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Melbourne Asia Review is an initiative of the Asia Institute. Any inquiries about Melbourne Asia Review should be directed to the Managing Editor, Cathy Harper.

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Edition 4, 2020

Islam and contemporary politics

Next Steps in the Study of Islam and Politics: From ‘Islam’ to ‘Muslims’

How Muslims are politically engaged as ‘Muslims’ from several different perspectives all at once is the question of current research focused on Islam and politics.

  • Associate Professor Matthew Nelson

Death penalty for apostasy: Selected Sunni and Shi’a scholars’ views in favour of abolition

A change of religion is a personal matter and should not lead to any form of punishment, let alone the death penalty.

How religion, geography and demography shape Pakistan’s state, society and politics

Pakistan’s politics is shaped by weak political institutions and a strident relationship between government and military. But religion and other factors also play a significant role.

Politicising blasphemy in Indonesia: How Islamic alliances are established

Conservative Muslim groups in an increasingly Islamic Indonesian society are attempting to establish alliances with opportunist politicians.

COVID-19 Analysis

Pandemic politics in South Asia: Muslims and democracy

Leaders in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan may succeed in defeating COVID-19 only to discover they have killed their democracies in the process.

COVID-19 Analysis

Soeharto’s legacies in Jokowi’s food security plans

Will the Indonesian government deliver on its plans for new rice and cassava production?

Australia’s South Korea problem

South Korea is Australia's fourth largest trading partner, but the foreign policy community continues to focus on North Korea.

Edition 4, 2020

Islam and contemporary politics

Australia’s Muslims strongly reject an association between Islam and violent extremism

Overcoming prejudices concerning Islam and Muslims must involve acknowledgement of an ethical, progressive and peaceful Islam that teaches respectful coexistence with non-Muslims.

Indonesian vigilantes are voicing a conservative Islam, but they are not becoming terrorists

Members of Islamic street gangs mostly have no religious credentials, and don't aim to establish an Islamic state.

How progressive, cosmopolitan and social justice-oriented Islam can help overcome sectarianism

There is a critical mass of well-informed Muslims for whom Sunni and Shi’i Islam are not fundamental to how they view themselves as Muslims.

New forms of oppositional politics in Erdoğan’s Turkey

Turkey’s transformation into authoritarianism has been radical, but the political contest far from over.

The sophisticated Islamic civilisations of Western Sub-Saharan Africa between the 13th and 19th centuries

The rich and sophisticated history of Islam in West Africa challenges colonialists’ narratives.

‘Curly-Haired Kid to Killer’: Australian newspaper coverage of the Christchurch terrorist attacks

Analysing the quality and effect of media coverage of the murder of 51 Muslims in Christchurch.

The Taliban develops regional relationships as it makes territorial gains in Afghanistan

As the Taliban and Afghan government begin peace talks, the Taliban is on the diplomatic front foot.

Book Review

GODROADS: Modalities of Conversion in India. Editors: Peter Berger, Sarbeswar Sahoo

The book offers an alternative script for the Indian conversion experience, one that conceptualises conversion as a heterogenous experience rather than a single and individualised event.