AAIMS Statement on Palestine

January 13, 2024

AAIMS statement on the situation in Palestine on this Global Day of Action for Gaza

The Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies supports international peace and security and the protection of people from injustice and oppression in accordance with international covenants, law, and human rights declarations. AAIMS is opposed to all forms of religious and ideological extremism that promote hate, racism, supremacism, and violence. The Association calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, emergency aid for the Palestinian people, and those responsible for committing genocide to be brought to justice, as well as an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza, end to apartheid in the West Bank, and end to the occupation of Palestine.    

The situation in Palestine is beyond catastrophic with an estimated 30,000 people in Gaza killed, mostly women and children. Almost two million people have been displaced. Most homes, hospitals, schools, universities, churches, mosques, and other civilian infrastructure have been destroyed by Israel’s relentless and merciless bombing and shelling for over three months. Israel has imposed an unconscionable policy of collective punishment on the entire population of Gaza including starvation and suffering by preventing food, water, medical supplies, humanitarian aid, and assistance. Both Israel and the United States have shown a callous disregard for the human rights of the Palestinian people, international law, and the United Nations, wilfully ignoring repeated pleas from the international community and UN resolutions for an immediate ceasefire.  

Numerous members of AAIMS have conducted extensive research on violent extremism as well as prejudice and discrimination directed toward members of religious and ethnic communities, both of which contribute to a cycle of fear and hate that, as we have seen over the past three months, has devastating consequences for peace and security. AAIMS calls on the government of Australia to be consistent in its opposition to violent extremism and to prevent the influence of racist supremacism from causing further crimes against humanity and violations of international law and order. The Association encourages all people to show compassion and mercy, oppose injustice and oppression, and support a just peace.    

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Another Year; Welcome 2024!

December 31, 2023

We wish all our members a wonderful holiday season! We thank you for your commitment to AAIMS and for continually sharing your wonderful achievements with us. We have grown in 2023 thanks to your interactions with us on social media. We are excited to begin the new year with you!

Throughout 2023, we have shared member publications and achievements across our social media platforms and our website. We continue to encourage you to share your achievements with us through our hashtag #sharewithaaims. If you have an achievement you would like us to share on the website please email us at info@aaims.org.au.

In June, we hosted the How to Publish in a Q1 Journal  workshop, with presentations by Dr Jan Ali and Mirela Cufurovic. In September, we hosted the How to Publish in The Conversation and ABC Religion & Ethics workshop, with presentations by Professor Mehmet Ozalp and Scott Stephens (editor for ABC Religion & Ethics) and facilitation by Dr Sara Cheikh Husain. We had a wonderful turn out for both events! Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their experience with us on our social media. If you have suggestions for future workshops you’d like to see from us, please do email us at info@aaims.org.au.

In November, the AAIMS 2023 Conference: Islam in a Polarised World was hosted by the Centre for Muslim States and Societies (CMSS) at the University of Western Australia in Perth. The conference was an excellent way to bring diverse scholars together to discuss the ways in which Islam and Muslims operate in a polarised world. We thank each and every one of you who attended, contributed, and shared their positive experience!

In 2024, we hope to receive submissions for our Riaz Hassan Honours prize, and look forward to reading some great theses. The winner for the prize will be announced at the end of 2024! We value scholarship that emerges from the field of Islamic Studies and it is an honour to cherish the scholarship legacy of Riaz Hassan who played an instrumental role in the development of AAIMS as a thriving association for scholars in this field.

Also, if you have something to share or something to say, head on over to our Member Forum to get some exciting discussions going!

We wish you all a lovely new year!

All the best,

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Member Publications (December)

December 31, 2023

Congratulations to the following AAIMS Members on their recent publications:

Rizwan Sahib on his article titled, “Muslim Social Activity and Placemaking in Australia”, published by Religions. Read article here.

All the best,

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Celebrating AAIMS Member Achievements

December 28, 2023

Congratulations to Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh on his book Middle East Politics and International Relations: Crisis Zones being listed by Book Authority as one of the best international relations’ books of 2024. The book may be purchased here

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Member Publications (November)

November 30, 2023

Congratulations to the following AAIMS Members on their recent publications:

Heela Popal on her article titled, “Analysing the Rhetoric of Islam Needs Reforming: Tony Abbott’s Political Discourse in Response to Terrorism in Australia”, published by Religions. Read article here.

All the best,

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Celebrating AAIMS Member Achievements

November 29, 2023

We would like to congratulate two of our members on their recent outstanding achievements!

A big congratulations to Shahram Akbarzadeh on winning the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University International Engagement and Partnerships Excellence Award!

We would also like to congratulate Professor Ihsan Yilmaz on being named a national research leader in Middle East and Islamic Studies as well as Studies in Religion by The Australian’s 2024 Research Magazine.

Congratulations, too, to Dr Mehmet Ozalp on his Professorship appointment at Centre of Islamic Studies and Civilisation, Charles Sturt University.

We absolutely love seeing our members thrive! If you are an AAIMS member and would like to celebrate your achievements, please email us at info@aaims.org.au.

Congratulations once again,

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Highlights from the AAIMS 2023 Conference

November 23, 2023

From exceptional speakers to insightful discussions, diverse perspectives, and shared knowledge moments, AAIMS, over the last two days held its annual conference at the University of Western Australia, Perth, hosted by the Centre for Muslim States and Societies (CMSS). We would like to extend our thanks and gratitude to the organising committee for putting together an unforgettable experience and we would like to thank all AAIMS members who presented and attended the two-day conference as well as general members of the audience.

The theme for the conference was Islam in a Polarised World and we heard speakers address topics on Muslims, Geopolitics and Alignment; Brazilian and Pakistani Women’s Identities in Australia; Gender Issues; The Myth and Reality of Home-grown Imams; New Spaces and New Domains; Politics and Scripture – and more! Click here to view the full program.

The idea behind the conference was to bring together scholars in the field of Islamic and Muslim Studies to discuss issues relating to the central theme of Islam in a Polarised World. The conference drew attention to the roles, contemporary place, and future of Islam in the emerging multipolarity in global politics with its accompanying shifting power relations and turbulences. It also drew attention to the multiple forms of cultural, political and religious ‘polarisations’ both in the local and global contexts and what these mean for not just peaceful co-existence but also Islam and Muslims in both Muslim majority and Muslim minority contexts.

On the opening address, AAIMS member, Mahan Mira, expressed: “Inspiring opening remarks by Hon. Dr. Tony Bulti, minister for education, Aboriginal Affairs, citizenship and multicultural interests. What a terrific government mandate!”

High School students in Perth were also encouraged to prepare artworks to represent the conference theme as a university-community initiative and almost all artworks related back to Palestine.

AAIMS also welcomed two Visiting Fellows from the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Western Australia, Professor Qibla Ayaz, Council of Islamic Ideology, and Dr Fatima Essop, Advocate, The High Court South Africa to host a masterclass.

The conference was an excellent way to bring diverse scholars together to discuss the ways in which Islam and Muslims operate in a polarised world – and we thank each and every one of you who attended, contributed, and shared their positive experience!

If you attended the conference and would like to share photos, thoughts, or your experience, please email us at info@aaims.org.au.

Thank you,

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Dr Mahsheed Ansari’s Book Launch

November 22, 2023

Last night, just before the Conference dinner, AAIMS celebrated Dr Mahsheed Ansari’s new book publication titled Modern Debates on Prophecy and Prophethood in Islam: Muhammad Iqbal and Said Nursi, published by Routledge. The book was celebrated and launched by Islamic Studies scholar and Teaching Professor of Islam and Science at the University of Notre Dame, Mahan Mirza.

ABOUT THE BOOK

While prophethood is the backbone of the Islamic tradition and an uncompromised tenet of faith, the impact of modernity with its ambivalent status afforded to the prophet and institution of prophethood shook many Muslim scholars. Through analysis of these modern debates on prophethood in Islam, this book situates Muhammad Iqbal’s (1877–1938) and Said Nursi’s (1877–1960) discourses within it and assesses their implications on the modern period. This book introduces the “what, who and how” of the prophets in the Islamic tradition. It unveils the rich Islamic literature of both the classical and modern periods and analyses the construction of their philosophies and theologies. Concise in both historical and textual analyses, this book makes an important contribution to our understanding of contemporary debates on prophecy and prophethood in Islam and will be of great interest to postgraduate students and researchers of Islam, religious studies, medieval studies and contemporary studies of Islam and religion.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr Mahsheed Ansari is the Higher Degrees Research Coordinator and a Senior Lecturer in Islam and Contemporary Islamic Studies at the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation at Charles Sturt University. She is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Religion and Ethics and Society (CRES), Charles Sturt University. Furthermore, she is a sessional Law lecturer at Western Sydney University. Mahsheed is also a Sessional Law Lecturer at Western Sydney University.

She holds a double degree in Law and Arts from Western Sydney University, a Master of Arts in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Sydney University, and completed her PhD in Historical Studies and Islamic Studies from Monash University.

Her research interests and publications explore various facets of Islamic intellectual history, theology, philosophy, and ethics. Additionally, she is interested in the historical and cultural presence of Islam and Muslims in Australia.

She has been a community activist working in the areas of interfaith dialogue, social harmony, and leadership-mentoring programs with Muslim women and youth, serving the community since the early 2000s. She is a mother to an almost 3-year-old and enjoys the challenge and opportunities arising from the school of motherhood.

Mahsheed frequently addresses audiences on issues related to Islam, Muslims, and ethics to public audiences and the media. She has appeared on the ABC radio program alongside other interfaith leaders and scholars of religion, as well as the God Forbid show and podcasts such as Blogging Theology.

Congratulations, Mahsheed!

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Member Publications (October)

October 30, 2023

Congratulations to the following AAIMS Members on their recent publications:

Sara Cheikh Husain on her article titled, “The failure to value the Palestinian lives in Gaza subjects us to violence everywhere”, published by Overland. Read article here.

Gabriel Ahmanideen and Derya Iner on their article titled “The interaction between online and offline slamophobia and anti-mosque campaigns: The literature review with a case study from an anti-mosque social media page”, published by Sociology Compass. Read article here.

Shahram Akbarzadeh on his book titled Middle East Politics and International Relations: Crisis Zone, published by Routledge. Purchase book here.

All the best,

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How to Publish in The Conversation and ABC Religion & Ethics

September 8, 2023

AAIMS hosted an exciting event! 🤩 We explored the ins-and-outs of how to publish an academic editorial in mainstream news outlets.

The webinar featured Scott Stephens, Editor of ABC Religion & Ethics, and Dr Mehmet Ozalp, Head of School, CISAC, CSU. The webinar was facilitated by Dr Sara Cheikh Husain.
 
All the best,

Bio

Ahmad Hassan is an Islamic Studies lecturer at Charles Sturt University. He has developed and teaches the Islamic Economy, Banking and Finance subject. He also co-developed the Islamic History and World Religions subjects. He is currently a Board Member and Treasurer of ISRA. He has previously held the roles of President and Secretary of the ISRA Academy. Ahmad has served as a Director, Chief Financial Officer and Finance Director of several Australian and International corporations. In addition, he has worked and volunteered with several community organisations. He is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Management Studies and Master of Islamic Studies. His area of research is governance in Islamic Finance.

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