Religion News Australia

October 8 – 15, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


Religious Violence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to ‘change Middle East’  (ABC News)
Oct 10 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “change the Middle East” in Israel’s war with Palestinian militant group Hamas, as the army pounded the Gaza Strip with air strikes.

One life for 1000: The cruel arithmetic of Hamas hostage taking (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 10 – Israel once exchanged 1000 Palestinian prisoners for a single soldier seized during a cross-border raid.

Israel readies ground offensive as humanitarian groups plead for aid corridors for Gaza civilians (ABC News)
Oct 11 – Israel has vowed to escalate its response to an attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas by launching a ground offensive, as whole Gaza neighbourhoods already lie in ruins.

Israeli bombardment tears the heart out of Gaza’s cultural hub (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 11 – Gaza City: Collapsed buildings, mangled infrastructure, streets turned into fields of rubble.

‘We hear the call of jihad’: Indonesian hardliners take pro-Palestinian message to US embassy (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 11 – Singapore/Jakarta: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called for the “root cause” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be addressed, as hardline Islamic groups took to the street outside the United States embassy in Jakarta declaring they were ready to fight in the Middle East.

Israel warns Gaza will never be the same as it removes restraints on military (The Age, Melbourne)
Oct 11 – Israel is preparing for a ground offensive in Gaza that would push casualty numbers high on both sides of its war with Hamas, as the nation’s defence minister declared he had released all restraints on the Israeli military.

I was in Israel when Hamas attacked – now we must reflect on the senselessness  (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 11 – (Opinion: Daphna Baram) For the sake of those who have died, we need to heed the call for peace.

What we know about the Supernova festival where Hamas militants killed hundreds of attendees (ABC News)
Oct 14 – It was supposed to be a trance music festival “full of good news” to celebrate a Jewish religious holiday.

Teacher killed, two others wounded in stabbing attack at French school (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 14 – Arras, France: A man of Chechen origin who was under surveillance by the French security services over suspected radicalisation stabbed a teacher to death at his former high school and critically wounded two other people in northern France on Friday, authorities said.

Also: Macron condemns ‘barbarity of Islamist terrorism’ after teacher killed in school stabbing (ABC News)
Oct 15 – A man of Chechen origin who was under surveillance by French security services over suspected Islamic radicalisation has stabbed a teacher to death at his former high school and wounded three other people.

Mohammed Deif has eluded Israeli intelligence for decades. Now it appears he is being hunted (ABC News)
Oct 15 – While armed Hamas militants were riding into Israel on motorbikes and paragliders, some of the men who run the organisation sat safely more than 1,700 kilometres away.


Japanese government asks court to dissolve Unification Church (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 14 – Tokyo: Japan’s government has asked a court to revoke the legal status of the Unification Church after an investigation concluded the group has systematically manipulated its followers into donating money, sowed fear and harmed their families for decades.


Victorian jury shown videos of man pledging allegiance to Islamic State, lighting fires (ABC News)
Oct 10 – A Victorian Supreme Court trial has been shown videos of a young man pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group, lighting fires and threatening to “slaughter” non-believers.


NSW Police defend ‘lamentable’ advice to Jewish community ahead of pro-Palestinian rally  (ABC News)
Oct 10 – NSW Police has launched an investigation into the behaviour of protesters at a pro-Palestinian rally outside the Sydney Opera House where flares were set off.

Far from Israel, Australian Jews like me are on high alert (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 11 – (Opinion: Kerri Sackville) This morning I dropped my daughter to school. As always, she was greeted at the gate by an armed guard.

Jewish students cop hate attacks on campus (The Australian)
Oct 11 – Anti-Israel actions have led to students hiding their Jewish identity, as a major student body declares ‘solidarity with Palestine’.

NSW premier denounces alleged Nazi salute outside Sydney Jewish Museum as three men charged (ABC News)
Oct 14 – New South Wales Premier Chris Minns says the “full extent of the law” will be used against three men arrested and charged after an alleged Nazi salute outside the Sydney Jewish Museum.

More moral equivalence from the ‘root causes’ crowd (The Australian)
Oct 14 – (Opinion: Chris Mitchell) Politicians and media who talk about Zionist colonialism misunderstand the history.

Betrayal of Jews shows West needs moral rearmament (The Australian)
Oct 14 – (Opinion: Brendan O’Neill) If your response to Jewphobic mass murder is to offer up ‘context’, then you are lost – truly, completely lost.

Jewish leaders demand action over baby story (The Australian)
Oct 14 – (Opinion: Sophie Elsworth) The ABC is under pressure to take action after Middle Eastern correspondent Tom Joyner told a WhatsApp group that stories abou babies being beheaded by Hamas terrorists were “bulls**t.”

Three men charged over alleged Nazi salute outside Sydney Jewish Museum (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 14 – Three men have been charged after they allegedly performed a Nazi salute outside Sydney’s Jewish Museum on Friday.

Do you stand with Israel or Palestine? I’m Jewish, and I stand with both (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 15 – (Opinion: David Leser) I first visited Israel in 1977, the same year the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made his historic visit to Jerusalem to offer Israel his hand in peace.

Israel must destroy Hamas despite the cost (The Australian)
Oct 15 – (Opinion: Greg Sheridan ) The grotesque terror atrocities will burden history forever. If Israel doesn’t annihilate Hamas, it will face repeated atrocities of the type we’ve just witnessed.

Victim-blaming is a crime to so many progressives. Except when it comes to Jews (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 15 – (Opinion: Howard Jacobson) An old man sits amid the destruction on what’s left of a wall and lets the tears stream from his eyes.


Labor MPs fail to condemn pro-Palestine rallies (The Australian)
Oct 10 – Jewish leader blasts Tony Burke and Chris Bowen for their failure to directly condemn the rallies in their western Sydney electorate.

Fringe-right favourite Amanda Stoker returns to politics as LNP moderates worry about her ties (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 10 – A few days after Amanda Stoker announced her run for Queensland state parliament in June, the former federal senator was due to appear at a panel discussion organised by the libertarian lobby group, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA).

Australia’s leaders condemn ‘abhorrent’ scenes after anti-Jewish chants filmed at Sydney rally (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 10 – Australia’s prime minister, Anthony Albanese and the foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, have condemned pro-Palestine protesters who were filmed chanting anti-Jewish sentiments in Sydney.

Safety promise by PM to Jewish community (The Australian)
Oct 11 – Anthony Albanese has declared there is ‘no place’ for anti-Semitism and hateful prejudice, announcing assisted departure flights to evacuate Australians from Israel from Friday.

Lyle Shelton claims voice will be ‘lever for anti-Christian ideology’ in no campaign crusade (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 11 – The anti-marriage equality campaign leader Lyle Shelton is leading a last-minute push from the no campaign to encourage Christian voters to oppose the voice, claiming it will be used as a “lever for anti-Christian ideology”.

‘Grossly irresponsible’: peak Islamic body condemns Peter Dutton’s comments on pro-Palestine rally (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 14 – Australia’s peak body representing Muslims has labelled comments by Peter Dutton over pro-Palestine protests “dangerous, divisive, misleading and grossly irresponsible”.


Feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi recognises the importance of animals in our lives  (ABC News)
Oct 9 – It’s not often you get the opportunity to officially thank your pet for the love and joy they bring to your life, which is why at this time of year people around the world are invited to bring their furry, feathered, or scaly friend to a place of worship to be blessed.

Wagiman sacred women’s site at Douglas Hot Springs impacted by government bore (ABC News)
Oct 10 – A sacred women’s site located near a popular hot springs tourism spot in the Northern Territory has been impacted by a government-constructed bore, authorities say.

He was an Israeli soldier in Gaza. Now he’s organising Free Palestine rallies (The Age, Melbourne)
Oct 14 – Nachshon Amir was an Israeli Defence Forces officer who for years manned checkpoints in the Gaza Strip and West Bank and burst into Palestinian homes during the night to frighten people.

This is how we do it: ‘I’ve lost my faith – and with it my shame about sex’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 15 – Layla and Martin’s love life has evolved over the course of their 37-year marriage, and he has shed many inhibitions along the way.