The Anglican Bishop of Bathurst, Ian Palmer, is in Orange Hospital after suffering chest pains during a meeting on Saturday morning.
Pope appoints 20 new
cardinals, tells them to be humble, work for justice (ABC
Feb 15 - Pope Francis has appointed 20 new cardinals at a ceremony in the Vatican, including many from developing countries, telling them their high rank is a call to be humble and work for justice.
‘Transgender people are like nuclear weapons’ (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Feb 22 - POPE Francis has said he isn’t in a position to judge gay people. However that clearly doesn’t extend to the transgender community.
Police blame Danish
native in terror spree (The Age,
Feb 16 - Copenhagen: After killing a Danish film director in a Saturday afternoon attack on a Copenhagen cafe and then a Danish Jew on night guard at a synagogue, the 22-year-old gunman responsible for Denmark's worst burst of terrorism in decades unleashed a final fusillade outside a four-story apartment building before dawn Sunday.
Fears grow in Denmark of
jails as radicalist breeding grounds (The West Australian)
Feb 19 - Copenhagen (AFP) - Something happened in prison to Omar El-Hussein, the 22-year-old identified by police as the gunman who killed two people in a weekend shooting spree in Copenhagen.
shootings, Norway's Muslims and Jews link up (The West Australian)
Feb 22 - Oslo (AFP) - Norwegian Muslims organised a peace vigil in Oslo Saturday in a show of solidarity with Jews a week after fatal shootings in Denmark targeted a synagogue and free speech seminar.
Coalition fighting ISIL
to launch worldwide information assault (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 - The US-led coalition fighting Islamic State on the battlefields of Iraq is about to launch hostilities on a new front, with a coordinated, worldwide information assault.
Islamic State video
shows beheadings of Egyptian Christians taken hostage in Libya (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 - Cairo: A video released by the Islamic State appeared to show the mass beheading of a group of Egyptian Christians by fighters in a recently formed Libyan arm of the militant group.
IS beheadings: Christian
Copts killed in Libya (news.com.au)
Feb 16 - EGYPT has launched seven airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Libya after the extremist group released a grisly video showing the beheading of several Coptic Christians it had held hostage for weeks.
Egypt strikes back at
Islamic State militants after beheading video, killing dozens (Brisbane Times)
Feb 16 - CAIRO: Egypt said it bombed Islamic State targets inside Libya, a day after the group released a video appearing to show the beheading of 21 Egyptians there.
ISIS: By our clicks we
give oxygen to terrorists (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 – (Opinion: Peter Hartcher) The barbarians of so-called Islamic State are succeeding in inspiring acts of deadly violence in a lengthening list of countries, including Western ones.
India PM slams religious
violence after church attacks (The
Feb 17 - New Delhi (AFP) - India's Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday promised a crackdown on religious violence and freedom of worship for all faiths after a series of attacks on churches.
Barack Obama unveils
programs to fight lure of Islamic State, extremist groups (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 19 - Washington: President Barack Obama on Wednesday outlined his administration's efforts to counter what he calls "violent extremism" in a speech to law enforcement, community and religious leaders gathered to discuss how to prevent groups like Islamic State from recruiting disaffected young people.
Barack Obama adamant: US
not at war with Islam (The Age,
Feb 19 - The wary words the White House uses to describe jihadists pale in comparison with Islamic State's vivid videos and appeal to the young.
Obama rejects as 'ugly
lie' notion that West at war with Islam (The West Australian)
Feb 20 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday urged countries to tackle violent Islamist militancy around the world and rejected as "an ugly lie" suggestions that the West was at war with Islam and embroiled in a clash of civilizations.
Obama was wrong: IS
extremists seek glory, not better jobs (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 20 – (Opinion: David Brooks) Extremism is a spiritual phenomenon, a desire for loftiness of spirit gone perverse.
Obama cites Sydney siege
in summit speech (news.com.au)
Feb 20 - US President Barack Obama has cited the deadly Sydney siege in a speech to world leaders and officials at a Washington DC summit aimed at countering violent extremism.
Concrete steps go AWOL
at US summit for combating violent jihadism (The Australian)
Feb 21 - THE US sought to unite nations around a common vision for combating violent jihadist groups in three days of talks that ended yesterday long on words but short on concrete steps.
attracted by violence, not Islam, says International Crisis Group head (The Age,
Feb 20 - Many of today's Islamist terrorists are not motivated by religious ideology but by the lure of joining a violent cause, says one of Europe's leading experts in international crisis management.
Beheading of Christians
in the Middle East long predates the invasion of Iraq (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 21 – (Opinion: Rupert Shortt) The beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya by forces sympathetic to Islamic State over recent days is sadly not an isolated case.
Islamic State boss Abu
Bakr al-Baghdadi's school report card found (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 20 - Washington: The certificate from Samarra High School for Boys shows a student strong in mathematics and geography.
Triple bombings kill at
least 42 in eastern Libya, attacks claimed by Islamic State (ABC
Feb 21 - Militants claiming loyalty to the Islamic State militant group killed 42 people in suicide car bombings in eastern Libya on Friday, in apparent retaliation for Egyptian air strikes.
Fears for Syria-bound
London schoolgirls suspected of trying to join Islamic State (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 21 - London: Three schoolgirls have fled the UK in a suspected bid to travel to Syria and join the Islamic State group.
The Islamic State
threatens to come to Rome; Italians respond with travel advice (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 21 - In a recently released video that showed the killing of 21 Christians in Libya, all but one of them Egyptian, the Islamic State issued an ominous warning: "Today we are south of Rome," one masked militant said. "We will conquer Rome with Allah's permission."
Pakistan terror wave
sparks rare criticism of Saudi Arabia (The West Australian)
Feb 21 - Islamabad (AFP) - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long enjoyed close relations, but Islamabad's new-found resolve for fighting the root causes of extremism has seen the Gulf state come in for rare criticism.
Bali nine: priest says
awaiting death is torture, maybe causing insanity (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 19 - Seven years ago Irish priest Charlie Burrows witnessed the execution of two Nigerian heroin smugglers on Nusakambangan, the remote penal island where Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran will also be shot dead.
Mongolia mummy find
highlights Buddhist 'living gods' tradition (The West Australian)
Feb 20 - Ulan Bator (AFP) - For more than a century he sat in a meditative pose in remote western Mongolia before being thrust into the spotlight by an unscrupulous thief.
– it's sudden, secret and unexpected (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 15 - The slide into religious radicalisation takes just three to six months and usually happens in secret, Muslim youth workers have revealed.
Australian man joins
'self sacrificers' group Dwekh Nawsha fighting militants in Iraq (ABC
Feb 16 - An Australian man has joined a Christian militia fighting against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group in northern Iraq.
graffiti sprayed on Perth mosque in third attack in eight months (ABC
Feb 16 - White supremacist graffiti has been sprayed on the walls of a Perth mosque in the latest anti-Muslim attack on the building.
Ipswich woman charged
over Muslim hate attacks online (The
Feb 18 - Human rights activist Mariam Veiszadeh has become accustomed to her share of religious vilification as a Muslim Australian woman who proudly wears her hijab daily.
IS terrorist's Sydney father
charged with foreign bribery (Brisbane
Feb 20 - A building company owned by one of Australia's most wanted terrorists, Mohamad Elomar, has been implicated in a foreign bribery investigation.
Islamic State: Perth
university student Muhammed Sheglabo joins fighters in Middle East (ABC
Feb 21 - A Perth university student has left Australia to join the Islamic State terrorist group, becoming the first known recruit for the militants from Western Australia.
Jewish security group
not fearful of Melbourne attacks (The
Feb 16 - A security team tasked with protecting the Jewish community does not fear religious violence in Melbourne, despite a deadly attack at a Danish synagogue.
Strathfield War Memorial
Synagogue heritage listing granted, but Jewish relics already removed (ABC
Feb 21 - One of western Sydney's last synagogues has been granted heritage protection, but the vote has come too late to save historic Jewish relics at the site.
Bomb scare at St Kilda
East synagogue (Sydney Morning
Feb 22 - A synagogue has been reopened after a suspicious package found on the St Kilda East premises turned out to be a parcel of fruit.
Prime Minister Tony
Abbott accused of bullying Muslim leader Ibrahim Abu Muhammad (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 22 - Dozens of Muslim leaders and organisations around the country have hit out at the Prime Minister Tony Abbott for "bullying" the mufti of Australia and Islamic groups that criticise his government.
When is kinky sex not
kinky sex? When it's Fifty Shades of Grey... (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 17 – (Opinion: Claire Bowen) I'm on the train and the person across from me is reading That Book; the religiously repressed treatise on misogyny packaged as a risqué rebellious romance with ropes.
banned from practising due to views on homosexual relationships (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 18 - A Catholic psychologist is now banned from practising until further notice because of his public statements opposed to homosexual relationships.
hospital chaplain also committed to fire fighting (ABC
Feb 21 - Buddhist priest Alan Piercey is a hospital chaplain in Burnie, a fireman with his local brigade in Penguin and a one-time purveyor of chocolate.
Sect leader Debra
Burslem convinced followers to give her millions (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Feb 22 - QUEENSLAND sect leader Debra Burslem told followers that God wanted her to have a new Mercedes and a luxury Spanish villa.
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