Religion News Australia

August 7 – 14, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Ramy review – Mahershala Ali dials this outstanding comedy up to 11 (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 13 – This sitcom about a directionless millennial Muslim has long gone where other shows wouldn’t dare.


Private boys school accused of trying to ‘shoehorn’ campus into inner west (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 14 – A prestigious private school on the north shore plans to set up a campus for year 9 boys in Sydney’s inner west, amid concerns about traffic chaos during school drop-off and pick-up.


Australian academic, once held captive by the Taliban, praises regime on return to Afghanistan (ABC News)
Aug 14 – An Australian academic previously held hostage by the Taliban has returned to Afghanistan to “celebrate” the regime’s one year in power.

An Afghan girl’s despair over school ban: ‘We are wilting away at home’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 14 – (Opinion: Farzana) Last year I was in 11th grade, the second highest-placed student in my class, with an average grade of 95%. Now I sit at home all day doing almost nothing.

Religious Violence

Salman Rushdie punched, stabbed on stage before lecture in New York auditorium (ABC News)
Aug 13 – Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, has been attacked and apparently stabbed in the neck as he was about to give a lecture in western New York.

Also: Salman Rushdie, the author and fierce critic of religion with a bounty on his head (ABC News)
Aug 13 – Author Salman Rushdie is in hospital after being attacked at a talk on artistic freedom in Chautauqua, New York.

Also: ‘The news is not good’: Salman Rushdie on a ventilator after stabbing (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 13 – A man rushed onto the stage at the New York event and stabbed the author in the neck and stomach as he was about to give a lecture, shocked witnesses said.

Also: Police identify Salman Rushdie attack suspect as 24-year-old from New Jersey (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 13 – The man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie on a stage in western New York on Friday is a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, according to authorities.

Also: Salman Rushdie attack suspect charged with attempted murder, pleads not guilty (ABC News)
Aug 14 – The man accused of carrying out a stabbing attack against author Salman Rushdie has entered a not-guilty plea in a New York court on charges of attempted murder and assault.

Also: Rushdie attack: naive Westerners still refuse to accept truth about Iran’s evil regime (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 14 – (Opinion: Stephen Pollard) Last Monday, the European Union put forward what it described as the “final” proposed text of a revived nuclear deal with Iran, a deal which has been under negotiation in Vienna since the arrival of Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

Also: Salman Rushdie attack prompts muted reaction in India and Pakistan (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 14 – The literary world and public figures across the globe have expressed shock and outrage after the author Salman Rushdie was attacked at an event in New York.

Also: Rushdie ‘conscious, talking’; suspect’s posts probed (The Australian)
Aug 14 – Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator and is making jokes; Hadi Matar charged with attempted murder as authorities probe pro-Iran posts.

Also: Rushdie felt safe years after emerging from hiding (The Australian)
Aug 14 – Salman Rushdie said he regretted ever going into hiding. Then the long-dormant political firestorm that had once threatened to engulf him reignited.

Also: Rushdie stabbing was ‘an attack on who we are’, says venue’s president (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 14 – At 10.45am Friday, Michael Hill, the president of Chautauqua Institution, was sitting four rows back from the stage as Salman Rushdie was being introduced as a headline speaker in the cultural center’s summer programme.

Also: ‘Truth, courage, resilience’: Biden hails Salman Rushdie after attack (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 14 – A day after Salman Rushdie’s stabbing in western New York, Joe Biden on Saturday issued a statement hailing the author as standing “for essential, universal ideals”.

One year of Taliban rule has devastated Afghanistan, but there [is] hope within ‘secret schools’ (ABC News)
Aug 14 – In a radical act of rebellion, teachers in Afghanistan have established an underground network of secret schools to help girls and young women continue their education, which has become a human right outlawed by the Taliban.

Gunman wounds eight people in attack on bus near holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City (ABC News)
Aug 14 – A gunman has opened fire at a bus near Jerusalem’s Old City, wounding eight Israelis in a suspected Palestinian attack that comes a week after violence flared between Israel and militants in Gaza, according to police and medics.

West has allowed terrorists back: Petraeus (The Australian)
Aug 14 – Afghanistan is in a ‘disastrous’ situation after the Taliban allowed al-Qa’ida to return and Islamic State is ‘very dangerous’, according to a former US commander.

Muslims relieved and bewildered after Albuqerque murders case arrest (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 14 – It was a modern-day murder mystery: who had killed four Muslim men in Albquerque, New Mexico, since November? And was the same person responsible?

Female protesters beaten by Taliban fighters during rare Kabul rally (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 14 – Taliban fighters beat female protesters and fired into the air on Saturday as they violently dispersed a rare rally in the Afghan capital, days before the first anniversary of the hardline Islamists’ return to power.


Ali Millar’s upbringing in the Jehovah’s Witnesses was traumatic. Now she’s speaking out (ABC News)
Aug 9 – For Ali Millar, the experience of writing her difficult life story wasn’t cathartic, it was traumatic.

US will return 30 looted artefacts to Cambodia from late smuggler’s collection (ABC News)
Aug 9 – The United States will return 30 looted antiquities to Cambodia, including bronze and stone statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities carved more than 1,000 years ago.


Faction seeks to overthrow synagogue board as infighting intensifies
Aug 14 – A factional dispute at Melbourne’s largest Progressive synagogue has erupted into a battle for control of its board amid a string of resignations and allegations of bullying and harassment.


Whistleblower lawsuit alleges financial misconduct and dubious expenditures inside Hillsong Church (ABC News)
Aug 13 – A whistleblower suing Hillsong in the Federal Court has alleged the megachurch moved millions of dollars in payments through overseas entities to avoid scrutiny by the Australian charities regulator.

Cathedral ceilings and local tales: in praise of country church do-overs (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 14 – Not far from Cradle Mountain in north-west Tasmania, and often surrounded by snow, sits a 140-year-old church that, until 2013, served as the St James Anglican church in the hamlet of Waratah.